I quit

It wasn’t a conscious decision. I didn’t plan on it. But it kinda sort of happened, and I’m not really sure what to do with myself – if I need to fix it or if this is all for a purpose.

As most of you know, I have had trouble finding other people I feel I can really connect with here in the lovely central valley. Everyone either seems to move away just as I feel I have found a beloved friend – or after a while, when they spend any real amount of time with the unfiltered me, they act overwhelmed and make some excuse to remove themselves from my company and I end up seeing them less and less.

Luckily I have an amazing friend in my husband, and he and I truly enjoy one another. But he has been working crazy hours lately and has had to take lots of trips to his office (several hours away) sometimes for a week at a time. Which leaves me on my own, with three kids and no adult interaction (unless you count seeing my in-laws at the kids/school/home exchange). I may be going more then a little bit crazy.

I have lived here now for very nearly 10 years (short just  couple months). And I still feel completely alone on the “friend” front.

A few months ago I had a friend I used to go walking with every Tuesday morning.  She had kids similar to my kids ages – She was down to earth, I felt I could truly open up to her, and I thought she felt she could be honest with me. She was a little conservative, but no more so then your average raised-in-church-housewife here in the valley. But she was sweet and genuinely seemed to enjoy our time.   When kids were off school for a bit, she and I took a break from our walks. (Kinda hard to get any kind of good walk in while towing along 5 kids under the age of 8. No issues there!) But when I asked if she wanted to start again after the break, she told me that she was taking her walks alone every morning as a chance to have some quite time alone.

Ok – I get that. Every mother needs some alone time.

Then I just heard she has organized a “moms walk together once a week” kind of group with some of the other woman that we mutually know. I haven’t been invited. She avoids me at the moms group we both belong to and seems uncomfortable whenever I join her table.

I think I’ve been dumped…

I had a rough patch about a month and a half ago. Christmas was really rough and not at all merry for reasons I can’t really identify. In a place where I could not handle the pressure of being the doer/organizer of almost every single social event I am a part of, I stopped. I took a break. I needed to breath. And then I watched on in sadness as no one, not one person asked why.  At the end of it all, I figured I would wait for others to come back, to see if without my constant reminding, people felt connected enough to put forth the effort to maintain a relationship.

I’m still waiting.

I invited a dear old friend over for coffee the other day. We made the plans on a Saturday. She was scheduled to come over that Wednesday morning. I didn’t send her a confirmation text like a usually do.  She never showed up. I never heard from her. I saw her in a restaurant a few days later from a far, Maybe she didn’t see me (though I know her toddler did). I waited for her to come to me, watching, waiting for eye contact so we could say hi.  Never happened. I was working – perhaps she didn’t want to interrupt…I”m sure there is a perfectly logical explanation to all this.  But I must admit, I am starting to find it very hard not to take it all personally.

Is it me? Am I unpleasant to be around? I know I can be a lot to take sometimes. And I am trying to tone things down, truly – but for once, I would really love to not have to try anymore?

 

I went to a group meeting recently with several people in attendance that I really respect. Every time I tried to talk, I kept  saying things wrong – I am not sure if it is because my tact is out of practice, you don’t have to walk on eggshells much around kids, so I am not used to filtering. Perhaps I seemed over-eager. But several times, I would say something, make a suggestion or comment and the answer was either curt and business like with a quick walk away and further avoidance for the rest of the evening, or the answer was outright combative.  I went from feeling like perhaps I had a good idea, to feeling about 2inches high and the biggest fool in the room. Which then makes me walk away and avoid for the rest of the evening.  I don’t have the energy. I REALLY don’t. I can’t fight with you over nothing and everything. I will walk away. I need kindness right now. I need a little bit of care. Verbal sparring, especially with no really real purpose is truly beyond what I can do.  But then I have to wonder, was it all in my imagination? Is my lack of filter also paired with a lack of comprehension? Maybe I just don’t read people correctly anymore, maybe it is all in my head?

And yet, the moment I stopped planning it all, pushing for, organizing, it all stopped. Here I am alone. Was I really the only driving factor for every single one of my relationships? Is God preparing me to move away? Because I am finding small enough reason to stay lately.

Do I need to join more groups? I have joined a lot of them over the past few years. Some that have lasted, though I am exhausted and discouraged after each meeting – and some that have fallen a part or I have moved on knowing from the start that there is no place for me here. Others I still go to, praying before each meeting that there will be someone else there like me. Someone else that needs someone.

Lately every conversation I have had with just about anyone outside my home lately, leaves me feeling like I am WRONG.  Where has this combative attitude come from? Is it me? Maybe I am wrong…

I want to go home. I don’t know where home is at the moment. I don’t think it is here – but I want to go to it. I”m tired.

I have a couple of planned social events in the next week – I am scared. Apparently I”m not good at this anymore and I”m tired of screwing it up. But I need people so I will attend.

My husband is about to leave again for a week. I’m terrified. I will survive.

I’m going through a bit of a desert. And I think I am changing. My world is getting a little larger – my vision is expanding, I’m growing older. I know I need community – but I also know that I will not waste time with those that make a habit of tearing others down – and this can happen a lot in the “mom community.”  This combativeness needs to stop – but we also need to stop being so damn sensitive. If I see another “stop the mommy wars” crusade article I may vomit. Figure that one out. There are two sides I feel stuck between and it makes me tired.  If you feel the need to be right in every. Single. Conversation then I am done. Find someone else to be your emotional punching bag.  And on the other end of the spectrum, I cannot waste time with those that cannot handle honesty.  I can’t hold you up emotionally, you need to do that yourself. I want to be a support to you, but I cannot do all the work – you have to join in and be open to change. You also have to be ok with talking through some of the rough stuff – because I don’t do small talk very well. But no bitching – no husband bashing. Venting every so often is fine, I get that. But it can’t be just that.  I want to talk about hopes, dreams, grand plans for the future. A world apart from where I seem – great  adventures, philosophy, home remedy’s, parenting tools, funny stories we never want to forget, memories that made us into who we are. Battles we have lost, colors that have no name, rhymes that make us laugh so hard we pee just a little – what we would do with a million dollars, what we would do with no money, no home, no limits and all the time in the world.  I also like talking about sex…and books and movies and shows….ok now this is sounding like a dating profile!  “I also love long walks on the beach, peach tea and reading too much.” 

