12 September 2011

Discouragement and courage

I haven't written much on my blog lately, even though I've still be posting pictures, because I'm floundering a little. I went back and forth about writing about it. I knew I would, because it's part of the journey that I've been sharing here all along. It just feels a little tender writing about it while I'm in the midst of it.

However, these feelings don't seem to be moving on very easily, so I'll just get it out here because I could always do with some more prayers.

For the first month after Grant went away we were doing fine. Everything was ticking along nicely, I was keeping busy and distracted and we were feeling okay. I felt confident and happy.

Then last weekend the wheels fell off. I was overcome with sadness, with feelings of discouragement and overwhelm. I suddenly started missing Grant desperately. I was fed up with having to do and remember everything myself. I was feeling so tightly wound. I was tired of taking care of everyone else and nobody taking care of me.

I couldn't understand why I would be doing fine for weeks and then suddenly not be doing fine. I'd already showed myself that I could do it. So why would that change?

I suspect hormones had something to do with it. I'd also had a very hard few days with Noah, who was acting out with violent temper outbursts at home and getting into trouble at school for disobedience.

I felt the burdens of having to get everything done in the home, keep us on a schedule, make sure I remembered things like putting the bin out and filling the car with fuel and getting groceries in, make all the decisions. I felt anxious about forgetting something or failing to do something that needed doing. I was worrying about Noah and worrying about Daniel feeling neglected because all my attention seems to be taken up with dealing with Noah.

And as much as I'd been distracting myself and pushing the feelings down, I couldn't deny any more how much of a void Grant has left behind. I just miss him so much. the longest we've been apart in sixteen years is three weeks. He's my best friend and my soul mate.

Thankfully, I am blessed with some exceptional women in my life. Friends who I could be vulnerable and messy and broken with and who not only still loved me but reached out and loved me more. Amazing women who have been so tender and kind to me. I don't know what I would have done without them.

There have been a lot of tears this past week. A lot of letting go of things, of learning to be vulnerable and ask for help and accept offered help.

When Grant left I kept telling him to just get his head down and focus on his studies, not to worry about us, we'd be fine. How noble ... and how totally unrealistic. He is a quarter of this family. It might be nice for him to be able to immerse himself in college (and let me tell you, it is hard there and he is under immense pressure) but I've had to involve him more with home life. I can't make all of the decisions myself. The boys have to have real conversations with him, whether they like it or not (Noah had been refusing to talk to him, probably to punish him). They need to hear rules enforced by him as well as me.

On Friday I realised that I was feeling like a failure because I had been expecting of myself that I would get through these 19 weeks well. Not just get through them, but do it bravely and with courage and confidence.

Then I wondered who the heck I had thought was going to give me a gold star for being a brave little soldier??

Surely the point is to get through it, no matter how. If I cry every day, so what? It hurts and it's hard. If we eat toasted sandwiches for dinner every night for a week, so what? We're fed. If I leave things undone for longer than I'd like, so what? They'll get done in the end.

I'm really trying to let go. To be kind to myself and so scale back a bit. To love my boys and just be here for them.

This morning went badly and there were harsh words spoken. There was discord and unhappiness. I started the day out feeling awful, so broken and failing.

But I'm learning about grace. About forgiveness and trying again. About God's promises of fresh starts and blank slates. I'm learning to be kind to myself.

I was reminding myself that this period of our family being split is hard on the boys, especially in the wake of our emigrating, and the great loss and changes that that entailed. Then one day I stopped to realise I hadn't cut myself the same slack. Why was I expecting this time to go smoothly? Why was I expecting to handle the load gracefully?

Well, I'm here to tell you I'm not but I'm learning to be okay with it. This time won't last forever. Grant will be back home with us in December. In fact, we'll see him at the end of the month for a weekend and then for two weeks in October. This will pass and we'll move forward. And in the meantime, I'll remind myself of this:

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...