Cut the Pain

I’m seeing things I don’t want to see and hearing things I don’t want to hear.
I’m living a life, I do not want. I’m in a war zone!
Lord, we get what we need and not always what we want.
But I don’t think I ever needed this!

cuttingMy daughter is only 10 and has a depression caused by severe anxiety. It has been going on for years and she has been on medication for about 10 months now. Only… Recently… Things took a turn I didn’t expect: Cutting.

Cutting is also known as self-harm, using a nice word – or self-mutilation, using a hard-core word. It’s a tangible pain that for a moment replaces an intangible and possibly unidentified pain of the heart and mind.

Istrongmomt’s gruesome for a mom to watch and not having many or any means of help. But the tough part of it is actually, that I must be “non-sensitive” to it. Meaning, if I can’t take it – handle it, my child will loose the only safe place she feels she has.
Lord, I really don’t think I ever needed this. 
All I can do is love her through it and patch up the cuts and sore places on her skin and pray, pray, pray… please Lord, no more!

My heart breaks in pieces all the time…
This is my life and I have to accept it, even if I don’t want to.
If I do not accept her condition, I can’t recognize the issues and ultimately help her.
Lord, I need You to help her.

During the years while battling this anxiety that paved the way to depression and now cutting too, I have stayed strong the best I could, but I’m done. I look in the mirror and I see a tired woman. Not one who is thriving in life, but one who is surviving.
Lord, I don’t want to just survive – I want to thrive!depressedmom

I visited a counselor the other day. I did it for myself… and after a test it was revealed that I can be placed in the box of “2-points from severe depression”. Until next meeting, I need to make an effort to do something daily for myself. Something that is good for me.
Lord, I need this.

But Lord, I want to have FUN with You.
To live, love, laugh, do and BE with You.
I know I prayed to be a woman of faith once… but Lord, this road is harder than rocks and my mustard seed inside is melting in the furnace. And it hurts, Lord. It hurts!


Lord, I really need to have some fun with You.

I really need You, now.

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Don’t Lose Hope: A Letter to Special Needs Parents

It’s a rare thing when I choose to reblog a post, but this post really nailed my feelings when it comes to parenting! I’m so grateful because it highlighted something I needed to accept: This is my life, even if I don’t want it to be… Please visit the blog and have a read, especially if you are a special needs parent, but even if you’re not, this post can enlighten you. Have a good read ❤ and don’t give up! 

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Dear Special Needs Parent, This unexpected life is weird, wonderful, wild and ugly, isn’t it? I think we, of all people, are the ones who can rightly say, “It’s complicated.”…

Source: Don’t Lose Hope: A Letter to Special Needs Parents

Lord, I messed up your child!

All a mom want is the best for her child and absolutely NO mom sees her child for the first time and thinks “oh sweet baby, in 9 years you’ll be on prozac!“..01_09234317_504a2d_2733336a.jpg.

There is possibly nothing more painful for a mom, than to watch her child struggle and being in pain. My kid has anxiety and depression issues and it’s like walking through a maze trying desperately to find a way out! You have to keep moving and yet you feel stuck. Just when you think you found a way that leads toward the exit, you find yourself at a dead end. Again.

Before you get the idea that this is a whiny pity-party post, allow me just a paragraph of mercy before I reveal what the Lord did…

I burdened myself with a “good mom/bad mom” thinking routine. Ahem… Okay, mainly “bad mom” and let’s face it: The world out there can be pretty d* mean telling moms when they are bad moms!…
I can’t count the times I have prayed to the Lord using the words “I’m so sorry Lord – I completely messed up your child!” Why can’t I get it right? Why do I mess her up like this? Why does she have to struggle like this? Why are “everyone else’s” kids perfect?… (they are not, but it often looks that way from the outside).good_mom_bad_mom-253x300.png

Then I read a few pages in a relatively known author’s book, giving an account of her experiences with motherhood – and it hit me: She makes just about the exact same mistakes as me (only this one actually opens up and talks about it – freely!). Her kids are fine. Mine isn’t.
Just maybe my child’s struggles aren’t my fault – I thought and continued reading more pages in this book and gleaned from her daily prayer of receiving Gods portion for the day.in-the-morning-when-i-rise-give-me-jesus-kitchen-coffee-espresso-jeremy-camp-song-lyrics-religious-god-spiritual-church_6944136.jpeg

 

Next morning I gathered my warm blanket, got my coffee, my devotional and focused all my thoughts on Yahweh… asking Him for my portion for this day.
We had a cozy coffee morning together – Jesus and I.
It’s a really good thing He isn’t picky when it comes to coffee! 
I got on with my day… and everything went pretty smooth… And then He once again overwhelmed me!

