Monday, September 1, 2014

Anguish, but Hope

“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” Joseph Campbell

  Lately, I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like with my blogging. I debated with myself about this post. I don’t want pity, and I don’t want to whine. I just want to be honest about where my head has been. And perhaps there are others out there who are going through similar upsets or who can relate and know they are not alone.

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I experienced a jolt to my emotional and mental sense of well-being this summer. My mother attempted suicide, and my reaction to her act was like an emotional explosion.
I began remembering things that I haven’t thought about in years, memories of my childhood and teen years, memories of my mother. I began thinking of familiar memories from a different perspective.
I made the decision to not have a relationship with my mother, at least right now
As a result of all of this, I feel like I have been peeled down to my core and have been left wondering, who am I?
My mother taught me certain things: I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t creative, I was lazy, I was selfish, I was like “a lump on a log.” If others knew what I was really like, she’d say, they wouldn’t like me.

Who am I if I don’t view myself through my mother’s eyes? If I don’t believe what my mother said I was, who am I?

It has been a difficult time. I have done a myriad of things to soothe my soul. The bedtime anger has lessened. Probably someone seeing me in my daily life would note no difference in my demeanor.
But just the other day, while I was taking a shower, I became infused with anger. It felt like it was burning me, like my heart was going to burst from it.
I cried because I didn’t know what to do with the anger. There’s no one to foist it upon. No one deserves it. Certainly no one wants to hear all of it.

One thing I’ve been doing to deal with it is journaling, some by hand in a lovely book Larry gave me, and some on the computer.
When I’m angry or upset or very anxious, writing on the computer suits me better: it’s faster, and the sound of the keys clicking helps to calm me.
Much of what goes in my journal is for my eyes only. But here’s a bit of what I’ve written lately.
It’s personal. It’s embarrassing. But it’s a way to show what I’m thinking:

I am stuck. I am sad. I am depressed. I am lazy. I am immobile. I do what I have to do, absolutely have to do, and a little of what I want to do, and then it’s sleep. It’s nothing. I have a nothing life. I have a small life. And I don’t know how to get a big one. I want a reason to get up in the morning. I need something to push me through life. Oh, God, have mercy on me, please.

And then later:

My past is over. I am 51 years old and it’s time to do what I want to do with my life. Not selfishly. But I need to stop adding that. “Not selfishly.” I am not a selfish person usually. It’s OK that I want to do something with my life that makes me happy and content and in the flow. I want to be in the flow. I want a good life, a big life.
What is a big life to me? I’m not yet sure. But it’s more than I’m living now. It’s doing what I want. Doing. Things. I. Want. To. Do. Loving others. Being honest. Being compassionate. Helping to make the world better. Being in the flow. Being in the flow. Not letting fear and fatigue stop me. Not letting depression or OCD or anxiety stop me. Living in spite them. Living a big life in spite of them. In spite of my past. Living a big life.

Yes, I’m struggling. But I have hope. Things will get better. I am putting one foot in front of the other, every day. I will get better.
I will learn more about who I am and how to be in this world so that I have a positive effect on those around me.

Part of my journey is rethinking how I’m spending my time and what I’m writing. With that in mind, I’ll be starting a new posting schedule, changing to two times a week, Mondays and Thursdays. I won’t post again this week, so I’ll be back here on Monday, Sept. 8.
I’d like to devote Bringing Along OCD to the subjects that I originally started out with. I want to use this blog as a form of mental health advocacy.


  1. Hugs, Tina. I can certainly relate to some of what you've written. Wanting more...Not knowing how to get where you want to be.
    Keep on.

  2. Hugs my friend hugs it is going to be alright. Who are you? Well your question makes me need to tell you what I are an amazing beautiful talented strong girl who has made it through so much in her life to this point and is stronger for it. You are a woman who is loved by people she has never met but knows exactly what you are going through. You are Tina and everything you are feeling is normal and I am proud of you and I have no doubt you will work through this. HUGS HUGS HUGS B

  3. cutting that tie to your mother has left you in a spin, certainly. and the wounds she inflicted on you for all those years are all freshly opened. but you're so much better than she ever tried to tell you you were. the bitterness she inflicted on you is her own, not the world's. through all of this, remember to be kind to yourself. be kind to yourself and others - that is the only thing worthwhile about life, big or small.