Is it too far fetched?  Maybe.

I think I am being overly dramatic – but I get to do that here, hypocrite as it may make me. Please, no words of “it will be ok” or “I had no idea! let me fix you!” You know I hate that. Life goes on, we deal with crap. We learn from it, we move on and are better people for it. I know there is purpose.  I know this is a phase. I will make it through.

 Perhaps I need to write a book on loneliness…

 

 

 

My friend and I

So I sat down to write today, and this came out all by itself.  I am pretty sure it was not “me” that was writing it, but the other me that comes out and writes things without consulting the real me about it at all. I almost think she needs a name – the Muse as it were. Anyhow – it is completely un-edited. But I kinda felt like it needed to be raw. Not sure what I will ever do with it, but I kinda like it all the same,

My friend and I

I have a little friend, as pretty as can be.

She has two legs, two arms, a nose, and giggles just like me.

We like to run and skip and play,

she’s by my side throughout the day.

We laugh and jump and sing together,

through sun and wind and wild weather.

Until the sun begins to yawn, and birds begin to sigh.

My friend she reaches to the sky, my friend begins to die.

“Oh please!” I beg, “don’t leave me now, don’t go” I cry in vain.

But as the sun dips to the west, the leaves turn golden reds,

The birds return to hearth and nest to tuck their babies into beds.

My friend she gives me one last wave and slowly fades to night.

My tears give sparkle to the stars, my grief it feeds the light.

The moon she is a beast of beauty, a hunter sounds a call.

A dipper measures velvet black, a haunting song is calling back.

A world apart from where I seem, my friend is now a long off dream.

A time of joy so long forgotten, a childhood fancy now besotten.

An end so tired, the dark has woken into a world so vast and broken.

I sit alone upon the ground, the sky above is still.

Your peace it whispers all around, the world it roars without a sound.

I breath a song of love and sorrows, of loss and joy and new tomorrows,

of blues and greens and brilliant gold, of songs and stories never told.

And though I’m old and gray and frail, a new day dawns, a new ship sails.

My friend with arms and legs and eyes, peeks or’ the hill to soon arise.

And bathe me with her golden cry, as new and glorious as the sky.

Together we will fly untamed crossed mountain range and desert plains.

A flash of lightning rips the sky, A dragon roars a thunderous cry.

I give a wink and wave goodby, and we just laugh my friend and I.

By Sarah Bethuel Reynolds

(copyright November 14th, 2013)

She needs Therapy!

So apparently I am in therapy now.

Not on purpose, it kinda happened on accident. Can you get into therapy on accident? Maybe it means I REALLY needed it – or maybe I was just out of sorts that day and so we both just kinda went with the flow. Maybe I will be getting a referral to an ACTUAL therapist on my next visit and an “I can’t do anything else to help you” like the chiropractor gave me.

Ok – just to be clear, the chiropractor did not refer me to therapy, though he may have wanted too. He just told me I had weird joints and he couldn’t fix them – what chiropractor says that? Aren’t they supposed to be lords of “come back 12 times in the next two weeks and don’t cross your legs when you sit or the screaming banshee will eat the soul of your cat and you will be bent and broken for eternity!” <add maniacal laugh here>

But…er…anyway. Therapy!  Perhaps I should explain…  

I went to a MOPS group a couple of weeks ago (Mothers Of Pre-schoolers. Yes, I know. It drives me crazy too, and yes they are all cutesy and crafty and really REALLY nice all the time.  And I am the ogre that sits and drinks my coffee mumbling about how all these crafts are ridiculous and will just take up space in my house…and they ignore me and enjoy making their “Thankfulness” banners and “God loves my family” picture frames anyway. So it works. We have a system.)  

Anyhow – the theme of this meeting was “eating healthy.” and even more so – eating to rid your body of disease. Now, as most of you know – I have a bit of a passion for being healthy and I do have a disease that drives me crazy most of the time. And this person actually had some good things to say that I had not heard before. So, to make a short story shorter…. I talked with the speaker about my thyroid issues after the meeting and we ended up making an appointment to talk further and delve into seeing if we can manage this better, using her nutritional methods. 

So where does the whole therapy thing come into play? Well I went to her house last Thursday morning, thinking I was going to learn all about how to change my eating to support thyroid health (did you know I am not supposed to eat veggies like broccoli and kale?) and I think it was a trap. Because out of no where she starting asking me if I liked living in the valley and before I knew it I was bawling like a baby, snot and mascara everywhere and talking about my mother issues and how I feel trapped – but that this is where we are supposed to be at the moment and yadda yadda yadda. a trick I tell you! Because as most of you know I am not a fan of emotional displays, not because I am against emotions at all, or even that I feel I need to build a strong front. But it is so messy, and takes so much time and it makes me tired and gives me a headache. I also hate cliche’s and crying while talking about your childhood issues while sitting on a couch –  with a professional sitting facing you, notebook in hand nodding along and asking pointed questions in a solemn tone feels very cliche. Not to mention I don’t know this person and well, you know. I like knowing what is coming, and this was kind of unexpected and not at all what I was paying her for… 

But – if that is what was needed (and I guess it was) then I’ll go with it. My husband is working insane hours right now as has very little down time, so there is a good chance I just needed someone to listen as I vent. And who better to vent to then the random person I just met!

