Family First Friday #5
Sometimes, the most important thing you can do to take care of your family first, is to take care of the caretaker (ie person home with the kiddos). I am going to walk you through the emotional events of this week for me personally.
Tuesday I had another Miss P incident (reference here and here, if you missed it). Being in a decent place emotionally with the Miss P situation, I sent a prompt email. Basically, I’m tired of this. Please stop! Not rude, not biting, simply ‘This is the behavior. It bothers me. Please stop.’ Send. I didn’t even tell Drew I sent it, until later that evening.
Wednesday, I posted about my family of origin (post here), where I obviously had some unresolved issues. After I wrote the post, I spoke with my sister for about two hours—just normal sister talk about life, kids, school, etc… By the time evening rolled around, I wondered if I was stuffing feelings. By morning, I knew I was.
I am always amazed at how efficiently and unconsciously I can do it. I have noticed with new emotions and feelings, I have grown enough that I don’t stuff it. If someone says something today or at church and my feelings are hurt, I can cry and be upset in the moment. But if the feelings are deep and old—I have usually stuffed them before I even knew they were there. It’s scary that it happens so quickly and without any thought.
I talked through my feelings with Drew in the morning. I realized that I had never emotionally walked through the door of leaving my little sisters behind when I left for college. My family was falling apart. The ship was sinking and I couldn’t save them. I couldn’t take them with me. The pain was so deep and so intense that I had to block it out so that I could keep functioning and survive. All of these years and I had never chosen to open the door to those emotions, mostly because I wasn’t even aware they were there. But here they are, still waiting for me after all these years.
I needed a good cry—as my friend Linzy says, the ugly cry—the one where your face is all puffy and red, and your nose is clogged from all the crying. You know the look.
|this is close….|
My sweetheart gave me a great perspective. He said, “Carin, why did you leave?” I came up with many answers—to save myself, to go to college, so I didn’t sink with the ship…. “No,” he says, “you left to go and prepare the lifeboat. If you had gone down with the ship,” to continue the analogy, “everyone would be lost. By leaving and clinging to the gospel and building your family within its framework, you show them where to go to find peace, happiness, and healing. You are their light in the lifeboat saying, ‘Swim this way! Over here!’ If you didn’t do that, how would they know where to go?!”
His words brought peace to my soul. I have always known I made the right decision. I did not have guilt because of my choice. But I had also never acknowledged the pain and heartache of not being able to rescue any of my sibling, but particularly my sisters because they were so young and innocent. Wednesday morning I was walking through the pain.
Wednesday morning was also when I received Miss P’s response to my email, simply, “I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intent. I didn’t mean to offend on of your children.”
Because I was already in such an emotionally vulnerable place, I was able to respond to her email immediately and from the heart. I just said, “My feelings have been really hurt. I know things have been hard for you too. I am tired of this. Can’t we be friends?” And I let it go. I do not know if she will respond or what she will say. And you know what? It really doesn’t matter to me.
Here’s the crazy part. I believe that if I had not been in such an emotional state, I wouldn’t have responded so honestly and openly to the pain and heartache which had been happening in the present.
Today I have been nurturing my soul. I threw my diet out the window (not binge eating, just not strictly following the plan). I have spent hours this week writing, reading, and visiting with people I love. The rain is falling and I’m watching a cheesy, but clean romance. I’m having one of my favorite dinners and reminding myself why I love my life and me. 🙂 (I may even cut my hair!) Because I made time to take care of some emotional baggage (past and present), nurture myself, and feed my soul, I will be a much happier and nicer mother!
|me being my happy self!|