Posts Tagged ‘Support Groups’

Yesterday was a memorable day. My pretty much non-verbal, autistic, Mr 3 blew me away.

“Mummy? When [it] raining… when it stop… [we see] rainbow. Okay?”

Precious words from the gorgeous lips of my (no longer non-verbal!) little man!!! It was lunchtime, and he was busy munching on his favourite sandwich – sprinkles – and we were listening to the pelting of the rain on our tin roof. And he just started talking, right out of the blue (well, grey, actually, if that phrase is referring to ‘sky’ LOL). He’d obviously been thinking about when the rain would stop (although for most of the day, it just poured and poured and poured; the type of rain that you think will never ever end) and he verbalised what he’d been thinking about.

What a tear-jerker moment!!!

And what made it more special? Posting about it on Facebook and getting SO many supportive comments and ‘Likes’ from online friends. It was just SO incredible to be able to share it with those who know me, and know Mr 3 & our situation, and to see that they were as touched as I was by it. One comment especially made me think. Katherine Howard, I’m looking at you! She mentioned that it was “a lovely observation to verbalise” – and I couldn’t agree more! The idea of the ‘rainbow’. The beauty, after all the miserable-non-stop-rain; the happiness after the perpetual dreariness; even the promise of hope from the original Noah-and-the-Ark Bible story . It perfectly mirrored what had just happened. My little man, talking, after so many months of not. So unbelievably precious!

Wow. Just wow! It was a special, special day. 😀

Thanks for letting me share that with you, too, dear readers – and have yourselves some incredible days today, too! 😀

#gratitude

Posted: June 23, 2012 in #blogjune, Technology
Tags: , ,

This week has been rather an emotional one. I had a bit of a meltdown on Wednesday (sometimes it doesn’t take much!) but it was the huge numbers of messages of support from friends, both IRL and online, that left be stupefied, overwhelmed, and incredibly, incredibly, grateful.
Thanks do much, guys! You seriously ROCK!!!

And I’m walking that line right now. It’s pretty insane the rollercoaster ride of emotions I’ve been on over the last day.

I am now the proud (I think!) owner of a 13inch Macbook Pro. I am also the owner of a two week old, top of the range, Telstra Ultimate Mobile Broadband USB modem.

And who would have thunk it – the two ain’t compatible. And it’s taken over TWELVE (insert the worst expletive you can think of) HOURS of sitting on the phone to close to ten ‘consultants’ between the two companies. Plus the hour I spent sitting in the Caloundra Telstra shop today, getting their version of Tech Support. BTW there is absolutely no comparison between f2f and phone support. I was my usual polite self, but Nicole from 133933 must obviously have felt that hanging up on me was an appropriate way to treat a customer. I happen to disagree.

So now I’m on the downward slope. Heading towards depression. The best Telstra can do is offer me Tech Support with someone ‘who knows Macs’. Thursday of next week. The best Mac can offer is an appointment at their Chermside Genius Bar; Wednesday of next week.

Yay.

I wonder if I’ll ever actually blog from my own computer ever again?

blah.

Sorry for venting. And thanks for reading. I appreciate thinking that someone out there may actually care about the crappiness that I find myself in.

It’s been a big day. Woke up to discover my dream job for 2011 had been advertised on Monday, with submissions of applications by close of business YESTERDAY! (That’ll teach me for having a husband and two daughters all having birthdays this past week, and so not turning on my computer as much, won’t it!)

So I applied anyway. And then felt depressed all day. Youngest is teething (and whingy), middle child has a rash over her entire back from the neighbour’s over-chlorinated pool (and MEGA whingy) and eldest is… well… she’s just too like me on every day of the week, so we butt heads anyway. A LOT!

Hubby has been out at a staff retreat for the last few days, so he arrived home tonight. Just as I discovered a colony of ants were playing at falling out of the lovely home they had made in my cathedral ceilings, all over my lounge room. Over chairs, over cushions, over the inevitable collection of toys that accumulates throughout the day. Over literally everything. Yay. But thanks to my lovely twitter support group, a #virtualtweetup, and a pretty massive #sugarhit, I feel as though I can focus enough to blog for the day.

Hmmm… that’s right. My topic: momentous event in my life number four. The first time I felt ‘released’ from the emotional prison that was suffocating me. And again, I should probably fill in some details as to how I arrived in that prison in the first place. So settle in… this may take a moment or two…

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, once upon a time, I helped to lead a cult. Really? Yes. Really. In my second year of my B.Ed at Griffith, Mt Gravatt, I was sitting on the grass near the bus stop when a girl several years older than me walked up and, out of the blue, invited me to a Bible study. Shocked? Yes! Because how was she to know that, not 30 seconds earlier, I had just finished praying that I might be more committed to my Saviour, and that I would find the way to do this.

