Friday, January 16, 2015

Recapping a decade of my life

(photo by Alyza Moore for the "Bodies Born to Rise" project)
I have spent the last several months going through every last inch of this blog. Reorganizing. Cleaning up old labels. Making it easier to find things. I'm not done and still have many hours of work ahead of me.

In March it will be ten years of blogging.

It's a weird thing to be able to look at a decade of your life. Not all of it. Just the parts I let others see, of course. But that is its own interesting experience.

It's not news that I have been writing less and less. I have stared at it to find exactly what/when/how this has happened. I figured there would be a pattern of some sort. I cross-analyzed it with Facebook (because this was a very serious scientific inquiry, don't ya' know?). I compared it with life events.

And that's when I saw it. It wasn't one thing. It has been many.

a major shift in homeschooling and my time here at my kitchen table after one of our kids entered public school 
new in-real-life community that I began to be very deliberate about maintaining 
running, then running more and training more and running some more 
more of my children joining social media and joining with them there 
coaching other parents online and reading/researching regularly to have more resources at my fingertips 
respecting the privacy of my kids as they age - even deleting and changing wording on things I write to honor their healing and personal space 
a huge dip happening after going to two burns in four months - practicing being present and cutting all online connection for large chunks of time (you see a very deliberate drop in posts after I acquired my ticket to Burning Man one March and began preparing ... that made me smile, remembering that spring and summer ... so many amazing experiences) 
having teenagers - my life looks completely different now 
perimenopausal brain fog making writing much more tedious and exhausting

This was once my therapy. My self-love. This place has carried me for years. It was where I could pour things out, process my own experiences and grow out loud just a little bit. It did its job beautifully. I have grown in ways I never expected. My ease into this new phase of life and parenthood has been gradual. I am finding my self-expression in other ways these days. I am challenging myself with smaller groups of people. I have the freedom to leave this table much more than I ever have.

As a part of what I have called my "blog cleanse," I am reposting all of my most helpful therapeutic parenting posts on my coaching site. There is already a full year set to post throughout 2015 to refresh and encourage you: Christine's Parent Coaching Blog

For years, my blog was a way to keep family current on stuff and to connect with other homeschoolers. It stayed that way for quite a while. Until we became therapeutic parents. And as many of you remember, that was when readership spiked. We were a bit like a car crash and people couldn't help but rubber-neck. Others who were having similar struggles found us and started to hold our hands virtually over the years.

The reason I help other parents now is because, like all of us, I wish I had known everything I know now when I started learning and practicing "therapeutic parenting." Yet, I'm still learning. More and more. Because kids continue to hurt and experience trauma. More professionals are taking an interest and working tirelessly to find more answers.

I learned what it meant when they said things like, "The best therapy happens at home." Yet I also experienced how that meant a bunch of us normal people with our own histories/traumas were supposed to be the magic, not even realizing just how much our kids' trauma was constantly triggering our own issues and buttons. We didn't have years of schooling. We didn't have professors insisting we have our own therapy before daring to provide therapeutic interventions to others.

We've been pioneers. Yet, it doesn't feel like that to us. It feels more like "floundering and grasping at straws."

I believe this is changing. I believe it will continue to change. And this has been how I have contributed. We all have in some way. I am very proud of our family's floundering and our willingness to share it with others. I am also proud of the others who have understood we only share a portion of it and maintain some privacy.

I thank each of you for the way you are contributing in your floundering. Through message groups, social media posts, advocating and daring to question therapists who don't seem to "get it." We are all changing the face of early childhood trauma.

That is why I'm reposting the meat of all of that in a separate space. I already have a year of posts ready to go. One per week. We want it to continue to help people along the way.

That's a big part of what this blog became. The other is my own personal unfolding. I had no idea when I started this that I would be where I am today. At a little RV park in south Texas. No longer wearing the hat of "pastor's wife." Spending days not finding myself, but allowing all that has existed within me to finally have a space on the outside. Some of you have walked that with me. So, I leave this here for that reason. I'm proud of it. Embarrassed by some of it. Uncomfortable reading back through other parts. But I know that being vulnerable brings me strength. And it brings you strength. I'm glad to do that, even when I hate it.

In the meantime, remember that we are about to hit February.


Now, hasn't that been a ride? Last year I ended my part and I've turned it over to you. I will be leaving all of these posts for your yearly inspiration: Sexperiment, Sexuary and the Infamous Post on Butt Sex

I take a holistic approach to myself, which is why I've always talked about so many things. All the things. There are many important pieces to life that dribble over and affect the others. So, I proudly leave you with the years of my own sexuary experiences. The good, the bad ... and the butt.

To whomever you are, thank you for holding my coat as I dive into my own figuring-it-out. I will keep holding this space for myself as I need it. And I'll hold it for you, too. Whatever it has been for you along the way. If anything I have ever written has helped just one person in a struggle or life-shift, it has been so very worth doing this in a public way.

I'll see you around.


Katie said...

I honestly can't remember how I even found your blog years ago, but I loved it from the start. It always inspired me, made me laugh at times, and helped me in my own parenting journey with "typical" kids. I could always relate to you. You inspired me to buy a hoop! Much love to you and thank-you for all that you've given me.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Katie.

And Happy hooping. :-)

Glori B. said...

I thank you for this space in which you have grown and struggled and shared and been breathtakingly honest. How I have loved you, Christine, and your family. Your presence has changed lives; I know you've changed mine. Best wishes.

Unknown said...

Oh, Glori B, thank you for taking the time to write and share that with me.

Nobody said...

I just read this post, and it made me a little sniffly. I had to hop over to my scrappy little blog and see that it has been eight years now, and so much has changed for us as well. I purged the blog awhile back, and moved so many posts back into drafts, for many of the same reasons you mention here. Thank you for being you, and sharing some bits and pieces here. It has entertained me, uplifted me, and gotten me into some trouble. I love you, and I am so glad we all took that plunge into real life. So very real.

Unknown said...

I want to thank you for all you have shared so openly over the years. I have been on a very similar journey
and you are right, it changes over time. As our kids age, as we process our own trauma and as time and life go on.

Please know that you have been a good friend to share this journey on even if we have never meant, it ahs meant a lot to have you there.

Unknown said...

I stumbled across your videos 3 days ago wben in tears I went frantically looking for something to tell me to not quit. After 4 and a half years, my loving family sat me down christmas night and begged me to " send him back" . I called a friend..she echod my parents " he isnt going to change if he hasnt by now" tried another friend.same response. Yup im tired...yup its CRAZYYYYYYYYYY! But in my scared and silently resentful heart...I know I have to just keep going. I found you at 212 a.m new years day. I watched your videos over and over until this morning when I went back to work. I laugh soooo much when I watch them . Especially the song. I have downloaded it and play it to cheer me have given me hope and encouragement to just keep going. What a gift!!! Thankyou christine.