sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist, an unschooler, and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘love’

Mommy Guilt: “shoulding” on myself

I should have…

I should have worked more hours when i was pregnant with baby number 3.

I should have returned to work sooner after he was born in January 2009.

I should have worked more and saved more while I was pregnant.

I should have returned to work sooner so our debt didn’t grow so much.

I should have known to move money from our tax rebate to pay down our home equity line of credit after my husband had a massive heart attack so that Medicaid would have kicked in sooner, rather than exhausting all that money we had from me working extra hours and our tax rebate.

The social worker should have told me the rules…

Someone should have told me that Medicaid says if you have more than $3000 in assesses (savings, checking, cash), then you wont; qualify for Medicaid…until that money is gone…

I should have applied for food stamps once we did qualify for Medicaid

I began the application several times, I should have finished it and sent it in.

I should have gotten more help then we would have less debt.

I should have done so many things….

I should have reached out for help sooner when my daughter showed signs of separation anxiety and other issues when I was pregnant with our third child.

I should have realized it was something more than just me being pregnant.

I should have gotten her help sooner so that her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, her anxiety disorder, her mental illness did not become so extreme and severe…

I should have gotten her on medication sooner…

I should have listened to my friend who suggested it might be OCD when it was in a mild state.

I should have gotten her to a therapist sooner.

I should have researched OCD sooner, when my friend brought it up.

I should have listened..

I should have gotten her help sooner so she did not have to suffer so much..

I should have gotten my youngest help sooner when he showed signs of anxiety and OCD from at least age 2.

I should have countered when the therapist said, “i don’t think it is OCD”

I should have completed the paperwork even though it took 6 months to get it from the Development and Behavioral Pediatrician

I should have gotten him in sooner and not waited as long as I did.

I should have taken him to a mental health place sooner to get him help, medication.

I should not have had so much fear about giving my kids medication…I should have found more support when I knew that was needed.

Going to the psychiatrist should have been paid for by Medicaid.

Medicaid should have qualified people to treat my children and I should have access to finding the resources without having to jump through a million hoops and experience unqualified people and ill equipped facilities and services.

My children should be able to go to the specialists they need because of their illness even though they have government assisted health insurance.

I work in health care, I should have better health insurance.

I have a bachelors of science degree in Occupational Therapy and training in mental health care, I should be treated with respect when the people from Medicaid speak to me.

Everyone should be treated with respect no matter what their educational level.

I should be able to access information about my health insurance and services for my children even though it is government assisted.

I have paid into the system since I was 15 1/2 years old and so now that I need these services, I should receive them if I qualify.

I shouldn’t have to jump through crazy hoops because my income varies from month to month and so does my 20 year old son’s income.

My 20 year old son’s income SHOULD NOT count toward our household income for the healthcare market place and definitely not for qualifying my younger children for Medicaid or NC health choice. My 20 year old son who purchased his own car, pays for his own insurance, and pays to attend community college part time all with his own hard earned money.

I should have listened to my gut when I realized even though their Dad had survived, that my three kids had gone through a traumatic experience and would need some counseling and help…

Survivors guilt…but he lived, there is no help when your husband lives…

I should have listened to myself because I knew that experience was traumatic for all of us.

I should have let go of “survivors guilt” because he lived and our friends who lost husbands to heart attacks that same year, did not survive. “I should be grateful that he lived.”

I should on myself and others have should upon me….

And I should on other people.

It is really a bad habit and not helpful to anyone.

I should have filled out the special forms and jumped through the hoops to see if my son could qualify for grants for college costs, because they decided to use the same year for 3or 4 semesters to look at our income, the year we took out $65,000 from IRA money to pay down debt.

I should have worked more hours.

I should have been a better mom so my children wouldn’t have mental illness.

I should have been a better me so I wouldn’t have mental illness.

I should have done something different to prevent mental illness?

Is that really possible?

Do parents of kids who have cancer ask themselves this question?

Maybe they do, Maybe they don’t.

I shouldn’t have to wonder about this.

My kids friends and their parents should have been there more for my daughter when she was crippled with mental illness, with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depression.

They should have given her the love and support she needed just like they would have done if she had cancer.

