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And Here I Sit

I know it’s been quite some time since I’ve made a blog post.  I’ve tried to many times, but the words just fail me.  I guess it’s because I’ve quit.  I’ve quit caring.  I’ve quit wanting.  I’ve quit trying.  I’ve quit just about everything.  And I’m not exactly sure why.  I think it’s because I’m just tired.  When I try to figure out what I’m tired of, I just keep thinking that I’m tired of EVERYTHING.  And I’m tired of NOTHING.  I just don’t see a purpose in anything.  I look around at everyone enjoying life, enjoying companionship, enjoying laughing, enjoying their own thoughts, and I think, “It’s just too hard.”  I feel like I’m just stuck here, all alone.  Many days, I don’t even use my voice, other than to say, “Bella, you got to go potty?”  And that’s sad, mainly because all she does is run to the door.  You’d think that she’d at least bark once to say yes, wouldn’t you?  But, she doesn’t.  And then I say, “Good girl.  Let’s go back in now,” and she runs back up on the porch.  And we start back over with the circle of no communication with anyone.  And I sit here.

So, you say, “Geez, Betty, get off your butt and go do something.”  Easier said than done.  That takes energy.  That takes desire.  That takes someone to do something with.  That takes somewhere to go do it.  And I can’t seem to connect with anyone or anything.  I can’t seem to be able to gather the willpower to try anymore.  And so, I sit here.  I read.  I do communicate on Facebook with some friends.  I do a bit of crafting.  I watch far too many videos on You-Tube.  My sweet granddaughter makes me take her to lunch every other week and that is a good thing.  I truly do enjoy my time with Ash.  I sit here and wish I could make myself go to Douglas to visit or to Columbus to visit, but for some reason, I cannot find the energy anymore.  Just getting ready for a trip is stressing and exhausting.  And the ride just kills me.  I remember a time when hopping in the car and driving three hours to see the kids was a piece of cake.  Now, it takes me days to get things together and get the car packed to go.  By the time I have gotten everything in the car, I am so tired I can barely handle the trip.  Plus, the kids are always so busy; I feel like they don’t need some old Grandma to come in and slow their lives down.    That’s ridiculous when I think about even saying that because I know they would like me to visit more, but I have convinced myself that I’d just be in the way.  I never, ever want to do anything that would hurt my children.  So, I stay home.  And it’s really getting to me as I sit here.

Since Sandra died, I feel that I have nothing here in Eatonton.  Moving back here and facing my fears was necessary.  In time, I was able to do that and it was good for me.  I had been so very hesitant to move back home, but Sandra made it OK.  She was always there when things got tough.  She was always just a phone call away.  We’d visit several times a week and I had a connection.  It’s gone now, and I just can’t get over her loss.  I’ve thought about leaving Eatonton now that I’ve conquered my fears, but I have nowhere to go.  So I sit here.

I see other people grieving the losses of loved ones and my heart goes out to them.  It truly does.  But, I’m afraid to connect with them because I’m afraid I’ll lose it all over again.  I can’t stand to see someone in pain.  I was in such a deep dark hole after Sandra’s death and I know that I cannot allow myself to go there again.  I know I have a loving heart and I feel compassion, but I’ve bottled it up inside and am deathly afraid to let it out.  And I know that is selfish of me, but I can’t do anything about it.  So, I sit here.

Just before last Thanksgiving, I was connected with a half-sister that I had known existed, but never thought I’d meet.  Come to find out, she had had no idea that she had four half-sisters out there somewhere.  She was overjoyed.  In each message I received from her, she called me “sister”.  I was absolutely overwhelmed with joy.  And then I was just overwhelmed.  And then the feelings of unworthiness set in.  In my mind, I told myself that she’d be better off not really knowing me.  I was nothing special and in fact, I was just a big ole heap of problems.  And who wants to willingly jump into a relationship with someone who is nothing but problems?  Each day, I tell myself that I need to connect with Joan and then, somehow, the day is over, and I have failed again.  I have good intentions, but I haven’t been able to do what I need to do to establish that connection.  And that’s unfair.  To Joan and to me.  But, it’s because I just sit here.