Long story short, I ‘studied the Bible’ with her – and her fellow “church” members – for the next ten days, a couple of hours at a time. (Wow! I must have had SO much free time on my hands back then!) By the middle of the studies, I could see where they were heading. Verses from the Bible had been chosen, and were studied in detail, in such a way that the proof was irrefutable – I was NOT (as I had thought all my life) saved, I was NOT a Christian, and only by joining this “church” would I then become a Christian, and be saved. Tell me tell you – I fought this and fought it! What they were saying was absolute anathema… but in all of it, I had to keep going back to the Bible. Seeing the words. And agreeing with their point of view, even though I didn’t want to, because, really, there was no other explanation. So I joined. And a few months later, moved out of my parents, into a “sisters” house, renting with other girls from the “church”. By Semester One of my third year, I was ‘in deep’. I had virtually lost all contact with my non-“church” friends, and my family. By the end of that semester, I was one of the two Interns. As in, the leader of the “church”, Jordie Barham at that time, and his wife, Paula, had one assistant (Intern) each, and together, the four of us led the whole of the Brisbane “church” – almost 200 members at that point in time. I had decided to postpone Semester Two, in order to devote 22 hours per day to my ‘work’, and I joked how I would tell my parents that it was just for the rest of the year, rather than (as I had planned) for the rest of my life.

But by September, I was completely burnt out. I had not yet succeeded in ‘being fruitful’ (converting someone through to “church” membership) and the Internship was stripped from me and given to another. A month or so later, I feigned illness on Sunday morning, and while everyone else was at church, put through a distress call to my parents. They picked me up, drove me around to the three different “sister’s houses” I had lived in and left possessions at, and then took me back to their house, before the others in the “church” were any the wiser. And then we all ignored the phone, which rang off the hook 24 hours a day for the next 4 days or so.

Still, I had left physically, but not left mentally or emotionally. I knew that when I had left their “church”, that I had walked away from my salvation. That I had turned my back on God. That I was going to hell. And I remained utterly convicted of that fact. Nothing could convince me otherwise. After all – I had seen it for myself, in the black and white words of the Bible.

I finished Uni and got married. I then fought constantly with my husband, as he, a Christian, couldn’t understand how I could be that ‘stubborn’ about my opinion. And then the inevitable happened. After two and a half years of marriage, we split up.

A week later, he came back. To find me as unrelenting as ever. I KNEW that I was going to hell, and nothing he could say or do would change that. He virtually begged me to go to marriage counselling. I agreed, but with the attitude that ‘nothing will change. They can’t convince me otherwise. I know it. I’ve seen it.’

So anyway, we went to counselling. Another couple, Graham Ballam and his lovely wife, the Baptist pastors at Victoria Point (where we were living) had one session with us. Just one. And then said, “You (two) don’t need marriage counselling. No – marriage counselling won’t work. Instead, you (Ceridwyn) need counselling. To get this wrong way of thinking out of your head. Because you’re wrong. What you believe. It’s wrong.”

My response? Sure. Bring it on. We agreed that I would go through ‘studying the Bible’ with them, each and every session, and I knew, I just KNEW, that by the end of it, I would have convinced them that they too, were not saved, not Christians, etc.

So it started. And it continued. And for every SINGLE verse, I explained the verse how the “church” had explained it to me. And then we would go back to the original meanings of the words themselves, in Hebrew and Greek, to the nuances of the verbs, to see whether the explanations provided by the “church” matched up with the reality of the original Hebrew and Greek words. And while the majority of them DID match up, there were one or two discrepancies. Maybe just in the ‘present continuous’ form of the verb being used, rather than what I had been taught, but it was enough. I saw a chink. A glimmer of light. And that was the beginning.

It took the best part of a fortnight. Hours and hours of debate, intense scrutiny of those same Biblical passages that had so convinced me of my hell-bound future. But it was worth it. By the end, I could smile. I could feel a peace that I hadn’t felt in years. And I felt, again, some hope. Again, just a glimmer… but it was a start. A release. I emerged from that prison a stronger person for being in there – and even more convicted of my God, and my salvation. So although I had endured quite a few years of being ‘bound and gagged’ (to quote the title of one of my brother’s movies), there was an end. A wonderful, wonderful end. Which, as it always does, resulted in a new beginning. Phew.

Well, that’s probably it for today. And I’d say that long enough too wouldn’t you agree?! Thank you for reading, and I’m heading back to say goodnight at that #virtualtweetup now…

 

I guess it’s really up to me, isn’t it – where I should draw the ‘line in the sand’, as it were, between sharing my life and revealing too much. What, really, am I comfortable with virtual strangers knowing about me, and various thoughts along a similar vein. I hadn’t found it particularly tough until today. And, being a master-procrastinator about certain things, I managed to maintain a healthy state of denial that the day was passing and I hadn’t yet blogged my third ‘momentous event’ in my  previously mentioned ‘list of six’. But it’s edging closer to 11pm, so I’d better get typing, I guess. Deadlines have always been great motivators for me.

