Monday, January 21, 2013

Truth...I suffer from anxiety

I have wanted to write this post for a while, but shied away from it because it is so personal.  Writing this will expose my heart and that can be scary.  I kept feeling the Lord tug at my heart to tell my story.  I have decided to be obedient to His urging.  I pray that my story will touch those that need to hear it.

I suffer from anxiety.  At times, it is almost debilitating.  I will have panic attacks and have trouble catching my breath.

When faced with something (usually concerning my children) my mind fires off millions of what if questions. I become buried in fearing the worst.

When this consumes me, I become frustrated and even depressed.  My heart is on fire for Jesus.  Why on earth do I fear the worst rather than trusting Jesus?

The guilt will then set in.  Am I a phony Jesus lover?  Will I pass this on to my children?  Do I drive my husband insane?

Here comes my true honesty...

I know why this happens to me.  It breaks my heart and has caused me much shame, guilt, embarrassment, and tears.

I have a fear of rejection and abandonment.  I have never had a parent who didn't attach strings to their love.  My parents have always chosen themselves over me.  My father has had nothing to do with me my entire life.  He claims he didn't and doesn't want to interfere in my life.  Great concept, right?  My mother has always put other things above me.  I have no idea what true parental love is.  I love my children like crazy.  I know that they are gifts from my Father and I am to love them wholeheartedly.  My love for them will sometimes take my breath away.  They are truly precious in my sight.  I have expressed this to my parents and begged for a love like that.  I am told I'm judgmental.

Deep down, I feel there must be something wrong with me to cause both of my parents to lack parental love.  I used to think if I was perfect, they would love me.  I used to think if I took care of their emotions and let them be victims, they would love me.  These things only made my life crazy.

I know in my head that it is not my fault.  It's my heart that has trouble getting it.  I know there is NOTHING my children could ever do to make me not love them and have a strong desire to be in their lives.  However, I guess I still wonder and sometimes think I must not be good enough.

I am afraid on some level that I deserve to feel pain.  I am afraid that I will lose my children and no longer have them here to love.  

My head knows this is not how Jesus feels.  Why is it so hard for my heart to get it at times?

As I sat with my family on Maunday Thursday, the Lord spoke to me so loudly I could have sworn His physical body was sitting next to me.  He clearly said, "I am not here to hurt you."  I get chills just thinking about it now.  He loves me and isn't out to hurt me.  His goal is not to reject me, abandoned me, or hurt me.

I am working on this.  There are days that are better than others.  I went through a long stretch where I was in complete peace.  I felt so free.  It was wonderful.  Then some things happened over Christmas that caused me to slip a bit.  On top of that, I received a cruel letter from my father telling me how disappointed he is in me.  Nice, right?  He doesn't even know me.

I will continue to pray and trust Jesus.  I will continue to hear His sweet words in my head.  I know that no matter what, Jesus is continuously with me.  

Psalm 146:7
The Lord frees prisoners.

The Lord is with me even when the clouds of life seem too thick to take.  His glory and light will forever shine through.


9 comments:

  1. Will be praying for you, my friend. I struggle with many fears, and must give them to God daily, or they can consume me. This is not easy. The Lord just gave me this verse:

    But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

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  2. Oh sweet sister, the vulnerability of you heart blows me away! Take heart, our God has OVERCOME the world. I will be praying HIS peace transcends through you.

    How blessed your kids are to have a picture of unconditional love. Your display of love the them is a glimpse into the depths that the Lord has for us. It is beautiful :)

    Much love big sis!

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  3. Okay girl, we are going to have to meet one day! I cannot express in words on a screen how much this breaks my heart because reading your words is like seeing into my own heart. I am also an anxious person...mostly about the safety of my children. I awake in the middle of the night scared that something has happened to them and just needing to go and check on them. I try to calm myself down and remind myself that I must trust God to protect them when I can't, but it is so hard for me. I know that my own insecurities as a parent are also a side-effect of my less than stellar parenting examples. I can't really blame my biological mother for her shortcomings although I wish she had been stronger to be the parent she should have been. I am so thankful my adopted parents were more unselfish when they first took us to raise, but since I was a teenager, they also became more selfish. I felt so alone during those years. My mother was consumed with her health, and my father was consumed with her and probably just depressed by not having her to support him. I can't really depend on them to be the grandparents that I want for my children. It is hard to imagine any parents not really appreciating the wonderful gift of their children, but I think our pasts have made us more caring and loving parents to our own children. I will continue to pray for you, my friend!

