Mud puddles remind me of my childhood days lovingly caring for my tadpoles placed in a large mason jar. I was so proud of them and eager to see them get their legs. I watched spellbound as they began to transform into frogs. Soon they realized that if they could jump high enough, they just might be able to leap out of the jar placed near my mother’s ironing board. She warned me by saying, “Those tadpoles are trying to jump out. If they do, I am not catching them!”
Sooo…my mind started working, as it usually does when I’m trying to find a solution to a problem. What would work better now that they are becoming frogs? A pond! Maybe I could make a pond in the back yard, fill it with water and whaaalaaahh! There ya go!
So…I ran for the shovel and commenced on my project. I dug the hole, filled it with fresh water and it looked beautiful! I introduced them gently into their new home. Ohhh, it was lovely to see them swimming around in their natural habitat.
Later that day, I went out to see how they were doing. But something was terribly wrong! The water was gone and my babies were nowhere to be seen! Where were they? I ran to the house to tell my parents what had happened and I soon realized what I had unintentionally done. I had basically served up my babies on a platter to my cat! I was horrified and sad.
Just as I was horrified and sad that my young uninformed mind had caused harm to my baby frogs leaving only a “mud puddle”, I am also horrified and sad by a “mud puddle” that keeps us stuck in a circumstance or situation that causes just as much harm. This is a toxic emotional mud puddle. The longer we are in it, the more we realize we can’t see a way out; we become numb to new opportunities and that’s when it happens; “all you can see is MUD”.
“All you can see is MUD” is when you are in a relationship where you feel off balance, communication is exhausting and life feels like a tornado.
Nothing makes sense when you are in this mud puddle. You frequently question yourself and your ability to make good decisions. Life is hard and a daily battle.
Now, this is true of the person who is suffering with a mental diagnosis and the people who love them.
The mud puddle can pull you into it’s mire no matter who you are; neither seeing a way out.
What can you do?
Why is it…”all you can see is mud”?
When you are in a relationship with someone with a mental illness or serious emotional challenges, (whether it is a spouse, child, friend, mother, father, sister, brother, etc.) the constant interaction with them day in and day out seems to repeat patterns that quickly become “your new normal“.
If that new normal is hurtful, chaotic, disrespectful or traumatizing in any way, you are definitely sinking deeper and deeper into the mud.
When that happens, you can no longer identify where you end and another begins.
- Their thoughts become your thoughts
- Their reality becomes your reality
- Their hopelessness becomes your hopelessness
Both parties, need to take a break, get some clarity and step out of the mud puddle!
You can’t be there for anyone
while you are sinking in the mud.
More options to a healthy relationship:
- Get some professional help
- Find a support person or group
- Explore positive ways to cope
- Install healthy boundaries
I hope you will remember Miss Mia’s “mud puddle”
when times get rough and you don’t know what to do next.
Step out of the “mud puddle”,
push the pause button and
find a bit of rest for your heart.
Until next time…LOVE,