Saturday, May 24, 2014

Secrets....Why do we keep them?

Secrets.....we all have them.  Why?  What good do they do us?  I know that we as human beings do not want others to think less of us.  We fear being shunned, thrown out of the group or mocked.  But maybe we really feel that people will not understand.  They will think less of us.  We fear that someone we love would turn their back on us and walk away....well, here's a news flash.....they are not your friend!

I am an open book.  I was just made that way.  I don't have secrets......I have shared everything with at least one person I know.  The more ashamed I am with the secret, the safer the person I tell.   Why?  I can not take the pressure that secrets press on me.  I have learned who is safe to share them with ....I have learned to just keep my head held high and be honest. 

Why am I honest?  Well, I learned that no one is perfect.  If they pretend that they are, they are just covering up secrets.  Ok, I hope that works for them.  I hope the load is bearable.  I hope the secrets do not manifest and eat away at their insides.  That is what secrets do you know.  Now, I am not telling you to share everything with everyone...I tried that, it does not work well.  What I am saying is...have the courage to unload your heart's aches to a safe person, even if you have to pay for it by the hour.

Here are some examples:

When I was 18, I walked into my Mom's library one day and saw her crying.  "What's wrong?", I asked.  She slowly looked up at me with tears streaming down her face and said, "I am crying because today is your brother's birthday, He would have been 21 years old."  "BROTHER...WHAT BROTHER?", I said.  I was in shock.  I thought I was an only child.  I thought I was the oldest child after my half brother was born.  My mind was reeling!  Seeing the pain in my eyes, she shared more.  "Three years before you were born, your father and I had a baby boy named Tres (Short for Naud Burnett III) and he died one night while we were at a party that I did not want to go to...He was only 5 weeks old.  They said it was crib death.", she said.   "I had a brother?  Why have you never told me?  How could you...never had told me?", I asked.  She was silent for a while.  She was thinking of the right thing to say, then she said, "I didn't want his death to affect your life."  What did that mean?  I guess she did not want me to share in her pain of losing a child, my brother.  OR Was she harboring some type of guilt for being at a party instead of home where she might or might not have been able to save him? She had not wanted to go, but she did.  Had she taken the blame and burden of his death on her own head?  Was that her secret that she really was not sharing?
Carol G.Burnett

Secrets...sometimes we keep them inside because we can't share the guilt or the pain of them.  We want to either spare hurting someone else or we want to keep the pain all to ourselves.  Those secrets are so private and deep, that it takes years before we can reveal them.....But I think there is healing when we finally let them out.  I think sharing the pain allows the grief to subside a bit.

Next example:

My oldest son came to me several times in Junior High and High school.  He would come sit on the side of my bed.  With his elbows on his thighs and his head bent down looking at the floor, he would say, "There is something I want to tell you....but I can't....I just can't."  Now a mother's heart falls to her toes and then races back up to her chest and pounds.  "What is it Chas?  What's wrong", I would, it was more like pleading.  He would just look at the floor, shake his head back and forth and say, "I want to tell you but I just can't."  I would ask questions like, "Is it the drugs?  Are you gay? Did you get someone pregnant?  I was trying to think of any thing that would be hard to admit. I kept pleading, "What is it Chas, you have to tell me!!!  Tell me!".

He could never reveal his secret.  All his answers to my previous questions were no.  I had no idea what was tormenting my son.  He just could not open up.  He did the same thing to his brother several times during the college years.  He wanted us to know, but when it was time to share, he just could not do it.  What was it?  We will never truly know.  Nine months ago he committed suicide.  What ever it was, as a mother I feel it might have played a part in his leaving.   Was it a mental issue or depression?  Maybe.  Was it something else?  I believe that some Secrets can finally kill you.  If he had opened up and gotten help for what was wrong, maybe he would be alive and thriving right now.  That is what goes through my mind.  But he didn't do that.  He remained silent.  He kept the secret. Now I have to live with not fully knowing the secret.  It is hard, but one day when I get to heaven he will tell me, if the answer is even important then....

Secrets what good are they really?  They eat away at you and you just relive the pain over and over.  Why?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  What good is there in that?

Next example:

I was in a volatile marriage.  I would reach out to people with the truth of what was going on in my personal life and how it was affecting me.  I  watched people shun me.  I watched people turn their back on me.  I became increasingly withdrawn.  Dark circles under my eyes and weight loss had me looking horrible. I stopped being involved in the community.  I was going into a black hole of despair.  Finally I got the courage to file for a divorce and build a safe home for myself and my children.  I found a counselor, talked to my pastor, attended Al-anon meetings and found that I had a handful of solid friends who were going to walk this nightmare out with me.  Sharing my secrets did not work with people who were not true friends, even if I thought they were.  Lesson learned.

