Two summers ago, I got a job. I opened my own bank account, and I ached deeply. No one really knew about my pain, and somehow that made the pain worse. The day I started my job, my cousin ended up life-flighting out of town due to a traumatic brain injury. My grandpa was hospitalized twice. My dad ended up in the hospital with an awful virus and went from John Wayne to Nearly Dead within a matter of days. Our family hay barn caught fire. Grandma's three freezers full of years' beef (raised by them) went out while they were on vacation.
We just wanted to come up for air.
Last summer it was much of the same pattern... Danny and I separated. My son broke him arm. I had surgery to remove my gall bladder. And that was just July.
As this summer has begun, I've been sick. I've had nausea and fatigue. I chalked it up to having my gall bladder out last year and have just been pushing through the pain. My sister in law delivered her baby 8 weeks early -everything turned out really well, thankfully. Last week, I went to the pool with my daughter's class to chaperone an end of the year party. I was sick but trying to power through. I called the Dr. and set up an appointment for the next day because my pain had begun radiating to my back and I wanted to make sure something wasn't about to rupture before I headed to Utah that weekend for my sister's wedding.
While in the pool, my son had a seizure. He's never had one before and I thought he was dying. My husband stayed the night with him in the hospital so I could go to my own Dr. appointment the next morning.
The good Dr. evaluated me and made a diagnosis: ulcers.
I wanted to laugh.
OF COURSE it's ulcers.
The meds helped almost immediately.
We attended my son's kindergarten graduation that night -he was well enough to attend -and left for Utah the next morning. I came home and got a call from my bank's fraud department: someone was spending my cash that wasn't me.
Between all of the madness as I try to put together my sister's reception this weekend (I'm head reception honcho, ole!) I am dealing with life stuff as well.
A live-wire toddler.
Lack of sleep.
I'm really exhausted.
No amount of self-care is enough to fill my cup for what's coming. At this point, I'm just battening down the hatches and weathering the storm which I've come to accept as INDEFINITE.
I keep thinking, 'Alicia, stop being such a victim.' Because every time I HEAR myself SOUND like a victim, I shame myself.
Stop being weak.
These are the voices I've heard for my entire life.
As I work on Step 7 and ask God to PLEASE remove my victim-ness, I find him sending me a lot of, well, persecution.
Is He testing me? To see if I'm TRULY ready to give it to Him?
That's what I kept thinking, but as I've reached out and talked more about it, I realize that I've always confused victimization and actually being victimized.
God is trying to show me the difference.
As my debit card was being spent, I accepted that it sucked. I reached out and I talked it out. I called the right people and then I laughed. Stupid card thefts. Shoulda stole from someone who actually HAS money.
Give me my $100 back OR ELSE.
Growing up with my Mom was hard because of her traumatic brain injury. My sister was born 5 years later and naturally has a better bond with her. As she's been wedding planning, I've ached deeply for all I missed in the mother department, but I rejoice that my sister DOES have it. I've cried and talked it out with safe people and prayed SO much. THIS is NOT victimization. This is healthy emotional living.
Being sick for WEEKS, having my son have a seizure, finding ulcers... this is ALL CRAP. And it sucks. It's hard. I SOUND like a victim when I talk with people.
I am not a surface person. If you ask me how I'm doing, I TELL IT ALL. Conversely, I'm not interested in your surface. I want to know WHO and WHY and WHAT and WHEN while I look into your eyes. I love people, and I'm fascinated by what makes them tick and why. I struggle to END conversations because there's always so much more to be said and found out. Each person is a mystery.
So when I talk, you get to hear about debit card fraud and my mom's brain injury and my gastro ulcer issues because I HATE MYSTERIES and I want you to know me.
But I am not a victim.
I talk about my problems SO I CAN handle them in a healthy way.
This is really hard for me to wrap my mind around. The voices in my head still call out, "complainer. Whiner. Weak mouse baby."
These lies will die hard.
I appreciate those who have been on the listening end who have helped me audibly debunk the lies floating around in my brain.
Satan takes shreds of truth and encases them neatly in lies and then FEEDS THEM TO ME.
He is SO GOOD at it. He does an amazing job. Artfully. Skilled. Punk face.
I just want to reach out today and say, "Hey, guess what? I'm not the victim I thought I was. I'm just being hit crap dovetail-style. But I'm leaning on God, I'm surrendering and the Atonement is working wild miracles in my life. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to take my ulcer meds."
I used to use victimization to get attention and I equated attention with love.
I have made leaps and bounds of progress in that area, thanks to recovery.
I now know that my attempts to use victimization and other manipulation tactics to gain attention were pride and fear-based.
I can now rest in God as the chaos swirls and know that with humility comes serenity.
There is endless chaos in my external environment.
Thank GOD my external environment isn't the one that matters anymore.
May you be reasonably happy in your chaos today is my prayer for you.