Tag Archive | heartache

When Hope Happens

A couple of weeks ago, I had all the kiddos over for the night.  In fact, it was the same night that the previous post came out of.  While getting ready for work on a Friday morning, I had just weighed in and discovered a 3lb loss.  Can you believe I was mildly bummed?  I thought to myself, “Kim, since when is a 3lb loss a small loss to you?”

Oh, I know.  When Leif showed me that my body wasn’t broken and actually had the potential to lose 8 lbs in one week!!

I have worked really hard to not have any expectations for this process.  I have tried really hard to stay detached from it and to simply follow the plan and let Leif worry about everything else.  4 Years of disappointment with my body has taught me to not have any long term expectations of losses. At the same time, I have tried to not get super excited on the good weeks either.  If history repeats itself, it won’t last right?

We are on week 7 now and the 2 weeks following that amazing 3 lb loss I gained 1 and lost 1.  It is difficult to to not go to the dark place that perhaps my wacky thoughts are true.  It is difficult to NOT drown in disappointment.  It is a daily fight to remain neutral on either of these spectrums of emotion.  The spectrum that ranges from hope….to disappointment.  It is difficult to NOT write scathing emails to Leif reminding him that I told him so, that my body was F’d up!

I keep reminding myself, sometimes daily and sometimes moment by moment, that I promised him and myself 20 weeks to let him do his thing.  20 weeks to figure out my body.  20 weeks to do something that no one else has been able to do.  For 20 weeks, I would simply follow the plan and let him worry about changes.

Here is the dilemma.

  •  I am a control freak.  This works for me and against me in Leif’s plans.  His plans  are very calculated and controlled.  Every bite is measured and weighed.  This works for my need for control.  However, they are HIS plans and I have no control over them.  I cannot change them.  I have to trust this man whom I have never even spoken verbally to, to come up with plans for my body that will hopefully yield results.
  • Hope happened.  I didn’t want to hope in this process.  Like I said, I have worked really hard to be neutral about it all.   I know hope happened though because I have felt a lot of disappointment, especially these last couple of weeks and I know you can’t know disappointment without first knowing hope.   Hope feels good, but man disappointment, well, it hurts.  And once you know it, you can’t un-know it!

So, now I have hope.  Leif keeps changing things each week.  Sometimes they are big changes and sometimes they are small ones.  Sometimes they are nutritional only changes and sometimes they are workout related changes.  I am learning that although I can’t count on my body to do what I hope for or even expect (especially when I am near perfect in following the plan) I can count on an email before I go to bed on weigh in day of what I need to change for the next week.  I can count on Leif analyzing my results and figuring out a course of action.

So, for now, I will work to trust that…and I will work to remember the words of my niece that Friday morning as I got ready for work.  “Auntie, I think you shrunk!”  I will also work to remember that in 6 weeks I am down 18 lbs.  The 7 year old just might be seeing some truth that I don’t see yet.  Perhaps I should listen to the wisdom of a child.

The Proverbial Wagon

**DISCLAIMER: I have had a couple of drinks tonight and probably should NOT be writing, however, I have wanted to write about this for a while but have not. I have let other things stop me and in this moment I simply don’t care to let those things bother me, so write I will. I have not written about this because on the one hand I didn’t want Demond to know I was upset or struggling at all and because I don’t want to even appear to talk bad about someone I love dearly. But the truth is, blogging/writing helps me process. This blog started out for me as a place to process and I am not about to let the thought that he MIGHT read this interfere with what I do to process my life.

Short Story: Since just after Nashville, I am officially no longer training with Demond, although the reality is that the breakup probably occurred 2 weeks before Nashville 2011.

Long Story: I don’t even know how to write out this saga without getting really upset because the truth is, I am not completely sure what happened. I mean, I know the facts but none of it makes sense and I have spent the last few weeks sad and discouraged and trying to figure out what I did wrong and how I could fix it all. But the reality is, I don’t think I did anything wrong. I questioned my trainer and asked for clarification on some things. That is all. And somehow, that was the wrong thing to do.

