*********Trigger alert********** The contents of this post may be triggering or disturbing for some readers.
Proceed with caution.
Today at school I challenged students to face their why. They are writing about their career choices and I am asking them to tell why. Why do you want to do this career? What is your motivation? Why? I thought about whys? A fellow teacher asked me why I don’t get my teaching degree and teach my own class instead of helping with his. My answer, “I have PTSD and sometimes I have to leave the room, a teacher can’t do that, an instructional assistant can.” Sometimes the class room full of reluctant students dragging their feet over a gift I wish I could have had a chance to choose their career. I know some of them will go home to parents like mine that forbid them from even having a dream let alone following it. So why try? Why?
My daughter shared a beautiful article that expresses Scary Mommy’s perspective of watching her father battle the terrible battle raging inside of an adult child abuse survivor. http://www.scarymommy.com/those-who-break-cycle-of-abuse/
Why fight the battle? Why do I keep going? Why do I face one more day after another night of nightmares? Why do I try to make Christmas fun when it is loaded with triggers and my first instinct is to hibernate like a bear? Why bother? My counselor, during my first years of counseling cajoled, threatened, and allowed me to call him at any time to get me through the days before I committed to living, really living. In one of our conversations, he suddenly sat back and flatly stated, “You’re not afraid of dying.” No question, no doubt in his voice. I simply replied, “They can only kill me once.” His total focus of counseling with me took a sudden shift. His efforts were directed to convincing me that life is worth living. It was hard for me to believe knowing the dark places I’ve been, the horrors I’ve seen and the massive guilt I felt for daring to take one more breath. For stealing the food from the mouth of others, how dare I continue to exist? Why fight it? Each person must find their why. My why doesn’t belong to someone else. Someone else’s why doesn’t affect me. Somewhere in that deep pit of despair a why comes to the surface. Without the why hopelessness seeps deep into the soul and festers and consumes the rest. Christmas is a glimmer of hope. Everything about Christmas is hope. Then another Christmas fails to bring the one wish of your heart, peace in your soul. Why continue to fight it?
For years, I defined my why as my children, caring for them, taking care of them, trying not to repeat the mistakes my parents made. Attempting to break the terrible cycle of abuse. I didn’t always achieve the lofty impossible goals I set for myself. Then the children started leaving home. I was loosing my purpose. I was feeling more and more lost. Then I had cancer. Wow. I started fighting for my life. I went into surgery knowing I wanted to live. A year and a half later I started counseling, my whole world was turned upside down and inside out what I believed I knew wasn’t what I thought it was at all. I faced one wretched truth after another about my past. Why fight it? The answer for me finally came. If I stop fighting, they win. My abusers can be dead, if I stop fighting they win from the grave. For along time, I fought so they wouldn’t win. Finally after 10 years of counseling, I am starting to see life from the perspective of thriving. I am stunned at the beauty of this world. I am amazed at so many wonderful people in this world. I opened my heart to really living…now that is my reason to fight, I want to live. Through all this time the center core belief that held my head above water in rough waters and storms is my plea to Christ, please, save me. He sends His angels that walk among us everyday. My husband, my children, my sister, my coworkers, my counselor, a smiling stranger, I never know who the next angel may be. I know they come. I love the hope of Christ that is Christmas. Not the presents, the lights or the baking but a little baby born in a manager on a dark night when angels came to shepherds to bring them the news of hope in a dark forbidding world.
Angels We Have Heard On High https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K17zGHFrKU