Thursday, May 16, 2013

Patterns are Gifts

via retronaut.

(I'm sorry, but does that picture just slaughter you?  The women von Trapp!  The very ESSENCE of patterns!)

I haven't been feeling well at all.
My body is suffering some after effects of having my baby.  This last week was a physical battle.
I emailed my sponsor about how NICE it's been to be overwhelmed with regular life rather than porn addiction stuff.
At the tail end of a week of crud, I woke up yesterday with a headache. One child was throwing up, the other has finally come down with his annual bout of croup (I thought we had avoided it this year). I don't normally get headaches.  I laid down and rested, hoping it would fade.
It didn't.
My poor baby girl had to be put down so often, and she would cry... not fuss, but cry.  Real, wet tears would run down her red little face, and when I could I would pick her up and hold her tightly to my body.
"You are loved," I would coo to her, almost teasingly -because it's so adorable to see a baby so upset, "I know you think you're not, but you are." She would literally CLING to me, one hand pulling my hair, the other gripping my shoulder.
I'd kiss her tears from her cheek, rock her, talk to her, ad inevitably have to put her back down again.

I had empathy for her emotions.  I feel that so many times.  Tears streaming down my face, a heavenly hug and a "you are loved" message...
Only to be set back down in the same situation... only to cry tears again.

On Tuesday, I taught piano lessons to a girl I love very dearly.  She's quiet, but she's sort of, well, deviant.  She's the kind of girl who would pull a fire alarm, just for fun. (and she actually HAS.)  I love it about her (probably because I'm not her Mom?) and what I love even more is how shy she is.  Quiet, shy, and bad to the bone.
She, in very fact, weaseled a way into playing her songs perfectly without ever really memorizing the names of the notes.  She tricked me for a few solid months!  When it came out that she didn't know her notes, we spent a few grueling weeks relearning. To her credit, it didn't take long.  She's a quick learner.
Yesterday, I put a piece of music in front of her.  It was absolutely riddled with sharps, flats, and natural signs.  The song just LOOKED like a mess.
She sighed.  Because she's too shy to say, "UUUUUGGGGHGHHHHH! SERIOUSLY?!?!"
To her, the music looked impossible.
It was overwhelming, too much to take in.

"But look," I said, hopefully reaching out and pointing to the music, "Don't look at it like that -look at the pattern.  Watch..."
I played the song for her and pointed out the pattern it followed.
"Now you try..."
And she played it almost perfectly.
"Now what do you think?" I asked.
"Better," she nodded.

Now the music didn't look impossible, now it made sense, now she could DO it.

The most recent CES Broadcast was given to young people both married and single aged 18-30.  Since I fall into that category, I went.
It was one of the most awkward experiences of my life.  I was the only married person there, and I fairly RAN away when the broadcast was over because they were about to start eating waffles and flirting, and I REALLY didn't want to be That One Married Chick standing in the back of the room with her waffle while her younger cousins made goo-goo eyes at the recently returned missionaries.
So I high tailed it home.
But despite the weirdness of it all, I was grateful I went for one reason.  Elder Walker talked about one scripture that I swear I've never seen before, though I know I have:

D&C 52:14

"I will give you a pattern in all things that you may not be deceived."

Addiction is NOT of the Lord.  It is a tangled, overwhelming mess of flats and sharps and natural signs... it seems impossible.
But PATTERNS are of the Lord.  The cycle of addiction is a gift
The Lord has given us all -both the addicted and the one loving and/or living with the addicted -patterns to save and spare us from deception.

Becoming aware of these patterns has given me the opportunity to protect myself.
I am safe.  I'm not longer being picked up, held and rocked and put back into the SAME situation.  Do I still cry?  Well, yes.  Of course I do.  But I'm not in the same situation, and that gives me cause for joy, even if it means I'm farther away from my husband. 

I've been feeling prompted to post my rights, my self-care list, and my boundaries.
You'll soon find them right up next to my story and contact information.

This is a hard thing we're doing.
It's so hard.
It's unspeakably hard, and it's filled with anguish.

The very least we can do is find safety for ourselves.  Because like it or not, real life is just around the corner. Kids will puke and cough up lungs and cry for hours on end.  The visiting teachers will want to stop by.  The phone will ring.  The boss will call.  Food will need to be made at some point.  Laundry will have to be washed.
LIFE will have to be LIVED.

With my boundaries in solid place, I am giving myself permission to truly live.
I'm giving myself permission to be faithful and find joy.
I'm empowered, safe, and alive.

Despite the puke on my shoulder, I mean.


  1. Love the picture and LOVE this post. I've never thought of cycles as a GIFT, but I love that concept.

    And if I were there, I'd bring you dinner and take the baby between feedings.

    Hope you get feeling better. Love you!

    1. I do feel better now, thanks! Now I've got to figure out a way to catch up on my house work :)

  2. One of my daughters took piano lessons for 9 months without knowing the names of the notes. I was dealing with a new baby and obviously neglected her piano practice. Ugg! She's doing better now. So, that made me laugh. :)

    I'm so sorry that you are suffering so much physically right now. I am VERY impressed that you could see the blessing in that. You are amazing!

    I look forward to your list of boundaries and rights. I had forgotten that a few weeks ago (a month now maybe) my husband had asked me for mine. He wants to write them in his journal to refer to. But, I've never solidified them. Ahhh... too much to do! I'm trying to work step 4, but am still on the blessings of the Lord (as suggested in the HTC manual). I kind of just want to move on to the nitty gritty and get it over with. I'll get there. :)

    1. My boundaries are always so changing, they're such a process. I was surprised this time around that I don't have a boundary for when he slips or relapses... Because I already know what I'll do and he knows what I'll do and there's no point it writing it out, I guess? I don't know.

      It's interesting to watch my boundaries unfold through trial and error and a lot of prayer.

  3. I've never seen that scripture before. That is a really interesting concept, that the cycle is a gift from God to help me not be deceived. I really like this!

    1. Right? I know I've seen the scripture, but I've never SEEN it, you know? Haha

  4. What a great!!

    1. It never ceases to amaze me how much is IN the scriptures! It's crazy.