Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 93: Respite

Today went much better.

Probably because a billion people were praying for me.  Including my HH and his never ending love, patience, and faith in  me.  He talked with me until late into the night until I was okay enough sleep.

I hoped I would feel better in the morning.  But I didn't.

And the kids weren't exactly well-behaved either.

But, HH and I talked this morning and he shared with me the results of his praying and what we can do to better our situation.  And it gave me hope.

And we all know that hope is the key to pressing on.

A friend encouraged me to join her and other friends for lunch.  Darling A and I needed a place to go anyway because there was a showing going on at the house.  It was a lot of effort being out among the living, but I think it helped.

And then, miraculously, the kids were fairly well-behaved tonight.  We had a nice peaceful dinner, during which everyone ate their food--including their vegetables.

We had time to read a couple of stories.

We had our share of time outs as well.  But, we survived them.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but I'm grateful for the relief of today.

Now I just need my HH.  I wish he could wrap me in his arms and I could feel safe in his strength and optimism.  We're 1/7th of the way through this.  I know it will get easier, but I hate it anyway.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Day 92: When Satan Thinks You Have A Good Idea

HH started his new job yesterday.

Which meant that he left here on Saturday, so he could be there by Sunday night.

And it's been kind of rough ever since.  I mean, we have some normal moments.  And even some good moments.  But overall, we're all struggling in his absence.  And all of the continued stress from everything else going on.

Darling A does alright until dinner time.  At which point she has sat down and cried her heart out that Daddy hasn't come home yet.  So, today I printed this photo and covered it in contact paper for her.  It is all bent and beat up from being carted around everywhere, kissed, and loved on.  

And she did much better at dinner tonight.

Each of the three mornings since HH left, I've managed to reach a moment of peace and optimism and strength.

Sunday that only last about 30 seconds.  

Fortunately, yesterday and today have been better.

But, I'm so exhausted and discouraged by the end of the day.

Today I had therapy appointments with my therapist and then with Baby B's therapist.  They both had some really great ideas.  And I was so optimistic.  And at the outset, things were going so smoothly.  Our evening was structured and peaceful, the kids knew where they were supposed to be and what they were supposed to be doing.  We had some really great bonding time together.

And then it all went to hell.  For real.

And I'm pretty sure it's because following this new plan will make the days go better, will bring the bonding and relaxing time we all need, will bring us closer together, and will get us through the next four weeks.

It's really a good plan.

And, apparently, Satan agrees.  Because he pulled out all the stops tonight to destroy it.

So, at least I know we're on the right path.  Or, something like that...

Anyway, tonight was awful in the worst way.  I can't tell you about it.  Because I can't bear to relive it.

So, those negative coping habits came back.  And are trying really hard to break through my resolve.  And to be quite honest, I'm  not really sure I have any of that left.  My crazy is really trying to take over right now.

And I don't have HH here to hold me until it passes.

So, I'm here.  Blogging instead.  And hoping and praying that it's enough.  That I'll get through tonight and wake up tomorrow and, somehow, find that peace and strength and maybe even the optimism again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 91: Touch

I can't believe I had to go clear back to December to find a photo with both HH and I in it.  This is sad.

Things have been absolutely nuts over here these past couple of weeks.  It's been a whirlwind of activity and stress.

And I've learned something.

When I get stressed out, I get manic.  And then I go crazy working as hard as I can all day.  And by the time HH gets home from work, I'm sort of in a frenzy.  And still stressed because my mind keeps racing over all of the things that still need doing.  And in the process of preparing a house to sell, those things are endless.

So, HH gets home and I'm in the middle of getting dinner on the table.  Stressful even on a good day.  But now, I'm bugged that I have to do this ridiculous task every day because it's not something I can ever really check off.  I have to do it again tomorrow.  Where is the progress in that?  Plus, it's taking time away from the thousands of other things that need my attention.  And it's creating a mess I'll have to clean up.

Did you ever realize what a waste of time meals are?

Don't worry, that's a joke.


Anyway, I digress.

So, HH gets home and wants a hug first thing.  Not just the quick kind I try to get away with, but a real, longer than 3 seconds, hug.  With both of my arms involved in the hugging, not slicing strawberries or stirring a pot on the stove.

And a lot of the time, especially lately, he doesn't get it.

And I didn't realize it until last week, but thus begins a downward spiral.  He (inexplicably to me) feels guilty that I'm so stressed and wonders if I'm mad at him since I didn't take the time to hug him.  So, he's kind of hurt and becomes more critical as a defense mechanism.  I'm exhausted and definitely overly sensitive to criticism right now, plus I think, "Can't he see how much I'm doing?  Why would he be critical?".  So, I get hurt and mad and put up my walls.