 

It’s as if Yahweh refuses to leave me to my own devices for even a day. I wouldn’t want Him to… but since I broke down and longingly wanting to TOUCH THE SCROLL, He hasn’t left my side! Continually pouring into me and showering me with His power.
– Yes, power – I didn’t write Blessing for though it is a Blessing, being in such closeness to Yahweh is extremely powerful stuff. (if you want to read the post:  “Touch the scroll”)

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It’s unusual for me to read the Bible mid-day, but I didn’t get yanked away for a to-do list: I took my Bible and opened at a “random” page (there’s nothing random about the Lord) and read onwards from Isaiah 43 and while reading through the first 10 verses, I simply cried…
Just humbly cried because He is so REAL, so POWERFUL and so WITH ME.

I know, I know: A stressed out mom cries easily… but that was just it: I wasn’t stressed out! – I had prayed for my portion and everything had gone smoothly all day!… I was relaxed and in a good place emotionally, physically and – I thought – spiritually!

Yahweh WILL tear down the hedges of the maze, when He deems the time has come.
I forget that. A lot. But Yahweh won’t allow me to. Again.

Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine”.
Isaiah 44:3 “I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring and my blessing on your descendants”.

I read and re-read Isaiah 43 and 44 several times today and my Bible remains open on those pages. I can’t bring myself to close the book!

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Way off topic

This post has a content I don’t usually write about…

This post isn’t about Jesus – though He certainly is a part of the healing process.

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This post is about awareness of a condition known as “DYSCALCULIA” and the effects it is likely to have on children in and outside of school. 

 

 

It’s not just about math and not understanding numbers though that is always the main focus. This is about how dyscalculia flows into all areas of a child’s life, how it can create anxiety issues and social issues and the feeling of never being good enough… to even simply “cope”.

numbers_game_numbers.jpgHow a child with dyscalculia will feel too “shy” to trust her/himself enough to go buy a small thing in a shop simply because the concepts of numbers/money are off.

 

This article is from a website called UNDERSTOOD.org and this particular article addresses most of the issues that my daughter struggles with in daily life – despite not yet having reached her tween years. 

I urge you to click the link and give yourself a chance to understand that dyscalculia is a big deal – and if not found and tested in the early stages it will likely affect a child throughout life and not just in school related situations.

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Dyscalculia isn’t as known as dyslexia. Perhaps because the school system places a lot of emphasis on the language arts – but more and more kids will experience dyscalculia in years to come, though I have no way of backing up that statement, I urge any parent – AND school system – to pay close attention.

Thank you.

Wine

It took me many years, but I finally get it. ashamed_face_4053.jpg

I’m ashamed. Sad.

“Hello, my name is Lene and my mom was an alcoholic”. I’m not. I can’t even stand the smell of beer – or blood – … for good reason.

I never before understood why she drank. Sure, have a nightcap or a glass now and then. But she drank daily and… now I understand.

The other day I took a glass of white wine. I don’t normally drink… The past week has been a really bad week. So I turned on the tv and had my glass of wine. I don’t know what I thought it would do, but Jesus opened up my eyes to something.

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It tasted fine. Actually very nice.

I found relief in the bottom of that glass. The pain of my heart – the overwhelming overtaking pain of helplessness went away and I actually laughed at something ridiculous on the tv.

Alcohol numbs the senses.

It made me “not care” so much. It was such a relief.

It wore off and I felt ashamed.

Not that I had taken a glass of wine. But that it had taken me so many years to figure out why my mom kept drinking. Daily. Too much. And paid the highest price possible: Her life.

When she drank she didn’t care so much. She didn’t feel the hurt and pain inside her or around her.

I finally understand.

intensive-care-unit-clip-art-1383980.jpgThe only reason why I’m sharing this with you, my fellow bloggers, is because I want to tell you – whisper in your ears – that I’m not an alcoholic and I won’t ever be. But now I understand why people, especially the sensitive types, feels such a need to “drown the sorrows in the bottle”.