I have gone from grieving the loss of not only another trainer, but someone I thought was a friend, someone who said we were family and that we work through things together. Someone who said they would be with me in my journey until the end…and now they are not…and I am no longer sad about this. I am pissed off.

I am angry that things happened the way they did. I am angry that he did not seem to want to try to work things out. I am angry that his last communication to me was to never speak to him again. I am angry that I put so much trust in one person. I am angry that I didn’t trust myself more along the way. But mostly I am angry that I have let this situation…derail me.

Picture the proverbial wagon. I am in the wagon, riding along…everything seems fine, then out of no where, I am told I am unfocused and that I am doing things that are counterproductive (running) to my goals.

In trying to understand what was meant by these statements all sorts of drama unfolded. I hung tight in my seat though on this wagon, through Nashville, because I WAS focused. I was focused on living a healthy lifestyle and LIVING an active life.

As I continued to ride though, I was forced to make a decision about whether I wanted to continue to train with Demond or not and I chose not to. I know it seems like a big jump to go from having questions to deciding to leave him but there is ALOT I am not saying…and the issue for me came down to trust. I no longer trusted him…and how can you work with someone on such an intimate struggle without that?

I still clung to that wagon, although I was now bouncing around in the back with no driver in the seat. I was in a runaway wagon that was no longer on a clear marked path…and I got bounced out. I went to my all time comfort of food to cope as I sat in the dust and licked my wounds and felt sorry for myself. I cried. I placed blame on myself and others. I ate. Uncontrollably. It has been YEARS since I have been this bad on this front.

And now, I am pissed off. While the choices I have made since getting bounced out of the wagon are absolutely mine to own, the stuff leading up to it, was not mine. I have carried it long enough.

It all ends here. I am standing up and chasing after that blasted wagon. I have an appointment scheduled with a potential new trainer next week. His words have brought hope to me as we have communicated by email so far.

And I am cautiously optimistic. There is a TON of questions to be answered before I sign on with any new trainer…but I am actively looking…and in the meantime…I start again on a good plan tomorrow morning of healthy eating and living. I know enough about exercise and nutrition to get started…again.

What is that up ahead in the distance? Is that MY wagon??

Nights Like This

Nights like this seem to be coming more frequently.  Nights where I lay awake cursing God for healing my heart and opening me up to feeling everything all at once.  This is night 2 of laying awake in sheer exhaustion from turning all my feelings around in my heart and trying to silence the questions and longings that fill my head and my heart together.  I know I should be grateful that I feel because to feel is to be alive, right?  But sometimes it is so incredibly painful that I just wonder if the healing was worth it.  I long for the days when I could numb out and simply not feel…and yet I don’t.

Nights like this I lay wondering…who am I?  What am I about?  Where is my commitment?  Do I have what it takes?  Will I ever be done?  Am I sabotaging myself?  Am I making the right decisions?  Is there a better way?  A different way?  What does it all matter for anyway?  Am I destined to be fat forever? Am I brave enough?  Am I strong enough?  What is my purpose?  What is my life about?  Do I have anything to give?  What the heck are my interests outside of trying to lose weight these days anyway?  WHO AM I?  What am I afraid of?  what is my biggest fear?  Is God even there?  Does He even see me anymore or has He left me all alone?  Where is my faith?  Maybe I should just quit? Do I have the courage to press on?  What is getting in my way?  What is in me that doesn’t want to be thin and healthy and beautiful? What are my dreams?  Do I have any anymore?  Can I even see beyond this current obstacle?  When will enough be enough?  Who am I?  I feel so alone in all of this. Who can understand me when I don’t understand myself and can’t even begin to explain. I miss having friends around on a daily basis. I miss GR.  I miss my friends, really. Where is the girl who can be so focused?  Has that focus become my downfall?  Has that focus just left me isolated from life?  Why do I take one step forward and two steps back every time?  What happened to the girl Coach calls “hardcore” and “champ” and “tenacious”?  As much as I know about TBL behind the scenes, I wonder if i should apply again, perhaps that is the only place that can make my body shift out of this?  Do I really want that method?  I don’t know.  How do I not worry?  How does one simply let go of control?  How do you let go of numbers?  Numbers don’t lie.(No, I have not gotten on the scale outside of my last weigh in).  Am I too much?  Not enough?  My friends have gotta be tired of this storyline in my life, I know I am…I wonder once again if this time is different or will it be like all the other times in years past?  If I am sabotaging myself, it would be nice to know how and why so I could fix it?  What is wrong with me?  What still needs to be fixed inside of me?  Why does my body want to hold on to something so bad for me?  What is my heart holding on to?  God, where are you when I feel like I need you most?