And we have a fight.

And he's feeling guilty and defensive.  And I'm feeling hurt and exhausted.

And I absolutely don't want him to come anywhere near me.  Even if he apologizes.  Because I'm so tightly wound right now, I just have a hard time switching it off and letting those walls back down.

But, after a couple fights in which he mentioned being frustrated because I never wanted/had time to hug him (and I'm seriously just talking about hugs here, people--it's not a euphemism!), I had this revolutionary thought--"What if I take a minute every day when he gets home and give him my undivided attention and a real hug?"

So, I tried it the next evening.  And I decided to really go above and beyond and do things like squeeze his hand, or touch his shoulder.  Whoa.

And guess what?  I think we've had one fight since.  And it wasn't even a big one.

Maybe there are some other factors involved as well, but making time for hugs and other physical contact has been sort of a magic pill for our marriage.  And it's not been at all trying for me, like I thought it might be.  Dinner still makes it to the table, but I feel less stressed after hugging him.  And we are closer and more united.

And that's a much better place to be at with all of this stress and craziness surrounding us.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 90: Which Direction?

So, we're moving.

Out of state.

Back "home".  Closer to family.

Except that this place has come to feel a whole lot like home over the past 5 years.  And our friends here have become our family, too.

People assume we're moving because HH got a new job.  Which he did.  But, he got that new job for me.  So that, in a crisis, I can have help.  So that, when I get overwhelmed with life, someone can come help me handle it.  So that, if/when I need to go to the hospital again, someone can take care of the kids.  And I see the good and the logic in that.

But, it feels like defeat.

Instead of choosing where we want to live based on "normal" reasons, this is yet another choice that feels like it's just been made for us.  Because of my mental health.  Mental illness.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to live close to our family again.  Ever since the kids were small, we've felt a pull to get them closer to their cousins and other extended family.  I love and enjoy being around my family and HH's family.

And I'm excited about the location.  I get to be in the mountains again.  We can take the kids camping without dying from the heat and humidity.  We can teach the kids to ski.  We can show them where we grew up.  We can hike.  We can maybe enroll them in sports where all the games won't be played on Sundays.

But still...

I just wish I could feel like this is happening because it's what we fully want.

But, we looked at other locations.  Places closer to family, but that had other appeal as well.  Climate, new places to explore, fun things to do.

Ultimately, we kept coming back to this though.  Knowing it's what we have to do because it's what I need.

And I'm tired of making choices where my needs supersede everyone and everything else.

Not to mention the fact that I am desperately going miss all of these people I've grown to love and trust.  Especially, the few that I've recently grown close enough to to really let down my guard and trust them with things only HH and my therapist have known.  That's something invaluable.  And I know I can still call them, but there is something about being in the company of someone like that that is renewing.

So, I know I should be excited.  And some of me is.

I hope I haven't hurt or offended any of you that I will be moving closer.  Like I said, I am excited about that prospect.

It's just that, it's complicated.  This is me we're dealing with here.  And if I'm good at one thing, it's making things complicated.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Day 89: Reassurance Being Found

Me and Baby B when he was actually a baby.

I wish I could always hold him and make things right in his world.

Thanks for your kind reassurance.  I actually went from one reassuring person to the next during my day yesterday.

The drop off was rough.  I held it together until I got in the car and then I bawled the whole way home. But, it was April Fool's, so I got to keep myself busy making fun prankster foods for the kids.  (And Baby B got his wormy apple on his way home that night).

The pick up went well and he was so well-behaved all evening.

While I have great faith in this program, I know better than to believe his improved behavior was a sign of progress.  Not yet, anyway.  I think he was just relieved to be home.  The caregivers told me he had a pretty good first day.  He even earned a prize to take home from his good behavior.

He told me he did nothing all day.  Except go on time out.

That made me want to laugh and cry at the same time.  Laugh because I know it wasn't true and because he looked so cute with his mad pouty face.  And cry because, well, he's my baby.

Anyway, it's still hard and I've missed him so much yesterday and today, but I'm choosing to focus on the fact that I know this program is the right thing right now.  And not on how sad it makes me.

As with so many things, I got so worked up beforehand because of all the unknown and uncertainty.  But now that we've begun down the path, a lot of my concerns are already at rest because I can see where we're headed.  And it definitely looks like higher ground.