The funny thing about working through emotional issues is that life still goes on. We still have to do school, go to work, go to the store, go out to social events and continue as if your insides are not all in a knot. The brain still has to function properly, despite dealing with past baggage or current events. I find that so interesting about the brain, the ability to cope. Last week sometime when I was dealing with some of these emotions that I didn’t quite understand, I felt like my insides were just spilling out and I had no way to gather them up and get myself back to a workable state. I tend to laugh at myself when I feel this way because I know that many times my emotions can be exaggerations triggered from sensory or confusion.
The other morning something happened that made me laugh.
I was overwhelmed with confusion about not understanding why I felt such pain in my heart, I pulled myself together and got up to make breakfast. As I walked to the kitchen I looked down and Daniel had laid out four letters from his Word Whammer toy, C-O-P-E. I laughed so hard, I do not think that Daniel knows this word or at least the meaning of the word, but he could. I found it amusing that it was the word I needed to get over that hump of trying to figure “it” out and later as I finished stories and posts that I had been writing for a while, things seemed to come together in my thinking.
I knew that I had to be ok by Sunday, because it was my nephew’s birthday party.
I wanted very much for the kids to go to their cousin’s birthday party, they had not experienced a party like that. Plus it was his first birthday! Yea! Birthday! I knew that the kids were going to be overloaded for days and that I would be too. I prepared as much as possible, but I also knew that I had to get out of a vulnerable state emotionally if I was going because the sensory and social would be too much for me. My sisters go all out, they like big social events with grand everything. I like that about them in a way because I do have fun and the kids get to experience things that ordinarily they would not. For my sisters though over-the-top is an everyday occurrence so we have to participate in small doses. They did offer for us to come before everyone else came so we could not be so overloaded that was a great thing for them to think of us.
It was a big lesson/test for me.
I never know how my sisters are going to treat me, one second they love me the next I am being badgered and mocked about something. However, I am clueless to what is happening, I feel something is wrong, but do not know what is happening until later. This day just felt nice, it was pleasant and I felt comfortable walking in. I got my little nephew the second we walked in. I like their house, but it felt rather closed in with the decorations and made me feel like I was in a box. I occupied myself with the kids so I was happy. The more people that came though the more I was getting overloaded. They had a bouncy house in the backyard so we took the kids out there and they jumped for a while it was helpful for them. I jumped too, it was helpful for me as well.
I felt comfortable being myself.
Actually, I didn’t really think about it, like when I hid my water bottle in their cabinet for drinking glasses. I didn’t want anyone to touch it, breathe on it, look at it, or confuse it for theirs, so I put it in there for safe keeping. I do not like holding water bottles. I was able to be a comic relief with that move, the kitchen got crowded with people and I ended up having to ask my sister for my water bottle that was in the cabinet. She gave me one of her “You are so crazy looks” and laughed. I hide things in strange places and always have, but as you can see I have a perfectly good logical reason. Right?
The kids were happy and having fun, but they were going into sensory overload.
We managed to stay for about two hours. It is a 30 minute drive there so we had to think of that as well. Plus it was hot, very hot! They had not even opened the presents or done the cake or anything and it was already 4:30pm, our guys were not going to make it. I was not going to make it. I was already disconnected. At one point my sister said something about being angry and I was surprised and asked “What did we do?” she told me that she wasn’t mad at me, but if I wanted to be part of the group that she was upset with fine, she would be mad at me too. From that point I was confused and my sisters began their banter on me, I could not hear what they were saying because what I was hearing all sounded like buzzing bees in my ears and I could not make out their words.
I looked clueless.
This is why people have thought of me as being dingy or stupid because I am trying very hard to understand what they are saying, but I just can’t. It is all fuzzy and hurts my head and I stare blankly. I was overloaded by sight, sound, and smell. Their bantering felt different though, it didn’t cause me confusion or make me feel bad. It didn’t seem to feel the same. Later when I talked to my mom she told that they were actually doing their sisterly loving banter. She said: “They were trying to be sisters”. I knew something was different, they were not being mean even though an outsider’s perspective could have deemed it mean. It was a great lesson for me to be able to trust my instincts about people. Now I know when I have that feeling that what someone is doing is wrong, I can trust it. All of my sisters do this bantering/mocking thing with me. I do not understand it, I have been confused by it. However, others who have witnessed it think that it is very mean and attacking at times. Again, I do not need to worry myself with those issues as long as I am not confused. Now I have a clear distinction of “feeling” to clarify for me.
I can begin to trust my feelings about people’s other motives as well.
The short version of the rest of the story, we all had fun, but were seriously overloaded. I ended up sitting on the couch crying and at first began to ask myself why I was being so silly and crying, but then I just went, “Oh, I am overloaded.” I let the tears fall, I was not sad or depressed my body just had too much input on all levels. It didn’t last long and then I felt better, very tired, but better. All of the kids were out of control the rest of the night, shutdowns, meltdowns, non-stop spinning objects and bedtime was not fun. But overall it was fun and worth it. It didn’t help that I gave them each a cupcake because they couldn’t eat the cake, even if we had stayed. It wasn’t gluten-free. Daniel and Joshua are very social and LOVE the ladies. Daniel made his rounds making googly eyes with them and then loving on the ceiling fans. Joshua however, was devoted to Grammy. Ariel sat and observed and then gave a blow by blow of all the goings on at the party after we got home.
On another note, the Bible study has been going well.
I am a bit peopled out, but it was good. I like this group of women. They are real. I was surprised when I shared with them how I had been working through the fear of abandonment and all of them said: “Oh, yes.” or had a reply with explanation about their own fears. I knew it was universal, but it had not become real to me until I saw and heard others with the same fears. I came out of the closet a bit and wasn’t sure how they would feel, I wore my shirt that says: “Dear Math, I love you ∞” (infinity symbol). My mom rolled her eyes at me and laughed, the other women didn’t give me any weird looks or anything. I believe it triggered some conversation about science and math though and I shared with them my thoughts about seeing God through various means like that. They hadn’t thought about God or even math (numbers) in certain ways, if anything I was glad they thought out of the box for a moment. I have a thing about all of the numbers and symbols in the Bible. I know, I know BIG SURPRISE!
In all things I learn lessons.
What I have learned this week is if I am not coping the Universe will force messages through my kid’s toys. When I am overloaded it’s ok to admit it, accept it and let my body respond to it. I really love my sisters and I really appreciate their differences. I am willing to trust people even after being burned a lot in my life. I never lost trust, only buried it for a while. I adore and cherish my kids more than I can express, the love I feel for them is entirely different from what I have been talking about lately. I admittedly have a different way of thinking and feeling about love when it comes to animals and children. Yes, I did just confess that. I have to acknowledge that as part of who I am and not feel guilty for it. I see connections in all things and that is how I feel God speaks to me, how I learn, and how I process. A major thing that I have learned is that love of self is actually quite important. You need to be able to love who you are in order pour out your love to others. An ancient teaching that has only manifested in truth for me recently.
Those are some things I learned this week.