The issue was, all these people after (like my mother-in-law…and my mother), that knew I had gone to meet with a “nutritionist.” wanted to know the tips I had learned and what I was going to be changing in my diet….and I had diddly squat to to tell them. I didn’t really feel comfortable going into a long winded: “Well, I explored my feelings of sadness due to the disapproval I feel from my mother because I live in the valley and she thinks the air is poison and I’m killing my kids by raising them here…and that means that I don’t breath as often as I should and I feel rejected from social norms because I was a shut-in homeschooled kid living in Los Angeles and all my friends keep moving away from me…” Ok, but what did you learn about nutrition!?! “well….nothing really. I think I’m pretty good there. Apparently I know most of it, I just need a little encouragement to remember it and not get lazy about what I already know…but the whole Mother-issues thing has been really helpful!” Yeah, not really the sort of thing you want to talk with your mother in law about as you are in her office saying hi right after picking kids up from school! 

So apparently, I am in therapy with a nutritionalist. I just can’t go about it the normal way.  Which I am believing is a good thing (both the therapy and the “not the normal way” part). And, just so you all know, “the atheist” have set themselves up a church in Los Angeles now.  That has nothing to do with therapy or with nutrition. But it is what the group of old folks sitting next to me at Panara are talking about and according to them, this is a very big deal. They have been at a Bible study for a bit and have been entertaining me as I listen and write. I get the idea this is a VERY conservative Bible study and that they are really not aware at all of anything outside their own little circle. They seem happy though, so who am I to burst their bubble and tell them that there are lots of different thoughts, groups and religions and they pretty much all have their own “churches” or groups of people that believe the same thing as they do…here in the valley as well as in LA. But no, according to this group, it is a new thing. The Atheists have united! Oh, and the whole “God not being in schools or at baseball games (I honestly had no idea the baseball game thing was an issue) will be fixed from here on out since if the atheists have their own church, they (who exactly “they” are I am not entirely sure) can’t say we can’t pray whenever we want to anymore, since they will be praying too. Because, you see, that is what makes you a praying person…the fact that you have a church? I’m not sure they have done their homework sufficiently. But they are very entertaining to listen too!

I also have another confession. I am going to go glutton free for a bit. I know, I know. I still am not on completely on the bandwagon. At least not yet.  But if it will help me get rid of this muffin top (no pun intended) then I have decided to give it a try. I don’t eat much bread, so I am hoping it wont be too difficult a transition. Basically it just means I don’t get any cookies or brownies in the next few weeks (I will keep it up until thanksgiving). If I don’t lose any weight between now and then I will give it up (I do love brownies). But I figure it is worth a try. So feel free to make fun of me for bashing it and now trying it. I deserve your jest, truly.

I will update when I can on the whole therapy thing – and perhaps I’ll even learn something about nutrition in there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Failure is an option…

I have not been the brightest crayon in the box of late. I have been muffled and befuddled a lot lately. Not sure why – I have had those inner conversations far too often, you know – the ones where you scream at the world – all the things you are not saying?  And I have had trouble drawing the line between over-reacting and reacting quite sufficiently to the situation at hand. I can’t seem to tell anymore, it is all getting blurry.

I’ll admit that I do not like the fact that all too often this blog becomes a dumping ground for all the befuddlement that goes through my head, but on the other side, I am deeply grateful I have such a dumping ground available.

Do you know what I hate? I have it when people fish for compliments, or even worse – by taking on a “woe’s me” persona, they fish for pity – oh I hate it when people fish for pity! and not even just for pity, but for a mental/emotional holding up of sorts. Not just your general friend support, but for EVERYONE to hold their troubles for them. You know, the person who says “I’m just losing all faith in my xyz abilities” only to have a million people chime in and say “Oh don’t say that, you are amazing!” Yeah, not a fan.

Ok – perhaps I am being too tough, there is a time and a place – but all that to say: I avoid venting my insecurities because I never want to be seen as that person. And the few times I have, I have hated it.  I truly hate it when people try to manually hold me up. I HATED it when I first voiced my medical issues a year ago and got tons of “I”m praying for you” emails and unsolicited advice. I do not accept “I’m so sorry you are in pain.” Messages well. They annoy me and make me wish I had just kept my mouth shut. This is a personal issue of mine, not saying it is healthy – but there you have it.

Now, I am glad that people are praying for me. Of that I am truly grateful. And some of the advice I have received has been truly helpful, and I try so hard to always be gracious and polite. But I really don’t like the “keep your head up, we believe in you!” speeches. Especially when they are from people I hardly know. Perhaps I just need to get over myself…

All that to say – I am going to vent. And I don’t want anyone trying to encourage me.  I want to wallow for a few minutes – feel free to make a joke, to tell me to suck it up or to not say anything at all. But I do NOT want a “awe, don’t say that – you are good at xyz…everything will be alright.” Ok? Truly honest people only. I am not fishing, I am just venting.

I have been a crappy mom lately. I am overwhelmed, I am yelling at my kids. I am clueless as to how to fix certain behaviors that are running rampant in my children – and myself. I am looking foreword to school – and I HATE that, because I hate it when moms talk about looking foreword to school…especially around their kids, because what kid needs to hear that mom is ready to get rid of them for 7 hours a day? I feel like a complete failure, because I hate the idea of home schooling, I do not want to home school, I don’t think I would be good at homeschooling my kids, I HATED being home schooled…and yet, it makes me feel like less of a mom because I do not home school. Because my mom feels that if you love your kids, you will home school them and she has forgotten. And I want my kids to go away for a bit so I can breath, and yet all my home schooling friends are starting their school years and posting pictures of their lessons everyday and it makes me hyperventilate because they are doing it right, and I am not, and what is wrong with me that I need a break from my beloved kids when I am supposed to be fully satisfied by just being their mom? But I am not…I am failing.

