You know that time when you had to be somewhere in an hour, but you laid down, just to rest for fifteen minutes, because you
almost actually fell asleep while driving home? And you just needed to close your eyes for….twenty minutes….and then you woke up almost 3 hours later?
Today was that day. 3 sleepless nights…emotional exhaustion…taking motrin
as often more often than I probably should to try to relieve the headache heartache that left me feeling broken and alone.
Things happen. People make decisions that you have no control over. Overnight, life looks different than the day before. Not different like you got new glasses. A real different. A mind-numbing, hurtful, Ican’tdealwithanythingelse different.
Meanwhile, life goes on. Kids have places to be. So you drop one off at church, and another off with a friend at the mall. And then sit in your car in the parking lot for an hour and a half…ugly crying the whole time. Because the silent tears you couldn’t hold back during the day weren’t enough. Finally, in the isolation, solitude, aloneness, you give yourself permission to not hold it back any more.
I sat there, uncontrollably sobbing, shaking…angry…heart broken. Replaying the day over in my mind…what
we I had done wrong…what I had done right. The first list seemed much longer…
I remembered the words from Natalie Grant’s song…Held…
” …Who told us we’d be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
Were asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it’s unfair…”
It’s about a mother who lost her two month old child…but it was about me, in that moment. My anger. I’m not the perfect mother. I fail over and over. I do my best…sometimes. But there have been many times I had nothing to give and really all they got was whatever I had left over from the rest of my day. But the past couple of years have been better. I have been better. My husband has been better. I know 2 years doesn’t make up for the other 16…but I have prayed that it was a start…that it would be enough…that we would have more time…
Life has been hard on her. I have prepared for this day…never quite letting myself believe it would happen, but worrying it would, for months now. Still, the words left me feeling suffocated.
I know I have to be careful in sharing this…it is not all my story to share. I’m not being vague to invite sympathy or questions…but to respect others’ privacy.
But I know there are other moms who are struggling…I started writing because I needed to tell my story…to give a voice to my struggles…to share my experiences in hopes that another mom…wife…would feel less alone…connected…not so isolated.
The day came so quickly. Unexpectedly. Unwanted. My husband was calm…I wasn’t. So I left the words to him, because my hurt was anger and my words needed to remain unsaid.
People make decisions that affect other people. Families hurt each other. The ones we love the most are the ones capable of hurting us the most. And when that happens, it’s devastating.
When I am hurt, I isolate. I am more of an introvert than most people know. I crave time alone and crowds terrify me. I love being with my small circle of friends and family, but extended periods of time surrounded by people physically wears me out.
I love my husband. He is my rock. My best friend. He is also the one I am most likely to lash out at when people hurt me. Because
I know he has to love me. I know he does love me. I know my anger won’t make his love go away. So when he said he wasn’t going on his planned camping trip, I begged convinced him to go. I needed to process this on my own before I could process it with him. We are so much better at communicating than when he first got sober, but we are still a long ways from being good at it. So I still process separately first…And while I know he would’ve stayed…I know he needed this time away to process too.
His hurting looks different than mine. He’s better at stuffing than I am. I don’t think I fooled anyone I saw or talked to that day that I was ok…Today he’s texting me…asking me if I’m ok…I say I’m making it…I don’t know what else to say. I still cry constantly…got a stress nosebleed this evening…that’s only happened once before…when he relapsed. When my youngest noticed it, I said I hadn’t been sleeping and sometimes that happens…
I’ve been more intentional with my words…my tone…my time this weekend. But I still messed up several times with the girls yesterday and today…I could excuse myself by saying I am just exhausted, but I don’t know that I would’ve reacted any differently after a good night’s sleep.
I didn’t fuss over them wanting two different things for breakfast on the way to church…even though it made us
almost late. I took Alex to lunch, then shopping…we talked…laughed…she asked what was going on….I gave her an edited version…she’s old enough to see things…everything I told her was the truth…but there is more….more than I am ready to let her 12 year old mind need to comprehend. She was angry…hurt…Hurt should be first…she told me her thoughts…after she processed what I had shared with her. People’s decisions affect other people. Sometimes the collateral damage happens to the last people we intend to hurt.
I wanted to tell her…I wanted to let her know how hurt I am…I wanted to ask her to never do that…I wanted to say – tell me how to be a better mom to you…instead, I took her to 5 different gas stations until she found one that had her fav tea…and then told her to buy 4 so she would have some for the week…Then when I put it in the fridge when we got home, I saw it was green tea with ginseng and honey and I was sure she had grabbed the wrong can…So I asked her, when did you start liking green tea…and she said I’ve been drinking it for awhile now…And I wanted to crawl in to my bed and not be any one’s mother anymore, because how do I not know that?
Thankfully I woke up in time to pick up my youngest…only to tell her that we weren’t staying for family game night at church….because I just couldn’t. Because I was too tired and just wanted to go home. And we may have been halfway home when she said she wanted mini pretzels from the mall and so I turned around so she could get them.
Anything to keep her from asking again why we couldn’t stay…because I was so close to saying, I just can’t be around people right now. That taking care of the two of them was all I had in me right now. I couldn’t tell her my heart is broken right now and I just want to go to bed and cry….some more….
So she played with friends in the neighborhood and I promised to take them swimming tomorrow…and when she came in for the night, I sat with her, reading, while she watched a movie…and when she asked about what was going on…I gave her an even more edited version…to which she had opinions about too…People’s decisions affect other people…
It’s almost midnight and I don’t see sleep in my future…I read an amazing book today, “Rhinestone Jesus” by Kristen Welch, her blog is We Are THAT Family…It’s given me a lot to think about…pray about…
So I will pray about what God has put on my heart as I fight sleep…but mostly, I will pray for our family…pray that there is a reason for the season we are going through…pray for God’s hand of protection on all of us…and mostly I will pray that I…that we all…feel Held…
“…This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held…”