Saturday, January 19, 2013

BOOM!!!


So, I think I have shared a picture like this before, of the snow that starts to fall off our roof.

This particular "hangover" is actually quite a common one. It starts to fall, freeze, melt, fall, freeze, melt and this is what ends up happening. The icicles look like they are trying to hang on for dear life to keep the snow up. If you look closely you can see that one of these icicles is actually pressing into the window pane.

Now we all know that there is no way that those icicles are going to be able to hold that huge mound of snow up on that rooftop.

When a couple feet of snow accumulates on a roof, melts, freezes, melts and falls off of a metal roof it makes for quite the occurrence. Sometimes I'll be upstairs and I can hear a low rumble and then "BOOM!!!!!" the snow falls to the ground. Even with the warning of the rumble, the snow falling to the porch in a heap scares me everytime--not just because of the sound but it actually shakes the house. Sometimes I am actually amazed at the weight our porch can handle when I see the piles of heavy snow that have fallen.

I have decided that snow is not the only thing to fall around here.

I think it is finally my time to go "BOOM!!!!"

I've been hanging on for as long as I can under the pressures I face.

I've even been putting out little braces (like the icicles) to hold me up... but as we all know that is usually just temporary.

I've been trying go have "me" time and date nights, and even doing service for others in order to forget about myself.

But, I guess sometimes snow just has to fall.

And sometimes it falls hard.

I think that many people have a false sense of my life and what it is like because of my tendency to keep a happy face through all that happens. I don't think I really realized that until my good friend, Orva, told me with great concern that she was worried that I try too hard to hide the tough stuff I go through.

Maybe all the death in my family is hitting me.

Maybe the diagnosis of my nephew having Fragile X.

Maybe it is the 3 children of my own that have Fragile X.

Maybe my thyroid is out of whack!

Maybe my depression and anxiety is not controlled by my meds as well as I had hoped.

Maybe the fact that I have gained some of the weight back that I have lost is weighing on me too. (Ha! Pun, very much, intended.)

Whatever it all is, I need to put it out there, for all of you to read.

Why?

Because it helps me to write and I hope that when I write honestly about how I feel it will help someone else in the same situation or having the same feelings to see that they are not alone.

I am swimming... no... floating... nope... drowning in a sea of overwhelmingness.  Is that a word? Must be, because it didn't highlight for spellchecking.

I am not meeting the needs of my kids.

Not all of them anyway.

I am in that state of numbness and dazed awareness of my depression and can't seem to pull myself into the world of sensory that my children need to live in constantly. But, part of the reason for my numbness is because I never feel like I am doing enough even when I am doing what I can. My kids seem to be falling apart around me.

Watching Sister's anxiety and how it consumes her life is a tough thing to witness. I wish I had the words to explain what it is like to watch her body becoming tense and nervous just because it isn't Thursday yet, or the decisions of what she wants for Christmas (a whole year ahead), or what kind of birthday cake she wants for her birthday (in 8 months!) or if her friend is going to be at school next week, or the week after or next year. I have a picture schedule for her everyday and even put up a calendar in her room yesterday, but it doesn't seem to be enough to calm her anxiousness.

Baby is 3 and NO WHERE near being even slightly interested in potty training. Heck, I can't even get her to calm down enough for her to understand that when she has an empty sippy cup and I take it away to fill it, that she will actually get it back. Sometimes Baby throws such HUGE tantrums for reasons I can't possibly understand or even figure out, but know that it would help so much if she could at least speak her needs. She talks, really, she does. Everyone who is around her, knows that. I just wish it wasn't always repetative or without purpose or reason most of the time.

I know I am struggling because I almost cried the other day when I witnessed a three year old actually tell his mom what he was wanting to do and asking her for help. It was almost like a slap in the face. Why? Why does it hurt me to see the typical development of someone else's child? I should be happy for them, not jealous.

But, when I am barely hanging on and close to the edge of going crazy, I guess that's what happens. I wallow in my misery.

Brother is at this horrible and awkward stage of teenager-ness. My heart goes out to him. As if being a teenager with hormones and feelings all over the place isn't hard enough, add the fact that he is mentally and emotionally incapable of even expressing anything he is going through. He doesn't even understand what he is going through. I know that many of you feel that same way about your typically developing teenager, but it's not the same thing. Let me explain it like this. If you have an 8 year old or know one, imagine that young boy going through puberty and junior high. Ya. 'Nough said.

Then there's that heavy weight of knowing that I shouldn't feel this way, I know better, I have resources to help me, I am surrounded by friends and family always willing to help... so why am I down? Why can't I just let it all go and accept the help and just be humble about it.

I can't seem to shake the pressure of raising the children I was given without having to have everyone else around me do it for me. I feel inadequate and insufficient. I want to, so badly, to not feel guilt when people help me voluntarily or when I ask people to help me.

I feel the pressure of not meeting my kids needs, but also not being able to even help them excel, possibly, beyond what they, or I, think their potential might be.

Marc, I know, feels the same way I do a lot of times. We are both struggling. It is such a weight on our marriage and our relationship and us as individuals. We often don't feel good enough to have been given such a challenge as this. It can be disheartening when neither of us feel up to par to meet the challenges before us.