My husband has been working…a lot. A lot, a lot. I have not been handling it well, and he is frustrated and I am frustrated and I have to battle the “he would rather be working than spending time with his family” voice that makes me feel about 10 inches tall A LOT. And that is crap, and I know it, but it still makes me want to run away, and disconnect, and it makes every parenting job, simple as it may be, that I have to do alone because he is working…again…feel monstrous. And I am suffocating, and I am tired and he works until midnight because he can…and then is tired in the morning, so he doesn’t start until late, which means he then has to work late…again…and all I can think of at 9am is that I have been awake for hours with kids already, and it will be hours and hours and hours again until I will have anything even resembling help with the daily monotony that is cooking and cleaning and wiping behinds and answering questions and listening to screaming kids over and over and over and over for hours and hours and hours and it is crushing me…and I cannot seem to communicate effectively. And I feel like an idiot when I try. And so I stop trying, because I am so sick and tired of feeling like an idiot.

I am heavier than I have ever been not pregnant. And I don’t know how to fix it…because it is not me. I always swore I would not be THAT person that just let themselves go…and I haven’t! I am at the gym at least 2-3 times a week, usually for at least an hour and a half. I am careful with what I eat, but I will blink and my thyroid goes out of whack again and I gain 10lbs overnight. And I finally gave up and bought some “fat jeans” the other day and was feeling pretty good – until I washed them and now my fat jeans are too small… I’ve had motivation to work hard, but I am gaining weight in weird places I have never gained before in my life and it makes me so frustrated I want to scream. Because I swore I would never be that person…and now I am, and there is not a damn thing I can do about it.  I have a goiter in my throat that hurts whenever my stress level goes up, I have a constant buzzing in my ears that makes even the smallest of sounds feel monstrous at times.  I have failed, and my motivation is slipping and that scares me more than anything.

I knew I needed some quiet time recently. So I got all excited, I got up early, would make myself a cup of tea and sit and read and pray before kids got up. Except that kids somehow knew…and no matter how early I get up, kids would beat me. Which means no quiet time, Just more time with kids – asking more and more questions, demanding milk, arguing with one another, getting into mischief as I try to read the Bible and pray. You know how all those people say “I just have better days when I spend a little time with God first thing” – well I guess I am not one of them, because my days were VERY much harder based on the fact that now I was trying to focus on reading and prayer with a 2 year old climbing on me, spilling hot tea and getting into things just to get moms attention away from her book…epic failure.

I am starting my “grown up job” (well, sort of) in two weeks – I will be focusing on writing, Tuesday and Thursday mornings for 3 hours each. And I am terrified of failing. The sad thing is, that I know, 100% for sure that there will be lots of failure, far before I achieve any success. Perhaps my life lately has been in preparation for that. I’m not sure. (I suppose there is a little bit of hope thinking that there has been some purpose to all this.) And while I would like to think that soon my days will get easier, I know better – soon I will be in the car constantly, driving kids too and fro from school, ballet, gymnastics, church, etc. And I hate that. And meals and nap times will somehow have to fit in between all of these commitments – not to mention homework and laundry and cooking healthy meals, and dishes and keeping field trips and school lunches and all those things organized. I am dreading it, I am looking foreword to it, I am anxious for it to start and for it to end. All of the above I suppose.

I am lonely – I have zero stay at home mom friends that I feel are kindred spirits. And with a husband that works constantly and most social commitments being more work than play…I am very much alone, with only my kids for company. I suppose it is a good thing I like my kids. But oh I get so tired of them and I just need someone safe that KNOWS to cry out to sometimes! I get frustrated because it does not feel like that is too much to ask! And yet it eludes me…is it me? Am I the one that is undesirable? Has my social awkwardness followed me into adulthood, am I missing vital social cues somehow and just not understanding? I have had opportunities to make deep friendships. I have been a part of mom groups, I have gone to the park, the library, the extra curricular activities where you go to “meet other moms.” I have seen other moms make plans with one another, I have seen the connections they form, I have not been included. And when I have made extra efforts to “hang out” with moms outside of kid play dates and church activities…I have had a miserable time. They complain about their husbands, they boast about their new “caveman diet” they talk down about other friends that go to their church…that I have never met. They are not kindred spirits, it saddens me – and I am not invited out again – nor would I go if I was. Am I just missing something? I don’t understand, I am truly baffled. I have failed.

This too shall pass. This crappy, stressful, anxiety ridden world will fall away – I will look back and remember the good times. I will look back and laugh, I will look back and miss the tiny questions – the cuddles on the couch reading, the singing and dancing to music. The tears because life is not fair, the laughter of my tiny ones. I will miss it…so I need to cherish this right?

Crap – I’m failing at that too.

I don’t think we are communicating well…

I have had a headache now for about a week. It started right about the first day of over 100degree weather, that then turned into 109 degree weather, that overnight turned into 88-95-100ish, varying day to day often by more then 20-25 from one day to the next. No consistency, lots of change = headache for me that no amount of medication and/or coffee, tea, food, water, rest, etc. can cure.

I just squashed the cat. Crap I just squashed the cat! I really hope she is ok. I had no idea she was sleeping next to my chair and I moved it, only to hear a wail that made me jump and smack my head on the shelf next to my desk….again, I may need to move that shelf. And she must have bit me because after I jumped up and checked her over (no limp…) I discovered my foot was dripping blood everywhere, so she must have bitten me in the frenzy – I don’t blame her. Damn cat, if I have to pay another vet bill for you because you like to hide under chairs! Then….I don’t know. Not helping the whole headache thing!

