Forgive me, for I am doing the best that I can. I know that it doesn’t always seem that way because we often can only see things from the inside looking out…our view is skewed by our own needs, desires, and fears. My head knows that your daily requirements and decline aren’t your fault but my anger at it all bleeds into my reactions – I mourn not only the mother I am losing but the mother I never really had. The guilt continues…I don’t do enough and what I do isn’t always right. Forgive me, for I am doing the best that I can.
I can’t ever remember a day when fatigue wasn’t overwhelming and joy lighted the way. When each day is so hard and long, it is very hard to remember that the years are short. Forgive me, I am doing the best that I can. Little did I know as a young naïve child waking from the vivid nightmare of my mother sitting in a wheelchair being lowered into a grave that some thirty years later it would no longer be a nightmare but harsh reality. Little did I know as a teenager that my mothers dependence on me would increase tenfold over the next 20 years stealing my youth and my joy. And greater still, little do I know of what the future holds. Forgive me, for I am doing the best that I can.
I know, there are moments when it doesn’t feel as such but in the big picture it is true nonetheless. Do you know that I still worry I’ve disappointed you despite giving all I have left to give? Do you know that inside of me is still a little girl wanting a mother’s love? Do you truly believe that I haven’t done enough? Forgive me, for I am doing the best that I can.
I don’t know what tomorrow or even the rest of today holds but I have one request…please be gentle with me, for I am doing the best that I can.
Tick, tock, tick, tock-the only audible sound in the room and yet it roars. My head keeps time with the clock as it marches around its face again and again. I ponder the thoughts I pondered yesterday and most of the yesterdays before that one. “When, if ever will this end? When will I feel ‘okay’again? Have I ever really been ‘okay’? Are the things you say to me actually true? Is there something wrong with me? Am I crazy? Maybe I am. Is it possible that I really am a joke – a mistake? Truly my father’s child (although I’m not sure who she would be – I don’t remember him because, he too, loved himself more than he loved me). Has God forgotten me – am I being punished for some sin I don’t recall or, even worse yet, unknowingly repeat? What did I do to make you hate me?” On Monday you actually said that outloud, “You’d be surprised if you knew how I really feel about you…how I really hate you” causing my ever- wounded heart to break completely, the pain is new and sharp all the while old and dull. How can this be? I wasn’t aware that it could hurt any more than it already did-how aware I have become in the days since. My thoughts struggle to keep time with the clock, tick…tock. “When did the detesting begin and if you really do hate me, why do I try so hard to please you and earn your love? I was just a little girl the first time I knew you were different from my friend’s moms – the fear and feelings of inadequacy have grown alongside with the rest of me”. Tick, tock…the clock moves on while I am simultaneously standing…waiting for my stolen life to be returned to me…tick, tock. Sometimes, I find myself unknowingly staring at you – I really don’t know how long I’ve been doing so before I become aware of it. Can you or do you feel me looking at you – trying to make sense of it all? Round and round it swirls in my head before falling into a heavy weight on the center of my sternum. It’s difficult to take a deep breath but oh, how I need one! There are so many times I’m in the middle of these endless repeated tasks required of me to care for your numerous daily needs that I struggle to feel something other than the hatred and contempt I actually feel for you. I hear my mouth speak “please” and “thank you” – finishing your sentences for you since one of us should say it. My heart cries out but it is my eyes that fill with tears – yet, somehow, they never spill. Blinking causes them to return to the bottomless reservoir awaiting the next opportunity for escape. I want to feel the love I know I should feel for you, my mother – but I can’t dredge it out of the despair I actually feel. My compassion returns with the latest health emergency for you or your inconsistent behavior fools me into believing that you love me again…it is soon stomped into a pile of ashes when the crisis is over. The cycle continues as a merry-go-round without the bells, music, and children’s laughter. It doesn’t stop…round and round and round again. Tick, tock…tick tock. The voices inside my head are deafening competing with the clock’s rhythm for my attention and still I make the futile attempt to remain silent as you repeatedly hurl your insults. Wisdom has taught me that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:45), closer and closer still the words rise up. I fight against this evil struggle until I am too exhausted to battle any more. All too often I lose the war inside my heart -soon I am spewing terrible words and slurs. It seems they bounce off your body armor only to cut at my own throat causing unspeakable anguish. I give the putrid resentment to God each time-only to immediately turn back and pick it up, storing it in the backpack of my heart again. When did I turn into this person who doesn’t care if her mother lives or dies? I can’t pinpoint a beginning or foresee an end. The melancholy is overwhelming slowly suffocating me. I don’t remember falling into this dark pit – how did I get here from where I was? When did my heart fill with bitterness until it slowly migrated downward to my gut? Tick, tock…tick, tock. Satan screams at me, “How can you say you love God while nurturing these feelings of resentment and unforgiveness? Hypocrite!” & I can’t call him a liar despite his reputation. I have no viable argument. He doesn’t know there is no need to berate me – I have asked myself the same question at least a thousand times. I drag it with me everywhere I go, like a noose around my neck just waiting to tighten a final time-no warning given. I’d like to rid myself of this poison I carry before it’s too late but it seems a part of me, so tightly wound I’m not entirely sure I wasn’t actually born with it intertwined in my DNA. Tick, tock..tick, tock. But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
1. YOU DOUBT YOURSELF
Do you recognize that you’re doubting yourself more than you ever have before?