WE SHOULD LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE MENTAL ILLNESS IS TREATED THE SAME AS OTHER ILLNESSES, PHYSICAL ILLNESSES WHICH ARE MORE SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE IN AMERICAN SOCIETY.

Mental illness SHOULD be classified the same as other illness because they last time I looked, my head and brain are attached to my body.

We need to stop shoulding on ourselves and on others

We need to embrace where we are now and make the best choices we can in the moment and realize we can not go back in time (not yet) and change the past. What is done is behind us and we must keep moving forward.

We need to stop judging other people and their choices and instead come from love to reach out to and help others with respect and kindness.

I give you this challenge today…

Pay attention to how often you SHOULD on yourself or on someone else.

We are often our worst critic and as moms, as parents, we are our own worse saboteur.

Love yourself and respect yourself first.

Only then can you love and respect others.

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Letting Go of “My Story”… of loss

Grief is a multi-faceted response to loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something to which a bond was formed. Although conventionally focused on the emotional response to loss, it also has physical, cognitive, behavioral, social, and philosophical dimensions. While the terms are often used interchangeably, bereavement often refers to the state of loss, and grief to the reaction to loss.- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grief

Yes, I just quoted Wikipedia, this is my blog, not a research paper.

I choose that definition because of the last statement ” grief”  “the reaction to loss”.

Merriam- Webster defines it as “deep sadness especially for the loss of someone or something loved”.

Sadness is a reaction to the loss. There are many other reactions to loss, other feelings and states of being.  I think they are missing something.  I personally think Wikipedia does a much better job of defining it than Merriam-Webster.  It is muti- faceted.

And I am going to go one step further and define it as reaction to change in one’s life.

We can grieve the loss of a job, change in our financial situation, change in our life roles, and so many other large and small changes in our life.

Change

It’s time for a change…

Today, I decided to let go of my story of loss.  I wrote out all of my losses over the past several years, all the big ones, and decided I would let go of “my story of loss”.  What does that mean? I don’t know but what comes to mind is Debbie Ford.  And so I googled to jog my memory and found this:

http://www.debbieford.com/media/NewAgeRetailerArticle.pdf

The following is taken from an article in the  New Age Retailer from Jan/ FEb 2007.  The author and editor in chief is Kathy McGee.

You will find the following starting on the bottom left of page 5:

The interviewer, McGee asks Debbie Ford how does she get rid of her self- criticism and self- doubt.

Debbie Ford replies:

I haven’t gotten rid of it.  When I dip into my story (the negative internal dialogue that keeps us stuck), it’s there anytime I want to revisit it.  It’s part of the collective unconscious, it’s part of our humanity. But today, I know that’s the inside of my story.

When I feel like I’m being self-critical or insecure, I know that I’m deeply in my humanity. Inside our humanity, inside our story, it’s all fear-based.  We compare ourselves, think there’s something wrong with us- we’re not smart enough, pretty enough, don’t have the right whatever.

I try to pop myself out of my story and into my divine self.  I ask myself, “What do I have to do right now?  Do I need to get on my hands and knees and pray?  Do I need to meditate?”  it’s as simple as asking, “If I totally trusted and were in connection with the Divine right now, what would I hear?”  Start to listen to that new frequency, and it raises you right out of your story.

I think what you just asked me is so vital to the process, because most people are trying to get rid of their self-doubt, their self-criticism, and their fears.  you can’t get rid of it.  It’s part of your humanity.

And then the interviewer, McGee, sums up the rest of it when she adds, “And by trying to get rid of it, we’re creating more fear and digging ourselves deeper into our story.”

And Debbie goes on about fear saying that it is a healthy emotion.  She says to identify the feeling of fear and ask what it looks like, what it feels like in order to give fear its own personality, different from your own.

“Anything we are identified with has control over us. So, if you’re just scared and in fear, fear has total control.  If you can make it separate from yourself, you will have control over it.  If you give fear a different name, face, smell, color, or size from yours, it becomes something other than you.  You can say, “OK fear, I see you.  What do you need from me to lie down and be peaceful?””