I stopped seeing Roz several months ago because talking about the past was torture.  Week after week, she’d ask how long I was going to let my past rule my future.  And I had no answer.  I still have no answer.  And I’m not even sure that this has anything to do with my past.  I have finally realized that what’s in the past is over with and I know I can’t change it.  I’ve accepted the fact that what happened may have been crappy, but that it wasn’t my fault.  And believe me, that is HUGE.  I never thought that I would forgive myself for the abuse.  But, I did.  So, I ought to be able to enjoy life, right?  Well, evidently not.  It’s hard to enjoy a life of solitude and isolation.  And let me just tell you – I do a darn good job of isolation.  Each day is the same.  Nothing changes.  Others go on with their lives and I sit here.  I wonder why.  I wonder how long I will do this.  I should probably give Roz a call.  But, I just kept thinking that if I couldn’t figure things out in 8 years, it just wasn’t worth the effort.  I wonder why I let myself do this.  But, I continue to do it as I sit here.

I stopped going to church several months ago.  Of course, I had excuses.  I was going through some tough problems with my ear and really couldn’t hear anything that the preacher was saying so I thought I’d just wait until I could hear again.  Well, that hasn’t happened, but that’s not the real reason I quit going.  When I sat down and thought about why I wasn’t going, I realized that it was after I made my blog post about having my son that I quit going.  Did I think the church members would judge me?  No, I didn’t.  Was I judging myself?  Well, sure I was, but that wasn’t the reason.  I stopped going because I didn’t think I had the right to be THERE.  Not at THAT church.  People were too nice to me at that church.  Too many people in town were able to figure out from my post who I had been talking about (the curse of living in a small town) and I didn’t think that it was fair of me to be THERE. I wasn’t willing to give them a chance to show me that it didn’t matter.  I immediately took the safe route and I quit going.  But, I miss my church.  I miss the family feeling there.  I truly miss my pastor and his precious wife.  I miss the music.  Oh, how I miss the music.  I miss my friends.  But, I still tell myself that I don’t belong there.  I haven’t given up on God.  I have my own private church service here each week.  I turn on the Statler Brothers or Mercy Me or some other Christian music and I praise the Lord.  I get out my Bible and I lose myself in the Word.  But, I do it as I sit here.

A dear friend and I had a conversation quite some time ago about the difference between the feelings of jealousy and envy.  To me, jealousy is when you want something that someone else has and you’re willing to do anything to get it, even if it hurts the other person.  Envy, to me, is when you see something they have and your heart longs for that, also.  You, in no way, want them not to have it.  You are truly proud that they do have it.  But, your heart aches because you do not have it also.  You become consumed with the fact that you have nothing.  And that’s how I look at others now.  I see them enjoying companionship and I envy them.  I see them traveling and I envy them.  I see them enjoying their families and I envy them.  I see them living their lives full of laughter and joy and I envy them.  I, in no way, want them not to have those things.  I just don’t know why I can’t have them, too.  I envy their lives and their loves and their laughter.  But, still, I sit here.

There was a ray of light a couple of weeks ago, though.  My Hens (my most dear, most special, loyal group of friends) and I spent a day together.  We started the day off with lunch at a new restaurant here in town.  Can’t say that I was blown over by the food, but the atmosphere and the waitress was great.  We spent a couple of hours just hanging out, talking about what we’d been doing, and just having fun.  Then, we went to the package store.  Hold on, let me explain.  This package store is owned by one of our good friends.  About a year ago, the Hens and I had been out for the day and happened to ride by there.  As we did, one of us made the remark that we needed to stop by to say hello.  Well, next thing we knew, we were in the parking lot.  We meant to only stop in and say hello, but things happened.  People we had not seen in YEARS came in (for whatever reason) and we ended up spending a couple of hours just hanging out, reminiscing with customers and having a ball.  The owner invited us to come back the next time we were out.  So-o-o-o-o-o-o, we decided to take him up on his offer the other day.  The daughter of one of my old teaching buddies works there part-time, also, and she’s a true barrel of laughs so we figured it would be a fun time.  We pulled up some chairs in the lobby, scanned through the latest newspaper and talked about everyone mentioned in the newspaper, and caught up on the latest gossip.  Or maybe it wasn’t really gossip because you know, if it’s true, it’s not gossip.  Anyway, after a bit, the owner came in, some more long-lost friends stopped by, and we turned it into a real social event.  We suggested that for the next visit, he should put an announcement out on the marquee that said that The Hens would be in attendance from 2 – 4 (kind of a way to boost business).  We shall see if that happens.  Anyway, it was a great day with great friends and we all had a heap of good ole innocent fun, something I needed.  But, when all the fun was over, I came home, crawled up in my recliner and there I sat. 

