Sunday, April 19, 2009

Truth, On a Bad Day

Well, I am sorry that that was a fairly negative post before. Anything that starts out with "hardships" in the title is bound to be a little woeful, I suppose. And the thing is, y'all, I am just really sad and hurting these days. That's the way it is. There isn't anything anyone can do about it. It's just reality. And I have no idea when it will get better. I have tried all the usual prescriptions for this sort of thing- think of others and how you can serve them, "keep on truckin'," have a glass of wine, "make lemonade," have some perspective, "tie a rope and swing..." I mean, honestly, what do half of those things even mean? I have been surprised to find that even my attempts to serve others leaves me more overwhelmed and panicky. It's like all the times I thought I was on the bottom rung, and doing this helped me, I still had something to give.  But make a meal for someone now? Have someone over for dinner? It's practically undoable. It takes days to prepare for and days to recover from. I mean, I can't get meals for my own family. Really. So today we picked up lunch and dinner, because I can't get to the grocery store. And we can't afford that! But I can't think what to put on my grocery list. And I can't get up and get us all dressed to get to the store. And even when I do that, I can't get the energy to get out a knife and chop or whatever it is I need to do to get dinner ready so the things I do buy are always going bad. If I do find energy and have unspoiled groceries, we don't eat until eight o'clock. We almost never eat until eight anymore. How tired am I by eight o'clock after teaching and mommying all day long? Pretty tired. Eight o'clock is supposed to be bedtime. 

Why? "Why?" you ask. Why is this such a problem? I don't know. I don't know why I have ceased to function as a normal person. But I will tell you one thing, I am painfully homesick. And the thing is, everyone has gotten used to the pain. I have gotten used to the pain. Everyone was so sharp and in tuned with our emotional distress when we packed up everything we owned and put it into storage over nine months ago. But nine months later, we've all gotten used to it. Except that I'm really not used to it. It's actually much worse and much more scary nine months later. I have a couch, a lovely blue and white ticking stripe couch, and an armoire, a lovely red armoire that looks so nice with our living room rug and my red toile chair and our old post office box turned CD rack. I have wedding china and family photos and curtains and quilts and a toaster oven and a stereo system just like you probably do. I do have those things, but they are five hours away in my parents' basement. And the way I talk myself out of missing all of it, of missing "home," is to say that even if George could find the time and drive down there and rent a truck and bring it all here, I wouldn't really want to unpack it because who knows when I'd have to pack it all up again. I tell myself too that it isn't just the stuff that is causing the homesickness, it's the stability, and we won't have that until George gets a job and we know we're going to be somewhere for a little while. But I also know that we are totally and completely at square one when it comes to the job hunt. Almost a whole year out from graduation, we're at square one, sending out resumes. We've been doing that since November of 2007- something like a hundred resumes. 

Why am I talking about all of this? I don't know. For one thing, I feel that the expectations are still out there. People expect me to be normal. Or maybe it is just that I expect me to be normal. But this is not normal. We have been camping for nine months. My husband has a four year graduate degree and works as a janitor making $9 an hour. I know there are oodles of people with much worse things going on. I know. I know this may be complaining. I have lost my understanding of what that is. We've got Paul telling us to be content in all things and we've got David crying out for mercy and recounting his woes. For my part, I have always jived a little better with David- I am named for his wife and all. (feeble laugh) Anyway, this is where I am, but it is all too ugly and painful for blogging so I just write boring homeschool posts. I haven't written anything this gut wrenchingly honest since who knows when. And I know some people think blogs aren't the place for gut wrenching honesty. Evidently, I agree on some level or I would have been blogging more lately. And I can also guess that I will be mortified if I actually hit "publish post" on this and will make attempts within the week to write much lighter and more positive posts to help everyone forget this vomit of the soul. Yet here I am at the end of the post, and I still have every intention of hitting "publish post." I'm not even going to ask George to see if it's okay. Just "publish post." See, now I'm hesitating. Do note that today was a bad day. No particular reason, just a day where I felt like I was completely falling apart and spent hours pouring over recipes trying to come up with a meal plan and make a grocery list and get to the store. At seven o'clock tonight, I had nothing in the refrigerator and a list with just 12 things on it;  I called George crying and he brought home Happy Meals for the kids and crab cakes for me. That is the good part, going through all of this would be infinitely worse were it not for sweet, wonderful George. 

My apologies for this post. I think I just feel like I have been hiding. I wonder why no one "gets it," but I don't talk about it. On the other hand, how could anyone "get it?" Why should I expect that? So, don't feel like you have to now think it is perfectly understandable that I am even more of a mess than usual. Mostly, this is just therapeutic for me. I suppose I could write it in the owl journal instead of on the world wide web. But why would I do that? (nervous laugh) Well, I don't know if it will make me feel better, but here it goes...

7 comments:

courtney said...

Oh, I'm glad you hit publish post. I know I'm always telling you to let it all out and tell the truth, but, I'm right about that! (like the humility??) No, seriously, this is your heart, right? You have let others know that you're hurting and you're struggling and now we can storm the gates for you. That's what the body of Christ does for it's appendages. Too often we keep things polite to show others that we have this all together. But, if you feel you don't- if your steps are heavy and burdensome- then you need to be able to unload and let others know. I don't want to get blah, blah, blah on you. But, I want to help any way that I can from here. I will commit to keeping you in my constant prayers- purposefully and specifically. You're a great mom and wife and God has such a special plan for all of you- I just know it. Love to you, dear friend....

Courtney

Wright Family said...

I am so glad you shared. I know you are beyond weary and you do have to get it out. We are praying daily for you all and we love y'all!

Anonymous said...

Abby,
What's the point of sharing if you can't be honest? What's the point of having friends if you have to pretend to be in a place that you are not? You are in a valley, and that is real. I pray that your circumstances will let up, but in the meantime, I am thankful for your honesty. So many people in the church aren't willing to be so open--it is refreshing. And it makes you approachable as a friend--I can in turn be real with you. And I can tell you that I have been in such low places, where there are days when you struggle just to function. The good news is that nothing lasts forever...

You and the fam are still in our prayers...
Sara

jennifer h said...

Abby,

Your blog gave me an idea. Look for an e-mail from me.

The Rays said...

was thinking about you and praying for you in church this morning. i have been wondering how you have been. will call soon. i love what courtney said about storming the gates for you. i promise to do that even more so. and sara's right. keep being honest and real. praying...

RHB said...

Praying for you. Love you!

e.c. said...

It hurts my heart to know what you're going through, but I am glad to know how to pray specifically for you.

On the food front, I know when I'm stressed, it is hard to think through menu planning etc. With George working so much, might you put a few no-brainer meals in the freezer? Of course it's not what you would normally serve, but I know when Bobby's working a lot, I do not feel bad about serving pancakes and sausage or even $.55 chicken pot pies with apples(the apples make it healthy :)).

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