my journey through the loss of my first son and the life of my second

Saturday, September 4, 2010

trisha thing

On the eve of my wedding my dad asked me, "Are you sure about this? Or is this just another one of those 'Trisha things'?" I was mortified that he would even ask. I said, "Yes, I am 100% sure of this." I then asked what in the world he meant by a "trisha thing." He said something to the effect of....well, you worked at the church for only a few years, and then you went to college for just a little while, and the manatee collection, the band...his list went on and on. I walked away devastated. It was the eve of the happiest day of my life and my dad doubted me. What did he mean about each of those things? I worked at the church for 3 years. I was 21 when I started and left at 24 to take a job at the college I finished my degree at. I finished my degree and moved back to Daytona to be near Ken. I was in high school when I had my stupid manatee obsession. I was in the band from 6th grade until my sophomore year in college. I only gave it up because I was paying for school myself and you had to pay to enroll in the band class. It seemed like an expense I didn't need. All these reasons to leave or move on seemed reasonable. Yet in my dad's mind leaving things too soon (his opinion, not mine) constituted a "trisha thing." I give 110% to everything I start and see it until finished if humanly possible. But, that seed of doubt was planted. That thought that I was going to screw this up too. I have always given 110% in hopes he would be proud. I pushed myself to be good at everything in hopes one day he would approve. My mom has always pulled for me. She has always been the one sitting in the stands at marching band performances. She was the one who took me all over the state of Georgia to enter my carrot cake into the Girl Scout Cake-Bake offs. (my cake won first place for the whole state of Georgia!) But, I just wanted his approval. I just needed to feel like I was winning at life in his eyes.

If you ever have the chance to meet my husband you will fall in love with him right away. He is sweet, loving, caring, funny, smart, charming, and has a laugh that can fill the room. It is an infectious laugh. You can't help but laugh when he does. His laugh was one of the first things I fell in love with. He gives all his heart to anyone who needs it. He loves fully. He cares deeply. And, because of all this he does get hurt easily. But, he is such and amazing man. "Is this just another trisha thing?"

There are some very strange things you should know about me. 1. I HATE GUM!!! Passionately. HATE. Gum. I think it should be outlawed. I hate hearing people chewing it. I HATE when people pop it over and over again. I hate the smell of it. And, more than ANYTHING I hate to see chewed gum. All I can think about is GERMS GERMS GERMS. I have had this phobia for as long as I can remember. I don't chew gum...ever! I hate it. 2. I have major issues with body fluids; sweating, spit, and things that happen in the bathroom. (Yes, I know I am about to sound crazy. It is okay I have come to terms with it ;)) I don't like the idea of a sweating person sitting where I am about to sit down. I can't stand the thought of someone sitting on my couch all sweaty...I will never be able to get those germs out!! Spit...that goes along with the whole gum thing. And, finally the bathroom. I can not stand the sound of people peeing. And, #2 is a whole other problem. Well, along with these issues comes a lot of criticism for people. I know that they are strange. I have a reason for all of them. Gum - when I was little my brothers and sisters would spit their gum out the back window of our van and it would be one of my weekly chores to pick off the pieces that stuck. Spit - when I was 11 or 12 I was jumping on the trampoline with a boy I had a huge crush on. He thought it was cool to spit and kept spitting on the trampoline. I just kept watching it bounce up and down. I felt covered in it. I got off the trampoline and walked into the woods and threw up. The crush ended that day. Bathroom issues - well, I will not get into that one...just know they are real. Long story short - I put myself through college working at day cares. I have changed hundreds if not thousands of poopy diapers. I can do it. I just don't like to. On a few occasions I have changed bad ones and whoever happens to be around would say something like, "You will never be able to have kids." "Wait until you are a mom." "How do you think you will be able to be a mom if you can't change this?"

"Is this just another trisha thing?"

These seeds of doubt follow me around like the plague. I could go on and on. My insecurity runs so deep I am not sure I will ever find a way to get rid of it. These comments stick with me. They are tiny seeds of doubt that have grown into a jungle full of reasons why I should not succeed at anything I try. I love my husband. I try to be the very best wife I know how to be. But, some days I fail. Some days I am tired and grumpy and maybe yell at Ken. On those days I think I should have taken my dad's advice and walked away. In the last eight months I have thought it so very many times. I love Ken so much that I know that he deserves a better woman. A woman that can carry his child to term. I have thought over and over again, "This is just another trisha thing." I lost his baby boy. When I get into this mindset all the other doubts start to creep in...maybe I am not meant to be a mom because of my issues with gum, spit, and poop. (I know that sentence even makes me giggle). But, once you start down this path of illogical thinking it is hard to turn back. Once I am already walking this way the "Why's" start. And for me the only answer is, because this is just another "trisha thing." I guess to me a "trisha thing" is another failure in my life. The funny thing is all of the things my dad listed that day are some of my greatest accomplishments. I loved my job at the church more than any other job I have ever had. I had the chance to speak the name of Jesus into young peoples lives. I still am in contact with many of them. I was given the opportunity to perform the marriage of one of them, be there for the birth of one of their children, attend the funeral of a father of two of them, sit and cry with others. And, all of this was years after I left the church. I still get emails from them. I still chat with them often. Those kids are now adults, moms, dads, husbands, wives, college graduates. While I was at the college I finished my BA. I am the only one out of six kids to accomplish that. I put myself through school. I payed my own way. I worked full time and went to school at night to finish my AA and then took the job at the college to finish my BA without huge student loans. I did it. I finished it. I didn't walk at graduation...because I didn't feel worthy. I doubt me...yet, if I could get the doubt to go away I could maybe, possibly be proud...a little.

Do you watch Friends? There is an episode in season 4 where Monica and Phoebe are catering a dinner for Monica's mom. Monica losses a blue, press-on finger nail in one of the quiche's they are making. When she tells her mom her mom tells her not to worry and pulls lasagna from the freezer. After an argument her mom says she has the lasagna just in case she "pulls a Monica." Phoebe trys to convince Monica that they will just change the meaning of it. "pulling a Monica" will become a good thing. That is what I want...I want to switch the "trisha thing" to a positive.

I want the "trisha thing" to be that I married a man and five years later still love him with my whole heart. I want the fact that I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and watched him die and am still living to be a "trisha thing." I want the world to know that i haven't given up. I want the "trisha thing" to be known as someone who has had great struggles but keeps pushing forward. I doubt myself daily. The doubt chases me. It follows me everywhere I go. It haunts me.

I am trying daily to be me. I want the "trisha thing" to mean that I lived my life praising Him. I want it to mean that I loved with my whole heart. I want it to mean that my son is forever remembered. I will try...but, there is still doubt. Most days I feel like the world will see the "trisha thing" as a woman who loses. A person who can't finish what she starts. A person that losses her children. A person that is too scared of failure that she doesn't shoot for the stars anymore.

I see the world through the eyes of doubt. I want to chagne that...but, how?


Jamie said...

Hey, pick up Beth Moore's newest book, "So long insecurity, you've been a bad friend". It's a great read. End with, always and every day, the fact that God made you and treasures you simply because you are you! I struggle daily with worrying about others' perception of me, but I know that it is only His opinion that matters.

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