But it leads… no place good. 10273974088957968_1357953156.jpg

I’m thankful I know Jesus and the tug in my heart will prevent me from drowning my sadness.

 

The story of my mom can be found here : How my mom passed away

 

 

 

I don’t know how to be a mom!

I’m not whining, not looking for pats on my shoulder or encouragement!!

– But I just realized that though I’m very much a mom – definitely remember that part vividly! – I do not actually know how to be one.

Explanation?
Okay… When my baby was a baby, I was her caretaker (and found the whole “beauty of nursing” to be more painful than joyful). When she was a toddler, I morphed into safety-guard person and valued the times when she was peacefully sleeping in her stroller and added to that, I have always thought the best part of any playground was my coffee tumbler, a bench and a chat with another mom.

Oh I love my girl to bits and pieces and way beyond that… and I have always done whatever I can to care for her. But after meeting with her psychologist today – alone, e.g. a parent meeting, I admit… I feel a bit lost.
I’m not sure what my idea of “a mom” is!

He pointed out the very strong and dynamic relationship my daughter and I have. We are very close and I actually like it that way. In a sense, we are more friendly than “momly”.

I asked him to elaborate; “Be mom in attitude and conversation” he said.
Don’t be her counselor.
He told me that her anxiety seems connected to our relationship;
meaning, she thinks that by letting go of her anxiety she will loose our relationship. Yeah… I guess it makes sense somehow.
I nodded and we scheduled another meeting and I walked out… Utterly confused.

I shouldn’t be teaching her academics. Okay – I get it, I got it! Leaving that to teachers. But now I should avoid giving her counsel?
Is that even possible??
Are not all moms counsellors to some extend?
Counsel means to give advice, guidance, directions and am I the only one with the famous bible verse of proverbs 22:6 coming to mind?

Start children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it

I have had some practice now being her counselor, confident, friend and caretaker, but the main core of our relationship is a basic friendship.

Now I’m left with the question on my heart: How to be her mom!

Oh Lord – you who has all knowledge – please help me see this through your eyes!

In Him.

“Who am I to you” asked the Lord

Just this morning during my morning coffee with Jesus, the Lord asked me “Who am I to you” and I… stopped for a minute to think about my answer.

He is the Creator, the Almighty Powerful Merciful one. He created man and woman and then we failedHe bought us back with His own blood and gives everyone a chance to belong to Him – if we want Him. I can’t imagine why there are people who doesn’t want God!… I can barely remember what life was like when I happily (eh…) had a life without knowing God. I have a tear-stained Bible with lots of coffee stains, highlights, post-it markers and bookmarks. I love my Bible and yet I’m guilty of not reading it every day!

“Who am I to you” He asked… He is my pole in windy weather. He is my raft on the stormy sea. My anchor in life. Cliches? Oh yes… but it’s the truth.

And when I feel like I’m floating in endless dark space… He is the meteor, the rock, I can lay on while drifting on and on and on. Things do not get scary unless I let go of the Rock! He always listens and answers my prayers. We have been through some nasty rough times together. Real bad times. But He gave me strength to do the hard things, the Spirit to pray through the tears and the love to continue the journey.

Having a child with anxiety issues makes for a stressed out mommy at times. A mom who feels useless, concerned and as if drifting in dark space that never seems to end. I know I need breathing space but my mind finds it difficult to rest when I know that my child is battling things she can’t handle. It’s at times like that, it’s good to remind myself Who the Lord is to me…

Thank you Jesus for chasing me down and adopting me to yourself. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for helping me remind myself of Who YOU are. Because it’s not about me. It never was and it never will be.

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Dear Mom – a throwback

Dear Mom,

Happy Birthday. If you had been alive today you would have turned 71. Unfortunately you chose to leave us much too early and there is literally nothing left of you than the memories in my heart. Yeah… I get sentimental and I remember how you disliked sentimental while you yourself was one of the most sentimental women I have ever known! Go figure…

So, how about you grab a beer – or was it bloody Mary you enjoyed the most? and I’ll grab something non-alcoholic  – and we can go sit down somewhere you loved; Like Stromstad in Norway? Okay… let’s go…

Honestly mom, your death was no fun and I have blogged about it earlier “How my mom passed away”, but My Jesus told me to leave the past in the past. I did. But memories don’t leave anyone and this birthday letter isn’t about your death, mom. It’s about your life.