I don’t have answers to any of these thoughts and questions.  I don’t know how to stop the flood of fears and doubts and worries and sadness and loneliness and….tears.

All I know is I am too stubborn to quit and yet I am weary…afraid…homesick…disbelieving…distrusting…lacking faith…anxious…

On nights like this, the thoughts just keep coming and I go round and round…with no answers to be found.  At least not any that I like.   It is now 1 AM and I am no closer to answers or sleep…but I suppose I should at least close my eyes and try.

He Said YES!! And The Great Sadness

OK, first of all I am super excited!  Demond pushed me on Saturday and tested out my knee and finally determined I can do the Turkey Trot!  Yeah, I still cried with the good news!

So today, I went for my first run outside since the BHBH run in early October and my first run of any kind since my initial knee injury.  I headed for my beloved trails and wanted to see how quickly I could pull out a mile on land.  I pulled out a 15 minute mile, interval style.  Not bad.  However, due to some poor decisions the night before(girls night out and waay too much wine), I was quite dehydrated I think and my quads were already tight from more silly decisions the night before….so all of this resulted in some MAJOR leg and side cramps the whole way.  It was a rather painful 1 mile run, but I have never been more happy to be able to run!

Yesterday’s workout with Demond was…great!  It was good to see him again and to get re-energized with some new stuff to do.  He had me push out a mile on the Octane in just over 7 minutes.  Hella hard!  He does NOT let me breathe!  It is ridonkulous!  Then we headed over to the weight room and did a whole round of stuff there.  WHo knew that spreading your arms wide and bringing your hands together for 1 minute would be so difficult and whine producing!

I gotta say, this is why I DON’T watch myself in the mirror when working out.  While doing the arm thing I was wearing a tank top and all I could see was the hanging, underside of my arms flapping back and forth.  I kid you not, I could have sailed a boat with these arms of mine!  LOL

From there, we moved back to the cardio room where he put me on the treadmill and did walking intervals with the incline increasing by 2 every 2 minutes until we got to incline level 12!!  Might as well have been climbing a mountain folks!  To distract me, I made him tell me his story of becoming a trainer…dude, I THOUGHT he had a lot of experience…but umm no….he DOES have a lot of experience…I am pleased with my choice…still…so far! 🙂

The Great Sadness

So frequent followers or long-term followers know that in September I had a pretty major meltdown, took a weekend off to regroup and refocus and started again.  I was doing some journaling the other day and I was reading some stuff I had written over the last couple of months and I am realizing that while September was the height of things in that area, I am continuing to struggle emotionally.  It seems that while there are positive and happy moments and things going on, everything seems to have this dark cloud of gloom or sadness cast over it.  Everything positive gets tagged with a “but” after it in my head.

  • Sure you wore a new outfit last night that you bought a year ago and couldn’t wear…but you have still gained weight.
  • Yes!  I get to run the turkey trot but…your not doing the 10K like last year
  • Yes! I have a new trainer who in all logic looks like he could really help me make some progress, but I don’t fully believe it will happen.