I do know one thing.  Isolation works.  It works so well that after a while, others give up on you, too.  If you sit here long enough, all you have left to do is to sit here.

I do wonder if this is what my life is supposed to be like.  I don’t think that it is.  I believe that there is a reason for everything.  I believe that God has a plan.  I believe that at the right time, He will reveal that plan to me.  I just hope that when He does, I’m at least dressed for the occasion and not just sitting here.

 

I Truly Don’t Want You To Try to Fix Me

I ran across an excellent video on Depression with so many valid points.  As J.S. points out, there are so many people out there who just don’t understand depression and the leading “fixes” seem to be the God angle or the Be Positive angle.  Neither of these, by themselves, can fix depression.  It is vitally important for others to understand the many intricacies of this disease and how to help.  I totally agree that just allowing a depressed person to “be” is of utmost importance.

Dealing with Depression — A New Look at It.

An Interview About Depression, Its Myths and Misunderstandings, When Faith Fails, and Talking It Out

I truly need to get this book. I have recently decided to stop seeing my therapist, mainly because the idea of constantly talking about why I feel like crap makes me feel like crap even more. It seems as though I’ve talked for seven years and my thoughts and feelings haven’t changed. I understand myself a bit more, but I still feel the same.

I’ve also dealt with the “just pray about it” and the “turn it over to God”. I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed about it. And, I’ve turned it over to God (or so I thought) and it’s still there. All the feelings of doubt, of self-defeat, of not caring, of feeling unworthy — those feelings (and many more) are still there.

So, I decided to just take a break. I’m not saying that I won’t go back to therapy at some point, but it’s been like a constant dread lately just knowing that I have to go talk about it some more.

As J.S. stated above, “It helped, but there were times I knew I had to step away because it wasn’t helping. I’d imagine it’s like someone investigating a crime in their own family—it’s cathartic, but it’s also dangerously close.” I just need to step away from it for a while. Maybe by not concentrating on my feelings of not caring for a while, I will somehow be able to care again. He makes some really valid points in this interview and I am sure that there is much more in the book itself. We shall see.

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

– Suzanne of biblesteps recently interviewed me about my book on depression. Her post is here. The entire interview is below. You can find my book on fighting depression here. –

Given that depression can be a fragile and, at times, controversial topic, what made you decide to write a book about it?

Depression can feel like a solo sport. There’s no team backing you up. It’s like swimming or gymnastics; once you get going, it’s up to you to make it to the other end of the pool or the mat. (I was told this is why writers get depressed, because writing isn’t really a team effort).

Most of the resources I found on depression began with the “solo” premise: It’s up to you, go get help, here’s this method, try this and this. But that sort of individualized isolation was very vacuum-ish to me. Life doesn’t…

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A New Family is out there!!

It’s been an exciting 24 hours!! My newly found niece and I have been chatting this morning and I’ve made contact with another niece and have sent an email to my half-sister, Joan. Hopefully, once I get back home we will be able to correspond much more easily. My friends know how chatty I am and without my computer, I’m having to do everything through my phone which means “one finger” correspondence. Since my brain works much faster than my one finger can peck, I’m at a real loss. Can’t wait to get home and be in contact. Oh, how I wish Sandra were still with us–she would be so excited about this!!!!!!

Amazing

I have spent Thanksgiving with my son and just crawled into bed. Something told me to check Facebook before going to sleep. I saw a message from someone, not familiar with the name, and almost overlooked it.