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  4. I am sorry for your suffering and I too have suffered with general anxiety...it has gotten so bad sometimes to physically affect me. I have had panic attacks, severe tension headaches, gone to physical therapy for muscle problems in shoulders and neck, etc. I tell you this to let you know you are not alone and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Unfortunetly my 7 year old son has severe anxiety and seeing him struggle has broken my heart and finally encourage me to get professional help. Our therapist has helped SO MUCH! I wish so badly that I would have got help sooner and not been embarrassed or ashamed. I recently read a book called "Freeing Your Child from Anxiety" and it was amazing. I learned so much about how to help my son AND myself. Never in a million years would I think I would take my child to therapy, but it has been great. If we have a toothache, we go to the dentist. If we have a problem with our bodies we go a doctor. If we have an emotional or mental problem we are ashamed and embarrassed and don't get help. I wish you the best in healing and overcoming this because I have seen first hand that it is possible to free yourself of anxiety.
    The Real McCoy(s)

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  5. Rejection and abandonment loom large in my history too~I understand you...I have been learning to attack the lies with scripture, but those old tapes in my head die hard...! Have courage~ You are Gods child, and He will 'teach in the way that you should go' Recite and claim His promises.(Reminding myself to do this...)
    Because you recognize the issues, and have Jesus by your side, Satan will attack. But he can't win.
    Your children have a good mom.

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  6. Thanks for sharing your story Marci. I have developed a sever case of anxiety over this past year from some family members dragging my emotions through the mud. I have had come to the point where I couldn't go out in public without my husband. Today I started an anxiety medication. I'm hoping it works and exiting those who hurt us out the door will help along with putting trust in God. I'm happy you shared this and I don;t feel so "alone" now!

    Have a blessed day.

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  7. I'm glad you shared this because hopefully it will only help you. When I first began sharing about my anxiety and ocd I would always regret the post as soon as I published it. I felt like it made me vulnerable. But I have found that nobody judges me for having anxiety disorders. Many of the people, instead of judging, open up and say "you're not alone, I've felt this, too!" And that is what I am saying. I understand some of what you are going through. I'm sorry that it is tied so heavily to your parents and I'm sorry they don't know how to love unconditionally or treat you the way you would have liked to be treated. I think, though, you have come out an amazing person despite those trials. You seem to be an amazing parent, a wonderful Christian, a beautiful lady. That's what matters. You can't change other people, but your children will be forever grateful for the kind of person that you are. And it's true- God doesn't want us to suffer. I get stuck thinking that sometimes, too. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11.

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  8. I can relate to this post. Sending you a big hug and lots of love.

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  9. I am so sorry. After giving birth to Hayes I had anxiety. Every evening I would get so stressed out, it was baby blues and anxiety mixed together. I know why and it hurts me to even think about it. Hayes wasn't planned, my husband has 2 kids from prior relationships and he was done. He had told me from the beginning that he never wanted kids. We had been married 4 1/2 years when I got pregnant. He was not happy, we knew that we would keep it but he did not want to. Chris eventually got used to the idea but never really seemed happy about it. Fast forward to Hayes being born Chris was happy and over the moon and instantly in love, but in the back of my head I was always afraid that he still was unhappy that he would leave if things weren't perfect. So every evening I would get such bad anxiety because I was afraid that Hayes would wake up a bunch or be unhappy in the middle of the night and that Chris would not be able to take it, and leave. I was so scared. Hayes only kept me up all night once and that was our first night home and Chris was right by my side. I could not get over that fear though. Now we are all happy and I no Chris is never going to leave but man that was rough.
    I had never felt anxiety before but that kind of seemed to open the flood gates. I don't get it nearly as bad but I don still get anxiety about money mostly. It is just so stressful and I try so hard to lay it all on the cross.
    Hugs friend!

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