Those are just a few and in the last couple of days I think I am finally starting to see what is what and to call it by name and in reality it kinda scares me.

I think I may be struggling with depression.  There.  I have said it.  I can’t take it back.

If I was able to shake it off after a couple of days I would chalk the crazy crying, the lack of motivation, the desire to simply sleep when I am not actively busy and committed to someone else, up to PMS or a bad couple of days.  But really, after looking at my journal, it has been several months.

I realized in September, after logging into an old email account and finding a bunch of old emails between Coach and I, that this weight loss journey has really been going on for about 5 years now, not the 2 I claim!  It has just been the last 2 that I have been most consistent with it.

That is a long time guys.  And in reality, it is hard to believe that my body will ever change when for a year and a half it hasn’t gone in the right direction.  I KNOW that I need to have more faith.  I need to trust.  I need to cast my cares upon God.  I know that if I just keep going things will have to change at some point.  I know that the scale is not the only measure of progress.  I know that despite no weight loss, I have reduced my cholesterol from borderline high and heading towards possible medication to smack in the middle of normal range.  I know these things.  I also know that I can do more today than I could 2 years ago.  I know I am getting stronger every day.  I know that I now have more than one muscle.  Trust me.  I see and know all these things.  I am constantly pointing them out to myself when the thoughts of doubt and despair come.

But I also know that 2 years ago when I agreed to walk with God down that healing path from the childhood sexual abuse, I also had hopes that once I completed that part of the journey, the lbs would begin to melt off of me, since  I have come to believe it was those events that initiated the weight gain as a child.  The reality is, that I lost weight while walking through that process and when that process ended for me and I stopped being angry with God over a lot of that stuff and chose to begin trusting Him fully, I stopped losing weight.  I don’t know if it is a coincidence or if I really do have a demon on my back seeking to take me out of this.  If so, he’s got another thing coming.

No matter how sad or disappointed I am in the struggle of the last 2 years and beyond, I refuse to give up.  The shadow may linger, but I cannot let it consume me.

While I KNOW in my head this is not true, it FEELS like God doesn’t really care about this aspect of my life.  It feels like He was ever so present during the whole heart healing/abuse healing phase of all of this and since then it feels like he has kinda left me on my own again to battle this out without Him. Frankly, it pisses me off.  It doesn’t exactly help with the trust factor.  I know there are a whole lot of lies in here that are twisting truth around for me.  I just don’t know how to untangle them all and really I am too tired of trying to.  It is easier to just keep plugging along…

Ugh, I know I am rambling and may need to pick this up again later.  For now, I just thought I would share where I was at.  But for now, I promised Demond I would be in bed by 10 PM each night.

Pool Workout And Turkey Trot

Yesterday I did a pretty crazy pool workout.  I spent over an hour in the pool, and that was with cutting the last few things short!  Here is what Demond gave me to do.

  • Swim 5 laps regular
  • run 5 laps regular (turns into 10 when you can only go halfway across the pool because of depth)
  • Swim 5 laps breast stroke
  • run 5 laps with high knees
  • swim 5 laps backstroke
  • run 5 laps backward (hella hard)
  • hang on to the wall and kick (regular style) 5 minutes
  • tread water for 5 minutes
  • hang on wall and breast stroke kick 5 minutes
  • tread water for 5 minutes
  • sit fully submerged up to neck in hot tub 15 minutes ( I got about 5 in.  So sad.)
  • if anything is left in me, go in sauna for a few minutes

OK, so I cut the treading and kicking down to 3 minutes each so I could have time to get at least 3 minutes in the hot tub.  Before the hot tub piece, it was an hour and 15 minutes of working out…for a measly 698 calories burned.   That was frustrating.

