Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Take One Giant Leak - I actually said that in Sunday School by Accident

The following story brought back a memory of a troubled little 3rd grade girl on a cool fall school day. That day seems ages ago and the little girl has grown up to be me.

*deep breath*

Many of you have posted about eating disorders and the reasons why you starved yourselves or overate during your youth. The reasons always come down to one thing: control. Our lives spin out of control and we must try to control something, anything and it usually becomes eating, especially when we are growing up.

Although I did not have an eating disorder, someone in my family did and still deals with those issues in their adult life, and is victorious every time.

During my ‘dysfunctional’ childhood, I tried to control something different than food, I used to try to control my bladder. I would convince myself that I could wait from the time I went to bed at night until lunch time the next day before I ‘went’. I would walk home for lunch every day in pain, but to me it was wonderful to have control over something in a life that was just unpredictable and crazy. Sick, huh?

One day, during one of those mandatory 3rd grade national tests we were required to take, I raised my hand and asked to go to the bathroom, I just couldn’t wait any longer. The teacher wouldn’t allow me to go because of the test. I had an accident right there in my seat. The teacher apologized and sent me to the nurse. I was humiliated and not sure if any of my classmates knew what was going on. No one said anything to me, but I still felt like everyone knew.

Those childhood years taught me many things. The most important thing I learned was how to be a good parent. Not by doing the opposite of how my parents raised me, but by understanding what a child needs to feel safe, secure, loved and confident.

I overcame my need to control as soon as I left my parent’s house to live on my own when I was 18. That is when I began to live and renew myself.

So, *deep exhale* now that I just shared a deep dark secret with you all I want to share this story that a friend sent to me. It brought me back to that day, 40 years ago, and it made me smile and touched my heart.


Come with me to a third grade classroom..... There is a nine-year-old kid sitting at his desk and all of a sudden, there is a puddle between his feet and the front of his pants are wet. He thinks his heart is going to stop because he cannot possibly imagine how this has happened. It's never happened before, and he knows that when the boys find out he will never hear the end of it. When the girls find out, they'll never speak to him again as long as he lives.

The boy believes his heart is going to stop; he puts his head down and prays this prayer, "Dear God, this is an emergency! I need help now! Five minutes from now I'm dead meat."

He looks up from his prayer and here comes the teacher with a look in her eyes that says he has been discovered.

As the teacher is walking toward him, a classmate named Susie is carrying a goldfish bowl that is filled with water. Susie trips in front of the teacher and inexplicably dumps the bowl of water in the boy's lap.

The boy pretends to be angry, but all the while is saying to himself, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!"

Now all of a sudden, instead of being the object of ridicule, the boy is the object of sympathy. The teacher rushes him downstairs and gives him gym shorts to put on while his pants dry out. All the other children are on their hands and knees cleaning up around his desk. The sympathy is wonderful. But as life would have it, the ridicule that should have been his has been transferred to someone else - Susie.

She tries to help, but they tell her to get out. You've done enough, you klutz!"

Finally, at the end of the day, as they are waiting for the bus, the boy walks over to Susie and whispers, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" Susie whispers back, "I wet my pants once too."

May God help us see the opportunities that are always around us to do good.


Morning Glory said...

That's one of the nicest stories I've heard. What a great reminder to be the best we can be in regards to those around us.

Thanks for sharing your vulnerable story, as well.

Lala's world said...

what a great story! thanks for being vulnerable for the rest of us! I totally agree with the disorders stemming out of control issues!

Anonymous said...

Sweet! A great story!

Dawn said...

That was two great stories! Thanks. If you read the series Kristen and I did on her anorexia journey, you'll see that we truly get that control issue!