You were conceived in love and yet born in grief and bitterness. Your mom and dad were married and in love. Then your dad decided to choose side and fought with the German army during WWII. He was reported dead before you were born and you never met him. I have always known that it left a huge scar in your heart. I know the bullying in the many different schools you went to always ended up on the same issue: Traitor-bitch.It wasn’t your fault.

You grew up anyway as we all do. As a young girl and while getting en education in flower arranging, you fell in love and got pregnant. You were supposed to get married but your fiancé died in a car crash and… – mom, did you not dare to go home to get help? I know, your mom had remarried and had 3 kids. Her husband probably wouldn’t be of much help. Abortion wasn’t an option for you – besides, I know you wanted the child. You took off to Iceland as many other girls did who had gotten in trouble, to have your baby. Were you pushed down a flight of stairs or did you trip? I don’t know, but the story I heard was that you lost the baby. Mom, was that really what happened or did you hide some facts?

What happened next is kind of where my story begins too; When you returned from Iceland, you moved away from your family to the other side of Denmark, worked in a hospital and a few years on you met my dad. You got married in your last trimester and then came my brother. 6 years later I happened.

I remember you mom. I remember the smile in your eyes and your humor. Your laughter, your love and your… melancholic attitude. I hated that. For many years I battled your self-pity which you tried to drown in wine. It doesn’t work!

I remember the day when you loudly and proudly declared you had told a family member off. She had asked you straight out to please accept Jesus into your heart. You told her no! I remember I felt weak and strange when you said that. I wasn’t aware that Jesus was already seeking me, pursuing me and calling me to Himself. In retrospect I get it. Mom, I really don’t want to think about where you are now. So let’s just enjoy the view to the fjord of Stromstad.

How I wish I could meet you again mom. So I could whisper to you that I love you and I forgive you and I miss you. I understand most of this letter seems negative. You had many positive sides and I so wish… that I could remember more of those. But I remember you doing your best to love me. I appreciate that. The last 2 years of your life were the best ones because you and I got a relationship – because you stopped drinking. You listened and heard me. You gave great advice and I miss those talks we shared. I know you would have loved my daughter and probably spoiled her rotten. If you could see me now mom, would you be proud of me? I accepted Jesus, I say no to drinking, I struggle a lot mom but I try to follow God’s way. Non of these things were things that counted for much in your mind. I remember that and it saddens me. I do know for sure though, that you would love me… and I’m happy knowing that Jesus loves me too.

I know your life didn’t get off to a great start. I know how it ended. But what happened in between was your life journey. As my life is my life journey.

I’ll always be your daughter. Happy Birthday mom.

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Leave the past in the past – Philippians 3:13-16

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There are 3 things God is working out in my life right now: Worship, relationship within His body and the death of my mother.

My mother was a “suburb alcoholic”. She had a full time job and was a full time wife and mom and cook and maid… and she never had an easy life. She wasn’t a drunk hanging out on the sidewalks or sitting on park benches with a bottle of something. She was a hardworking woman who enjoyed alcohol a bit too much. She had a choice. During my childhood I don’t remember her being particularly nasty or drunk, but during my teens I do remember how viciously evil she could become in her words especially when alcohol went in and took over. She couldn’t control her drinking and it became her death.

On the night she died, the ambulance came around 4 pm after she had vomited blood and she fell to the floor drifting in and out of unconsciousness. She was taken to the emergency room and received blood… But the doctors couldn’t stop the bleeding. After several hours of trying to save her life, she was taken to the ICU, where a kind nurse was wiping away her blood as it came from mouth, nose, ear – every hole in her body. They put her in a respirator and on sleep inducing painkiller.

I got a shock when I saw her. She didn’t look awful, but with 7 needles in her hand I couldn’t hold it. So I pushed my hand underneath hers. I knew that her life would end. They woke her up so we could say our goodbye’s… I told her I loved her. She couldn’t answer me because of all the tubes, but her eyes spoke and I’m grateful for that moment. After a bit they put her back to sleep and her blood slowly ran out of her body. I was wiping it away as gently as I could. The life ran out of her and I was wiping it up. My brother asked the doctor if it was cirrhosis of the liver and he nodded.

