Sunday, November 30, 2008


The Christmas season is upon us yet again. However, I feel more like Mr. Scrooge this season. I have just been so blah and bah hum bug! Turkey day was nice but did not feel like a holiday. Don't get me wrong the food was great, the company just did not feel like a holiday. Can't really explain it but several of us have thought about having a do over. Black Friday took on a whole new meaning for me this year. I never ever go shopping on that most crazy of shopping days. I am just not that brave. I am not that into shopping anyway. If I was rich that would be one job I would hire out. A personal shopper would be my greatest luxury. But, I digress. Back to black Friday. I decided that, since I had a willing babysitter, I would make the 40 minute drive down to my Mother-in-law's house to retrieve our Christmas stuff. We have had all of our Christmas stuff stored in her basement since we moved from Tennessee two years ago. Our first Christmas here we lived at Chuck's Mom's house so naturally that is where it was at. Last Christmas we decided not to unpack it all because we lived in the smallest apartment known to man.
So, I made the drive down there. I visited for a few minutes and then I prepared myself to go down into the dungeonous basement and load my van with fourteen years worth of Christmas cheer. I was actually starting to get a little Christmas Spirit. I descended down into the depths and to my shock and horror every box was gone. In the place of my beloved boxes was a pool table. I looked elsewhere. Surely they (meaning my *&%$#@!!! Brothers-in-law) put those clearly marked boxes some where else. I looked through everything. No boxes! I went back up stairs sat on the couch with my Mother-in-law. You know the woman I have grown to love and cherish so deeply. I tearfully told her that all my boxes were gone. I felt like a little girl begging for some one to make it all better. We looked in the attic, as if any one that lives in that house would ever carry those heavy boxes up two flights of stairs and into the attic. I came home and looked in my own attic, as if the man I am married to would ever put anything in the attic on his own accord. These were both absurd ideas to begin with.
So, at this point you are probably asking yourself; "What happened to the boxes?" Well, in my heart I knew immediately. You see this past summer my Mother-in-law rented a dumpster. They were going to clean out all of the junk in the basement. We all went down there and clearly marked what stayed and what was trash. We had a supposed system. Bright orange (hunters orange) stickers were placed on the boxes and other stuff that went. If it did not have an orange sticker then it was supposed to stay. My Brother-in-law swears it was my husband who threw away my Christmas stuff. Which is absurd. For goodness sake he lives with me and he knows how precious those things are to me. Which is what he told me when I called him last night.
So, my effort to shake off the bah hum bugs has just crushed me. I feel so betrayed! My friends all want to take me out shopping. But at this moment that will not help me through this. I lost irreplaceable things. Stockings that my husbands grandmother (who passed away in June) made for each of our children. I was so glad she got to see each of them born before she passed. I can't get those back. My ornaments since I was a kid. All the ornaments I have collected for my kids each year. Our first Christmas ornaments. My Christmas village, Fitz and Floyd collectibles, my Christmas around the world stuff that I earned and bought while working for them. Oh my goodness the list is long. Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I had collections of snowmen, angels, bells, and tea pots. Things friends have given me that I treasure. The key for Santa. Wow! The more I think about it the more I remember that I had.
I keep telling myself that it is just stuff. But I am just mad. I gotta shake this for the kids sake.
But right now I just feel like saying BAH HUM BUG!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Struggles and joys

