My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, November 15, 2009

a confession

I've been struggling with getting up and making it to church on Sunday mornings for a few weeks. Months. Ok. Whatever. Let's just say Heather won't be getting the perfect attendance pin this year. I'm home-churched. *laugh* I'm kidding! I had the cough for so long... and have had a couple of headache Sundays... and a couple of "just worn out" Sundays and ...

Ok... this is a big confession so I need the blog love for this...

I'm dealing with social anxiety. I know. It's crazy. I'm SUCH an extrovert! I love people! And my church people are so incredibly loving and kind. I have so many sister friends and there is zero controversy for me at my church. I am happy there and I love being there and it's always a good time (except for when Pastor Jim preaches too long and my one hour bladder is maxing out). I love seeing my nieces... all five of them.

Seriously. I seem to collect adopted nieces like some people collect (insert whatever it is that people collect). I think it is God's reward to me for my not having sisters growing up. Or daughters. There are a lot of wonderful women at my church... and a lot of young ladies that I adore. Sarabeth's BFF Jorjanne calls me Aunt Heather. Stasha SCREAMS "Aunt Heather" whenever she sees me. Jim and Angie's adopted college student/daughter Jessie calls me Aunt Heather. And then there are my two precious girls.

I stopped by Sarabeth's Sunday School class this morning to give her a squeeze before class began. She wasn't in there yet. I passed her teacher in the hallway after Sunday School and she said, "Sarabeth is soooo upset that she missed you"... so I stopped by children's church before worship service to give her a hug.

I'm off topic. About the social anxiety thing. I'm not shy. The events of the last few years have made me less open than I used to be... and have made me a little more self-conscious... and the stress that I've been under since (I can't remember when)... forever... makes me a little unfocused sometimes so I'll get in the car after church and think of a half dozen conversations that I didn't complete and a dozen people that I saw and didn't speak to. Although I desperately need fellowship and community support to stay in a positive frame of mind... sometimes I don't have the emotional energy to immerse myself in that world.

That's my big confession. I get overwhelmed in crowds. Thanks to the many, many, ugly fights that Michael and I had after social situations - and the many times before social events when he would give me a list of "do's and don'ts" to the extent that I felt like a Stepford Wife - thanks to those things - I over-analyze every single conversation and encounter. It's becoming a big problem for me because it IS keeping me from participating in my community.

It's also making hard for me to do my job. I'm expected to make a lot of "cold calls" marketing to the community and it paralyzes me to the extent that some days I just can't.

And you know what else? I know without a shadow of a doubt that God intends for me to minister to young women - old women - women in general. I know that He has uniquely equipped me to be a sister/friend/aunt/whatever and that my experiences - my testimony - have the potential to make an impact in the kingdom of God. Fear is holding me back. Crippling me. Making me exhausted.

So my goal for this week is to get my hind-end in to see a doctor who can treat this giant that is growing bigger every day before I become completely confined and isolated. I need this fixed. In my desire to rise up and be bigger than all the things that were thrown at me... to be completely recovered from that time of abuse... to be ten feet tall and bullet proof... I haven't dealt with some of the wounds that need to heal. And they have festered and gotten infected and gangrenous.

I loved being in church this morning. I'm grateful to God for giving me the courage to be there. I'm grateful for my Stasha who tells me every week... ten times a week... "I miss you". I'm grateful that Jorjanne and Sarabeth and Jamie all light up and jump up and down and squeal and rush to see me. I'm grateful for a new friend that I've made in church who lives in my neighborhood and can keep an eye on things that are going on here when I'm not here. What a huge blessing! I'm grateful for the people who CARE whether or not I'm at church, not just because they want to meet some attendance goal but because they want to see ME!

The things I share here are partly to unburden myself but also because I know that there are others who feel what I feel. I know that I'm not alone in this journey. Thank God... (I say this out loud with tears streaming down my face! I mean it!) Thank GOD I am not alone... even when I am not able to be outside the nest... I am not alone.

The weekend is about over. I need to work every minute I can between now and Christmas... gearing up for a busy week... praying for success... praying for kindness. Praying for you guys... love and hugs, y'all.


Tawnya said...

Okay first off, ((((((hugs))))). Secondly, I have issues in crowds too since my divorce, although that was a long time ago. My ex changed me in many ways, I am no longer as trusting as I once was. So it is not just you. You have to work through this on your own time and surround yourself with understanding people. I did not surround myself with understanding people and they made it worse for me. I do know what you are going through!!

mawmaw said...

I love you and miss you

Wendy in Oz said...

You are so right... You are NOT ALONE in this. I too suffered from the very same thing and not because of the same reasons as you (I actually never figured out why!!) but in the last 12 months I have had a great doctor who has helped me a lot. There is medication you can take to help overcome it until you feel strong enough to do it on your own. Hopefully your doctor will be sympathetic to you situation and be prepared to help you help yourself. You can do this Heather, you are Heather, strong, independant woman who can slay dragons (and Michaels) in a single blow! Love from Down

stasha said...

oh my gosh Aunt Heater you have no clue how much I love you! I'm am truly bleesed to have an aunt as awesome and loving as you are! I just thought I'd tell you that!

I know what you mean about fear getting in the way... well... err... atleast I kinda do in a way! I seem to let fear get in the way of everything I do! I'm getting better but there's still work to be done! But I amire your openess! (even though you say you're not as open as you once were) you're still more open about things than I am!

Giggles of happiness came over me when you said "Stasha SCREAMS "Aunt Heather" whenever she sees me." I'm just always SOO very happy to see you and I get so excited when I first walk in the sactury and I see you sitting in the second row third seat ever that I just have to scream your name! I love you when mention me in your blogs cuz it makes me feel happy and loved!

I REALLY hope you can be at church tomorrow (but I understand if you can't) cuz I miss you! ;) lol! but really I do!

Also, I REALLY hope that we can do lunch soon! I know I'm terrible about making plans but lately I've always seem to be working when you go on your lunch break!

Anyways this comment is getting long! Just know that I pray for you and thank God for you every day and that I love you! =]