Today, I wrote the post, What Does it all mean?, and now I can understand that I was “in my humanity”.  I was also in my story and therefore in fear.  What is wonderful is that I have a better understanding of what it means to “let go of my story”.  I have only read Debbie Ford’s First book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, but here I am understanding better what I sought to do when I first posted the title for this blog.  The beauty is that I had no idea where I would go with this when I wrote the title.  I only knew that I was in fact, ready to let go of my story of loss.  I used prior knowledge and found my answer.

I don’t have to get rid of my story but I can move away from it. I can also see when I am “in my story” and use my tools to step outside of it if I choose.  No matter what, I don’t have to beat myself up about any of it.  I can be ok with being in my story and with choosing to move out of it.  Because I choose, when I am consciously choosing, to move out of fear, I know that I can have more moments of moving out of my story and stepping back from it.  Even Debbie Ford, author of 7 books, speaker and founder of a Life Coaching Business, admits to still  having dark days.  It is a process.

May 26- June 5…life after my husband’s heart attack

My husband has been home for 10 days now after 12 days in the hospital.  We are beginning to recreate our life and learning to live with his medications and advocating for him and for resources.

Ten days have passed since I began this post. Life is busy doesn’t even come close to describing the past three weeks since Don came home from the hospital. it bothers me that I haven’t blogged more but I will let go and move forward.

We are busy with regular life activities like homeschool field trips and events, birthday and pool parties, doctor visits, grocery shopping (my last trip to Trader Joes, the clerk, seeing my over stuffed cart asked “How long has it been since you’ve been grocery shopping?” ~ and I replied honestly “3 weeks!”) too name a few activities. And we are busy with irregular life activities like reviewing our health insurance policy so we can let the company know what they need to pay for, and adjusting to Dons altered life with prescription medications and regular cardiologist visits, home health visits and planning for cardiac rehab.

Through all of this, I have gained a new appreciation for women with husbands who are either gone working all the time and/ or husbands who do very little around the house and in caring for the kids. I knew Don did more than most husbands and fathers but I have an even greater appreciation for all he has done and slowly gets back to doing. The sight of my husband sitting in a recliner chair with a lap top is one I am still getting used to. Don is not known for sitting still and is the kind of guy who needs to be told to just sit and relax. Before his heart attack, he was always busy either taking care of his kids, our home, our pets, or busy with finding work, working on his business and growing new business and prepping for the class’s he teaches.

Our thirteen year old son took over his job of finishing the kitchen clean up, running the dishwashwer and washing dishes each night before going to sleep. I had to let him know it was ok if he didn’t get it all done. (I must add that he voluntarily took up is task without any discussion.) Whenever I go to work, I don’t have to tell my husband what needs to be done. He knows and does it, from feeding kids to helping them with homeschool tasks to laundry and cleaning And pet care. Our family and close friends all know that Don is the cleaner in the house and I would much rather be outside doing yard work than cleaning the house. It is ironic that Don had a heart attack while moving the grass. I used to love mowing the yard. Don, not so much.

I am getting lost in small details of the past there weeks. I really want to give a big picture description of how my life, how our life has changed. Yet, the details of day to day life make it harder to step back and share that greater perspective that came so easily to me right after his heart attack and for the 12 days he was in the hospital when I saw angels and miracles all around me.

Life was simpler while he was in the hospital. I was either at the hospital taking care of him or at home taking care of my kids. And somewhere in there taking care of myself, something I began to pay more attention to after the effects of little food and sleep took it’s toll on me. I have no desire to move back in time. Only forward. I am glad that part is behind me and in retrospect, I don’t know how I did all that I did Especially the first day. Adrenaline is powerful and helps you do things you never thought possible. when I talk to friends now about Dons heart attack and al that ensued when it happened, they ask me how I did it and wasn’t I an emotional mess. I too would think I would have been crying uncontrollably or out of my mind in some format. Somehow, I was able to think clearly and know what my kids needed and wait patiently and calmly. It is surreal to Think about it now. I recall waking up a day or two after it happened wondering if it was all a bad dream.

When I look at my husband now, I feel like it is a miracle that he is here. I know that it is a miracle, a medical and metaphysical miracle that kept him alive here on earth. I know that he and I have big things to do with our lives and I am grateful that we can continue our journey together.

Nothing else really matters in life but love. Family, friends, relationships, God; all are other words for love