Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Letter from Sea

Ahoy there. I am in a total brain fog right now. I called my dad and told him how I needed to start writing lists for myself because remembering to floss or, really, anything related to my own self care is hard. It's funny, and it's sad, depending on my mood. Today it was funny.

Last night was really bad. Really, half of yesterday. I hit dinnertime and was ready to send all my kids to bed for the night. I've never had the thought that someone else could care for them better, but I play a game where I count how long it takes my absence to be discovered - even if it's walking to the kitchen or dining room, I am always followed. I know I am loved. Love irritates me sometimes. Love feels like an itchy sweater you wear because someone you love gave it to you and you're cold.

Grace never stops touching me. She has the sweetest touch and the softest hands, and sometimes, I move her over because she is choking me with her arm because she loves me so much. Laura loves to jump on me, even when I am not looking. She laughs with glee and does it again and again and again. I play along and sternly tell her to be careful, which only makes her smile and run faster. (She likes to be chased.) Stephen is extra clingy these days and likes to slap my hands with his hands. We play a special form of patty cake with his hands and feet.

I am loved, and it hurts. My depression doesn't tell me I'm alone. My depression tells me I'll never be alone; my depression tells me it's okay not to eat my favorite meals because I'll eat what they're eating. (But I'm not a huge fan of hummus.) My depression belittles me.

I still feel very lucky. I am loved. After Will came home last night, I was still decompressing and just crazy frustrated. I sat on the floor of the kitchen, back up against the cabinets. I was going to sit there while Will fixed his dinner. Instead, he sat down next to me and put his arm around me. He didn't care that I just angrily scolded him for potentially waking up the kids. (Well, maybe he did. I apologized immediately.) He cared that I had a hard day. Who else has that kind of support system??

For my birthday, my parents and in-laws gave me money to help pay for our new housekeeper. I haven't cried about it yet, but I know it's coming. My dad always reminds me that I am doing good work, that I am a good mom, and that this is hard. Not everything hard is worth doing, but parenting is - for me, the level of unconditional love grounds me. I am connected to four people who need me, who love me and deserve me. It is in love that I free myself from any lies. It is in love that I admit I need help; I need support; I need quiet to hear myself think, and be.


In the Hunger Games trilogy, Katniss and Peeta talk about memories and then identify them as truth, or not. I relate to that. I was e-mailing with a young bride about learning to communicate better with her spouse. I tell her that she needs to let her husband help her, as he is learning to be a husband just as she is learning to be a wife. Communication will one day reach beyond talking; your spouse will be the voice in your head and in your heart as you yearn for goodness. Yesterday, when I wanted to yell and scream and be a toddler too, I took a million deep breaths and listened to Will in my head tell me what was true and what was not. Yes, the girls were being rowdy; yes they were being disobedient; yes, they are being toddlers; no, we never ever yell at them. And every time I did not yell, I said a silent prayer of thanks to God for this holy strength against my own weakness. Lord, I am so weak and miserable and brimming with love. Help me. Jesus. Jesus! I trust in you.

If last night was tough, tonight was a breakthrough. I was really worried when Will left for his shift and the disobedience started, but an easy dinner and Sofia the First really eased the tough time. Maybe it was talking with my dad or cooking bacon or snuggling Stephen or cleaning up or dancing with the girls but I made it through tonight with joy in my heart and it gives me hope that I'll be better one day.

Thanks for being my tribe, friends.

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My "rules" for these posts are short (especially before commenting): this topic is personal and I am currently living in it. This is not an abstract for a dissertation. I do not have 20/20 hindsight yet. I don't need any medical advice, as I keep in close communication with my own PA + Dr., as well as being married to one. My husband and I practice many different types of coping mechanisms as well, which I will write about too. My situation is 100 percent unique and I am writing only about myself. These posts are directed at no one, and still, I am opening myself up to share my experiences. If I can help one person, it will be worth it. Please respect this adult conversation at face value.

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3 comments:

  1. Dear Julie, I used to read you before you were married. In fact I stop writing my blog because I just couldn't do the blog and parenting Motherhood has been the hardest thing I've ever experienced. It is an act of love however love sometimes can be very hard. Especially in the nitty-gritty daily demands of little people gathered around your knees. My children are older now nine and 11 and I work part time at our church as a coordinator for religious formation. They have their own issues now and still are very much dependent on me. But it does get easier. May God's peace be with you Julie.

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  2. Hey Julie! Like Mary, I used to read you before you were married, and then I started to run out of time to read all my fave blogs. I four little people now, and I could've written this myself. It is SO hard some days... every day? I go back and forth between the two. Just know that you're not alone. I struggle every day with trying to keep my patience and not flip out on every person who thinks it's funny to play in the toilet, break things to break things, and cover my only nice purse in spaghetti. I mean, all my other my other stuff has been broken, why my purse, Lord??? I think I may be the #1 complainer on planet Earth, so keep your chin up. It sounds like you're doing an amazing job!

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