I had to talk to someone who could lead me out of this black hole I found myself living in or I was not going to make it.  I had to share secrets that kept eating away at my mind.  I had to heal from all the the chaos I had gotten used to.  I had to heal from all the verbal abuse scars and fears that had been a part of my everyday existence.   It has taken me 10 years.  I have read over 100 books on the subjects from self help, Boundaries and Books by Max Lucado and others.  I have taken nuggets from everything I have read that applied to the problems inside me and put them into use.  I have crawled out of the black hole,  I continually dismiss the lies said about me and I continue to moved on.  Is it easy?  Heck NO!  One step forward two steps back in the beginning.  I have cried enough to fill a baby pool.  I have listened to tapes in my head of the verbal abuse until I finally threw them away as trash.

Today I help other people who are in or have been in the same ugly nightmare I once lived in.  I can help others a tiny bit with what I have learned and what worked for me.  I share my secrets now to show someone else that they are not alone.  I have walked in your shoes.  I have felt your feelings.  I can share your pain. 

*** Isn't that what life is really about?  Going through life is messy, filled with trials and problems.  What good are those events if you do not help someone else through them?  What good are the things you learned if you don't share them?

It takes courage to be honest!  Some people can't do it.  I understand.  I pray there will be a time that they can.  You can not heal unless you get your wounds tended to.  Asking for help or sharing is a way to expose the wound so someone might have the salve to put on them.  Those of us who run away from the wounds are afraid of the sight of them.  They are just weak, not bad people.  They don't know what to do.  Find someone who does!  Don't give up!  Keep searching for help and the answers.  Keep opening up to people who have the salve.  Keep looking for healing!!!!

Secrets....why do we keep them?  What good use are they?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Why friendships are so important

Friendship.  It conjurers up so many pictures in my mind with each unique friend I have.  We all have our definition of friends.  For example, there are friends on Facebook, friends at work or at that volunteer organization.  There are friends since grade school, since high school or college.  There are friends through your spouse and children.  All these friends are important to me.  I am not excluding a single one from my heart but this post is about that Special friend.  That "one tap" ......instant connection on your iPhone..... favorites list...... kind of friend..... Best Friends.

My best friend, my husband

Best friends.....that it what I want to talk about.  Those people who don't run away from you when your life gets messy.  They have no age limit...they are all ages.  When you feel like giving up, they come along side you. They seem like Superwoman or Batman and are fearless.  If they can't pick you up, they sit beside you until you can stand.  Those friends are the ones I treasure the most.  They love me when I'm not loveable.  They do things for me without my asking for any help.  They show up and love me.  Who of your own friends are you seeing in your mind right now?

 Charlsa, my surrogate momma BFF...I am a lucky girl

I want to know, what it is about me, that they love.  I know why I love them, but why do they love me?  What makes me so special in their hearts.   Will I ever be able to live up to the image they have of me within my own heart?  Why is it we can't fully see ourselves the way our friends do?  We see our faults.  Friends say I am beautiful and I can't fully accept that.  Why?  Maybe because I see each and every flaw.  They must be talking about more than the outside of me, they must see the whole picture.  The inside as well as the outside.....

Degen old wise soulmate

Ah, there we have it.  Our friends.   It is their heart, mind and soul we fall in love with.  We are drawn to people who share the same views on life that we do and who have the same morals and values as we do.  We share a love of something, a passion and or a heartache.  We share something.  We have something in common.

Elizabeth...a tender heart of gold

And yet, so many of my friends never shared the same things in their life as I have when we first became friends.  But, over time, our lives started to intersect.  Their husbands had issues, or their children, or their parents or they had troubles.  We began to see we were always meant to be friends because we could relate to one another.  The more that happened to each one of us, the deeper the friendship grew.  The more our friendships became a life vest to us both.  We had a safe place to go, where we could be understood and be loved despite the ugly goings on in and around us.  We were there for each other.  Through good and bad.  We were not leaving each other.  We needed each other too much at times.

TCU !  Carolyn, Me, Terry, and Tammy...My sisters by choice!
Ah, friends.  The great thing is, we can loose touch over 30 years, but when we see each other again, it's still there.  The magic of love.  The magic that happens when two people still care about each other.  How does that happen?  It is a mystery to me.  How can the years seem to vanish as we catch up with our lives?  I can still see the young girls in my High School and College friends.  I can still see what drew me to them in the first place.  It was their hearts.  Open and yearning to be loved in return.  It was their kindness and/or their strength.  We learned from each other.  We took the best parts of our friends and tried to let those parts become a part of us so that we could become the person we wanted to be.

