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May 03, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Pualani: Bill, in all honesty I don't know that I have learned that much. I just know that almost 9 years after my H dropped the 'bomb' on me I'm still struggling a lot of the time...

Bill: Pualani: Thanks for the honesty! Some of what I have learned includes: (1) We need to forgive the people who loved us for the things they said and did that had a negative impact on us. Since they are all human, they are guaranteed to have made mistakes. Colossians 3:13 challenges us to forgive whatever grievances we have so we need to forgive everybody for everything. Another step in making real change is (2) Do an honest evaluation of the people how had the biggest impact on us growing up. Gen 2:24 says we are to "leave our father and mother and cleave . . ." In the west we think of this as a physical move. When it was written, families continued to work together on a daily basis and usually lived on the same property. Therefore, leaving is not necessarily physical. It means we intentionally embrace the good traits of the people in our family and capitalize on the benefit of those traits. We also "relieve them of responsibility" in the areas they weren't good at. Rather than expect them to be good at what they aren't good at, we take those areas over so we can bring them to Jesus and put together a better strategy.

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May 03, 2017 / Wednesday Chat with Bill

Swan: Hello everyone, welcome to Wednesday evening chat.

Little Magpie: Hello Swan

Swan: Hi Little Magpie - How are you tonight?

Little Magpie: Swan - a bit overwhelmed. My MIL had surgery yesterday and some complications arose. She had some transfusions this morning. I got away for a little while and will be going back to the hospital in a little while.

Little Magpie: Swan - How are you?

Swan: Little Magpie - That is scary, praying all goes well and she recovers soon.

Swan: Little Magpie - I am fine, have been feeling an energy this week and was able to get several things done that I have been procrastinating on. It feels good to have my to do list down to only two items.

Little Magpie: Swan - that sounds wonderful. We are having sunshine and 75 degrees today!!!

Little Magpie: Swan - Sunshine always lifts my spirits

Swan: In the morning my grandson likes to grab a muffin for breakfast, his mom was buying them at Costco, but the past few weeks I have been making them, I was a day off this week, but got them baked this morning. This week we are trying lemon poppy seed with streusel topping. I had one, they are pretty good.

Swan: Little Magpie - we are in the mid 80's today and the same for tomorrow, but this weekend dipping down to the low 60's with chance of rain. I prefer the cooler temps myself.

Little Magpie: Swan - that sounds really yummy!!

Little Magpie: Swan - I need the sunshine. I have been told that I am solar powered. I have more energy and am happier when it is sunny

Swan: Hi Bill

Little Magpie: Good Evening Bill

Bill: Hi. Sorry I was late. My dad has been dizzy for the past two days. We have been trying to figure it out and making sure he doesn't fall. Good to be here.

Little Magpie: Bill - I will be praying for your dad and yourself

Little Magpie: Hello Pualani

Bill: Little Magpie: Thanks for prayers. How is MIL?

Swan: Hi Pualani - great to have you with us tonight

Little Magpie: Bill - I left for a while this afternoon so after CHAT we are going to the Hospital to check things out

Bill: Hi Pualani. Welcome.

Little Magpie: Bill - Thanks

Bill: Little Magpie: Did the transfusion happen and if so did it go smoothly?

Pualani: Hello everyone, I was just catching up on chat before I join in.

Little Magpie: Bill - They were getting the blood set up when I left. I had an appt. with my sleep doctor and trying to find out about college funding so, my H's Aunt held down the fort.

Little Magpie: Bill - we will keep you informed.

Pualani: Little Magpie and Bill, I am sorry to hear about your family member's health problems. Swan, your home baked muffins sound lush. I just had a blueberry muffin - not homemade though.

Swan: Bill - sorry your dad is having dizzy bouts, they can be scary. My mother had breathing issues, in fact spent the last years of her life on oxygen 24/7. I remember the year it came to light, we were visiting and she stood up and went right back down. She then told us she had been feeling light headed for a few weeks, she usually did the "I am fine" thing with my siblings and step father, but I didn't give her a choice (and since I had taken the roll of mother when I was 9 years old, she didn't give me any guff) and took her to the doctor the next morning. She wasn't fine, but the doctor took good care of her and it was managed for many years after.