I wish I could paint. Perhaps I should try it, though it just sounds like work to set up/clean up so I doubt I actually will. But I need an outlet aside from writing. I hate being interrupted when I write and never, never do I have 2-3 hours un-interrupted time that perfectly coincides with time that my mind is in a writing channel.Especially now that I have two places to write, and way to many ideas. The ones I should write, the ones I want to write, the ones I know should be written but I have no idea what they are yet… So I need to learn to write faster, or I need to learn how to paint. Or…sculpt, or perhaps interpretive dance? Why is it, that I think interpretive dance and my mind immediately paints me a picture of myself in something of a “brave warrior” yoga pose, (that or the karate kid on the beach?) but I am dressed in feathers and war paint and squawking like a chicken….hold on

“Mama?” 

“Yes Ayla?”

“When can Taylor and I get up?”

“When rest time is all done.”

“Mama, if we got up right now, Me and Taylor could clean the whole living room right away for you, but only if we get up right now.”

(Clever kid. I wonder if that was her idea or if she was the messenger doing her sister’s bidding.)

“Thank you so much, that is a wonderful offer. And as soon as rest time is over, you guys are very welcome to clean the livingroom right away! I am very excited.”

Your mother has been doing this much longer then you have child. I’m better at it then you are. Nice try though, points for effort to be sure.

I have had some communication issues lately. This is not the first time, I think I have even written on here about these issues before. But it has been back again recently. I enter into a perfectly honest, normal conversation. Sometimes as simple as “have you seen my shoes.” And yet somehow, without meaning to, I make the other person I am talking to very annoyed with me very quickly. I offend them personally – that I know for sure. Because their voice makes that very clear. So, because they obviously must have misunderstood me, I try very hard to clarify – or at the very least to finish my sentence, to make sure they understood that I really was just looking for shoes. I was not questioning their integrity or manhood/womanhood – whatever other thing they thought I said (or implied)…and I end up making it loads worse!  So, I feel like a horrible, horrible person for whatever it is I just said, because it was clearly offensive and insensitive. And I would apologize, but something inside me wont allow for that because I really WAS just asking for shoes – and far be it from me to apologize when I am innocent! Which makes me feel even more wretched – and my head starts to hurt. And before I know it, I am sitting alone, because they have moved on. (things to do you know). And I am left behind, mid-sentence, mid-explanation. Feeling cut off and snubbed. I don’t know if I should bring it up again so we can work it out, or if I should let it drop…have they even noticed something went wrong? Were we speaking the same language?

And I grow smaller, and something of myself wisps away. And I am so tired…

This has happened with my mother, my husband, my kids, several friends…I am confused. I am sitting in the dust with a stupid look on my face, emotionally hurt, angry and sad and not really sure why – or what caused it or how to fix it. And then I don’t talk to my mom for a week, and I’m not sure if she is avoiding me or I her…and plans with friends get canceled and…

OW!!!

I just bumped my head again. This alone could be the cause of the headaches. I think my shelf may need a name. “Sar-Hash The Distorter.” (I actually meant to write “Destroyer” there, but I clicked on the wrong thing when spell-check yelled at me, and I think it works better that way).

I’m not sure if I should move the shelf, or if he has just made a very dangerous enemy, one who wont back down no matter the cost!

Him or me this time, him or me!

But you see, turn around what I said up there. (The not-communicating thing, not foul Sar-Hash.)

I am worried that it is all me. That I am actually the one on the other side, that I am the one getting offended when someone else asks for shoes, and I am just reading it wrong. My wires are crossed, I have a faulty electric system. But I can’t tell, I  don’t really know anymore. I am going insane, that is what it going on! The tiny humans have won after all. They have been messing with my head, and they have succeeded! Perhaps me and my coffee pot should form a united front and…I just accidentally wrong “untied” instead of “united” and had to stop to tell you. Because that probably is far more accurate and I feel my subconscious is playing games with me today for his own amusement. Don’t ask me why my subconscious is apparently male. That may open up a whole other can of worms I don’t feel I am emotionally strong enough to handle!

I have a headache.

I recently started frequenting Pintrest. It works as a nice distraction for me, because there is no start/finish. I can be on there just as entertained for 30 seconds or 20 minutes, depending on how much time I have to kill. And I don’t care about keeping my place or finishing my sentence because that doesn’t matter. I like the “Geek” section. I never thought of myself as a geek before. That was always my husband’s department, but imagine my surprise when I actually felt like I fit into a group. Image That’s what I have been saying all along!!! Why the hate people? I just love stories.

It is weird how life can come at you in ways you never expected. You can find a friend in a random website, something that actually makes you feel like you belong to something.

Image

I’m not saying this is a healthy thing – but at least it seems to be working for me right now. Someplace to call home. Since I REALLY am not at home with 99.9% of the people that live in my town.

Perhaps that is the reason for my communication problems. I spend to much time trying to talk to people that can’t understand. And the result is assuming no one does. No matter the subject, no matter the person. I fear being misunderstood so much that I am no longer understandable. 

I have my lifegroup tonight. There will be people at my house. I am tired and I have a headache. But I need people, we all do – so I will smile. I will laugh at stupid jokes. I will clean my house before people come, and then clean it again when people go. I will likely wear one of my new nerd T-shirts – I need some nerd T-shirts that show off my nerd tattoos. That way I can be a bad-ass nerd. (for some reason in my head right now tattoo’s mean badass? Not sure where that came from) But that is what I am after all. May as well own it proudly!

I, Sarah, am a bad ass nerd, with a reading problem and poor communication skills!

Life is annoying

Emotions are unreliable. Always.