Come to find out, it is from a niece on my mom’s side. I had written about mom having had a daughter who she had lost in a court case of some type. Well, Joan Edith’s daughter has somehow found me on FB and we have connected somewhat. Mind you, this has been done with me totally in the dark, tapping on my phone with one finger. LOL. So, no telling what will pop up.

I just couldn’t wait to share the news. While it’s not quite the message I have been hoping to receive, it is an amazing message just the same. I now have a sister and a niece and who knows who else to get to know. Quite a Thanksgiving, if I say so myself.

Undeserved Emotions

I’ve had an extremely hard time coming back to the blog since my last couple of posts.  I wonder if I spoke too much.  Was I too open in talking about the incidents that have compounded my depression?  Should I have just continued to deal with my feelings by myself?  I have been so confused.

And then……I reached out a couple of weeks ago to a prayer group that I’m a member of and asked for prayers for peace for my troubled mind.  I gave a brief testimony and the administrator of the group denied my post.  In talking with her later, she said that my prayer was “too big” for the group.  She said that many members of the group were “new in the Lord and might not be able to handle” my testimony and my request.   How can that be?  How can prayers be too big?  Is there a certain amount of time that you must wait before telling someone “who is new in the Lord” about a significant problem that you are having?  I guess I didn’t read that part of the “I love the Lord Handbook”.  I’m still at a loss over that.  I tried to not take it personally, but I just don’t get it.  How do you tell someone that their prayer is too big?  So, I decided to just sit back and do my talking directly to God.  And that’s where I’ve been for the past few weeks.  Stewing.  Simply stewing in emotions.  Those emotions are taking a toll on me.  My mind is in overdrive and it is so hard to focus.

Then, last week something happened in my hometown and I’m so confused about how I feel.  That’s not entirely true, though.  I know how I feel;  I am sad.  But deep-seated emotions keep rearing their ugly heads and are keeping me off balance.  There are so many things I want to say, but out of respect for others I can’t.  And that’s the tough part.  It’s almost as if my emotions are not valid.  But, how can that be?  Isn’t everyone entitled to their own feelings?  No matter what the circumstances, feelings — any feelings — are valid, aren’t they? I feel no anger.  I feel sadness.  And regrets.  And sorrow for those involved.  But I can’t speak of it.

Undeserving — that’s the word I used when speaking to a friend last night.  I was trying to explain my emotions and said that I feel as though any emotions I have are just plain underserving.  And I know that it’s not good for me to feel that way.  I’ve spent far too many years living with the assumption that my feelings don’t count and that they are underserving.  I have got to find some way to break this chain of thought.  I feel what I feel and I can’t help it.

Many of my friends, without my reaching out to them, have contacted me to relay their thoughts and prayers.  And that has meant the world to me.  They know, all too well, the conflict that is running rampant in my head and heart.   I just need a way to address these feelings.  Isolation isn’t working.  Sleeping isn’t working.  Pouring my heart out to God isn’t working.  I guess I just must be patient.  God is going to speak to me.  He is going to guide me in the right direction.  I do know this to be true.  But, in the meantime, I am struggling.  And it is so not fun.

~~~Betty 

Another Year Has Gone By

Happy Birthday, Allen Lee.

My thoughts are rambling tonight as I think about it being your birthday.  I pray that you are enjoying the day.  I pray that you are enjoying your life.  I pray that you are happy.  I pray that you are healthy.   I pray that God is part of your life.  I pray that you have been blessed with a wonderful family.  My biggest prayer is  that you have people who love you.  It is so very important to be loved.

I wonder if you ever think of me.  If so, I pray that your thoughts do not cause you pain.  I wonder what questions you have for me,  if any.  I pray that God has filled your heart with Grace and that you are confident that giving you up for adoption was an act of love on my part.  I pray that one day I will get to meet you and that I can tell you about the love that I’ve always had for you.  I pray that one day I can tell you about the 5 amazing days that I got to spend with you!

But, enough of that!  It’s your birthday!  Go eat some cake and blow out your candles.  Feel the love today.  It’s always there.

~~~

Betty