HelplessA few months ago, I was relating to my wife how far I have come in my emotional work. We had gone a few months without any “blowups” or problems.

I was feeling healthy in my interactions with my wife and children with no emotional mishaps.

Since I am Catholic, I spoke to God about my growth and how I was a little concerned that I was not progressing. I was becoming stale. I asked for something to push me in my emotional growth.

At this point, I should point out about 10 years ago I was in a major car accident driving down the road with my wife and 2 year old first born. This accident totaled both cars involved and the officers at the scene were amazed that nobody died.

In an attempt to not hit the car that was flying sideways from the oncoming traffic, I hit my brakes as hard as I could. I’m sure we slowed down a bit, but this also meant all the impact went into my right leg and shattered the bone. I was knocked out for awhile. When I did regain conscience, it was only limited since my brain was shut off due to all the pain in my leg. I only remember waking up in the hospital hours later.

Now, back to the present moment (or I should say last month). During dinner as we lit our Advent wreath and I read from our Advent book, I suddenly looked up with a start and fell over.

A few hours later, I wake up in the emergency room having suffered a seizure where I dislocated both of my shoulders. I’m awake because they gave me something for the pain. Then they say they’re going to re-set my shoulders. Three days later, I’m back at home with both of my arms locked down for 3 weeks for one shoulder to heal and 6 weeks for the other shoulder to heal.

I am completely helpless.

We have no Christmas decorations up we are looking at moving in a few weeks and I lost the use of my arms. What is a man/husband/father without his arms? A man/husband/father who cannot hold/hug his wife/children. A man/husband/father who cannot provide for his family.

I am completely helpless.

Now I have to deal with my feelings of being helpless. I have these feelings of when I was young and needing help from my mother and father and not getting what I need. Those feelings of helplessness I have to deal with.

Now, I have to break down and ask others to help me with simple tasks. I have to ask my 10 year old to tie my shoes. I have to ask my 11 year old to help me put on my shirt. I have to ask my wife to help me put on my belt.

I have to give up all my control and ask others for help. That is a blessed curse.

Curse in that I am so helpless. Blessed in that I’m learning to ask others for help. Blessed in that I’m forced to “step out onto the ice”1 and chance that I might be rejected by those who love me. Blessed in that those who love me are willing to help me. Blessed in that I finally learn that others do love me.

1 get link This phrase “step out onto the ice” is a phrase I got from a therapy group. It should represent a frozen lake between you and your loving home. A person is deadly afraid to step out onto the ice for fear of falling into the freezing cold water and die. Except his loving home is on the other side. It’s a choice to either stay in the freezing cold outside or risk stepping onto the ice and cross to your loving home.

Downfall of Improvement

Emotional FodderThere’s something to be said about trouble emotions.

The are great fodder for topics to write on.

I understand now how artists find their muse from their emotional turmoil raging inside them.  When I’m having emotional problems, I just throw-up my emotions in word form and I can come up with posts without much effort.

Now that I’ve improved my feeling and dealing with my emotions, I have less torment to blog about.

I do have pages and pages journaling my emotional progress (or problems).  I’ll have to bust those out for inspiration.

Emotional Strength

I always thought I was presented with emotional situations as a torment in my life. Every time I find myself in an emotionally jealous situation, I feel in a bottomless pit of despair. Some part of me aches for a reason I’m put in this situation.

During my morning walk, the true reason came to me.

All of these situations I deal with are strengthening my emotional health in some way. With each of these emotional episodes, I find them a little easier to handle than before.

Emotional Strength
Emotional moments are just opportunities to strengthen our emotional muscles.

When I find I’m having problem with my emotions, I feel set back in the moment. As if all the work I’ve been doing for the past 10 years has been for naught. After I feel and deal with my emotions, I realize my emotional outbursts weren’t as bad as previous times.

It’s like I’m going through a training program to improve my emotional strength. As if there is some future emotional triathlon that I need to train for.

I would imagine if someone saw the patience I now have with my family and emotions, they would think I’m some kind of emotional super hero. I’d just say, I have had some good training so far, but I do have my bad days (just like everybody else).

Love as a Weapon

Love as a Weapon
Love as a Weapon

Our marriage group (Retrouvaille) meets once a month. At these meetings, we talk about our strengthening our relationship as a married couple.