But I learned something.  I don’t know how to breaststroke.  I know the concept  but somehow I don’t have the coordination or skill to get my legs and arms to do what they are supposed to do AND move myself forward at the same time.  I also learned later that my head is supposed to be underwater???  Uummm….yeah….don’t know what I am doing.  It seems I didn’t really move much when I tried it…so I did the right arms, did a freestyle kick and kept my head above water and…I moved!  Sheesh!  Maybe I need to go back to swim lessons.  All I cared about last time I took lessons was being able to swim 500 meters freestyle for that very first triathlon relay!

So now for the Turkey Trot.  Long time readers may recall that last Thanksgiving I ran my first ever 10K at the Detroit Turkey Trot.  Well, I have been looking forward to this race all year but decided I was gonna shoot for a record-breaking 5k.  I have talked a couple of friends from work(who have never run before) to train and run it, my friend Silvery is doing it, and Jenny G is in town with a couple other friends.  So the plan has been for a grand morning of fun!  Well, I have not run, a regular run since my knee injury several weeks ago now.  Since starting with Demond last week, he wanted me to hold off on running while my knee continued to rest and heal, even though it felt fine.  He has been looking out for the intense impact stuff on the knee.

What I DID NOT realize up until Wednesday night was that me doing the turkey trot at all was up in the air.  I happened to mention it to him and my concern that I have not run any distance at all and when can I even attempt it before race day.  That is when I found out he was not certain I should.  Not certain I shouldn’t either.  He wanted me to hold off until after the planned pool workout.

I, a certified control freak, am working on trust and so I said ok.  I would hold off on registering until then.  So last night, my knee felt great.  No twingees, no acheys, no nothing.  So I asked.  Can I sign up.  Hold off till morning he says.  Hmm ok.  He must know something or be looking for something I don’t know to look for or wait for.

So this morning, I chose to skip my workout for 2 reasons.  1.  I am/was exhausted.  I have had late nights every night this week and super early mornings as well.  2.  I was afraid that if I felt something weird during my workout it would for sure be a no to the race.  So I wanted to avoid that possibility.

It didn’t help.  I stood up and immediately felt a tightness in my knee.  Before even walking on it to test it, I texted him and told him the status.  He said yes, I could do the race.

YAY!!!!  I was sooo relieved.  You have no idea how I was fighting premature disappointment.   I actually fell asleep fighting tears and for the first time in my life, woke up with tears as if I had been crying in my sleep.   WTF is that?

Then I started moving around and getting ready for my shower and I felt my knee.  It wasn’t awful.  It wasn’t painful as in give me meds, but it was noticeable.  It was slightly uncomfortable.  It wasn’t right.  I knew then that while he said yes, I had to give him this info.  I finally agreed that I would hold off until tomorrow when I see him again to register so he can check it out and we can talk about it.

I am not gonna lie.  I want to do that race so bad.  Before the injury, you know I was working on my speed and was excited to see if I could pull out a 14 min mile average.  So the possibility of not being able to do it, with my friends, is so devastatingly disappointing.

Last year when Jenny and I ran it, we agreed that it was our Thanksgiving run.  We would be running in Thanksgiving to God that we could.  We would honor him with our bodies and thank him that each day we are learning to live more healthy lives with more healthy bodies.  A run that spoke volumes in action of LIVING and not DYING.

I was looking forward to that again.

I know.  There are other ways to do that. But honestly guys, I love running.  I miss it. And I know it is a huge leap from this slight injury, but there is a fear that I will never run again or perhaps I will lose that love.

I want to run WITH my friends.  I know I can still go and cheer them on and will do that regardless.  But man…I really wanted to run with Gabe, who hasn’t run a lick and show him up cause as skinny as his butt is….I got him beat in cardio.  I know that this fat girl can out run this skinny punk kid!  Hands down!(Love You Gabe!)  Then Jeff, who has been running some, I think.  Oh how fun to celebrate his last year in his 20’s as he lives life bigger than ever, seeking out ways to go sliding full speed into his 30’s next year. (Jeff, half marathon baby-Your coming to Nashville!  And you never gave me your list!).  Then to run with Silvery who has a goal of running this 5k for the first time with out walking at all and has been training like a crazy woman!  And Jenny, whom I love dearly and has been waking me up every morning…would just love to run with her again, even for a moment as we start out and she quickly leaves me in the dust!  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yeah, the possibility of not running…mega sad.

