Stop the world, WE are getting OFF…


The past week had been so trying, so mentally exhausting, so physically taxing, that it had left me not only in tears, but on the edge of even being able to cope.  I was so over the edge that i was shaky and beginning to show signs of stress in my weak points, my headaches and body tension and pain.  Those sent me over the top.

My husband saw this.  He saw ME.  He did something.

He searched and found a song I had never heard, yet described my life, my pain, my challenges, our life together.  I was rushing around on a day where there was not even 15 minutes between all the scheduled things on the day’s calendar from morning 5:45am wake up till I would fall into a bed at 11pm that night.

dancing_couple-green-lgI was near tears and rushing about the house when my husband gently took me by the hand into our bedroom and shut the door.  He laid his phone on the dresser, pushed play, held out his hand, and asked me to dance.  I melted.  The tears came even before I had been fully embraced in his strong arms.

I had not much left in me, but he led me in a slow and gentle rock that melded us together so closely I’d swear our hearts began to keep rhythm in time.  My head on his shoulder, nestled under his chin, I began to let the world slip away.  There was nothing but the two of us.  My eyes were closed and my tears were flowing, and the only thing in the world was the two of us, together, no longer in the world at all.  We hovered somewhere a step above it.

The dog pushed his way into the room, the kids were loud, the song had ended.  I stood in his embrace still.  I broke away for only a second as I shut the door again, and asked for the song again.  I wasn’t ready to step back into reality yet.  I needed more of this wonderful man and his embrace, his love, his strength, and his arms wrapped around me protectively.  The world could not snatch me from him.  I was safe.

As the song came to an end, I felt ready to keep going.  I could finish the night. I got myself ready to leave the house and as I drove off a few minutes later I was grinning to myself and knowing that beyond a doubt, I was the most blessed woman around.

Thank you, God, for giving me such a wonderful and Godly husband.

Thank you, Derek, for loving me in the way I need loved, finding a way to reach down into my pit, my darkness, my overwhelmed frenzied days and plucking me from the grasp of it all.  Thank you for seeing me.  I love you!

Perfectionism and me


My daughter, Lindsey, writes about how hard it is to battle things that want to control her. Perfectionism is a big one for her. Join her over on her blog as she opens up and gives an honest look at something very hard for her… Perfectionism.

FrAcTuReD ~ not broken

Nothing makes me feel more worthless than my perfectionism.  I hate being this way, but it seems no matter how I try not to be this way, it almost seems to get worse.

For me, perfectionism has lots of ways it controls things in my life.  I really wish I could be different.  Sometimes it is how I do my homework.  I have to have all the writing on the page exactly perfect.  If one word looks wrong to me, I will redo the whole thing.  It takes a long time to get things done and it’s really frustrating when you cant stand things to be any way but just this one certain way.

For the most part,  it also decides how things are around me.  Like I cant handle chaos at ALL.  My room has to be clean and things in place all the time or I feel really…

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From the inside looking out


Reblogging this from over on Lindsey’s Blog, http://fracturednotbroken.wordpress.com

FrAcTuReD ~ not broken

She looked into the mirror on the wall of her bedroom and groaned.  It didn’t matter what anyone said, all she could hear was the hissing of her own internal dialog like an old scratched up 45 record.   It skipped and jumped and came back to the same snarled and garbled up lines over and over again.  “UgLy, FAT, pAtheTic, UseLeSs.”

panicA tear trickled down her freckled cheek and followed the trail of mascara that had left tire tracks down each side of her face.  The perfect complexion that everyone saw was in her eyes fiercely marred.  With red blotches spotting up her creamy skin, she looked like a freak.  No one understood what it was like.  All it took was one second of her heart racing fast and the blotches would appear.  She wouldn’t even know it was there if it weren’t for the heat of her skin…

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A Biography of me… By my daughter


My daughter Alli has had a long hard struggle with school her whole life. We have had a rather tough year and it has taken more tears and heartache to get to the end of this year… But this made it all worth it.

When I took this from her timid hand and saw her nervous smile, I knew whatever she held was precious.

Writing is hard for Alli, but I understood every word. We will make it to the end of this journey together, Alli girl. I will be there every step you take! As promised!

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Our Silver Lining Playbook…


184494_10200383282971119_993161549_nWhen i began this blog, I did it as a dare.  I took the dare and it was to be completely open and free – to not hide behind a single mask.  I took the dare from God.  I heard it as clearly as someone might hear a voice from across the room… but it was that inner voice you cant ignore, and one I knew wasn’t ME talking.  I was not in any mood to tell anyone my truth and reality.  It had to be God because I was in a place of imprisonment, and only truth would set me free.

Over these many years, I ditched my masks one by one till only one remained.  It’s not like I had huge things hiding in my life… but I’ve always been afraid of what people would think if they just saw ME.  I was shocked.  People prefer truth when so often it seems they want to hear the lies.  People are hungry for just blunt and frank realness.

