Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Who Am I?

This question haunted me during most of 2011.  Why 2011?  Why not 2010?  Or 2009?  Or a different decade altogether?  Why now?  Because I went through a devastating series of  traumatic events from 2006 to 2011 all stemming from the source source which ultimately culminated in severe depression, inability to work, inability to even talk at times.  Life as I knew it changed - and changed suddenly without warning.  One day, I was working; the next I was not.  One day, I was functioning well; the next day I was not.  One day, I knew who I was and was secure in that knowledge; the next day the rug had been forcibly snatched out from under me and I was not.

I kept asking myself:  Who am I?  Who am I really?  Do I have any value?  Any value at all?   Is there a reason to keep on?  Or should I just give in and give up?  Either crawl into a ball onto my bed, lie in the fetal position and stay that way unmoving, unresponsive, unaware of the circumstances around me, unable to be hurt anymore by anyone?  Or should I take a permanent resolution to the pain?  The first option I decided was not a good option because I would wind up in the psych ward.  A relative tried it once.  She didn't like the results.  Besides, then you end up with a permanent psych record.  Who wants that? Certainly not I.  The second option?  That one I did psychologically explore.  Yet my family rallied around me, telling me I mattered.  Telling me:  we care; we love you; stay with us.  Were they right?  I didn't know.  But in fairness to them, I had to find out before I explored option #2 any further.  They deserved that much from me.

It all boiled down to the original question:  "Who am I?"  I needed to find that out.  I started out by putting random thoughts on paper.  That was more than seven months ago.  The next few blogs will explore excerpts from those ramblings.  We start with relationships.

Who am I?
A Godly woman
A child of God
Made in His image
Not a mistake
Loved by God
A prayer warrior?  I used to be, but am I now?  A pray-er?
A wife
A mother
A child of an aged mother
A sister
An aunt and a great-aunt
A grandmother
But am I who my relationships are?
Are these enough?
Do they make me who I am?
Do they impute value to me?

Relationships are important to me.  As you can see, I put my relationship with God first as He has been a constant force and rallying point in my life since the early, turbulent '70's.  Then there were the perceptions of how other people see me in that relationship.  I've been the one people, especially, in the family have called on for prayer.  And many of those prayers have been answered - some in startling ways (more of that later perhaps in a later, much later, blog).

But am I who people perceive me to be?  Do I feel like that strong pray-er?  No, I felt weak.  Weak as a newborn kitten.  Totally dependent on others for my nourishment for nurturing for the basic emotional necessities of life.  I was no longer strong.  I was weak.  Down for the count.  Not able to be a real grandmother to  my grandmother; a real mother to my children; a real wife to my husband; a real pray-er to those in need; a real help to my sister; a blessing to my aged mother.  I was stuck in a real life battle for survival.

In the end, which side would win?  The side for survival or the side for annihilation?  Would these relationships be strong enough to turn the tide?  To be my Personal Flotation Device in the stormy seas of worthlessness and depression?

More tomorrow.

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