Ok, perhaps not always, but generally speaking, there are way too many variables for there to be any kind of real consistency. Anger is unreliable based on my skewed perspective of right vs. wrong – based on how I was raised and/or my own religious beliefs.  Fear is unreliable based on my own personal anxieties – whatever they may be…being alone, being left behind, spiders, heights, my own phobias whether they are logical or not – not even taking into account outside influences such as whether or not I watched a scary movie the night before. Happiness is unreliable because of fluctuating hormones, how much I have eaten that day, how much sleep I have gotten – see where I am going with this? It is all relative based on so many outside factors.

I am not a fan of emotions. I never have been, 100% based on the fact that they are unreliable and VERY subjective. What I see as truth, black and white could be a completely different thing for you. It all depends on so much. And there are no perimeters, no way to measure, no way to even accurately predict, it is all guess work. So generally speaking, emotions annoy me. I understand the need for them, but whenever I have days where I feel they are out of my control (and that has been happening a lot lately)  I get very annoyed, which is another emotion, which makes me even more frustrated, and the cycle continues…

I would say the only emotion that is truly reliable is sorrow; true, deep grief. If you have experienced real sorrow. Then I would say that you can rely on the fact that it is never going to truly go away. It will be ever with you, a constant companion. It may change form, grow or shrink, but will always be there.

Life is annoying, have you noticed that? No matter the topic, no matter the reason, no matter the person. Life is annoying, either because it is going too fast or too slow., Often it is way too loud, the living room is always a mess and the laundry and dishes never are finished, and there is never enough coffee!  That, is very annoying!

When I get angry, I get quiet. I don’t blow up, I blow in. I go away, the part of myself that is angry gets tucked away until the logical part of me feels like it has cooled off enough to be rational. I’m not sure this is a really healthy way of managing my anger, but it seems to be pretty effective in the fact that I can much more clearly see what is and is not a big issue once I have rested with it all for a while. 

I personally think that the age old “never go to bed angry” advice is a load of baloney. I get annoyed every time I hear it recited as “new” advice to an engaged couple…(kinda the same way I feel when people tell a new mom to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” Ha! Like that ever really happens…ok, it never worked for me. And I tried so hard!) and perhaps I shouldn’t judge, for many people it is probably very important and perhaps the very advice they needed the most to hear. But for me? I need a night to cool off, to pray and figure things out for myself, and 99% of the time, I feel much better the next day. I can discuss things rationally, without the unreliable part of being angry tainting everything I say – or often, I will wake up the next morning and wonder why I was so upset in the first place and peacefully let the subject drop, knowing I was over-reacting or being too sensitive.

Unreliable! 

Of course, again, I go inward when I am angry, so I rarely say things I regret. Because I don’t say anything at all. I WILL still tell my husband I love him before I go to sleep, because I do, regardless of how I feel.

The only issue with this is…I do the same “go inward” thing when I am really REALLY tired. So it can be hard to tell the difference.  I have had to just let my husband know that if I am upset, I will tell him so…which sometimes works…

All that to say, I don’t get angry very often. You basically have to insult either a close personal friend or my husband/children/me personally to make me downright angry.

But I get annoyed a lot…

I hide it well, from everyone but my husband…unless of course I want you to know I am annoyed. Then trust me, you know.  I will be polite, I will be calm. But I will also be very very clear.

I have mentioned to friends before that while I was pregnant I was annoyed with any and all people almost all the time (and I mean ALL of the time) and most people say they could never tell. So unless they are all humoring me (highly likely) I think I am ok.

Life lately has had that same pregnancy feel (I’m not, just in case anyone was wondering.) But it feels like everywhere I go, everyone I talk to, everything I attempt to accomplish comes with a certain level of annoyance. Sometimes a really high level, for reasons I cannot identify.  I can’t figure out if it is me, if it is outside of me, or if it is something that is supposed to teach me something…probably. Though I am not sure what…

I suppose this goes right along with dealing with people like my nemesis on such a regular basis – so you see it has been happening for a while. I feel stuck in a rut and I don’t know how to get out. It is amazing how life can be incredibly busy and yet drop dead boring all at the same time.

I feel like I need a mentor friend, does that makes sense? In my group of my friends, I am the oldest.  I am the one who has been with my husband the longest, I have the oldest and the most number of kids, I own my house, I have been a little further down the road of everyday life (well, at least the stay at home mom, married person part…I do understand that is a very narrow field) then lots of those I am usually around, they are still getting there – which is ok, wonderful in fact. But I have basically been the leader, especially in the husband and kids department. And I LOVE talking to those just coming into those situations. But lately I feel like I need someone that I can cry out to, and for them to say “I get it, I have been there, this too will pass.” And for me to know that they are right, because they have been there and they came out the other side. I don’t really have that. And I don’t know where to find it.

Things need reworking in my life, there is too much annoyance. I need a clean slate, a moment to breath. Fresh air, a vacation? Things are stagnate, stuck on repeat and I am so tired! So very very tired. All the time. And I get sleep! For once I actually get sleep, at least I think so. I am in bed for the recommended amount of time with minimal interruption. but I am still so tired – it is a deep tired. I am not sure if it is related to any of the medical stuff I deal with (Thyroid? Low B vit? Allergies? Too much caffeine? ) or if it is just a crazy insane toddler, and two big girls learning how to grow up, or me not  praying enough…

I don’t know the cause, but I need it to stop. I need a break somehow or I feel like I am going to snap. And snapping is not a good thing…

So pray for me I guess. Pray I can get a handle on life, because I feel like I am doing a very bad job of it right now. I am failing in a lot of things.

I am failing as a house-keeper. My house is a wreck and I don’t even know where to start to find a way to fix it.

