Happy First Day of Summer!

Hope StandingSummer is here without a doubt, and our house is not appreciating it.  Our AC quit on us yesterday so it’s up to a whopping 82 degrees in the house.  This is good news for you because it means I’m chilling with the kids in Jake’s office while he cleans and I get to write a blog, yay!  (Yes, that all must sound very strange, so I’ll explain.  Monday is his day off and it was cleaning day today and I was doing the cleaning like any good wife probably should, but then the baby needed help getting to sleep so I am getting a break while Jake does a few things.  Isn’t he awesome?  Yes he is.)

Anyway, so I owe you a bit of a catch up post.  This last couple of weeks has been rather tough for us.  Hope got her casts off at the beginning of the month, which I was looking forward to.  I thought she’d be happier without them, oh boy was I wrong.  The super loud little saw thing they use to get the casts off was traumatizing for her in every real sense of that word.  I was in Jacob’s post-op appointment and Jake was with Hope so I didn’t see any of it, but when I saw her afterward she was a terrible mess.  Her eyes were red from crying (rarely does she cry that much) and all the color was drained from her face.  She proceeded to cry the next 45 minutes until we could get back in the van to go home.

Jake told me how terrified she had been during the appointment; when the tech was trying to get her casts off she literally sat up on the bed and starting punching him.  This is not typical behavio,r as any of you who have followed along will probably realize.  Yes, she hits herself, but she is never violent toward other people.  He told me that he had never seen her that upset, even when she was in excruciating pain when her shunt failed last year.  Wow, has it only been a year since then? It seems like way longer.  Longest year of my life… so glad it’s over… anyway I digress.

When we got her home she did not improve.  Any time we would touch her, especially her legs or feet, she would jump and start screaming and crying.  Even if I accidentally brushed her toe while I was walking by it would cause a terrible fear reaction, any kind of touch at all was scary for her.  For the first couple of days I touched and moved her as little as possible.  We just tried to use very quiet, gentle voices and reassure her but it was like she wasn’t even hearing us.  She was not present.

Diaper changes, and putting her knee immobilizers and braces on were the worst times, and still are.  Whenever I would have to do any of those things it was like she wasn’t even in the room with me anymore, she was somewhere else reliving some horrible trauma, and I was the one triggering it.  The only way I could touch her without her screaming was to pick her up and wait a minute for her to calm down.  One time I did that, and when she came back to reality and stopped crying she just got very quiet and wrapped her arms as tightly around me as she could and grabbed my hair.  It was like she was holding on for dear life.  She’s never done that before, and while I’m glad she’s looking to me for safety, it was heart wrenching to see her like that.

It’s slowly getting better.  She has always had anxiety over people going near her legs and feet, so we are sure the casts must have caused her to have a flashback from some trauma long ago.  She also had other strange symptoms, fever, diarrhea,  seizure-like episodes, lack of appetite, etc.  We ended up having to take her to the ER (where I insisted she get some good drugs so as not to traumatize her more).  Nothing showed up in the tests and the meds they gave her worked great, she was very chill the whole time and didn’t remember it the next day.

She’s slowly improving.  My Hashimoto’s flared up very badly that week and the week after.  Stress is not good for autoimmune conditions, and I was quite devestated by the whole experience myself.  Now we are two weeks out exactly and things have settled down again.  I haven’t been blogging due to that and the fact that I no longer have a computer at the house.  We are rearranging our whole house from top to bottom and the desktop has not been set up the last two weeks so I really don’t have a great way to blog.  Planning on remedying that very soon.

In other news, we are starting school for the kids next week and everyone is very excited about that.  I figure we should probably start over the summer so that when life inevitably happens during the year we have some wiggle room and can still finish up all of our weeks by the end of the year.  And as for Facebook is concerned, I don’t miss it one little bit.  I really thought I would, but I haven’t.  I am so much happier without the drama of it all and the ridiculous amount of time and energy it took from my family.  I feel way more productive now and I’m overall more content and happier with life.  I’m more present with the kids.  It’s an awesome feeling.

And that is all for me!  But I do want to say, if you are interested in checking out another Lutheran pastor’s wife who is also adopting I suggest heading over to Hannah’s Blog.  They are adopting two kiddos and they are in-country right now!  Very exciting!!  Blessings on your week ya’ll!