The doctors told us that it would be a miracle if she made it through the night. They put words on it. I remember that sinking feeling and I asked my dad “what happens if she does make it through the night?” – and his answer was “then it will be a miracle if she makes it through tomorrow”. She didn’t make it through the night. About 3 hours later, at 1 am, she drew her last breath and the machine went silent. But those 3 hours lasted… for what seemed like a lifetime. Watching someone – a loved one – bleed to death is tough. You know what is coming so you want to hang on. Yet, you know what is coming so you want it to be over with fast.

After her death my life seemed to stop and I couldn’t understand how the world could continue. It took some time, but I eventually came to terms with my mom’s death. I forgave her for choosing continually to drink even when the doctors had told her to stop (yes, she knew, but she had kept it quiet). We learn to live without our loved ones and it is now 11 years ago and some months.

My mom was not a believer. At the time, I was not a believer either. I so wish I had been though! If I had just had my Jesus during that time, I would have had something to hang on to and trust. A never ending strength and love… But I didn’t. In my family there is a tendency on my moms side to depression. I am not sure how far back it goes, but I know that my mom’s dad had it (who died very young somewhere in Berlin during WWII), my mom had it and turned to alcohol and her brother had it and turned to a gun ending up shooting himself (suicide). I have it too. But I will be forever grateful that Jesus came and picked me up and though I may have struggles, I will never need alcohol or a gun or anything else besides Jesus.

But recently God has brought my mom up again and I knew there was something I had to deal with but I didn’t know what. After all, it’s 11 years ago and I am okay with my mom being gone. But – when a friend shared how God was working the grief of loosing one of her parents out in her – I found myself sharing my moms death with her. Which is something I rarely do. Yes, she’s dead. Yes, she was an alcoholic. Yes, we learn to live without our parents. But… I suddenly realized that I had not come to terms with the way she died. The blood, the tubes, the needles in her hand. I have had some weeping days and this time I am allowing myself to cry. When God shows you that there is still pain in your heart, He wants to heal it. So I am pouring out my pain to Him.

I wanted to share with all of you who actually read this blog, where God had me open my Bible this morning and the words jumped right at me. I know Paul is not talking directly about dealing with grief and loss and trauma, but still;

Philippians 3:13, 15-16 (GNT)
13 … the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead.  –  15 All of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude. But if some of you have a different attitude, God will make this clear to you. 16 However that may be, let us go forward according to the same rules we have followed until now.

And God spoke; “leave the past in the past”.

I definitely have something I need to deal with and then leave it at His feet.

From stone to unknown.

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I know it’s a sentimental babble but just bear with me…

My mom’s urn burial place and tombstone was discontinued (2 years ago, which I was reminded of today). Meaning the stone has been removed. I live far away – 10.000 km – so perhaps didn’t think much of it back then, but now that we are making travel plans to visit Denmark, I wanted to go “visit her”. But there is no place to go anymore.

My mom has been gone for 12 years and she never wanted us to care much about it, so discontinuing is perfectly in line with her wishes. Still, It just feels strange that there is no tomb stone with her name on it anymore and I’m only 41 years old. Somehow I expected this to happen when I turned 60 or 70… 5 years ago I took some pictures of it and today I’m glad I did! 

In Denmark you buy a burial place for a specified time, usually with cremations it’s a 10 year time frame. After that you can choose to extend it or not. It’s not due to a lack of space, but perhaps to prevent unattended deteriorating grave sites. My family has moved away from the area and basically never visited and of course I’m not there to visit either… I just get a bit sentimental thinking about it because though she lives on in memories, it’s nice to have a place to go visit. And for some reason I just didn’t imagine that my mom’s resting place would be gone this soon. I don’t disagree with the decision as it is in accordance with my mom’s own wishes. But usually it’s the children who decides to discontinue their parents resting place when they themselves get old… I don’t feel that old yet.

This morning during my quiet time with the Lord I asked Him what to do… I want to take my daughter to my mom’s burial site and visually show her “this is where grandma lies”. But I can’t. My mom’s original wish was to be placed in the unknown peoples burial place. I know she wasn’t, but it occurred to me that since the urn has by now perished and the stone has been removed, she too has gone – into “unknown people”. It would be a lie to tell my daughter that my mom lies in the unknown peoples burial site, but it could perhaps serve as a place to go and explain to my daughter that when our names on this earth is no more, then in an earthly perspective we become “unknowns”, but that’s okay – because the Lord knows our names. Of course, I then bump into the constant struggle of my mom never accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior…

I would love to hear what you think about this and trust me; Any suggestions would be welcomed with appreciation. Thank you.