I have the additional challenge of leading the Fragile X Association of Utah and it gets very overwhelming for me sometimes when I feel the additional pressure that I am not doing enough to help families affected by Fragile X much in the same way I am. I want to reach out. I want to empower. I want to educate. But, how can I do all that when I can't even seem to keep my kids on the better side of OK.

I have a happy and joyous outlook, normally, I guess that all the issues my kids are going through all at once is really starting to take it's toll.

I feel the edge of my sanity and I'm afraid I am going to fall with a huge BOOM!

So, in my scratching my way back to the top I want to share this with you because it helps me to remember that my burdens can be lightened if I let them be.


7 remarks:

seesuerun said...

Oh my sweet friend! I always knew you were destined for great things (which I'm sure that pressure doesn't help with the boom feeling but you are) Sometimes when I struggle with my kids I literally think of a night when we were camping with you guys. Brother was crying and a little unconsolable. I could hear your patient voice talking and whispering to him and then singing to him. He settled down,comforted by his mom. I'm sure it wasn't the first night like that for you and I am certain there have been thousands to follow but you were so patient and loving. It humbled me. It reminds me to be courageous as a mother. To face a tidal wave of responsibility and hard situations with patience. Your little ones don't need perfection. They need to be loved which you do an amazing job at. I think you need to write a book. Anyone who looks at your situation and knows you thinks "How does she do it?" You amaze and inspire me! Hang in there! I can't wait to sit and chat with you soon! Susan

Karen Mortensen said...

I am here for you my friend. I know some of what you are going through. No one said you had to do it all or all by yourself. Ask for help. Let other people help carry your burden.

Sheri said...

We all feel that way sometimes. When I feel that way I pray and God helps me remember who I am and as a daughter of God he helps me through it if I but ask. Don't give in, never give up. I think your great and doing fine, just hang in there and know "that I Am" as God has told us. It's OK to not be perfect, that's why we are here. Love, Aunt Sheri

Rachael said...

Thanks Susan. It will be good to get together :) And I LOVE that link to the story you gave me. Awesome!

Rachael said...

Thanks for being my friend :)

Rachael said...

Thanks Aunt Sheri. It's always god to know you're loved :)

Guenn Adare said...

Hi Rachel ---- You have been on my mind for a few weeks. I love your blog! I am a writer, too. In addition to being fulfilling, writing is a release for me. I have had several people tell me over the years that I should not share the negative of my life. That no one wants to hear negative, and that those are private things that shouldn't be shared.

But I am like you. I learn from watching how other people handle adversity and problems. Some things I learn NOT to do, some things I learn TO do, and some things I learn to do DIFFERENTLY. I know that people who freely admit their struggles, are not hung up on how they APPEAR to others, they are genuine people. So continue to write about both the positive and the negative in your life and in your self!

Do you remember my husband, Don? He was diagnosed with Asperger's crossing the threshold into autism. No one understood the hell that went on in our home, because he functioned pretty well out in public. There was no help or support for that for a marriage relationship. My parents, his parents, and Don were in denial about the diagnosis. They told him not to take the medication recommended or the extensive counselling recommended to ALL of us, because the diagnosis was done by a "quack" (Dr. Sally Ozonoff, published nationally in the autistic field). My father said that rather it was I that was the problem, and to divorce me with the lawyer my father found for Don. Which Don did.

You are so very fortunate to have a husband and an extended family who are in the trenches with you.

God blessed me with a real live angel to help me with the infinite boulders in my life due to my marriages. She is my sister, Janice. They don't come any better then her. I truly believe God put her in my life on purpose.

Thirteen years have gone by since Don left me. Hindsight has given me peace. I learned some things which I would like to pass on to you now.

YOUR BEST IS GOOD ENOUGH. GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE. IT'S NOT OVER UNTIL IT'S OVER. TREAT YOUR OWN SELF AS YOU WOULD TREAT OTHERS.

My children crucified me emotionally in their teen years. The oldest one went into her teen behavior late and the youngest one went into it early, so I had to deal with all four of them going through the teen emotional breakaway stage at the same time. With my parents turned against me and my husband in autistic denial, I was a rock perpetually being lashed by a stormy sea for many, many, many years.

Now my children are all in their thirties. All have had life happen to them, with dreams and efforts that sometimes didn't materialize, disappointments and failures in relationships, financial struggles.

Finally, fourteen years later, my crucifixion has come to an end. They don't think I was wrong, wrong, wrong anymore. I feel so lucky. I truly never thought they would value me ever again. For some parents, it never does end.

Give your niece and nephews a few more years, for their journeys in life to gradually grant them understanding.

People would tell me, "Problems and what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." They said that to encourage me, to show they admired me for persevering, to make me feel better. I came to hate that response. Eventually I started responding, "Then I'd rather be weak!" And I meant it.

I learned that most of the time we don't get to choose our crosses. But we always get to choose HOW WE HANDLE IT.

Growing up in South America, I witnessed Third World living conditions first hand. Even in my darkest hours, I always knew that if I were in South America, I'd be having the very same struggle that was beating me down, but I would have in addition, poverty, lack of government support, crime, lack of respect for women including by my own husband, and less sanitation = more disease. In other words, my already overwhelming problems would be multiplied several fold.

Sorry for this long response! But it came from my heart.

Glad to find you again. Guenn