  As Time has marched on, they have reappeared in my life.  They have walked beside me during the most difficult walk.  It was a walk to bring awareness to prevent suicide.  They kept me talking and walking.  They brought laughter to a silent and heart wrenching hour.  They were there to walk beside me, to offer support.  They were not asked to come.  They just came!  They drove from another city and meet me there.  They wanted to help me through that difficult moment.  Wow.......  Just Wow!

Hockaday friends! Sharon, me & Suzanne
Then there are those friends who do not live near by, but it's almost like they live with you each day.  Those friends that call you every single day after your child dies.  They called for weeks every single day.  They are there.  They took the time to stop their own life and check on yours.  No matter how horrible the things I had to face that day, they did not run.  They faced them with me.  Each and every day.   They gave me strength to keep going, to keep facing all the ugly, to keep breathing.

Friends..... They are like having a small piece of God with skin on.  They do not forsake you.  They love you even when you feel awful.  They see your heart and they love you for it.  They are willing to share your burdens and if possible they would carry them for you for a while so you could have some relief.  Wow...just Wow!

Tammy....From pot luck roommate to Forever Sister...
How did I get this lucky?  How did I find these people?  How did they find me?

I think God places people in your path that he knows you will need more and more as life goes on. I think a Deep friendship is a miracle.  He wants you to have help.  He does not want us to be alone.

 I know when all my friends are asleep and I have no one else to talk to  I will talk to God the most.  I do it during the day a lot, but I never am still enough to listen.  But at night I listen.  And I hear him sometimes.  He loves me the most of anyone in my life.  He can see right into my heart and mind.   He knows me.  And how can he still love me?  It is a miracle, the miracle of unconditional love.  The love a mother has for her children.  It is just there.  Grafted into the fiber of every cell.  No matter how much they hurt you, you can't stop loving them.  That is God's love for all of us.  Wow.....Just Wow.....

Vickie and her Daughter June "Bug" are the faces of some of my closest and dearest friends.  They are on my favorites list in my phone...why, because we talk a lot.  We are just a tap way from each other.... You have your own scrap book pictures of your friends, your own favorites in your phone.....I know.  And I share in your joy of having them in your life!

 I pray that I can be just as good of a friend as my friends have been to me.  I pray I can can have their strength and wisdom.  I want to become more like them.  As we grow each year, may we become the best parts of each other.  May the God of heaven give and put in us the parts of him that we need to share with others here on earth.

Marcus, me and babies and best friends
 " Oh, God, give me a pure heart.  Give me the courage to not fear and to be a blessing to people.  Let not my heart be troubled, but may I be a friend to all who need me today....amen"

Friday, May 2, 2014

Furry Friday - Week 7 of The Kittens

Well, everyone has grown, developed a personality and has pretty much driven me crazy a time or two now.  They are so sweet when they are either asleep or just waking up.  This morning I awoke at 5am, drug myself to the coffee maker, and began loading everything to drink my first cup of brain food.  All of the sudden a kitten walked over my foot.  I looked down to witness another kitten crawl out from under the dishwasher...then another....then another.  Kitten Cockroaches!!!!  Crazy cats.
They are sleeping less now and they are not sound sleepers.  They awake easily and I can't place them in a fun positions while they are unconscious, so I have to catch those natural moments....not easy I might add.....
They all have kept their blue eyes so far and their noses, ears and tails all turned dark.  The only way I can tell them apart easily is that everyone's feet are different!  Yep, either white paws...Ali's cat, Round and more furry....Maddie's cat, Half dark back feet or all dark back feet....these two also have homes but I'm waiting for the owners to choose.
So I only have one more week of kitten crazy.....relieved yet sad at the same time.  These little balls of fur have been a happy moment in an otherwise difficult year.  I have tried to enjoy all the smiles they have given me.
I have taken pictures all the time, hoping to catch a good picture to share.  And now I have a great video....  It is called " 0 to 80 until someone hits the emergency break"!  So here it is.

Next week will be the last post of the kittens since they will all be going to their forever homes!   I will try to get pictures of them with their new moms.....I wonder if I can get visitation privileges put into a contract?  Lol. 
I hope Kitty takes all her babies leaving ok.....She has been an outstanding mother (surprised me!) who will go look for her babies and take naps with them.  I feel very guilty giving her babies away....From one mother to another.....I know It's hard to loose your children........