And yet, I won’t risk permanent or serious injury over a 5k.  So if Demond says it is not wise, for real…I will listen and obey….and I will probably shed a tear or two.  Oh who am I kidding a few have already been shed!  I will cry buckets!

Rising Again-A Scale Tale

I had my weigh in and assessment yesterday.  My plan to NOT see the scale number until I met with Jess fell through since they were incredibly busy at my Dr.’s office.  I ended up weighing myself and seeing the results first thing in the morning.

I currently weigh 303.2

Yes, that is a 4 lb gain from a month and a half ago, despite a change in eating plan and increased workouts with Jess and of course triathlon training kicking into high gear.

Needless to say, I was upset.  I cried all day long, barely holding it together at work.  I was angry, I was confused and I was scared.  I asked myself a ton of questions all day.  COuld I have done anything different?  Did I cheat more than I thought?  Were my not so good days more impactful or worse than I thought?  Perhaps I shouldn’t have skipped that workout or 2??  Am I just repeating history?  Am I just going back the way I always have in the past just at an even slower pace than ever before?  How have I sabotaged my results?  Why is this number so freaking important to me?  Do I just need a break from all this?  What MORE can I do?  What am I doing?  How much more can I take?

In the end, there were no clear answers except this:  I worked hard.  I have accomplished alot.  This number does not accurately reflect what I have done.  This number is not about what I didn’t do, because I did the work.  If the math is correct, I should have lost 12 lbs in the last 12 weeks.  But I didn’t so what ELSE is going on.

After crying through the day I went and met with Jess.  We talked for almost 2 hours and NEVER actually worked out.  The first 45 minutes I just cried my frustrations and fears and concerns and anger and all of it.  She said lots of good things, but more than that she made me say out loud and recognize what I have done in the last couple of weeks,  Such as my lack of floatability, and my lack of wardrobe, 1800 calorie burn days, 24 minute 1/2 mile swims…things like that.  She made me recognize AGAIN the measurements that matter, the ones that are the true evidence of a life changed.   But even better than all that, she listened.  She let me simply be upset.

Soon though I was sick of crying and was ready to find out the rest of the numbers.  If the scale was gonna be awful, at least I could have something positive to take from this assessment, right?  ummmm sorta.

I lost a 1/4 inch in my thighs and another 1/4 inch in my neck.

ok…she showed me the page with all my numbers listed and asked me what I thought.

I don’t know what I am supposed to think.  Should it could it have been better?  Measurements are a new thing for me.  I know with the scale, 2 lbs a week is healthy and attainable and reasonable.  But these, are foreign to me.  I suppose I would have liked to see more inches gone.  I suppose I would have liked to have seen my hips change, since they have not changed at all since we started taking measurements.  But regardless of all that I suppose, this is what I got and it will have to be what it is, for now.

We continued to talk about all sorts of things, mostly a plan of attack and theories on what is happening.  Here is what is boils down to.

  1. She has been figuring my caloric intake based on a mathematical equation.  The equation works for many people, however in others it can be pretty off track.  She is thinking that it is the latter for me, which means, I am likely STILL not eating enough calories, especially considering what I am burning during workouts.
  2. My workouts that I do outside of her training sessions may be too intense.  Because I am always in training for something, I am always pushing myself in speed, or distance or time.  Therefore, my heart rate is always being pushed out of the ideal fat burning aerobic zone.  While I do a TON of cardio in my swimming, biking, running, it is no longer effective for my weight loss goals because of the intensity.  Also, because I am always in training mode, she has no days/times that she can work in cardio for me to work in that ideal zone.  Her suggested solution was to lay off the races for a while.  I am allowed to do Bostwick this weekend and my August one (Girls Best Friend) but I am NOT allowed to sign up for any more triathlons or races.  I didn’t ask but I am assuming 5K’s are ok, because I run a 5k all the time.  It doesn’t take extra training for me to do that.  This also means the GR Half Marathon in October is temporarily off the table.  I may be allowed later to do it, bit for now…no.