72 Hours After Facebook

Has it really been three days already?  I’ve hardly thought about Facebook at all today.  I had an eye appointment, the kids spent the afternoon playing in the pool while I did my favorite pastime (list making) and this evening was an early dinner and bedtime for the three worn out little ones.  I’m hoping to get some more cleaning and organizing done this evening since the day was so busy.

I am excited to keep blogging and fill in the details as I go.  I need to actually block some time off for this though, otherwise it will consume my mental narrative much like Facebook did, and it will be distracting.  I’ve noticed that my blog is already replacing some of that mental space I freed up in deleting Facebook, and I don’t want that to get out of hand or I’ll have to quit this too!  Moderation is key and I will be focusing quite intently on that as I start out.

I don’t want to try to do too much too fast.  But there are also so many things I’d like to say.  All in all I don’t think (at this point) I will ever return to having a personal Facebook profile.  It took much more than it gave, and in the end I don’t have room in my life for things like that.  I think it can be an amazing tool and I almost wish that I had found it later in life when I had a better idea of what I wanted out of my internet connections and resources.  But I am perfectly fine without it as it stands.

My dear husband has remarked to me several times today how happy I seem and how even when I do get grumpy I rebound much faster.  I’m not sure at this point if that’s just a correlation or really a direct result of my new-found freedom, but it’s certainly a great start to the journey!  I think I was expecting it to be much more difficult than this, but there is still plenty of time for me to hit some bumps in my post-Facebook road.  Perhaps the craving for that newsfeed will come back.  Stay tuned to find out I suppose!

First 48 Hours Post-Facebook

The first 48 hours without Facebook are officially over, and I am feeling great about it honestly.  I didn’t realize just how much of my mental energy was taken up by that one, virtual part of my life.  I am purging my house of a ton of clothes, toys, etc. right now and deactivating my Facebook account feels quite a lot like hauling fifteen boxes of junk out to the car and saying “So long!” It’s a breath of fresh air, a clean home, space to think and live.

My mind is free from surfing on Facebook, free from spending time on meaningless articles I found on Facebook, free from worrying about a dozen problems that aren’t even mine, free from wondering if I have new notifications, free from the drama of Facebook groups.  I’m free from all of it. And it is a totally liberating feeling.

Freedom is one word that encapsulates all of my why.  Why leave Facebook?  Freedom is why.  When I first started using Facebook it was in its infancy, before it was super cool and when you had to be in college to get an account.  I had a few friends and it was a neat concept, to be able to keep in touch with people who were far away or who might be far away a few years down the road.  Everything I posted felt “private” because most of us only had like ten friends on there anyway.

Over the years Facebook changed and Facebook habits changed along with it.  As more and more people joined and groups became connecting points, friends lists exploded.  People began sharing more than quick chats between each other and sharing other things they had found on the internet: pictures, videos, articles galore.  Advertisements came, Facebook started becoming connected to other sites, to your email and then your phone.

Before we knew it, Facebook wasn’t just a glorified virtual directory anymore – it was an institution.  It had become woven into the fabric of our very lives, intertwined with everything we did, everywhere we went, everyone we talked to.  Before I knew it, Facebook had become my main source for information on many topics.  And it was the main mode of communication I had with almost everyone outside of my immediate family unit.  Not to mention it was the catch-all for my cherished memories, pictures and videos.

I have considered dumping Facebook for years.  There are many reasons, but mostly I realized that Facebook was no longer a tool helping me – it had become the driving force in much of my daily life and routine.  But how could I leave?  Nothing could quite replace the diverse supports and services that Facebook was offering me.  And so it stayed.

But what I realized was that some things just mattered more.  When the authenticity of some of my online friendships started coming into question it became apparent that no matter what the credientials of the person or how long I had been connected to them – if I didn’t know someone in person I really didn’t know that person.  I had to figure this out more than once before it stuck.

651662177095I needed out of this virtual relationship building platform that was so unstable and unsafe.  I needed to get back to the real, incarnate, flesh and blood relationships God had given me.  (Yes I’m talking about those lovely people right there.)  I’m only two days into this change, but the healing is already beginning to happen.  For so long I said “I wish I could give up Facebook but…” And I have others saying that to me now.

My only advice is, you can. And if you wish you could but you don’t that means that Facebook is no longer a tool in your tool box, it is running the show.  And that in itself is a reason to (Elsa voices everyone!) let it go.  😉

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