Bill: All: I have a question for all of us tonight. Our families of origin have much more influence on us than most people admit. This is one of the reasons people get stuck in bad behaviors or get "blind-sided" at midlife. What have you found effective in "reprogramming" habits, attitudes and reactions you learned from the family who raised you?

Pualani: Swan: what caused your Mom's dizziness?

Bill: Pualani: I know it is a tough question. I face it so much both in my journey and in helping others that I am always looking for new insight. The fact you are here means you passed!

Bill: This is a test to see if my messages are getting through

Pualani: Oh Bill! That's a tough question!

Pualani: Oh, did I pass the test then? LOL!

Little Magpie: Bill - I think it is important that you come to realize what cause you to do certain things, awareness. I know I stress eat and eat for comfort but I don't always know what my triggers are to my behaviors

Swan: Pualani - I always loved to bake and in a way I am bragging, but I am pretty good at it. The store bought muffins get stale so quickly and who really knows what is in them, so I started baking them each week. So far I have baked him banana walnut, blueberry crumb, apple cinnamon streusel and this week the lemon poppy seed. I will have to do a little search and see if I can find a new one for next week.

Swan: Pualani - she was suffering from emphysema so her passages would get blocked and her breathing very difficult and she would get dizzy since her body wasn't getting the oxygen it needed.

Pualani: I know you love baking and are GOOD at it a God-given talent I believe! I don't have much confidence as a cook - thanks to a teacher who stood me up in class as an example of how not to make a sponge cake. I can feel my cheeks burning with shame even now! However, I do appreciate the talents of others in the kitchen

Bill: Pualani: Forgive me for eavesdropping but your comment about cooking is a great example of how significant moments in our past shape the way we live. I can tell you from experience that cooking can change. When Pam and I got married, she was not a very good cook (She would admit it so I am not telling on her!). A few years ago, some health issues changed her focus and she began experimenting with new recipes and new ways of planning our menus. Amazingly, the stuff she started creating is outstanding. Anyway, it is amazing how a moment in your past can still raise the same reactions you experienced back then. This is the kind of thing that I am seeking more wisdom on.

Pualani: Swan, my late MIL had that and was constantly on oxygen in her last days. She had to have a hip fracture repaired under spinal anesthetic as she couldn't have a general.

Little Magpie: Pualani - I am sorry your teacher did that, it was so out of line. Teacher should have encouraged not ridiculed.

Pualani: Bill, I thought reading the question meant I'd passed, lol!

Bill: Pualani: You are so funny. Of course reading the question means you passed! Great job.

Pualani: Bill, in all honesty I don't know that I have learned that much. I just know that almost 9 years after my H dropped the 'bomb' on me I'm still struggling a lot of the time...

Bill: Pualani: Thanks for the honesty! Some of what I have learned includes: (1) We need to forgive the people who loved us for the things they said and did that had a negative impact on us. Since they are all human, they are guaranteed to have made mistakes. Colossians 3:13 challenges us to forgive whatever grievances we have so we need to forgive everybody for everything. Another step in making real change is (2) Do an honest evaluation of the people how had the biggest impact on us growing up. Gen 2:24 says we are to "leave our father and mother and cleave . . ." In the west we think of this as a physical move. When it was written, families continued to work together on a daily basis and usually lived on the same property. Therefore, leaving is not necessarily physical. It means we intentionally embrace the good traits of the people in our family and capitalize on the benefit of those traits. We also "relieve them of responsibility" in the areas they weren't good at. Rather than expect them to be good at what they aren't good at, we take those areas over so we can bring them to Jesus and put together a better strategy.

Pualani: Little Magpie: Thank you! My art teacher encouraged me and I have the confidence to have a go at anything arty/crafty and is the perfect example of the difference a teacher can make in a student - to last a lifetime!

