Monday, August 19, 2013

The Good Bits

Confession.

I have been hiding behind food blogs and Hawaii pictures and funny anecdotes because writing about real life for the past three months has been too hard. Grant and I have been struggling to keep our relationship healthy. I have been resentful and anxious and fatigued with my full time gig of parenting Purslane and Knox. My body is still soft and not as strong as I hoped it would be almost two years after my last pregnancy. Our house is chaotic and months have passed since our last dinner party. I practically run out the door on the one day a week I work and only when I walk in the door of the hospital do I feel like I am playing offence instead of defense.

 I had lost even the illusion of control. I used to be able to hide behind play dates that were no more than an hour long, or better still, days would go by where we did not leave the house at all. Because parenting outside the privacy of your home is so much harder then having your own walls to hide behind. Not inviting people to eat with you is much easier then trying to cook a meal during the witching hour- the magic time of day when all children realize that they have base human needs that need to be met RIGHT NOW and you are just the parent to do it.

So we hid. Or more appropriately, I hid. I stopped inviting people to our home. I stopped taking the babes out in public or took them to places where we were alone and outdoors. Grant and I told ourselves that having evenings together as a couple was a thing of the past and grew resentful of the long summer daylight hours- treating our children like they were things to be dealt with instead of delights that we got to play with longer. I convinced myself that this season of life was going to be terrible and I needed to just make it through instead of thrive.

Last week I made an appointment with my PCP to have some neurological symptoms checked out. I have had numbness and tingling in my hands, blurry vision and extreme fatigue for several months. Of course, I self diagnosed with MS or a brain tumor. She worked me up, drew some lab work and referred me to a neurologist.

Everything has come back normal. I am a tired Mama who, with the air of a martyr, gave up the things that used to make me happy, brought me joy, peace and contentment. My mother in law asked if I had considered the fact that I might be a high functioning depressive. Maybe she is right, but I think it was more that I believed my own story about not being able to handle my own life. Every bad day or bad moment became another reason why I should just be content to fold up deeper inside myself and cloister us off from community, friends, and family.

And bigger then all of this, I believed the rumor that no one was as interested in my self-preservation then I was. Grant just wanted me to be a good wife and a good mother. My friends just wanted me to show up and be a good friend to them. My boss just wanted me to be a good nurse and make the hospital look better. Purslane and Knox just wanted me to take care of them. Everyone in my life just wanted whatever I had to give. It's a fallacy that made me suspicious and stingy with my time and my affection. I felt frantic to take care of myself because no one else would.

I had it all wrong. I was asking all the wrong questions and beating myself up with the wrong answers.

If I simply started from the presupposition that my life is not only manageable but *gasp* full and overflowing with goodness, it makes getting out of bed easier in the morning. If I believed that people might actually enjoy the chaos created by two gorgeous and wild children, it would make serving dinner at 730 when the dinner party started at 6 less embarrassing. If I accepted that having a conversation with Grant interrupted a thousand times by little hands and voices was normative, I would be far less protective of his attention. If I valued the extra minutes to chat with Grant at night and to snuggle with Pursy in the morning, I would be more gentle with my persistent round hips that could disappear from more frequent sweat sessions at the gym.

So to those of you who have said you value the honesty and raw experience you find here at More Than A Weed, rejoice! I am hot mess who could use more sleep, should probably drink less coffee and gin, needs a new pair of jeans because I found a hole in the crotch yesterday and so on along those lines...

But maybe those are the good bits after all?

5 comments:

  1. Love you Christy, and love your heart.....You write what we all do struggle with, but feel too stigmatized to share (if that is even a word). Hang in there, is what I tell myself, as this is a piece of the bigger picture still untold. It is painful when you are in the midst, I even at times start to question my faith. I feel being the two year old and scolding God for "allowing this" and "for him to know better to put me through this", as he is supposed to know my heart, my desire....and not sure how much emotionally being challenged I can handle anymore. Take a deep breath, do something nice for yourself (without feeling quilty)continue to find assurance with married woman, mentors, as we all face and have faced what you are going through.....and continue to hang on for the ride !Do

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  2. I have been sitting at my keyboard for a few minutes now thinking I'd come up with something insightful to say, but I haven't yet... I think this is a wonderful post and I hope lots and lots of women see it. I do think changing perspectives can help a lot sometimes and I know, as the parent of a young daughter with a second child on the way, that I have to "check myself before I wreck myself" and recalibrate my expectations regularly. I think having young children can be very hard. I can also see down the line to a time when Ian and I will lose our parents and various family members, and that will be a different kind of hard...and teenagers will be yet another different kind of hard. To that end I am trying to create an overall, enjoyable life and trying to keep the long-term in mind. It isn't easy, though...

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  3. I love you. Thank you for being real. It scares the crap outta me, to be honest. One day I will be in the parenting boat. But with so many amazing women going before me I will look up and say "I can do this." You can do this. It may look crazy at times. But nothing beautiful is ever 100% perfect. - Jules

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  4. You are not alone. At all. I've felt everything you have said here. I think so many women have. And I applaud you for your honesty - most people wouldn't admit these things and would just continue to hide. I faced a huge trauma in my life two years ago and I thought it would destroy me. Little did I know that instead it completely woke me up - it made me pursue every part of my life more fully, instead of waiting for life to happen to me. Everyone has a different journey, with different bumps and bruises along the way. But just know that you are not alone. Not at all.

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  5. Hi Christy, I've been wondering lately how you've been and now I know a little bit more. You've got some good insight. I wanted to share with you a book that might be helpful, not that you have extra time on your hands to just curl up and read, but because I've heard great things about "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are." I haven't read it myself, but probably should. So if you need some accountability or just time to discuss together, we could do so! :)

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