Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bahama Mama

So - we had the opportunity to check another adventure off of our Florida bucket list - we went on a cruise to the Bahamas, and it was pretty divine. 
As it worked out - my husband's work wouldn't let him come back to work, so he did some much needed healing as we floated through the ocean.  
Ahem.. the girls didn't mind taking a week off of school either... 
Cabbage Beach - Nassau - Bahamas
While the beach was beautiful, the drop at the waterline was quite extensive, and just a few feet out was over my head, with big and strong waves crashing in and pulling out.  It felt out of control (the water), so we didn't actually really play on the beach for very long in Nassau.  
Casting off!
We hired a taxi/tour and drove around Nassau.  We stopped to buy a conch for $5. Then looked over the sea wall, and saw this!  Supporting the local economy I guess. :) 

We climbed the 66 steps - which are symbolic of the 66 years of slavery in the Bahamas.  And we even stopped at our tour guide's franchise owner's establishment and waited for him to pay his bills.  A little crazy, but it was a fun adventure.  

 The third day of the cruise was pretty amazing.  My husband and  youngest daughter participated in a 5K on Disney's private island.  My husband won, of course.
After finishing the race, they ran right down into the water to cool down.
Because our kids are older, I got to spend some time swimming in the ocean.  The island didn't have much in the way of waves (my favorite) and so I swam laps for an hour and LOVED it.
We all snorkeled (and saw a baracuda, a huge grouper - with frightening teeth) and played with some tubes, and we rented bikes and biked around on the island.  It was a truly paradisiacal day.
 We spend the last day at sea - we went to an oragami class, and the kids spent time in the kids club.

We've already been talking about how soon we can book another cruise - it was so fun!

Now the nitty gritty - when we got back, my husband had a message (he thought he was going back to work on the 25th) saying they didn't want him back at work for another 3 weeks, and he had to see a new neurologist, one he'd never seen before who would sign his "fit for duty" paperwork.

After some confusion, he figured it was a gift.
He's been seeing a naturopath.  I don't even imagine in my greatest fantasies that I can understand it.  He is seeing a counselor doing some EMDR therapy for trauma, and we've been reading lots of books and trying to find anything we can that might lead to insight and understanding of what is really going on.

In a crucial moment, I called my sister last month, and asked her for some help.  She's an amazingly insightful woman.  She listened carefully, and said she thought that my husband may be dealing with shame.  I know, how weird does that sound?  She recommended that we find some books on shame by Brene Brown.
We bought the CD Men, Women, & Worthiness.  It absolutely rocked our world.  As my husband and I listened, we started to recognize truths.  Many of which have been soul jarring painful, but as we've begun to really understand what my husband has been going through, pieces of the puzzle have finally begun to fit together.

Go buy the CD's. On amazon. Right now.  Seriously. NOW.

I've recommended these CD's to several of my friends, who have bought them and are finding answers to their own personal issues.  I don't know if it was how she said it, but it just clicked.  So - for 3 months, we'd been searching and sifting, trying to figure out where my husband had experienced trauma.  All of the neurologists (6 so far), psychiatrists (2 so far), primary care giver (1), naturopath (1), and counselor (1) have been trying to track down the mysterious trauma that has been causing my husband to have seizures for the past 3 months.  Tests, tests, tests.  Drugs, drugs, drugs.  Guessing, and throwing our hands up in defeat.
Until the CDS.  They resonated.  We had to sit down as we learned that a body reacts to shame in the same way (if not even a stronger reaction) as it reacts to trauma.  Absolute revelation.  Now, we've begun to work through it.  It isn't pretty.

But.  My husband has been praying for healing for as long as he can remember.  His prayers are finally being answered.

My sister pointed out to me yesterday when we spoke, the girls and I have the beautiful experience of watching my husband's true self awaken.  Not the shell of a person who was always hiding, but the vibrant, amazing man that I fell in love with - as a WHOLE person.

It is a long road ahead, but we are walking it together.  It has been a VERY tough journey for both of us.  But I know that the end result will be worth it.  My husband now has what we call his "crap -ometer".  He can spot it a mile away.  You know, insincere words, lip service and the likes.  He is no longer the deliberate diplomat, but now is calling it how he sees it - who cares what others think?  And to be brutally honest - right now, he is angry.  His entire belief system of how he fits into the world has crumbled into the dust and blown to the wind.  

Today, he was asked to speak in church (give a sermon).  It was one of the most honest talks I've ever heard.  He was so real.  True to what he really thinks and feels.  And he threw it out for everyone, and it was gripping.  A man from Holland who isn't a member of our congregation came and asked for a copy of his sermon, so he could share it with his wife who couldn't come.  Another person who isn't a member of our congregation came up and spoke with him about it, and so many people have commented about how heartfelt and timely it was.  Did I mention it was beautiful?

So - this week, his shaking has slowed down and almost completely stopped.  In it's place, is anger, and flashbacks, and tears as he tries to figure out how to process everything.  I described an experience he had with his counselor to my sister, and she said that he is actually suffering from PTSD.  Wow.  Who would have thunk?

On a final note, our cub scouts troop had its pinewood derby yesterday.  I made a pickle car, and our youngest made a hershey bar. But the paint got smudged, and no one knew what it was. She got the prize for the most 'rustic'.  Yes, please kick me in the stomach again :) She wasn't thrilled but it was fun. My car fell off of the track twice, then when I fixed the wheel, I added too much super glue and then my wheels ended up not even turning at all.  Oh, the pangs of pinewood derby cars.

Finally, my last news (I almost forgot). The week after our cruise (last weekend) there was an LDS women's conference, called Time Out For Women.  I had the opportunity to play my cello and perform with one of the music groups - Mercy River.
The fun part was that my friends had NO idea, so they were surprised when I went up on stage.  (I'm sneaky like that sometimes).  I got to hang out back stage with the presenters - so that was pretty exciting.  My oldest daughter and her friend, and my neighbor from across the street got to go with me too, and it was really fun.
Playing onstage for 2,100 people was exciting too.  My biggest venue yet!

Pictures to come, but that should catch us up for now.  XOX Mare