My kids have NOT been well behaved lately, so I feel like I am failing as a mom. And usually it is just one that is challenging at a time, but lately it has been all three  and I am feeling clueless as to how to manage it. My ears have been buzzing a lot, I know it is related to thyroid and stress but it means all sounds are amplified, especially whining and bickering. So I am yelling way to much, just trying to get a moment in-between the noise.

Dear friends are simultaneously going through meaningless, frustrating spats and deep, heart-wrenching pain. And somehow, I am caught in the middle of spats and pulled along the journey of pain. And I am ok, I want to be there for them all – but I feel like I cannot give my best, so they all have half a friend. And I am cheating them. And I am so tired.

I have been so spent at the end of the day lately that I feel like I have very little to give my husband. And he is working very long hours right now, so at the end of the day he is so very spent he has nothing left to give to me. And so we just sit, watching TV and not really doing anything, which means at the end of the day, neither of us feels like we have had any chance to do anything. So often times, we both lie awake half the night – just, frustrated and not knowing why.  

Ah me, I apologize for a cryptic post. This is me processing and you get to be my un-wary observers.

This is a phase, this too shall pass. We will get through it, I know we will. But sometimes, as grown up as we may be, I just want to stamp my foot like a little child and scream and yell and kick the door because it is HARD and I DON’T WANT TO! Even if I am not entirely certain what is being asked of me…

Deep breath, tomorrow is another day. We can start again. Try again…do it again, over and over and over and over…..

Today, I am thankful…

(Mostly copied from TBR)

Today.  Today I am thankful.

I am thankful that even though I woke up with a headache, that there was coffee.

Today, I am thankful that even though Kaylee is a terror times 12 in her toddlerness, that she is healthy and happy enough to wreak havoc on my peace!

I am thankful for stubborness, and the ability to laugh at myself. For without either of those I would  have broken long ago.

Today I am thankful that even though Mother Nature decided to bless me with her most despised yet reliable monthly “gift,” that I have ibuprofen to quiet the storm of cramps that desires to engulf me.

Today, I am thankful that even though my beloved oldest child has had unmentionably explosive unmentionables, and I am cleaning said unmentionable-ness from even more unmentionable places….that she is resting and feeling better. And that it is not a problem with her appendix, which was a possibility for a moment there.

I am also thankful that she is the only one that has been taken down in such an unmentionable fashion…and I am determined it will stay that way! For if it does not, there is a chance I will not get my anniversary weekend as is planned. And even the mere thought of that makes me cry….

Today I am thankful, for even though I have no doubt my only scheduled alone time this week will be canceled so that grandma is not exposed, and that my only social time this week will likely be canceled because my kids are sick…that I have the phone and a God who is my company in the face of terrible loneliness. For friends are very willing to help…until someone utters the word “Stomach flu” And then all that can be heard is crickets, and the mom must push foreword past exhaustion, through sickness. But I will be given the strength, of that I have no doubt.

I am thankful that even though my house is an utter disaster, that the kids are dressed, fed, clean (mostly) and very loved. And that feels like quite the accomplishment!

Today, I am thankful, that even though my child’s beloved fish has mysteriously disappeared, and she is devastated…that there are still 2 more fish that have not gone AWOL. And that there is a pet store right down the street where we can replace the missing fish with minimal financial strain.

I am thankful that even though my headache has not yet subsided, that there is some leftover coffee from this morning and I have a microwave that makes it almost as good as new.  And a bottle of wine for after the kids are in bed!

Today, I am thankful that even though my husband is far away for the week and I am alone in a home that feels very overwhelming and chaotic, that I do have a wonderful amazing husband (here or no) that I can send texts to updating him on all the unmentionable things I have had to endure.

I am thankful that I got amazing sex last weekend to hold me through a rough week!

Today, I am thankful I went grocery shopping yesterday!

Today, I am thankful for the sun and the wind – refreshing for a tired soul and warm on closed eyes.

Today, I am thankful for a prayer for peace, a prayer for those that are hurting beyond measure. Today I am thankful that in a world rout with chaos and swarming with evil, I am thankful that my children remain gay, innocent and heartless. For after all -

“It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can fly.” – JMBarrie

Day 1: Left Behind

From as far back as I can remember, I have been left behind. Even as an adult of almost 31 years I get a wrenching in my gut every time someone goes away, even if just for a small while.

 My first memory was my friend Laura. She was the greatest friend a 6 year old could have. She and I played well together, we had loads of fun. I can remember hours and hours in her backyard. We even made a pact that we would always invite one another to our birthday parties. Serious stuff for ones so young! 

I remember her last birthday party (That I went to) vividly. It was glorious. I didn’t want to go home. But alas reality hits!

I remember my mom sitting me down and telling me that Laura was moving away. They were going to become missionaries in the middle east. I was crushed, and soon after, I was forgotten.

That started what felt like a long list of friends leaving. Some left for good and I never saw them again (like Laura), some we still saw occasionally, but certainly not consistently enough for a child to feel fulfilled. Not even one dear friend I had as a child stayed, not one. Eventually every single one of them moved away from me…

 Then the height of my misery: my best friends in the world moved to England. A world so far away that even a phone call was way beyond our financial means (this was of course before skype and free minutes on cell phones) I was in my very early teens when they left. And it tore a hole in my soul that did not heal. I had been left behind, again. 

Since then I have been left behind many more times. That is one of the perils of living in a military town and not being military. Once and only once I was the one that did the leaving, when I moved to the Central Valley from LA right after college/getting married.  And though that was frightening, difficult and scary in it’s own way, it was loads better then being left behind, again. Because it was adventure as opposed to empty. 