Sooo basically, I have been working my A$$ off and shooting myself in the foot in terms of actual weight lost.   This however does not negate all the positive things/changes that have occurred.  It just means that I am not maximizing the results I want.

The solution.

I am having some metabolic testing done.  I just got it scheduled today, for July 13th.  These tests will figure out without a shadow of a doubt what my calorie intake needs to be based on my true Resting Metabolic Rate as well as how my body uses oxygen and energy at different heart rate levels.  This information will in turn tell me what range my HR needs to be at to burn the most fat.  With those two very accurate numbers, I should begin to see the lbs melting off.

I am excited for these tests!  Until then, the plan is to kinda relax a bit.  Eat responsibly, healthily and frequently, but without killing myself to count every calorie and to exercise but NOT in a training mode.  Swim or Bike or Run or work with Jess, but not back to back in the same day.

So while Monday was awful, it was also SOOO good to feel every bit of the emotion tied to it all.  It was also awesome to realize how quickly I rebounded.  By Tuesday morning I was hopeful again and ready to keep going.  Not once did the thought of quitting enter my mind.  It wasn’t even an option.  And now, I am good.  Excited to get some scientific answers to why my body isn’t conforming to my expectations.

S.A.L.T.S

Immediately after finishing Nashville half-marathon I headed into a week-long conference called Survivors of Abuse Leadership Training Seminar.  This is a training seminar so I could potentially lead groups like the Retelling Group I participated in, in the fall of 2008.  This is the group/training that really helped me so much in actually dealing with my sexual abuse.

Until Nashville was over, I couldn’t really focus on this.  I knew what I was heading to, but I didn’t spend much time thinking about it.  This would be all 12 weeks of my retelling group crammed into 5 days combined with a training element. It would be intense.  I figured it would be emotional.   I figured it would be tough.

I had no idea.

When I did Retelling, also called Grace Group, the first time.  It was rough.  I often wanted to puke as I headed to group and even after as I looked at and talked about in great detail, my abuse and all of the aftermath of it and how I dealt with it.   So heading into this, I was expecting more of the same…x 5000.

I underestimated how tough this week would be actually.  I thought I knew what the subject matter would be.  I have come to be far more comfortable talking about this subject.  However, I was completely unprepared for the direction God would take me during this week.

On breaks I found myself escaping back to my room, chatting with Coach trying to process some of this stuff.  I was a hot mess, barely holding it together and finding myself full of questions without any clear answers.  And wouldn’t you know, that on the most painfully emotional and longest day ever, they served fried chicken for dinner, with baked as an alternate…but still…in the midst of some serious crap, I had to make some choices about food.  It wasn’t like I was being painfully conscious of my food intake that week other than to make sure that I didn’t go into crazy eating or NOT eating.  But fried chicken…well shoot…that is my ultimate comfort food as you all know.

I passed on this.  I took the baked chicken. 🙂

I wish I had words to best explain what this week was for me, except I am still not sure.   The week after, I refused to think about it much at all.  I was exhausted.  Physically and emotionally and I needed a break.  So that brought me to last week.  Where all heck broke loose within me.  I was wild and angry it seemed all the time. Stuff that had gotten stirred up at SALTS was back in my head and I couldn’t ignore it and yet I still didn’t and don’t know what to do with it all…except experience it all.   Because if I have learned nothing else over the last year and a half, it is this.  Stuffing it in any form does not work.

Here is some of what I learned from my week.