Swan: Bill - Sadly for me it was stubbornness, I refused to be like my mother and step father. Unfortunately, I lost most respect for them early in life and set my goal on getting away from them as soon as I legally could. I tried before I was legally able, the police drug me back home. I resented so much of their choices, the way they treated us kids, how they treated each other, etc. I became hardened for many years, to be honest I didn't begin to soften my heart until I met my husband and it really got soft when I became a mother. Interestingly enough each time we would go to visit them, I would feel the defense of hardening my heart coming on, I tried hard to control it, but in all honestly was relieved when we would head out, seeing St Louis in my rearview mirror was usually a good thing for me. I missed my brother and sister, but my resentment towards my mother and her husband were stronger.

Bill: Swan: Thank you for sharing. I find that most people who want to change use the same approach you did with similar results. It kind of works in changing outward behavior and general choices but doesn't do much with the resentment and defensiveness that can take over.

Pualani: Bill, oh that's good that I can help in my funny little way - I do love to make people laugh

Swan: Pualani - the best way to make sponge cake is go to the local bakery and buy one, not a cake I like to make or am good at, mine always fall for some reason.

Pualani: Swan, I like that idea!

Swan: Bill - Experimenting is fun, my son, daughter in law and grandson are vegetarians, and I cook three nights a week, and I have learned to experiment with many recipes so I can make some old favorites using soy products or mushroom in place of the meat. Some work out well, a few not so much!

Bill: Swan: Every experiment is a learning experience! Here's to the ones that don't work out and make us smarter!

Little Magpie: Swan - That is amazing. I am not a creative cook and in fact my H and d's cook more than I do.

Pualani: Bill, with your example it's given me a better idea of what answers you're looking for. Yes, I learned that although half of me is from my father (a brutal, abusive man) and I used to fear that I would be like him as I look more like him than my mother - I am ME and I am a SURVIVOR. I have succeeded where others may not have and I have got through this awful experience so far. I do however, long to thrive, not just survive. And yes, although my father disowned me almost 30 years ago now, I forgave him and wrote to tell him so.

Swan: Pualani - I think we all have those days when we struggle, I know I do. There are days I find myself reviewing our marriage and wonder when it all really started and what I did to contribute to it, what I could have done to have helped him better, was I that horrible, etc. I find myself asking God why, sometimes more than others, I will then usually tell myself that I may not understand, but He does and one day I will be able to ask Him face to face, but will I even care enough to ask Him then or will I just be blessed by His presence. It helps me get through those time, so I stick with what works.

Pualani: Bill: I have learned that our Hs cannot be our everything and I think that's what I expected of him, to fully complement and complete me. I guess I expected too much of him.

Bill: All: Then comes the tricky part - retraining ourselves. It is predictable that we all have "reactions" within ourselves that easily get triggered. When the trigger goes off, old reactions will probably erupt. If we can then ask the question, "How would I rather respond than have this reaction?" then push ourselves to that response one step at a time. Where I see people get in trouble is they try to "not have the reaction" then condemn themselves when they do. It is much better to move from the reaction to the response until our soul is retrained to move directly to the response,.

Little Magpie: Bill - How did my observation fit in or did it?

Little Magpie: Little Magpie: Bill - I think it is important that you come to realize what cause you to do certain things, awareness. I know I stress eat and eat for comfort but I don't always know what my triggers are to my behaviors

Bill: Little Magpie: Your description is a great example of a "reaction" that comes from traumatic events in our past. Although it may help if you knew "what triggers your behavior" it is more important to start asking yourself what response you would like to have when you get triggered. It doesn't mean it will change immediately or that you will have a miraculous transformation but it does give you something else to focus on and work toward. If you stay diligent with it, your soul will eventually yield and take you to the new response without having to travel through the reaction first.

Pualani: Bill - hmmm, retraining - well that's what we do HAVE time to work on whilst we are alone!

Pualani: Little Magpie, food is a comfort for me when I am stressed, too.