The topic revolved around our loving relationship and how we appreciate each other. During this discussion, I realized I use love as a weapon. This sounds impossible since love is an emotion involved with giving yourself to the other. Love isn’t associated with weapons or war.

Leave it to me to find a way to use an emotion related to beauty and selfless kindness and turn it into a weapon.

Yes, I can give my love freely when I please. I can love my family unconditionally.

However, once I have a problem with my family from jealousy, I can withhold my love. I can make them feel unloved until they make up for my jealous emotions. This is not impossible since my jealously is based in past experiences. My family in the present cannot resolve problems from my past.

Instead of using my love as a weapon. I must stop and figure out why I’m trying to hurt my family through withholding my love and deal with that. I need to figure out why I’m in my emotional shadow. Once I realize I’m in-shadow, I need to feel and deal with my past.

I don’t know where the towels go.

I don't know where the towels go.
I don’t know where the towels go.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”
“I don’t know where the towels go.”
“I don’t know where the towels go.”
“I don’t know where the towels go.”

That’s what I hear in my head every-time I look at our dinning room table. The dinning room table is heaped with the clothes from 3 boys and 2 adults. Some of it is sectioned off according to the person it belongs to. Some of it is communal clothes like towels.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

That’s what I hear in my head every-time I look around our house at the dirty clothes lying around waiting to be gathered and put in the laundry system we have at the house. This system consists of one hamper for darks, one hamper for colors, one hamper for whites, and one hamper for reds. Most of these hampers are empty.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

That’s what I hear in my head every-time I step over clothing to get to my bed at night. The low inner nagging voice that’s constantly reminding me there’s something big and scary waiting to jump out and not kill me, but cause me great physical pain and humiliation.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

I just try to ignore these words, but a constant concept that I’m reminded of all the time. These constant words taunt me only to remind me of the despair I am stuck with.

One of my jobs is the laundry in the house. Two of the last three weekends involved my family camping. With camping comes the mountains of dirty clothes that has accumulate from:

  • The week leading up to the trip because we’re focusing on packing and having “camping” clothes.
  • The previous laundry loads that was piling up.
  • The actually clothes we used during camping.
  • The backup of clothes that turns into a mountain once all the camping clothes are washed.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

You see, in our house, we don’t actually have a spot for the towels. We kinda have some places where they go, but nothing defined. If I put them there, it kinda adds to the laundry mess. I’m also waiting for something scary, painful and humiliating to happen, so there’s no need to spark that into happening.

In essence, the whole “laundry machine” comes to a screeching halt.

With the halt of the “laundry machine”, the downfall of the whole tidy house system falls apart. It’s too monumentous to restart again. Also, if I just ignore it, maybe it’ll go away and things can restart on their own.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

I try to restart the “laundry machine” it might break for good never to be restarted again. I can try to restart this “laundry machine” quietly once I give it sometime to calm down. Did I also mention I’m deftly afraid of the scary thing waiting to jump out and cause my great physical harm and humiliation?

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

So when my loving wife sees that the “laundry machine” has stopped, she does come up with some great ideas to restart the machine. She makes some great suggestions like we should just take it all to the laundromat and get it all done.

“I don’t know where the towels go.”

She doesn’t hear the constant voice reminding me of my failure. The voice that points to an impending doom wrapped up in pain and humiliation. She doesn’t feel the feeling of terror that is just around the corner if she wakes the monster. It’s a monster waiting to pounce and renders his destruction and terror on all that is around when things aren’t done.

I then become the monster I fear. I become the terror, painful, and humiliating person I fear most.

What should I do?

Stop ignoring the voice. Recognize the fear I have. The fear I have is from my past. A time when I was terrified of having to clean up with no hope of an end. The painful and humiliating moments when I failed at a task I didn’t know how to finish. That fear was brought to the present moment. I projected that terror on my current family life. That terror was imposed on my happy family. A terror from my past that I now have control over if I give up that control to the source url F get link alse follow url E vidence A source site ppearing R go to link eal.

I’m a man with my own family setting my own rules. No need to live it the past. I can become the monster I fear or I can take ownership of my life.

I know where the towels go. They go where I want them to.

Hello world!

Here it is.  My first post.  Nothing special to see yet.

Of course, I have to get back to work before someone realized I have been working on getting my wordpress site up.