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Survivors Overcome for a Price

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My mother is dead. Seems like my work-a-holism prevented me from recognizing exactly what death meant– and how it would impact my life. Sounds absurd to some of you I know.

Yet, if you stay busy, really busy doing things for your children and community, you don’t have to feel your life. If you over-extend yourself and swim in activities which consume all your time and attention, you can be as unaware of the depth of pain/loss as the homeless person addicted to crack, heroin, alcohol, or whatever. The result is same, in my experience– unresolved feelings of shame, fear, guilt, inadequacy, regret, remorse, denial…

I lost my only sibling, my sister suddenly; lost my mother more slowly; learned my son was autistic;obtained a divorce; was treated for cancer; learned my father is seriously mentally ill; walked away from what should have been a fatal car accident and obtained my Master’s degree all in one decade. And should I include my entire life events, you would wonder if I was delusional or narcissistic and craving attention by creating a series of unbelievable lies. However, I am a survivor.

A survivor is someone who has amazingly cruel events occur, yet clings to the positives- no matter how small- (ie “I am thankful I have time for lunch today”) and presses forward. A survivor can make dinner for three children on 21,000 dollars a year and make sure they get to school, get to speciality doctor appointments AND show up for the soccer game. A survivor knows their childhood was blemished, but does not let this define her/him. A survivor will always, indubitably rise to the occasion. A survivor is incredibly creative, smart and resilient. But, I notice survivors lack very badly in one area, and this deficit is damn near equivalent to America’s National Debt. Survivors have a exclusive right of losing vision when it comes to the flip-side. We typically minimize our grief, loss and extent of damage/pain incurred. It is obvious to others something is wrong — the indicators are there. When balance or moderation is lost, it’s a pretty good indicator something is wrong. For me, throwing myself into socially acceptable acitivities to validate my worth was a sign. I was on committees, volunteering, working and going to school as I parented three children whose father struggled with his own demon. And I made all “A’s” in college as a “non-traditional student” (aka: older student). Let me be clear too, I was not accepting of just any “A”. I demanded of myself 98% to 100%– anything else was unacceptable. I’ll be damned if I didn’t do it. I graduated with a 3.87 on a 4.0 scale. Yet, there was a price for my alleged success.

I didn’t spend the time I should have with each child. I was not “present” and sadly, waved off a lot of special moments with, “Mommy’s doing a paper right now, I’ll be there in a minute.” I missed so many opportunities to make memories. I didn’t realize love (as I didn’t experience it) was not in the success and status in modern America, but success was being content and at peace within. As I sought validation from worldly populations such as employers, the university and even my doctor, I was ignoring my relationship with God (Spirituality) and failing to treasure the sacred in my daily interactions.

If I read this earlier in life, my OCD side would say, “Oh shit, how did this happen? I don’t want this to happen to me!” Personally, my dysfunctional pursuit of approval was connected to some critical incidents and issues in my childhood. This truism will piss insurance companies off as they mandate depression and anxiety should be resolved in six to twelve visits with a licensed social worker. Why? Well, the obvious. It’s not cheap to go deep. Put a band-aid on the severed artery and move forward into battle.

So let me not digress too much. The critical point I noted in talking with clients and going through my own journey of self- discovery is survivors do not attend to areas which hurt. We don’t like probing of tender spots. There’s just no time or reason for such nonsense. It’s the past– let’s get on with life.

Yet life unexplored fully is not living.

Loss is not grieved by survivors for many reasons. In my personal and professional experience, it ranges from not having permission from early role models to grieve (as it was considered a weakness) to not knowing how or not having the time.

Yet, the reason does not matter as much as the need to heal. Knowing how one avoided humanness and healthy closure is not the deal. The deal is we must process the cause of our avoidance.Workaholic, alcoholic, foodaholic, gambling, shopping addiction are all avoidance strategies, in my humble opinion.

You cannot avoid your feelings without experiencing a negative consequence. And if you do not process your humanity, God will orchestrate life so you have no other choice.
my car accident last spring was representative of the condition of my heart/soul. I literally totaled my car and should have been killed. Yet, I wasn’t. As I have been rehabilitating from this motor vehicle accident, I realize I was emotionally going to “crash and burn” per se’ , if I did not attend to my inner self.

I truly believe my car accident was a gift. I have told all who will listen, when God sits your butt in a house and the family is either at work or school, you are alone with your thoughts and your demons.
There is no way out but through the cross.

Tragedy is truly rebirth.

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2 comments on “Survivors Overcome for a Price

  1. dcardiff
    August 26, 2013

    This sounds so like my early life. I have OCD and am bipolar. Through medication, meditation, exercise and helping others I have shed my ego and, for the most part, have left the worries of self behind. I accept my imperfections instead of trying to be perfect.

    Cheers,
    Dennis

    • lindasreflection
      August 26, 2013

      Oh indeed! We all fall short… as a Christian, I am reminded of the scripture (in Romans??) which states not one, for ALL fall short of the Glory of God (expectations of Godly perfection). As I am on Sabbatical to journey towards improvement as a person and spiritual being, I too have pushed my ego to the side.

      I was formerly atheist, then agnostic and now a Christian (non-fundamental type– more like Interfaith and inclusive type). I have a love brother, (brother by love, not genetics) who is homosexual. Now Charles would be ostracized by the typical community of fundamentalists. Yet I love him. Yet all who know him embrace his many gifts. He has been a gift to my life– such a gift, I would truly take a bullet for him. Anyway, his insight, guidance and encouragement has given me courage to face me “demons” or “worries” or “faults” and realize it is what is is. Period. And I start there with the desire to learn, grown and improve.
      I am honored to meet a Survivor such as yourself…
      I enjoy your comments and writing.
      I look forward to learning and “being” with those such as yourself.
      Namaste’ and God’s Blessing to you!
      L

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This entry was posted on August 24, 2013 by in Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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