Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Personal Awareness Wheel

Assignment: Choose an "issue" and fill out the Awareness Wheel. Write up a narrative describing the issue up to the resolution. 

-Based on True Events-

Mama’s Issues = Our Issues

The morning started out better then most Monday mornings. Before going to bed the night before, Lena, a stay-at-home mother of three active little boys made sure that the family would wake up to a clean house the next morning.
This particular day happened to be the first day of the summer break from home school. Lena found herself scrambling to finalize and carry out some of the plans that she had previously made in order to keep the household routines stable and their good habits continued throughout the summer and into the upcoming school year. Behind the scenes, within Lena’s mind and the few moments of personal time she snatched, she found herself trying to outline her own homework schedule for the summer classes that she had just started. The problem was, she found that she couldn’t keep anything straight in her mind.  All she knew at that moment was that she had a quiz due and she had just discovered 21 more pages of reading to fit in when her husband, Leif, got home from work. The day had dawned with a blue skies and sunshine outlook; however, by mid afternoon Lena realized things were gradually declining into frenzy of storm clouds.
Leif walked in from work to find the two youngest boys asleep and Lena studying for the quiz that was due that evening. Jakob, their six-year-old son, was outside waiting to be taken to baseball practice. Leif took Jakob to practice and immediately came home to do a few more “honey-do’s” that Lena had for him. In the meantime, the two little ones had awakened from nap. After picking up Jakob from practice, Leif took care of the kids so Lena could take her quiz.
Lena sat down at her desk and tried not to listen to the family antics just outside the door. She reviewed all of her reading, notes, and the Power Point presentation that was supposed to prepare her for the quiz. She had 12 minutes to finish the quiz. At this thought, Lena found that her thoughts went fuzzy and her heart started to race. She felt self-doubt and ultimately, she felt nervous and unprepared. It was the first quiz of the class and she had no idea what to expect. With all of this swirling around her, she began the test.  The end score of 70% was a far cry from what Lena had wanted. She found herself sitting at her desk asking herself how in the world she had thought it possible to take two summer classes this summer… and then she heard the baby gag and throw up.
After hearing the baby, Lena’s first thought was “where is Leif, and why isn’t he taking care of the baby!” Added to that thought were her feelings of the fear and anger at her perceived inability to juggle all of her responsibilities.
Lena picked up the baby, cleaning him up as she burned a path to the front door to find Leif. She had a vague memory of Leif telling her that he was going out to feed the chickens. What happened next is one of those moments that finds itself deeply etched within the minds of those involved. Lena barely recognized herself as the sound came out of her mouth. She knew it was Leif’s name being called, but she almost didn’t recognize the voice. “What in the world is making me scream at Leif like this?” was the question that came and went in a flash within Lena’s thoughts as she found herself screaming Leif’s name again. This time she was reminded of her own mother’s voice screaming at her children. Then Leif answered her in his usual kind tone. With a look of concern and confusion written on his face, he climbed out of the chicken coop with Caleb, their three year old in toe. Then the all-consuming, self-disgust set in on Lena yet again. This is not the first time Lena has over reacted to the stress that she feels. However, she doesn’t let the guilt close her mouth with an apology. She continues.
Leif rushes up to the house to rescue Lena, but in reality, it was the baby whose ears and heart most likely needed rescuing. Leif lovingly and firmly reminds Lena that all she needed to do was calmly let him know that she was feeling overwhelmed by her schoolwork and she needed his undivided help with the household. At this very reasonable remark, Lena goes on the defensive and tells Leif not to “teach” her how to communicate. Throughout the conversation, Leif never backs down with Lena’s irrational behavior. However, he does somehow find the right words and a calming influence to bring Lena back to reality. Ending the confrontation, he apologizes for not being there for her when she needed him. Lena, sounding grudgingly sorrowful, says she is sorry as well. Though she sounds one way, she is feeling overwhelmed by the self-hatred that she feels for the abuse that she has spread throughout her home.
Lena retreats into the office to continue her studies. As she begins, she wonders once again what is wrong with her and how she might overcome her tendency to lash out in anger with no warning.
Leif gathers the children and takes them out of the house to run a few errands in town. While Leif’s out Lena and Leif talk on the phone and again repeat their regret and apologies for the confrontation. Lena expresses her apology with more humility this time. Upon Leif’s return, Leif sneaks a bag into his dresser drawer and with an endearing smile informs Lena that he picked up some medicine for her from the “Chocolate family”. Though Lena felt the love and encouragement that Leif was trying to convey and was profoundly grateful for it, she once again found herself wanting very much to be able to feel healthy emotionally and in control.
Leif’s gift stirred something within Lena’s memory.  It didn’t sink in however, until the next day as she was working on another school assignment. She remembered that a few months ago she stopped taking anti-depressant medication thinking that she could find a proper balance with her emotions using all natural supplements. She then concluded that with the added stress of home schooling Jakob and taking classes herself, it very well might be time to rethink her decision to stop taking anti-depressants. After counseling with Leif, Lena decided to take the medication with the hope that she will spare her family any more heartache brought on by a mother under stress and out of control. 


Harmony said...

Hang in there. I love you. I hear you. Sending you an email shortly.

Faith 'n Family said...

Your blog is so great to read!
Thanks for sharing yourself with us! I have had an enjoyable evening reading through your old posts - I am back to being in the swing of things so I'd love to get together when you can - I know you are really busy with schoolwork :)

Lena Baron said...

Thank you Karin, it means a lot to me to know that my blog helps other people.

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