This week went so well until last night. I have been getting my energy back, feeling more like me. A bad case of mono knocked me down for the count for way too long. It would have been nice to know I had mono before the last week or so of feeling bad. LOL But the point is I have been feeling better. Then all of a sudden I woke up this morning and it was all too much to deal with. I did not sleep well last night. Could have been because I drank two sodas (with caffeine) way too late last night. I could not sleep well at all. About the time I tried to go to bed my youngest son (not quite 3 years old) woke up. He needed to be changed. This is the third night in a row that he has woke up and needed to be changed and then gotten into my bed with me. I don't mind so much (most of the time). Having him sleep in my bed makes my bed feel a little less empty. So, last night after I changed him and put him into bed with me, he decided he was not at all sleepy!! UGH!! At 3:30am I was getting a little fed up with the constant chatter. He finally fell back asleep. And so did I. Then the bad dreams started. I can not really remember exactly what I was dreaming. I get so frustrated when I forget a dream just as I am getting ready to talk about it. I know whatever the dream was I was scared and sad and lost and alone. I cried in my sleep. Normally when that happens to me my Chuck is there to wake me and hold me and tell me it was just a dream. But he can't do that when he is across the world in Germany. So, I woke up this morning to my 17 month old daughter screaming (as usual) to get out of bed. My 4 year old and her best friend ready to play after a successful sleep over and my almost 3 year old still sleeping in my bed. My first thought was I wish Chuck were here so I could sleep in. He must have sensed that I was in need. Because within minutes of waking up he called. It is always good to hear his voice. Today however, our conversation just made me feel all the more helpless without him. Why does everything have to be so hard? We made a decision a couple of weeks ago. I want to put my kids in daycare and get a part time job. I think maybe that is why this week seemed so blissful. I had a break to look forward to. Until yesterday. I called 12 daycares! Yes, I said 12! Nine did not even answer the phone. One had no openings. One would not quote me a price until after I toured the facility (I have an appt Wednesday evening). The one and only daycare I got to quote me a price was outrageous!!! They wanted me to pay: $160 a week for my 17 month old, $150 a week for my 2 year old, and $140 a week for my 4 year old! So, for those of you who (like me) are not quick with math that is a grand total of $450 a week or $1800 a month! When I asked about a multi-child discount they all but laughed at me. I was assured that they had the "lowest" rates in the area and that I would not find a better deal. OK well let me just slam my head against the wall and see what kind of results that gets me. UGH!! How am I ever going to get a break? I just need a little time away from the demands of 4 small children. It was not this hard when Chuck was here. I complained a lot about how much he did not do. But now that he is gone I know how precious the little breaks were. Now I can not do anything with out little ones following me, needing me, crying to me, tattling on each other, fighting with each other, painting on my walls, making messes that requires a bio hazard team to clean up, etc... If you are a mom you know the drill. They never stop amazing me with the things they can come up with. The other day Matty (who no longer wants to be called Matty- he shall now and forever be known as Matthew or Buzz Lightyear) was supposed to be laying down on my bed for his afternoon nap. I foolishly thought that he had fallen asleep (since there was no noises coming from my room). Instead, about 30 minutes after I had laid him down, he came sneaking out of my room. He announced that "I had a good nap Mommy!" When I looked up what did I see? My 2 year old was covered in craft paint! Head to toe! We are talking face, arms, legs, hair, clothes EVERYTHING! So I put him in the tub and went to find out where he painted and how he got the paints. I keep all of the children's art supplies, videos, books, crayons, markers, glue, etc... in my closet. I thought this would be the most controlled place to keep the most messy stuff. Logical or so I thought. While Matt was supposed to be napping he got into the closet (very quietly) and pulled out craft paints. He proceeded to paint my walls, dresser, comforter and himself! I gave him a bath and then made him take a nap in his own bed! What is a mom to do?
I am losing the fight. It is four against one and I am just too overwhelmed to be the Mom that I want to be. I try darn it all. But it is all too much for me right now. People ask me all the time: "How do you do it with four kids?" I always think it is such a dumb question. Mostly because I can not think of a way to tell them what it is like. Just like you can not tell someone what it is like to be a parent, because it is just something you have to experience to understand. The same is true with four kids. I have friends who have four (or even more) and they do not seem to struggle the way I do. They do not seem to be falling apart. I wish I could say to folks "How do you think I do it? One moment at a time. Just like everybody else."
Right now it is gloomy. My happiness meter is low. I am lonely for my husband. My kids are challenging me in ways I never thought possible. And yet, I can not give up this fight. I will make it through this. Because the one thing I know about life is that this too shall pass. If a can hang on long enough I will see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So, this is me hanging on. It is not pretty. It is not fun. It is just life.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What do you say?

This is a two part entry. It started as a letter to an estranged friend and turned into something completely different. Don't mind me I am just trying to reason through my feelings and thoughts.