Today is day 1 of two weeks. There will be a breather on the weekend, but even now that seems very far away. My husband has gotten a new job, and while I am proud of him beyond belief and very excited for the road ahead…he is currently gone at “new job boot camp” and I have been left behind, on my own, with 3 children, one of which is sick.

I am allowed to be frustrated and lonely and teary today. Only today. Today I can weep into my tea. Today the kids and I will watch movies and do nothing we don’t want to do. Today I can allow myself to be a miserable wretch, but only today. Tomorrow I have to shake it off, and I will. We will be fine, it is, after all, only 2 weeks. But I do better when I allow myself to just be for a day.

The weather outside is fiercely windy and bitingly cold. Very unusual for an April day – especially since yesterday was sunny, warm and 70 degrees. So I have the window open, I feel like a nymph; cold and calm and contained while the weather beats out the emotions inside and it makes me smile despite.

I know, all my military friends do this all the time, and I am not belittling the pain they go through with their husbands on deployment for 3, 6, 9 even 12 months. But there is a reason I did not marry someone who intended on being in the military, that would have been a deal breaker for me. I don’t do well being left behind.

So pray for me these two weeks. I will up-date occasionally on both my blogs, and it will be a comfort to know people are praying and thinking of me. My mother in law will watch the kids for me on Tuesday night so I can go off on my own for a couple of hours, but that will be the only time away I get – there is no one else available to help.  Only me.

And the wind….

Interpersonal Communication: She’s got issues

Don’t we all?

Yet I feel my “issues” have been worse lately. I hate that I cannot always judge accurately my current state of well-being. I cannot read others at times and I feel as if I am trapped behind a plate of plexiglass. This glass makes getting words out difficult, especially under pressure. It makes it so that I use key voice intonations incorrectly, so that if I am trying to be sarcastic or funny, or even completely serious no one seems to realize it. It is kinda like how things can get so garbled over text message because we are lacking the key communication cues of the face to face.   I never know if it is because I was home schooled and therefore my social interaction with other humans was limited as I was growing the key parts of the brain that read/interpret/regurgitate these things…or if it is just me, if I am just not getting it all – or if these feelings are completely normal and I am over-reacting.

I have been taking offense very easily lately, and that is truly frustrating because then I do not know if I am being overly sensitive or if I need to re-think my social circle. And when I take offense I get defensive and then I feel like a little kid stamping their foot in frustration because I have been misunderstood again and it is not FAIR and no one is listening! For instance, I was at my mother’s house last weekend. And she sings the praises of the singing abilities (no pun intended) of my 6 year old niece. That doesn’t bother me, I am excited to hear her someday, truly. But then a little while later I was laughing as one of my children walked by, belting out something that was absurdly off-key. I said something about my child growing into her singing voice (out of the child’s earshot of course) and my mother’s response was “well she listens to such terrible music, that is probably why” And I was crushed!  For one thing, I am very proud of the musical diversity that my children are exposed too. They get everything from Broadway to Chris Thile to John Mayer to Queen and throw on top of that the techno stuff that my husband likes to listen to as he programs. The “terrible music” she was referring to was a song from the show Phineas and Ferb – which I happen to think is a brilliant show, and my kids love it. And trust me, the music in that show is FAR better then what is in your average kids show these days. 

I knew she was wrong, so why did I get so defensive? Why does it keep coming up in my head? Why am I having trouble letting the little things go?

There has been an incident with my Little One – my Ayla. I wont go into to much detail, but basically someone she is around a lot, another child – has made some very inappropriate advances. I have caught it, seen it with my own eyes, and heard stories about other things that have happened – or that almost happened. As of right now, nothing major has occurred, I think.  Nothing that I feel is truly damaging anyhow….yet. God I hate saying that. But without watching, it feels like it would be a yet.  It is impossible to cut off contact, or how I see it, risk – without shattering her world and ripping apart my extended family. So I am left with CONSTANT supervision, and lots of uncomfortable conversations with her, with my other daughter and with the boys mother.  It has left me exhausted, praying like crazy and terrified out of my mind. I have had to talk with my baby girl in detail about things I should not have had to talk to her about at the age of 5. I know God is in the midst of this, he sees a bigger picture. Maybe this needed to happen to open my eyes, so we would have these conversations, so that she would be fully protected. I don’t know…but I feel like an innocence has been lost, and will forever be lost. It feels like a death. 

I think it all has just left me raw, open, exposed. It is constantly on my mind. I have no idea if I am handling everything “correctly.” I have no idea if I am causing more damage – though I have done my very best to not make a huge deal, to keep our conversations casual and informational. Lots of hugs and kisses and “I love you’s” in the midst of “Let’s talk about the difference between your vagina and your anus!” and “what do you do if someone ever tried to touch you there?” Good conversations to have, NOT fun conversations to have. It has left me feeling unprotected. It makes me feel helpless, that something could happen under my very nose, even something small. Why wasn’t I paying better attention? Why wasn’t I watching more closely!?! And I will admit, anger that this danger has been brought into my life, without my consent, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it but pray for the safety of my girls. And watch, oh I watch! It makes me feel sick…

God this is a depressing entry – I guess this is one of my more “mad” posts. I did recently change my medication, which I am sure doesn’t help. And my husband is switching jobs, so next week he is off for “new job boot camp” and I will be on my own with my kids for 2 weeks (though he can come home on the weekend, thank God!). Lots of changes.  I have felt rather mad lately. I get dizzy, the room spins for a moment and I have breath to stop it. I need to drink more tea I think, and sit in the sun? And perhaps start reading my Bible more regularly. I feel like I need to do SOMETHING.

So for now I write. I write knowing that someone will read, and perhaps tell me that I am not so mad after all. Or even better that I am not alone in my madness. I have felt very alone lately.

And alone is not good for one’s sanity….