Swan: Bill - When I was in high school I had a friend that attempted suicide, she lived in a similar situation to the one I lived in. Her father called me and asked if I would go to the hospital and visit her, he came by my house and got me, drove me there and left us to talk. As I listened to her whine on, I remember the thoughts going through my mind were that she was weak. I didn't express that to her, she was my friend and I understood the feelings of that choice, I had them but I refused to let my step father win. I ran into her years later and the razor scars up and down her arms made me cry. I asked her if she ever got help for that issue and thankfully she had, was married and had three kids, she didn't have contact with her parents anymore, said she had to stop allowing them to influence her life because it was literally killing her. She shared that she had attempted to kill herself over 20 times and came to believe that God intervened each time because something always went wrong and her life was saved.

Pualani: Bill/Little Magpie - my H's OW, now fiancée, was married to my brother. Them running off together has split the family apart. My Mum is/was shocked to the core as she says she would have bet her life on my H always being an honorable man.

Bill: Pualani: Once again, people do things I don't have the imagination to come up on my own. You H getting together with your SIL - amazing! I am praying for you and your Mum. Thank you for sharing that. It is so easy to focus on the tough and the ugly and forget that God brings His redemption in the midst of the brokenness.

Swan: Bill - And my family is so lovingly kind, even when it doesn't work out well, they choke it down and no one complains. I love them!

Pualani: Swan, what a blessing for you with your own family!

Little Magpie: Pualani - Yes, I am praying too

Pualani: Swan, my Mum attempted suicide twice that I am aware of and that was because of how my father treated her. She wouldn't be here if she'd stayed with him and she was later saved by Jesus and led me and my sister to the Lord

Little Magpie: Pualani - Thankful that God used her to lead you to Jesus

Swan: Bill - I had to come to that place of relieving my mother of responsibility, it wasn't until I did, that I was able to forgive her and it helped me to see things in a different view. She did the best she knew how to do and when she couldn't cope with failing at those things, she attempted to get help and the doctor gave her valium for years. I was young and didn't understand it wasn't that she didn't care, she was medicated and couldn't care. She became addicted and stayed medicated most of her life. The last few years of her life we had a good relationship. I was even able to forgive her husband, I don't accept the choices and actions he made, don't even try to understand the why, but I had to forgive him, to let it go, not for him, but for me, I had to release all that anger that had built up inside me for so many years.

Bill: Swan: Thanks. In Christian circles we often tell people to "take it to the cross," which is great advice because Jesus has the ability to transform any situation. The problem is that too many people don't have the ability because the situation is still under the emotional authority of the family that raised them (even though they are adults). It isn't until we relieve them of responsibility in our hearts that we can truly take it to our Lord.

Pualani: Bill and Little Magpie, thank you I appreciate prayers for us and especially for the children in the midst of it all. The OW put a stop to my brother seeing his daughters, so none of us see them now. At one time all 3 of my sons had turned their back on me. Thankfully one has turned back to me and our relationship is healing - he went seriously off the rails as he went to live with his dad and the OW, but couldn't cope with being told his cousins were his sisters and that his dad was their dad. He did badly at school, got into drugs etc, but now is on the right path, praise the Lord!

Pualani: Little Magpie - oh me too! The best gift thing she ever did for me!

Swan: Pualani - There are some situations that we have to leave and any situation where others will harm us or we may harm ourselves because we cannot see a way out, we have to distance ourselves. That doesn't mean we have to stay distant, but we do need to have boundaries and if they choose to stay as they are and not work on the relationship to remove the danger of harm, then...

Pualani: Bill, you're welcome. Jesus as the focus of our life is really the HEART of it. I do try and ask myself what Jesus would do if He were facing the same situation as me and try and follow Him.

Pualani: Swan, are you referring to my Mum leaving my father?

Bill: All: I need to sign off to check on my dad but let me say, WOW what a group of folks you are. You have all been through enough hurt and disappointment to have given up, become bitter and passed on the damage. Instead, you are finding hope and strength in Jesus. Thanks for opening the window and letting me share in the journey. May God continue to make you "smarter than you are" and give you strength to rise above the turmoil. Blessings! Until next week.