1.  I am not done with this story in my life and may not ever be…and that is ok.  Unraveling it is like peeling an onion.  One layer at a time and the onion is much bigger than I thought.

2.  I realized that I still very easily dismiss and disbelieve people when they compliment me, particularly new people.  I thought I had gotten better at this, since I know I don’t so easily dismiss compliments from people who know me well…but apparently not, at least not all the time.  This isn’t to say I NEVER believe a compliment, but I am quick to dismiss and disbelieve new ones.

3.  The longings of my heart are coming unburied and it is hard to acknowledge them and the fear that they will never come true.   I wrote a lament to God during this week filled with all sorts of questions I had for Him and expressing my longings to Him.  One thing I noticed during this week is sometime over the last months I hadn’t fully noticed that I felt like I was alone in life again.  If you have been reading for a while, you know that for almost a year straight I could almost feel the tangible presence of God walking with me.  During this week, I noticed that presence seemed to be gone again and I wasn’t exactly sure when it went away and therefore couldn’t fix it.  But when I wrote that lament, expressing myself fully and honestly to God telling Him I needed to hear from Him…suddenly my mind was filled with words that were not merely my thoughts and my pen began writing furiously in the dark of night as I sat on the shores of Lake Michigan.  God answered me…and I was not alone.  It was precious. I am grateful to know that no matter what it feels like I am not alone…ever!

4,  I met some pretty amazing people, each with stories of their own that have had them entrapped in their own ways.  AS we all entered into each others stories, hearing them and asking for the details that no one ever wants to say out loud, we learned together, that shame only has power when it is held in silence.  When we are released from that shame by speaking the shameful things out loud and we hear from others the TRUTH and not the lies, freedom comes racing in and we become free to live who we are called to be…and we are then free to enter someone else’s story in much the same way to bring them to greater freedom and healing.  Jason-stepped into a confidence that un-nerved me.  If I wasn’t careful, he might have been able to see into my soul, so I avoided him for a bit and dismissed him a lot, until I realized how I was hurting him.  But he was great!  He pursued me until I was able to look him in the eye…and you know what I discovered after 5 days?  He has blue eyes! HA!  Jeff brought an insurmountable amount of courage as he faced his own story.  Watching him struggle gave others, ME, courage to keep pressing in.  Kathy brought a tender presence with her.  She was so prayerfully discerning and yet so vulnerable in her need to be heard as well.  It was amazing to watch how a quiet voice can still be heard. Shari brought a great longing to be loved for you she is and as she is…and she was…and is.  It was awesome to watch her literally transform from a tough girl to a happy-go-lucky girl!  Teresa brought a passion for others first and learned that she needed to come first.  That her story is valid and true and worthy of being heard…and now she is so much freer to go out and minister to others.  I am forever grateful that these beautiful people showed up and were in my group and were willing to go to very dark places in their own stories and to pursue me into mine.

I know this is a vague post.  I am being deliberate in this.  I want to be honest but also want to be wise in sharing all parts of this aspect of my story in such a public way.  I also want to encourage anyone who has a story of any kind of abuse in their life…physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, etc…that there is power and freedom that comes from telling your story in a safe place.

Visit Open Hearts Ministry and contact them to find out if there is a Grace Group in your area or see if you can’t attend the next SALTS training.  I truly believe that everyone’s story needs to be heard and shared in a way that can bring healing.

So where am I now in all of this?  I am sitting in it. AS I talked with Aaron about some of this, he said to me that if I am committed to redemption then forgiveness is necessary.  Honestly, this comment was a thorn in my side this past week…because it is true.   He pointed out later that as a person who is committed to redemption, I don’t get to pick and choose who that redemption is for.  Either I am living a redeemed life with redemption and forgiveness available for all…or I am not.  (Note: redemption/forgiveness does not mean no consequences)  So now I get to decide some things…to walk out redemption with a person in my life…or not.