Still I couldn’t ditch that last one, no matter how hard I tried.  I justified it was for the privacy of my daughter.  I didn’t feel it was my mask to shed.  I was wrong.  How could she ever shed hers if I never had the guts to shed mine.  It may not have been time then.  But It is time now.

In refusing to take that last step, I now realize, I nonverbally was telling her that it was a secretive and bad thing.  It’s the opposite of the very thing I wanted her to believe.  I guess it was I who was scared to share our “real” world with anyone.  I was afraid of judgement, of misperceptions, stereotypes, and the numerous people who just don’t understand. It was my roadblock which means it was mine to move, not hers.

I have been waiting to see Silver Linings Playbook, which received so many awards that it’s already doing the very thing that I have always prayed would happen one day… it’s ushering in understanding and conversations out in the free air.  I saw it last night and it broke me to my core. I was up till 2am letting the soundtrack of it play and my soul did work to it for hours.

It wasn’t the movie itself that did it… (which it is an amazing story and movie) but it was in the EXTRA’s tagged onto the end of the movie in bonus material…  the Why’s of the making of the movie from the book…  the fact the director has a son who is living this life, that the director is a parent, who’s lived this day in and day out, the pain and the agony…  and no longer has to…

So after talking with my precious daughter today…  Today the two of us are embarking together on something that will be healing for us.  We will take YOU on our journey if you choose to join us in it.  It will be our extra special Silver Lining if you do.  We together are peeling off our masks in unison and I will put words to paper the real journey we live out, daily, with the walk of Mental Illness.

Mental Illness is NOT a dirty word.  It’s a description of something that is chemically wrong in the brain.  It’s not taboo to have diabetes and need insulin.  When someone has MS or heck – lets use mine… Chiari Malformation, and life presents unique challenges and problems, no one sucks in a breath and talks quietly out of ear shot about it.  It’s spoken about freely and questions are asked, people learn more about something they once never heard about, and suddenly it’s not scary… its something understood.

Mental Illness not a choice, or a cop out so as not to stand trial… not for the majority of the world.  It’s also not a death sentence.  It’s being dealt cards at birth and choosing to play the hand given and doing so as to not fold and give in, but to strategize and learn how to play the game better.  We’ve been walking down this road a long time, and yet, somehow not being “hopeless” we know full well we will continue to walk this road together, as a family, for the rest of our lives.   It will not be “cured” but it can be coped with.

Together she and I will express feelings and real situations she and our family deal with continually.  We will share her journey of actual inner thoughts and fears that she has never allowed anyone to know outside our home, be it therapy, meds, hospitalization, or just the personal prison she is bound inside of in her own mind.

While the movie was good, it was of adults finding out as adults that they had these issues and the families who have lived with them while undiagnosed.

We have known from age 2 that Lindsey, our oldest, has had a harder time than most, and I’d argue I knew it from the beginning, but since she was my first, I didn’t realize all kids didn’t need mom as much as Lindsey did.  It wasnt until she was 7 years old and began expressing the intense desire to die that I truly knew this was not just a dramatic child, who had behavior issues and that I wasn’t a terrible parent – but that she had some real needs for help, far beyond what we could love her through.

01My beautiful Lindsey, now 14, was diagnosed as BiPolar Disorder only after we went to every single different angle we could come at it from.  She is also Borderline Personality Disorder, has increasing OCD tendencies, and suffers from Multiple Anxiety Disorder.  For her, all of these things are early onset in childhood and she has the added issue of it being harder to control due to puberty and the hormones and chemical make up of not just the body, but of also the brain itself.

I know…  It sounds like she’s over diagnosed and let me tell you, as much as I’d like to agree, I do not.  It’s only with the added, grudgingly agreed upon, diagnoses that she has begun to gain a foothold upon her life.  The last 3 years have been absolute living hell for her, and us as a family… yet, here we are, ready to try another day, and praying for a better one tomorrow.

All masks are off…  There is nothing left to hide.  Lindsey is smiling while I write this, doing her homework at my feet, knowing that the words I type will take us both on a painful and yet powerful journey that we need to take.  I am awed by her strength and her resolve.  I am moved by her willingness and her maturity to do this.

I love you Linds, more than any words I’d ever write will ever express.  This is a gift I am giving to you… my using the words God puts to my fingers to express your very real world, and in doing so, making it concrete and solid so you can gain a hold on things that refuse to be caught.  I pray God uses it in your life and for your benefit. I plan to see this as the playbook for all the silver linings that we’ve found, and will find along your travel in life.
(If God chooses to use it to help anyone else along the way… that is a whole playbook of silver linings that will be written in ink only those who join us on the journey will know.)  And already I am excited by it. 

-Christi