So it is going to be a bit difficult to write this post without sounding like a whiner....but really...I'm not! The fact is...in the last decade I have had one crisis, loss, tragedy, problem, and down right bad day after another. It started in 2000 when my youngest son was born prematurely and had a five month roller coaster stay in the neonatal unit, followed by finding out my mother had lung cancer (this was her third cancer) on the same day that my husband suddenly died of a brain aneurysm. Then we had mom's radiation and chemotherapy, followed by her death. Then we almost lost our home. Then we did lose our home and moved to the home I grew up in (and don't think that didn't cause some head-in-the-bag hyper-ventilating moments). Then I had issues with my son. He had drug issues, and behavior issues, and "I hate my mother" issues. Then the stress of it all caused ME health issues. And then there were the money issues brought on partly by my health issues and the resulting bills. We also had the health issues of my youngest son......and the multitude of trips to the ER, the stays in the hospital and the numerous times his little life was in danger of ending. Then my older son began having health issues which were followed by almost a months worth of hospital stays. I then began dealing with creditors constantly harassing me over unpaid bills which were unpaid because I couldn't find a job that was willing to let me take off at the drop of hat if my youngest son got sick.
Amazingly....I did eventually find a job that was willing to work with me, only to find myself in a job with a bipolar CEO (my diagnosis...nothing was ever officially proven) and an administrative clique that would rival even the nastiest high school mean girls. Because I was unwilling to bow down and take the character assassinations they were doling out to all those they considered "beneath" them....one stooped to the level of calling me out as a mother. All hell broke loose and I quickly ended my employment. Then there were more children's health issues, more hospital stays, more unpaid bills, more bill collector calls, my father's failing health, and once again the possibility of eventually losing my home....and no possibility of a job that would be willing to work with my situation. Now I know all of this sounds pretty gloomy and dark....not to mention like something out of a bad soap opera....but this has been my life. Now, I guess this is the part where I should follow up and say....there have been blessings mixed in with all of this. There have been happy times and I have gotten to know who my friends truly are and realized that I have had some friends all along that I didn't even know were there. But the fact remains I have issues with trust. Not really with trusting people (although that last job did put some peoples motives in question)...but my real trust issues are with LIFE! When you have a stretch of life where you have a consistent assault of issue ridden years, it is very hard not to spend your time looking over your shoulder and waiting for the next illness, death, piece of bad news....or basically waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I went to a therapist for a while who told me that I had what was called...post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) and her advice was for me to relax. How could I possibly relax when the other shoe could drop at any moment? Stupid woman!!!! But actually the PTSS did make some sense to me, although I knew that the "relaxing" thing probably wasn't going to happen.
I did however take a step back and start paying more attention to the world around me. There were many people who had it so much worse than I did and often times they did not appear to have the "what next?" attitude. And to be quite honest...I had been brought up by a faith filled mother who had given me enough verbal adages and life examples to get through anything. I know that God never gives me anything that I can't handle (although I am pretty sure at times....He has me confused with someone else) and I also know that if you pray you should have enough faith not to worry and to know that God will handle it all. Alas though...I am human....so I both pray and worry.
Today I woke up and it was a good day. We are all currently healthy and things seem to be going in a good direction (with the exception of a non-immediate family member or two). I still have piles of bills that glare at me monthly and a special little stack that will most likely only get paid if the government gives ME a bailout....but for today....things are good. I simply have to come to terms with the fact that I really have no control over tomorrow or even later today...and that God in His infinite wisdom is not picking on me or giving me more than I can handle.
But you know...even if life stays a steady course for awhile and there are no swarms of locust, natural disasters, or hospital runs....old habits are hard to break. So if you see me looking over my shoulder and sweating a little.....you will know it is just me....waiting for the other shoe to drop.