Victims of narcissistic abuse often appear uncertain of themselves, constantly seeking clarification that they haven’t made a mistake or misheard something.
This reactive adaptation to narcissistic abuse is because the narcissist is ALWAYS finger pointing and shifting blame to YOU for ALL of the ups & downs both in the relationship AND in the narcissist’s personal psyche.
Because this relationship has NON EXISTENT boundaries, you will find YOURSELF constantly PUT UPON and FORCED to accept responsibility for things you didn’t do or say. This borrowed humiliation and shame is exactly what the narcissist intends for the victim to take from the narcissist. Their own unfelt core of shame.
Just refer to the above explanation of self doubt and boundary transgression if you want to understand the CONFUSION that is part and…
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Love it and the truths I am in frequent need of hearing! God is good ( all the time).
For as long as I can remember my mother has possessed an uncanny ability to snag the very front parking spot in whatever parking lot she happens to be in. Not like, near the front. The very first available spot. The one that’s practically inside of the store and is also under the only shade tree in the lot. “I am God’s most favorite child!” she would spout in triumph, gliding into that parking spot like it was a front-row seat at the Super bowl.
I love my mother for this. For the way she taught me to see the fingerprints of God in something as ordinary as a parking spot.
Of course, she wasn’t trying to make some deep theological statement here. I don’t think she believed we could measure God’s favor by the way he doled out parking spots. There was no assumption that God gave the choice…
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I don’t know about other women (or men, I suppose) but I certainly have some repeated struggles in my walk with God. I face numerous difficulties on a daily – make that hourly basis but today, I would like to speak about one in particular….my futile attempt to gain approval from God. I am a people pleaser & always have been. I believe most of us are conditioned from a young age that if we do (fill in the blank) or say (fill in the blank) then our reward will be (fill in the blank). For example, say a child wants a ‘treat’ like candy or a popsicle…the parent says, “Say please”. So, the child gives her sweetest smile, says “Pretty please” and BAM – reward obtained. Said child may or may not say “thank you” at that point, but chances are if she does there will be more ‘treats’ to come. Don’t get me wrong, parents (or any adults, for that matter) don’t mean to instill insecurity or flawed ideas into our young minds – they are simply continuing what their parents taught them. And the cycle continues….
I am guilty of this on a daily basis. At the end of the day, I’m exhausted because I’ve tried to do “one more thing” or “go the extra mile” – hoping someone will acknowledge my effort or say “thank you”. I’ve also been known to tell someone (usually friends) of all the things I’ve done today – because if I don’t tell them will I receive any credit? What if no one notices all that I’ve done? I find that I visit the stats page here on wordpress all too often – how many views have I had today? How many of those are visitors? Has anyone pressed my post or sent a link to my blog? Do I have any likes or comments? Frequently, I am sadly disappointed. I work on my posts for hours before I finally get frustrated and just publish it – this one has 9 revisions already! Recently, I worked on a guest post for another blogger and stressed tremendously about being “good enough”. Finally, I said to myself, “no more second-guessing, no more ‘not good enough’ and just sent it to her – it was freeing. I had forgotten (a repeated offense) that this is not a platform to impress others or gain approval from God, it is a forum of learning (and sharing these lessons) about my gracious, loving God – a type of worship, as it were.
My finite mind attempts these same futile tricks for gaining approval with God. Even if I don’t voice or acknowledge it, I often believe “if I complete the checklist (go to church on Sunday, memorize 1 verse, do one good deed this week), God will bless me with __________ because I earned it, in fact, I deserve it”. I believe this attempt to gain acceptance and love from God (and others) is rooted in that feeling that “I’m not good enough”. Well, guess what? I will never be good enough or measure up – I will never complete enough good deeds to deserve such blessings. I’ve never been good enough, and in my mind I’m guilty of believing God must not be good enough to accept me without merit – the idea that I don’t have to earn His love is hard to wrap my mind around. No matter how hard I try, I can’t get all of God in that box!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with Whom there is no variation or shadow of change. James 1:17 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8