This one’s hard. It’s ‘personal’. Not that the last two weren’t, but more that… well… hmmm… how to explain? Where to start? And yes, I realise that all of this prevaricating is just using up words while I try to build up the courage to type what I had said I was going to.

Ok. Here goes. I’m going to start now.

This event, third most ‘momentous in my life’, was the day of my release. Well, the second big release in my life, actually. The first, I’ll blog about tomorrow. But this one had a longer-lasting impact.

It would have been, most likely, sometime in 2002. (I’ll have to tell you about my EXTREMELY dodgy memory, sometime!) My husband and I had been attending Glasshouse Country Baptist Church for some time, and on this particular weekend, I had decided to attend the ‘retreat’ that had been planned for the Saturday. The topic was ‘Setting the Church free’, and all the attendees were focussing on different areas in our lives where we felt that we had been hampered by emotional (or spiritual) ‘baggage’. My analytical brain (as I mentioned yesterday – ever the dispassionate observer!) was having a very interesting day, having never experienced a retreat of that nature before.

Anyway, the focus shifted from topic to topic, looking at various aspects of our lives. Witchcraft, pornography, drugs, alcohol and nicotine addictions were all discussed… and then came the ‘miscarriage / abortion’ topic.

I was immediately floored, having absolutely ZERO idea that ‘miscarriage / abortion’ could even BE an area in which you could carry ‘baggage’. Looking back now, it is obvious that it would have been included, but at that time, I felt as though I had not only been hit by a train, but that the train involved was the Brisbane – Cairns express, and I was still plastered to the front of the engine.

Seven years earlier, I had miscarried my first child. I had been 12 weeks pregnant, and just starting to celebrate getting over the ‘danger period’. Whoops. And in 2002, losing that child had been my only experience of pregnancy (to that date). And, being seven years earlier, I had thought that I had ‘dealt with it’. “Heck!” I thought to myself, sitting in that hall, “I’d had my teacher interview with Ed.Queensland two days after leaving the hospital, hadn’t I?! So of course I’m over it! I don’t need to discuss it… or think about it… I’m not carrying any ‘baggage’!” But I knew that, for all my denial, there was a massive amount of pain sitting just below the surface. That my experience of miscarriage, as traumatic as it had been, needed a lot more ‘closure’ than all the trite words of friends and family at the time, and the passage of the following seven years.

So I gave in. I’d say that it was pretty obvious, from the tears gushing down my face (as they’re starting to do again now, sitting here at my computer) and the church elders, leading the session, were able to draw me aside, and talk through it. It’s funny… until that moment, I hadn’t thought to seek counselling over my miscarriage. I had just assumed that it had been a problem with me. That my body wasn’t up to the task of carrying a child. That I wasn’t worthy. And the overwhelmingly crushing guilt that accompanied those thoughts was just something I had to get used to, and live with.

Thankfully, I had attended that retreat that day. I heard someone speak to me of another who had had a similar experience. His child had died. Not as mine had, in utero, but as a child. And this person’s thoughts, and reactions, were recorded in a source I trusted implicitly – my Bible. The person was King David, and his son had died. And his response? He tells his servants, “Can I bring him (my son) back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” This is in the book of 2 Samuel, Chapter 12, verse 23.

Wow. God’s Word was telling me that I would see my child in heaven. “I will go to my child, but my child will not return to me.” WOW. This is GOD’S WORD telling me this. GOD! Even now, I am taken aback by the wash of emotions this creates in me. That even though I never got to see my child – my little, 12 week old baby – I never got to know whether it was a girl, as I had suspected – I never got to hold her, kiss her, or gaze into her face – that I can confidently expect to meet her (or was it a him?) in heaven when I get there. Wow. Just WOW. To have that hope again. Just… wow!

Something in me was fixed that day. Not wholly, but a pretty big part that I didn’t even realise was just so darned broken. A part of my life that I had never wanted to look at, touch or probe too deeply for fear of what was there, hiding, that I knew I couldn’t deal with. Even now… as I’ve just written… the emotions are so close to the surface it surprises me. And that’s after 15 years, and three successful pregnancies. Wow.

Anyway, I look back now and am SO glad for that release. I’m also glad because, since that day, I’ve been able to share my story – and that verse – with friends who have also miscarried. And perhaps given them some reassurance that it doesn’t really have to be ‘the end’, even though it feels just so darn final.

Phew. Okay. I’m going to stop typing now. I think that’s enough emotion for one night. Thank you, dear readers, for allowing me to share this small part of my life’s story with you.

Yours,

Ceridwyn