It took me many long years to learn I couldn’t control situations or people. I wasted many years trying to control my first husband, my employer and my life in all aspects. Then I learned to just live my life.
I was seventeen years old when I was in a serious car accident that landed me in the hospital. I was driving to school the day after Labor Day my senior year when the sun was parallel with the earth and blinded me. I was so blinded that I hit a parked semi truck.
I was rushed to the hospital with a broken ankle and a deep head laceration. I soon learned that you get a lot of attention when you are in the hospital. People sent me flowers, friends came to visit, my dad stayed overnight in my room with me. Wow, look at me. Everyone is catering to me and making me the center of attention. It was all about me!
I was too young to understand this was a bad path to go down. I still walked down that path.
When I was younger I spent so much time planning and controlling every aspect of my life. I overthought every situation and then was upset when it didn’t work out the way I thought it should. I thought God didn’t want me to have the things I was demanding and wishing for.
I never recognized my blessings in my early twenties. Even though I didn’t have a bad life, we owned our home, had a brand new boat as well as enough money to always pay our bills. I never opened my eyes to my blessings but instead chose negativity for attention.
I realized after years of disappointment and frustration that this is not how it works if you are to be happy and successful. You must release that victim mentality.
I was married to my first husband just before my 23rd birthday and as I look back I know that I was an absolute drama queen and was always playing the victim. I wanted to shock people with what was happening in my life and thought this was a good thing. The more shocking I could make it, the more attention I would get.
My parents planned a beautiful and very expensive wedding on a riverboat with a dinner cruise. It was the same year as their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. I felt at the time they were picking everything they wanted and inviting all of their friends. To me in my mind I played it out to people like all I got to pick for my wedding was the groom. I was so ungrateful for what they were doing for me. I chose to be the victim again instead of being joyous for their gift.
Another example of my ignorance is that I worked in the veterinary industry and if I was bitten by an animal at work (which happened often) I would wrap the wound with so much gauze people would have to ask me what happened. I was an attention seeker. Bites happened all the time, it was part of the job. You can look at my hands and arms and still see the scars.
If I would have a small laceration from a dog’s tooth my hand would look like this picture below. The injury would be tiny but I would wrap it as if a lion attacked my arm. This would cause everyone I came into contact with to ask what happened, give me pity and make the situation all about me. I could tell the story over and over about what happened. Not to mention most times I got to go to the emergency room to get the bite flushed out allowing me even more chances to tell the story.
When it came to my first marriage it was no better.
I would always cause some kind of disruption with my first husband if I didn’t feel like I was getting enough attention from him. Another example is that I would initiate arguments with him to get his interaction. I was way too immature to understand this was not the way to build a relationship with my then husband.
If he was 20 minutes late getting home from work I would blow up and say dinner was going to be ruined because he was late. We had no cell phone then so I am unclear as to how I thought he could let me know he would be late. For heavens sake twenty minutes is nothing in today’s world with traffic yet I chose to react and act like a victim.
I would fixate on his “alone” time. He and his brother and dad practiced a lost art that is called hand fishing. The would go to the river beds off the Mississippi River and lift big rocks and literally grab huge 15-20 pound catfish with their bare hands. This has since been deemed illegal and you can go to jail if you are caught.
Instead of me recognizing what a talent and strength it took to perform this task I pouted that he left me alone at home. I would sit at home brooding on Saturdays in the summer because my husband wanted to be with someone other than me. The picture is not my husband but shows the size of the fish caught with bare hands while hand fishing.
When I was pregnant I hired a doula which is a woman who is trained to assist another woman during childbirth and who may provide support to the family after the baby is born. I just knew my husband wouldn’t be a supportive partner during childbirth so I took the situation in my owns hands. This would also allow another person to focus only on me.
When it came time to have our baby my husband was there through the whole process and was very supportive. Me, being who I was at the time utilized the doula and didn’t recognize the possibility that he could have been helpful. I gave him no chance because I had to control everything.
I wasted so many years as well as opportunities to enjoy my life. I chose to be the victim instead of being positive and living a fun and happy life in my twenties.
I absolutely loved working with animals and had so many incredible experiences. For example we once took care of a tiger cub that had encephalitis (this is an inflammation in the brain). A traveling exotic animal show was passing through our area and my boss was the only one trained to help the tiger cub. Not many people can say they have held a tiger cub and I can.
Another time I was in an animal pen at our local veteran’s home that housed deer, peacocks and other animals that people could sit on benches and watch. My boss was called out to tend to several of the deer. I was his field assistant so I got to go with him. I was allowed to go into the pen with him to hold the bottles of medicine. I was standing in the middle of the pen when my boss said, “There is a male deer behind you flehmening you.” This is something deer do when they are “interested” in a female. They open their mouth slightly and strongly inhale for pheromones. “You need to back up to the side of the pen and get out.” He was worried the deer was going to approach me which could be dangerous.
Just as he finished his sentence I felt the deer behind me grabbing my pony tail in his mouth yanking on it. I moved slowly to the side of the pen to get away from my soon to be deer boyfriend. What an experience.
It took me many years to look at back and realize what fun memories I had while working at the veterinary hospital, boating with my first husband and seeing how much he loved our baby. I missed all of this in the moment because I chose to.
When you don’t recognize your blessings and live in each moment negatively you miss so much. It took me a long time to shake the “look at me-focus on me” mentality and begin enjoying my life. I often look back on those amazing times with such a different set of eyes. A set of eyes that can celebrate the times God gave me and continues to give me every day.
If you are suffering with the “look at me-focus on me” mentality I will pray for you. Your life can be so much more. God blesses us with so many beautiful opportunities to enjoy life and serve others. You will live a much more fulfilled life it you can reevaluate how you live each day. Recognize every moment and feel the joy in what is happening. God wants you to have fun, be abundant and serve others through your daily life.