What do you say to the friend you thought you would never lose? I am so sad and sorry that we don't talk anymore. I am still confused about what happened to us. My life is filled with so many losses and so many hurts. I think so often how much I would like to just pick up the phone and talk to you. I tried to call you once this summer. It was on a day that I ran away from home. I was gone for 4 days. I felt like the world was shifting beneath my feet. You were the person I wanted to call. You were the one person I knew who would understand. But all I have gotten from you is silence. Why is that? Did I do something unforgivable? For the life of me I can not figure out why we are not friends anymore. If you would just tell me. Is it about me? I have tried to think of everything (which about drove me crazy) until I could not think of it anymore. I miss you! I miss so many of the little things. I miss just hanging out and laughing and eating and watching our kids play. I miss talking to you when my world was upside down. You having the right things to say or least a good plan to cheer me up. I tried to be that kind of friend to you as well. You changed my life. You were the first true friend I had made since college. It is a rare thing to find a true friend. I never once thought that we would be estranged. I foolishly thought we would be the best of friends till we were little old ladies sipping tea.
We shared the music of our lives together. It haunts me everyday that you are gone.

So I have settled. Settled for less. That is maybe the theme for my life. I always seem to settle for less than I am worth. Turning 30 changed me. My ideals, goals and expectations. I wonder does that happen to everyone at 30? Do you think that it is common to look back at your twenties and think I was so naive. I was really idealistic. I used to believe that everything always works out for the good. I used to have a gift for it. Do you think that God is punishing me? Do you think that all the loss and hurt is because I am so awful that even God must punish me? I mean I don't go to church anymore. Everything that happened at at our last church sealed it for me. I have tried. Really I have. Recently we started attending a local Baptist church. My next door neighbor goes there and I thought we should try it out too. My kids hate it there. I can not understand it. They have always loved church so much. But they hate this one. To tell you the truth I am not so fond of it either. I am not sure why though. I think it is because I feel so much anxiety about being there. It reminds me of a time when I was married to a person who was in the ministry. A time when my life had a ministry. A time before all the chaos. Before all the compromises. I am not me any more. The problem is I don't even know who I want to be. I am so sad. I am so lost. My faith has be squashed. My good natured outlook is cynical. I wonder who have I become. I wonder is this depression? If so the anti depressant the doctor prescribed is not doing it's job. I am scared. It seems as if everything moves at too quick a pace. I was 30 two years ago. So why do I still feel a sense of loss. Why do I mourn the life I had when I was 20 something? It wasn't so great back then either. I had bigger dreams and less worries. But it all seemed tough to go through at the time. It seems like disappointments are bigger now. I look back and think of where I saw myself heading...and you know what I see? A girl who had no foresight. Looking ahead has never been my strong suit. I have always lived for today. Looking for the good in all things. Just "knowing" everything will always work out for the good. What happened to all that faith? I will tell you. Life happened. Twists and turns in the road. A few surprises thrown in for good measure. Love, loss and betrayal. Responsibility, worries, fear. Looking back I wonder at which crossroads would a different decision have changed everything? I believe that every person every day does the very best he or she is capable of doing. No one wakes up in the morning and declares "Today I think I will see how bad I can mess things up". No one does that. Yet, how is that a million little decisions and a few really big ones, can make such a mess.
I wish I knew what would make it easier.

I am afraid of what tomorrow will bring. Tomorrow (well actually later today) our nation will elect a new president. In the deepest part of my soul I know that nothing will ever be the same again after tomorrow. What is better, to learn a new skill and look into the future with a plan? Or continue to hope for the best? Do I jump on the wagon with those who are preparing for survival? I feel it in my soul that we are in for some very hard times. Yet, my over privileged American self does not even comprehend what hard times means. Does that mean that I need to find a job? Does that mean I should stockpile food and supplies? Will my husband have a job? Is he safe over seas? Will he be able to come back home when I need him to?

It's no wonder I am worried. It's no wonder I had a break down of sorts a few weeks ago. But is it really stress combined with a bad case of mono that is causing all if this anxiety?

So many questions, not enough answers. I am haunted by fear and paralyzed in faith.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A letter to a dear friend after years of being estranged

I worte this letter today to a dear old friend. Yet it seems so wonderful topost here. This is what I feel about divorce. It changes you. You can not help it. The scar is deep and wide. No matter who comes in to fill a hole in your heart there will always be something missing.