  4. I understand what your mother did to you by her constant negative nasty comments. As I teacher I saw parents who constantly put down their kids. Some kids roll with the punches and some are devastated. I know you will find the answer to your search.

  5. I'm sorry to hear you are struggling, Tina. I hope you find what you're looking for.

  6. I've always been amazed at how consistent you've been with everything that's been going on. In addition to the emotional upheaval, you have a job that sometimes demands a lot from you.

    As difficult as it must be, you are in a powerful healing mode right now, and you're modeling incredible self-care. May your soul be filled with peace and your journey lightened by the love and respect we all have for you.

  7. Keeping you in prayer, Tina. "Negative self talk," usually learned in childhood, can be hugely debilitating. It can also be very, very frustrating (as I have experienced) to realize that your own dreams and desires and wants and needs were influenced by someone else who thought he or she knew better so that it's hard for you to recognize them and to "get back to yourself." Be good to yourself at this time; it's not selfish to take care of you. {{Hugs}}

  8. Everything you said resonates with me. So deeply.

    You have impacted so many people, even just through this blog ... that, to me, is a big life.

    You are loved.

  9. You have been through a lot. Do not let tge negative thoughts win. Always talk back....with positives. Remember that you are worth it.

  10. I'm sorry you've been having such a tough time, Tina. You did not deserve that treatment as a child. I will keep you in my thoughts and am confident you will get through this and get that life you want!

  11. It's so hard to give up the impressions of self that came to us when we were children. I know how you feel a little, I think. My mother wasn't extremely critical, but she wasn't loving either and rarely positive about life in general or her kids in particular. Quite possibly, she was just overwhelmed with bringing up seven kids. But I'm finding that now that she is getting very old and needs help, I am having a hard time feeling the compassion I should be feeling. Well, I guess I need to figure things out. Life is hard.

  12. I think the journaling is a very good idea. Writing is cathartic. It's a release. And you're right to write that it's NOT selfish to want to do something that makes you happy. Not selfish at all. "Yes, I’m struggling. But I have hope"...this is key...the fact that you wrote this means a great deal because it shows how introspection can help in these periods on our lives. We're here for you Tina :-) your blogging family.

  13. You've been through a great deal. You are so brave to share your thoughts in the hope that others can relate. I know it helps to write things down too. Boy, it is hard to escape our childhood.

  14. Boy Tina, you have really been through a lot!! You are one of the bravest people I know to share such deep, intimate, painful thoughts. I hope the path you choose will help to lighten your load and brighten your soul. It sure is time for you to feel good about yourself.....I so want you to feel good about yourself!!

  15. Oh, Tina. I so applaud your courage and your "fight." It IS your time. It is your time to regroup, to heal, to nurture yourself, to care, to feel, to move forward with new purpose.

    There are parts of your journal post that I thought "a year or two ago, I would have written those same words." I would have written them in far different circumstances, for different reasons. But I know those feelings, even if the reasons behind them may be different. And all I want to say is that there is a way through it. Not always an easy or clearly defined way, but with one step forward, one at a time, you can work through that bramble wood -- the kind you read about in fairy tales like Snow White, a wood so thick, so twisted you can't imagine there is a way out. But you will find it. Of this I am confident.

    Take care of YOU. I suspect that as you do, much of the rest will take care of itself. Sending hugs and prayers.

  16. Keep on keeping on, Tina. You are an incredible person who is incredibly brave. You truly are an inspriation. *hugs and prayers*

  17. Oh wow I had no idea what you've been dealing with. For some reason I wasn't getting your blog posts and then I took a 2 month hiatus this summer off my blog. Anyway I am so sorry to hear about your mom. My mom is almost 86 and thankfully I have a pretty good relationship with her. I cannot fathom having to deal with the issues you've dealt with but I pray you find peace within yourself.

  18. This is so beautifully written and refreshingly honest. You are trying to make sense of your life and the pain inflicted on you by your mother. When I was little my dad used to call me stupid and lock me in dark rooms, among other things. When you can't trust your own parents, it causes emotional pain making it hard to trust anyone else. What I've learned is those words and actions reveal more about that person and usually have nothing to do with you or me. I finally have a decent relationship with my dad, but he still has outbursts that we have to talk about later when he's being more rational. I have learned to forgive. Keep doing what you're doing, asking the Lord for peace, and he will give you that. I will add you to my prayers.


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