Little Magpie: Bill - Thank you! Keeping you and your family in Prayer

Pualani: Bill - I forgot about boundaries. Dear Swan has taught us about those and I do try and enforce mine now, when I NEVER have in the past, LOL!

Swan: Pualani - I am so happy to hear that one of your boys is coming around. We cannot tell them the details of what their fathers are doing, we sometimes have to bite our tongue, but sadly eventually they see for themselves what is true. My husband's other woman used to make snippy remarks about me in front of my kids, their spouses and my grandson, fortunately my husband was the one who told her to shut up. She met my son in law before I did and she tried to give him an earful about me, he asked my daughter after the other woman was gone and she told him the other woman didn't know me and she didn't know anything about me, her dad never talks about me to her and everything she told him was a lie, she often makes things up about me to try and turn people about me. She tried the call her mommy and nanna stuff too, they all call her by her name. When my grandson was only four, she kept telling him to call her grandma and one day he looked at her with a puzzling expression and told her his mommy’s mommy is grandma XXXX and his daddy’s mommy is grandma Swan, he is all full up with grandmas so he can’t call her grandma. To this day he calls her by her first name only, but he doesn’t really see or speak to her. Because of things she has done and said, my husband has issued his own order in regards to her and his kids and grandson, she isn’t allowed to be around them. When he visits, he comes alone and if he invites them to his home, she is required to go stay with one of her son’s the entire time they are there.

Pualani: Bill, thank you for your kind words. I hope your dad is better. Bless you!

Swan: Pualani - yes it sounds as if your mother made the best choice for all of you in leaving.

Little Magpie: Pualani and Swan - Have a great night and rest of the week. It was nice meeting you Pualani. Thanks Swan

Swan: Night Bill, see you next week

Swan: Little Magpie - Will keep your mother in law in prayer, your husband and you as well

Pualani: Little Magpie, it was nice meeting you too! Bless you!

Pualani: Swan, yes she did the right thing in leaving my father. My S21 had been told all the lies about me whilst with his father and the OW. Now his father has disowned him for the umpteenth time and he is of an age where he can reason things out for himself. We giggle together the way we used to - it's so lovely! All praise to Jesus!

Pualani: Swan, I'm so glad it was your H who told the OW to shut up!

Swan: Pualani - The sad thing about people that disown their children, at some point the child decides to allow them to. My mother in law was always disowning one of her children and they routine was after a few weeks, they would crawl to her begging and regardless of what the issue was, they took blame. She did this to my husband for years and one night he looked at me and said, this time I am going to let her disown me, I am done. And he meant it, however, when she passed away, that was when midlife crisis started. I am not saying her death was the cause, because with him there were many factors, unfortunately they all happened within five months and he snapped.

Swan: Pualani - Yeah he always had a thing about gossip, his mother did it like pro, so when anyone started character bashing, he usually spoke out, I am told it upset her very much and they had one heck of a fight and that is when the order that my name cannot even be mentioned around them.

Pualani: Bill, in all honesty I don't know that I have learned that much. I just know that almost 9 years after my H dropped the 'bomb' on me I'm still struggling a lot of the time...

Bill: Pualani: Thanks for the honesty! Some of what I have learned includes: (1) We need to forgive the people who loved us for the things they said and did that had a negative impact on us. Since they are all human, they are guaranteed to have made mistakes. Colossians 3:13 challenges us to forgive whatever grievances we have so we need to forgive everybody for everything. Another step in making real change is (2) Do an honest evaluation of the people how had the biggest impact on us growing up. Gen 2:24 says we are to "leave our father and mother and cleave . . ." In the west we think of this as a physical move. When it was written, families continued to work together on a daily basis and usually lived on the same property. Therefore, leaving is not necessarily physical. It means we intentionally embrace the good traits of the people in our family and capitalize on the benefit of those traits. We also "relieve them of responsibility" in the areas they weren't good at. Rather than expect them to be good at what they aren't good at, we take those areas over so we can bring them to Jesus and put together a better strategy.

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