Open Heart Surgery (Entry #6)


It's been a while... since my last OHS post. 35 days to be exact. I realize I run. From all of it. I think I have the guts to face it... to take off the bandaids and expose my wounds to the world...because in some strange way I think it could make a difference for someone else...but I don't. I don't have the guts. At least I haven't had the guts for the last 35 days.

So where has my head been? My thoughts camp out in the "wishing for the redo"..Do you ever wish you could have one? Ever wish you could reset a space in time... and that you'd get the chance to change it somehow?

This is where I've been for years... in a space of wishing for the redo. Wishing for the chance to change a very large portion of my life.

People say all the time that I've changed... and I have. That's truth. But it's not for all the reasons they think.

I've learned that our choices are heavily weighed by experiences and moments in time we can't control. We are forced into submission... we make decisions...wether we want to or not... whether we are ready to ... or not... and we can't take them back. We live with them....and it's in that reckoning we are faced with repercussions and the aftermath of it all... whatever IT ALL is.

Ever since Adama died... most every decision I've made is put through a litmus test....

"How will this decision affect someone else?"

I suppose I do this because I carry with me the guilt and the belief that her death was my fault. And because I feel responsible... because the choice I made may have cut her life short... I struggle with making choices simple... it's always complex and difficult.

ALWAYS.

I also don't know how to make decisions for myself. Sometimes...I don't even really know how to make decisions for my family. I've lived in a glass house since I was a teen... and that glass house made me afraid... and honestly a bit unauthentic. Most of the time my decisions were always based on how it would be perceived... by relatives and by the church... by donors of TRS.... by fellow musicians.... by friends... I made choices based on the approval of others...

Until she died.

Then I changed.

Now I fight making decisions based on what others think... I repel that mindset....because I was let down the last time around... opinions weighed heavily and then when I was left in the aftermath of my choices.. those who held such strong opinions... were gone.

In some cases I do the extreme opposite...and make bold choices most wouldn't choose... to prove that I can.... almost as a way of lifting my middle finger to all the people who think they have me figured out. They don't. They don't have me figured out... They know so so little... so maybe that's what this whole OHS piece is all about... maybe it's where I set the record straight... not for them... but for me... because I'm tired of un-authenticity.... and I'm ready for bold truths... whatever those truths may be.

All that to say... I made the decision today to not let another day go by without writing my next "Open Heart Surgery Post".... SO here we go....

Let's continue diving... back into the past... so I can somehow figure out... how I got here....to today...

To the better woman... because I am... better...

To the different woman... because I am... different...

To the heart wide open woman.....

Yet still hiding woman.....

I told you about some of my growing up... the wounds of the church... a bit of the spiritual trauma... well...

Now let's dive into my decision to marry at 19.

FIRST... I need to make this VERY clear... I wouldn't trade growing up with my husband for ANYTHING.... BUT if I had it to do again.... I would have done it differently.

Instead of a wedding for 400 people and watching my mother break her back to make sure the day was perfect... a day I can barely remember... now 21 years later...

I would have done it different...

I would have saved every dime and sent my parents on a honeymoon instead... because they never had one....I would have celebrated THEM...because now years later... I realize their entire life was centered around me...and my siblings... and that wasn't fair... nor was it okay.....

And then....

I would have jumped in the front passenger seat of Jason's old bronco and I would have begged him to take me across the country... marriage license or not... I don't care... I would have done the unthinkable... and spent every penny we had on a crazy road trip... where we had the open road and each other... instead of bills and college and jobs and a house I wan't ready to be the maker of.... I would have stayed a kid.... and never expected him to be the adult... we would have made crazy mistakes and eventually settled down when we were ready.... we would have camped out in the back and watched the sunset.... or maybe a sunrise...

I realize now... we have yet to watch a sunrise together... and it's been 21 years.... sometimes I wonder why... and then I'm reminded... we have 6 kids and we are FREAKING TIRED...

That's why.

Instead... of living young...we moved straight into real life... grown up life....40 hour work weeks... Full time college schedules... a house I didn't know how to keep clean...and a baby on the way before the ink on the marriage license was even dry.

Jason and I never got to make decisions for each other... we never made choices with a dream in mind... with a heart on fire... we were always making decisions based on what we THOUGHT was supposed to happen next...

We bought the house... when we were broke...

We had the baby and then started trying for the second one because I thought that was what I was supposed to do...

And then miscarriage after miscarriage happened... I gave birth one time... never knowing it would also be the LAST time...and I was forced to reconcile the fact that my family wasn't turning out like I thought it was supposed to... it didn't look like everyone else's....and that scared me....

Hence the next bandaid.

Adoption.

Now I will say this.... before someone loses their crap....

Adoption was the BEST decision we EVER made... YES I am calling it a bandaid.... but please stay with me... there is beauty in this story... not all bandaids are bad....but facts are facts... I stepped into the world of adoption because I was searching for a way to stop the bleeding. My heart was broken... I felt like I would never be a mother again....

So YES... I chased adoption... became a psycho crazy adoptive mama... and our adoption journey did NOT come without drama or controversy...

I went through a very dark season of feeling like my children were not considered as valuable... as those that might have been born to me.....because THAT is how people made me feel.... yet I still chased adoption and never stopped.... because I was intent on proving that I could be a mother... and if I was going to be one... I would mother the loneliest.... because in the end... I was living lonely myself...Jason was so caught up within the church... the demands on our little family were so intense... much of the time... I felt like he was married to it... the church... and not to me at all... So yes... I was lonely..

Both me... and my future little ones... were in need of rescue...and if I couldn't rescue myself... I would rescue someone else....

It's amazing how love and reconciliation works... I had it ALL backwards... I see that now.

I wasn't the rescuer... My children... rescued ME.

THEY RESCUED ME.

This bandaid... meant to stop the bleed... became my purpose... defining my life... for a very long time. Problem is.... bandaids are not meant to be permanent. So how do we heal?

How do we heal when the defining moments.... are bandaid moments???

That's the million dollar question... the uncomfortable question... the conversation that makes us squirm....but the one I'm willing to ask myself.


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