I’ve lived in California long enough to remember the nasty, prolonged drought of the 70s. It was amusing to hear state officials engaging with local Native American tribes in rain dances. Whenever there was a hint of clouds they quickly seeded them so they would be heavy with rain.
None of this worked. We eventually got rain. When it returned there was massive flooding everywhere.
The drought from within
I was experiencing a severe drought of my own. There was a super dearth of real compassion, which is fertilizer for the soul. I was withering on the vine.
I didn’t know my mother was narcissistic. I didn’t remember my father sexually assaulting me much less that my mother was aware and chose not to report it. I couldn’t understand why no one ever defended or believed me … ever.
Hope was dying fast.
By the time I got married my soul must have looked like a raisin. Marriage and subsequent motherhood began to pour much needed love and hope back into my being. However, when I figured out my husband was an alcoholic I got to my first recovery meeting and found a sponsor with a black belt in recovery.
I was on life support.
Slowly I began to drink deeply of the well of life. The water was infused with faith, hope, unconditional love and understanding. I was among people who’d been in the same pit as me but knew the way out.
Hope was rising.
Perspective is everything
Those who had come before me could see my problems in their true perspective from their perch atop the mountains. They said my troubles were opportunities to further refine who I was in relation to God and man. I thought the world was ending. They told me I wasn’t the only one and the world wouldn’t be ending any time soon.
Cultivating healthy relationships was key. I made lots of friends who spoke my language and were only too glad to be of service when I was in need. Of course, I became equally willing to serve because it was key to my growth.
Equipment and supplies
I needed tools and fast. My ways weren’t working so I was willing to try anything. Before I could tackle problems outside myself, I first had to deal with my own stuff. I didn’t know there was a caboose to loose.
It was time to start journaling and uncovering onion layers. It was time to get a grip on who I was and where God was in all of it. As I began to write, I could see Him everywhere. My circumstances sucked but could have been far worse had God not been there.
Soon good habits and friends replaced bad ones. Disdain for God was replaced with reverence and a real desire to connect. Rose colored glasses were replaced with polarized sun glasses so I could see things clearly and in their proper perspective. No glare allowed.
The eyes of my heart were opening. My countenance was turning from doldrums to joy. I was undergoing a major transformation. I wasn’t late. I arrived right on time. All that past ugliness was my greatest source of strength. If I wasn’t dead then it made me stronger.
I suddenly found myself with a tool box. I was an apprentice learning how to master life with essential tools. God was Master Craftsman, deep in the trenches loving and guiding me back to life more abundant.
This abundant life growing in me would profoundly touch my children.
Posts in this series
Parenting with posttraumatic stress disorder
Discipline requires training, love spelled t-i-m-e
Beatings/Spankings are abuse: plain and simple
Parenting, like marriage, requires work
Parenting is a lifelong-learning proposition
Stop, look, listen and ask yourself questions
The high art of juggling
Downtime: the golden goose of PTSD
Worldwide parenting with PTSD Awareness Day
Parenting is a high call no matter your lot
The drought before the drought
Being misunderstood is a symptom
You are being forged in fire
Awakenings podcast: Parenting with PTSD
For single parents
A tribute to single parents