This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Glass of water



A fellow trauma mama sent me this:






STRESS






A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience; with a raised glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'half empty or half full?'..... she fooled them all... "How heavy is this glass of water?", she inquired with a smile.






Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz






....



She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on."






"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden - holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night... pick them up tomorrow.






Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment. Relax, pick them up later after you've rested. Life is short. Enjoy it and the now 'supposed' stress that you've conquered!"






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I think that just like holding that glass of water, we get used to the weight over time and it becomes normal to stand there holding a glass of water… or a tray of water glasses… eventually I think we look up and realize we’re juggling gallons of water without breaking a sweat as though that were normal and expected.

So many people trivialize what we do, I mean, duh, anyone can hold a glass of water or even bring in a couple of jugs of water from the car after doing the shopping. What they don’t realize is that we’re not putting the water down. We hold it in the middle of the night when it’s screaming. We fix it if it spills or breaks (yesterday, I had to bring clean clothes to my 16 yo when she had a potty accident at school). We stand there and hold it while we’re being screamed and cursed at or even beaten.

Most of these people who trivialize are focused on only one glass and don’t even notice our juggling act. Worse, they often start critiquing us. Still others just say, wow, I couldn’t do that, put us on a pedestal… and walk away.

I have found that it’s ME who tends to add water, no one else. Yes, I realize that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I first picked up that glass (or glasses), but now it feels like I can never put them down. Thanks for the reminder that we can put the glass down, or even just hand it to someone else who “gets it” for a short period of time.

That’s why I love being part of this community. All of you understand that this is HARD, and even if you aren’t able to lighten my load, just having someone who really understands because they’ve carried a similar load, makes a huge difference. So THANKS for the reminder fellow trauma mama, and thanks to everyone else who read on while I beat this metaphor to death!






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1 * Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue!






2 * Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.






3 * Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it. (I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH THIS ONE! I THINK WE SHOULD READ WHATEVER WE WANT. WE DESERVE TO ESCAPE FROM REALITY SOMETIMES. SO PUT DOWN THAT BOOK ABOUT YOUR CHILD'S DIAGNOSIS, THE SELF-HELP BOOK, OR THAT BOOK FROM OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB THAT YOU "SHOULD" READ AND PICK UP A TRASHY ROMANCE NOVEL THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH REAL LIFE - I recommend Katie MacAlister books because they're sexy and funny at the same time.)






4 * Drive carefully... It's not only cars that can be recalled by their Maker.






5 * If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.






6 * If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.






7 * It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.






8 * Never buy a car you can't push.






9 * Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.






10 * Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.






11 * Since it's the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.






12 * The second mouse gets the cheese.






13 * When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.






14 * Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.






15 * You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.






16 * Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.






17 * We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.






18 * A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.






19 * Have an awesome day and know that someone has thought about you today.






20 * It was me, your friend!*






Save the earth ... it's the only planet with chocolate!

5 comments:

Denise said...

This is exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you!!

Vanessa said...

quite the illustration. I've been thinking I was losing my mind.... why is my tolerance less and my fuse shorter??? AH!! BEEN holding the glass up for WAY too long. Tomorrow we go on a four day vacation, and yup, taking those glasses with us, but hopefully will be able to put them down for a bit of play...

thanks.

Acceptance with Joy said...

WOOPS! I keep doing that. I am not Vanessa. Too many bloggers, not enough computers in this house!!!

angela

RADMomINohio said...

Thank you. I needed this.

beemommy said...

I have said often over the last almost eleven years...it seems to me that my purpose is to be a walking cautionary tale. (#7 on your list)