Digging deeper on the 4th

My life can tend to get a little hectic. Not because I am that busy, but because I am not the best at planning. I will end up with several hours of “open space” and try to pull in folks to do something, but everyone else seems to be more organized and planned-out that I am. I usually end up taking a walk by myself, reorganizing a closet or watching a movie. So, several weeks back, I made an actual plan to take my grandson and niece to a local wildlife park for the afternoon.

It was a splendid time; however, I could have done better for myself that to have ordered the high calorie burger and fries for lunch that revisited me the rest of the day =burp=. Lesson learned, I can hang with the kids, but I cannot eat like the kids. Thankful for antacids.

This morning I began to consider why it is that I don’t spend more time with kids. I don’t volunteer in childcare at meetings, and I find that being around kids in general will uptick my anxiety several notches.

Now, being a mom, that was a bit different, because I was in charge. I made a lot of mistakes, but did the best I could, along with that fact that these were my kids and we were in this together. But when it comes to any other child, that’s another story.

For this, I return back to my fourth step. There, I notice my resentments about my mom leaving me at 7 years old to care for my 2-month old baby brother while she slept in. Before leaving to go to school every day, it was my responsibility to make certain he had been changed and was given a bottle of formula. Not because she had to be at work, or had some other responsibility, but because she had an illness that I as a child was unable to understand. It felt like I was no longer a child myself, but the caregiver for 2 people; my brother and my mother. This continued with another sibling born several years later.

The second piece of this stems from the fact that we moved often. Like, every 4-6 months. It was worse than military kids. I would come home from school or camp to find boxes everywhere. One time, I got picked up from camp and we arrived at a different house, with a new dad. And a new school.

Nowadays, there is a lot of emphasis on bullying and what it can do to kids. I was a poster child for bullying, due to being the permanent “new kid”. I also had significant emotional problems from the kind of instability that comes with living as a child of an addict and being an only for the first 7 years. I imagine the target on my back was the size of a small country, and even teachers meted out cruelty in frustration with my odd behavior.

These things have been walked through on my fourth step, and I have released them, but the marks and the scars remain. I struggle with being tasked to care for small people, because it triggers being trapped in a situation that I cannot escape – even now the tears are welling up in my eyes telling you about it. And being around older kids, I still bear the marks of the bullying I endured, and try to be very quiet, smile and not say anything that would arouse a hurtful remark.

These are items that I am hoping will, like any scar, continue to heal and fade with time and prayer, but I cannot rush the process, and in the meantime, I have a tough time explaining my perceived distance to those I love most. I have faith in God, and His love, which covers a multitude of hurts and pain. Thank you, Lord Jesus for being there with me, and that I can walk out this path, even when it is hard, because I know you bring oil of joy for mourning.

Grateful to be on this journey together.

Much Love, big hugs.

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