Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Uneven Break?

I have a question for you tonight dear readers... have you heard the song "Breakeven" by The Script? If you haven't I'll share a bit of the lyrics with you.

"I'm still alive but I'm barely breathing
just prayed to a God I don't believe in
'Cause I got time while she got freedom
'Cause when a heart breaks, no it don't break even...

What am I supposed to do when the best part of me was always you?
And what am I supposed to say when I'm all choked up and you're okay?
I'm falling to pieces, yeah
I'm falling to pieces"

Having been in counseling myself since the age of 14 and now finishing up my masters in order to practice as a counselor this song really irks me. I try to stay clear of too many soap boxy subjects, however I've heard this song a million times too many on the radio and I just cannot resist sharing any longer. In a nutshell it's stupid. Part of me wants to sit down with this person and piece by piece dissect the situation (the counselor in me), but of course I realize it's just a song and there may not be any legitimacy to it either. However, someone (or someones) are out there listening to this and literally falling apart because of broken heart and I can't help but think how stupid this song sounds compared to the reality of broken relationships.

A little background for you... when I first heard this song, I thought it was kinda catchy, especially for a break up song. However, I felt it was a little drastic, but quickly realizing I had been there many a time before. The second time I dissected it a little more and putting to work my skills from my own personal therapy as well as what I'm learning as a mental health professional, and most importantly putting into practice my faith above all else, I've realized how utterly ridiculous this is and how it can keep an individual from fully moving forward.

This whole song is based around a guy who put his worth and definition into some girl (and girls, don't get me wrong... we do the very same thing). The truth of the matter is, no one can define you, no other person can be the best part of you. You are the best part of you, every quirk, every habit, every single make up of who you are is you... no one has the power to take responsibility for you or take away a part of you. God created each one of us differently and uniquely, he also created us to be in relationship/community with one another. You cannot be in relationship or community with others if you are not you, if you don't know you, or you find yourself taking on the personality of another to "fit in." That is not healthy, that is not being whole as God intended. I think that is the biggest thing I'm learning for me right now. I cannot be the best counselor I want to be for my clients if I don't know me, if I don't know my values/beliefs, or if I'm changing my outward appearance to please others. I also cannot be a good wife to my future husband someday or take care of our children if I don't know how to care for myself.

I realize relationships are hard and it's extremely hard when they break or fade away, but I've also come to realize that just as man may have the capacity to break my heart, so does God and in all those moments (whether even or not) it comes back together stronger and larger and more loving than before. These are learning moments my friends, no matter what they look like or how hard they seem to be to endure at the time. I can honestly look back on some of my broken life moments and I thank God for the teaching, and I thank God for the people who may have walked away, that they had the strength to walk away from something that could have become completely disastrous or destructible.

I'm finding a lot more strength and confidence these days. I'm not perfect by any means and I still have my own issues to continue to work out, and although my life hasn't really turned out the way I had planned, I thank God for where I am, what has transpired and all the love and life lessons I'm learning along the way as I continue to run this race. I hope and pray the same for you, because not knowing yourself is probably the most heartbreaking thing of all.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sundance, Rotation Two

This week marked the fifth week of twenty-three in my practicum for my masters and I began working with the youngest age group, Elementary 1. These kids range in age from 5-years-old to 8-years-old. Many of them are struggling with depression and aggressive behavior as well as some ADHD issues. It has been a whirlwind of an experience and I'm loving every minute of it. It definitely utilizes more energy out of me, but these kids are great and remind me how much I am passionate about this field and my continued interest in working with kids. It is a complete 180 from working with the women's group, mostly because these kids are more behavioral than cognitive at this age. They have a hard time putting into words what they are feeling and their first reaction to most situations is to act out.

I'm continuing to gain more experience with paperwork, which I know doesn't sound exciting, but to me it's a part of the job and it makes it all seem more real. I've also sat in a few family therapy sessions and I'm quite impressed with the families we are working with (thus far). I haven't been able to meet with every family and I know that I'll have the opportunity to meet some other ones next week. I will continue with this age group for 3 more weeks and then move up to Elementary 2, at which time I'll be wrapping up my summer session of class at Amberton and gearing up for my final class of my masters degree and pulling out my study books once again to prep for the Boards in December (hopefully).

Prayers are always welcome my friends, especially for these kiddoes. They are remarkable and have so much life ahead, please pray that they would be able to trust in me and begin to tear down the walls they've built. Also continue to pray for me, in true Cristyn fashion I'm constantly on the run from one activity to another, my biggest prayer is that I would be patient with myself and know when to stop and rest.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

All Growns Up!

I stole my title from my super duper oh-so-smarty pants older brother, Brian. He's featured in the picture below...

Okay, so that's an old picture, but it never ceases to amuse me. He cracks me up and is one of my best buds, I love the kid!

But that's not what this blog is about. I had the honor of spending the afternoon today with two of my favorite little munchkins, my nephews Will and Brock...
These two handsome mischief makers are my other brother, Bill's sons. Will is the elder of the two and featured on the left above. This kid blows me away! He's 2 1/2 and super communicative, detail-oriented, and a super sleuth! As I was driving out to McKinney to care for these wonderful treasures I went back to that March day over 2 years ago when after finding out that my other nephew, Billy Jr. (my sister's son), was sick I drove out to my brother and sister-in-laws house. Will was 4 1/2 months old at the time, a mere 2 weeks younger than Billy Jr.

As I reflected upon that day I recall the exact details as I approached my brother's house. He, my sister-in-law Denise, Will, and myself closed ourselves off from my eldest nieces and nephew by hanging out in the master bedroom as we awaited to find out what was going on. I held Will in my arms and as he looked up at me I remember promising that he would see his older cousin again and would grow up and play with him. I so desperately wanted to believe that, but I honestly can't tell you what I believed in those hours of waiting. After my brother made a few calls to the hospital in Colorado, my sister finally called and gave us the tragic news that Billy did not make it, he had passed away. Life became very numb in that moment, time sorta stood still for the longest time.

Now here we are just over 2 years later and I feel like a whole lifetime has passed sometimes. My sister, her husband, their daughter, and youngest son (born since the death of Billy) have moved back to Colorado to build their lives and dreams there and are expecting another bundle of joy in just under 3 months. My brother, Bill and his wife, Denise have since added another baby, Brock who is 17-months-old today! Brian, after 11 years has finished his Bachelor's Degree and gearing up to teach junior level history courses at our alma mater in Coppell... I couldn't be more proud!

And me, well, for the first time I feel like an adult. I look back on that day in March 2008 and I recall how immature I was, how lost I was, and how timid and fearful I was. I see the woman in the mirror now and I couldn't be more grateful for the healing God has done in my heart and the hearts of all my family members. One of the greatest honor and responsibilities I've ever been given was that of becoming an aunt to all my precious nieces and nephews.

Billy Jr. will never be forgotten and we will forever tell the stories of his short life that brought so much joy to us all. God has done a miracle and I can tell that I'm all growns up now! ; )