Saturday, November 06, 2010

slow change

Faith has slowly been seeping back into me. I felt like God and I made up, sort of, if you can even speak of such a thing, a week and a half ago. But I had to do some screaming at him, first. Since then, the gradual soaking back in has been happening. Slowly allowing myself to feel things again the way I used to...

I think part of what was so disillusioning for me about this summer and its culmination with me putting the kids in day care and getting a job was that I really, really wanted the life I was trying to make work --me as a stay-at-home mom, some homemaker extraordinaire who thrived in nurturing and creating a happy home. I was failing hopelessly at the one thing that I had wanted more persistently and decisively and passionately than any other earthly thing, besides being with Heath. So it made me mad -- who was God to create me in such a way that I couldn't handle life? Why even bother?

I'm realizing, again, that it is okay for life to be different than what I considered ideal. Living, and being happy and enjoying at least some parts of life, though not living out what I thought would be ideal, is better than going crazy. I mean, literally, crazy -- I don't know if anyone but Heath can know how far down the path of crazy I was going.

I'm seeing him as the treasure he is, more, again. But our relationship is also shaky and difficult. If I still hate life, it is when we fight. There are times I still want to give up, then. But we are working on it.

I certainly see the kids for the treasures they are more, now. I can't believe, sometimes, that these little beings arose out of part of me and part of him -- and now they are these amazing and complex creatures that grow and change with very little assistance by us. The innate energy and force of life within them is amazing, if you take the time to notice it. Unfortunately, it's hard to notice and marvel at sometimes because their neediness as children dulls us to it.

It's hard to believe Jacob was the one who we thought was most difficult for so long... and he's been mostly agreeable for long enough now that we hardly remember his incredibly strong will. But Ethan, who we initially thought was easy-going, slowly emerged as just slightly less strong-willed than Jacob, and more difficult to manage in some other ways -- and most importantly perhaps, he has refused to mellow as he entered the elementary years, like Jacob did. We are still praying and hoping to see that happen soon. Although I think it's fairly clear it won't be a sudden transition like it was with Jacob -- now we are just hoping and working toward gradual change and glad for any little bit of progress we get. Samuel, similar to Ethan, was an amazingly happy and pleasant child from birth to age two and a half. That's when he began to show his own steely will, and we have desperately tried to moderate it and channel it before he can reach the extremes we've seen in his brothers. I do think his day care is helping in this process. He gets structure and good examples and incentives to learn to cooperate and restrain himself to social norms. He has kept his overall happy disposition, but interspersed are strong-willed, difficult-to-handle moments. I'm looking forward to Ethan and Samuel emerging from this period of development, hoping we will soon be able to enjoy relationships with them similar to what we have with Jacob now. Jacob surprises me nearly every day with things he says -- he sounds too grown up for his years. He is perceptive and intelligent and really just a delightful person to have in my life. If only we didn't have to fight him to stay in bed at night, our relationship with him would be idyllic.

I haven't said much on here specifically about work. I do really like it. I have been tired some mornings and had trouble getting up, felt overwhelmed at the thought of finding appropriate clothes for all of us to wear and getting us all to work/school on time, but once I get there, I enjoy my days. Almost all our work is done on the computer, using various programs and technologies that interface -- we have no file room, everything is digitized. I have to take some phone calls, between 5-10 a day, I'd estimate. I also go to court with the attorneys once or twice a month and talk to defendants in our cases there.

In my first couple of weeks at work, as I soaked up the interaction with other adults, I realized just how much my isolation had contributed to my difficult situation at home. I was absolutely starved for interaction, for relationship in any form, even just the casual level of work friends. I realized that the casual level of involvement I was having with these new friends at work was more than I'd had with any other adults other than Heath on a regular basis for years. (Granted, during training, our interaction was much more than normal, since normally we'd be able to do work independently, and was further amplified because they were training three of us new legal assistants at once.) I delighted at simply knowing a little bit of what was going on in some other people's lives, just sharing the day with some other people, living alongside them, if you will. Keep in mind with all this, I am a person who has to have alone time -- I can't stand too much time of being around people, in general. So it is obvious how completely starved of it I was. As we progressed to doing some work on our own, I realized how healing and amazing it felt to be able to measurably produce something. That is one of the huge struggles of being a stay-at-home mom or homemaker, not being able to measure your effort or your progress. You never know if you are really doing well; it is all in how you perceive yourself, really. Producing something -- furthermore, getting feedback from others as to the quality of the work I was doing -- I didn't realize how much I'd missed it.

I feel like the last pieces of the puzzle of putting my life back together are getting my relationship with Heath back on the level we both want it to be, and dealing with my continual struggle with my body image. It is a daily source of frustration for me. I hate the way my body looks, I feel like I'm not in my own skin; yet I love to eat and seem to be unable to curb my indulgence in it in any significant way. Heath reminds me now is not the best time to be trying, with the stress of transition still looming large in our lives. He's right; for now I need to focus on figuring out how to revive his and my relationship and being a good parent in our new circumstances.


  1. So glad to see things are brightening. Give it time, sometimes the fog lifts imperceptibly, sometimes it rolls back in for a while...

    Love you.

  2. I've been thinking about you. It's good to here that things are getting better.

  3. in the financial world i constantly hear "past performance is no indication of future"...but thankfully it doesn't apply to therapeutic processing. look at what you are creating for yourself here. this is powerful stuff! i'm sure you can expect good things.

  4. Does it make you feel smarter, being around adults all day? :)