Things have gone so differently for me than I would have ever expected. I have been think about all of that alot lately. I was in the hospital about a month ago. The doctors don't really know what is/was wrong with me. I found out friday that I have mono and that might explain some of what is going on with me. But I have been sick for a while now. Mono does not explain the sudden onset of a dibilitating stutter and severe pain through out my body. The doctor says that was an acute reaction to stress. Although I am not under any real stress. Or maybe I should say under any new stress. But maybe I just don't remember what stress free feels like. LOL Yep, I have four kids. Crazy huh? Me???? I am still trying to figure out what happened. :) We had Z**** and E****. C**** wanted one more. So when E**** was two along came M*****. He was going to be our last. Jokes on me! C**** changed jobs and since his doc would not give him a vasectomy while I was pregnant we had to wait a few months. We were REALLY careful! But some how the same month we moved to Delaware I got pregnant again. He got fixed while I was pregnant. I made him lie to his doc. So we are definately done. It makes my head spin to think of it. Me, you know, the girl who had a great career, a life in the ministry, a set path that included 2.5 kids a house with a fence and a dog. Well instead I opted for stay at home mom to 4 kids (all with in 5 years of each other), wife to a traveling gypsie, no career (no time for that let alone daycare money), no ministry and a failing Faith. What happened there? I am not sure. I have thought alot about it in the past few months. I wonder so often if this is my punishment for my divorce from C***. I am estranged from myself. Sounds strange huh? I know this is way more than you thought a catching up letter would be. Me too. I don't know why I feel like I should pour my heart out to you. After all it has been so long since we have been in touch. Well, I guess I do know that I have always felt a kindred spirit with you. And I remember being able to share my real self within our friendship. That is a rare thing in this life. I think also it must be that you have known me for long enough to know me before. Not many people knew me before my divorce. How can one event change a persons life so much. I am not saying that I wish I was married to C***. Not at all. I love my husband and children more than anything else in the world. Its just that I am not the same person I used to be. I have gotten back in touch with so many friends from my past in the last year or two. And whenever I talkto them it seems as if life has taken them exactly where they thought it would. How come that happens for some people and not for others? I have faced every trial with determination and grit. Always keeping a positive outlook. And yet I am so scared that I do not know how to trust anyone including myself. Do you think it is the same for everyone who gets divorced? Do you think that C*** has problems too? Do you know I have not even spoken to him once since before our divorce was final. Yet I have wondered about him everyday since he left. Not as acutely now as I did in the past. But I think of him all the time. Sometimes I am angry with him. Anger is an aweful thing. Having no closure, no choice in how things ended. Yet knowing how much he truly hurt me. Missing his family. Oh how I miss them. His mom called me about three years ago. She called me to appologize for the way she had treated me through our divorce. She told me that she and his Dad had gotten divorced. She told me about C***'s brother J*** being in the Military over seas and planning to get married. But not even one word was mentioned about C***. She did not offer and I did not ask. It killed me to not ask. I want to know did everything work out for him? Is he happy? Does it seem weird to him to have had a life together and no longer know each other? Of course I can't tell my husband all of this he would not understand. It would hurt him so deeply. I do not want C*** back. I just want to know who he is now. Did it all change for him too? After our seperation I was not allowed to work in our church anymore. They did not want me working with the children because I might lead them astray. That was the single most hurtful thing I have ever experienced in a church. After that it has been really hard to go to church. WE have tried for a long time. But I always feel so uncomfortable. I have not had a church home since Riverside. I wonder what would have happened if we had just stayed. We certainly would have had a different life. I am so sorry to pour this all out to you. I guess maybe I feel like telling you so you maybe could share it with T***** and M*******. I am so heart broken for them. I know God can heal a marriage. Even when someone has been unfaithful. Divorce scars you for life. The blessing in my life is that I have a great husband who loves me more than I may even know. He is patient and understands how insecure I can be. He is always gentle with me. I know he is the one. I just mourn my other life daily.
*edit for personal content*
So that is my weird and probably too much information update.I hope I did not freak you out by pouring my heart out like that.
I truly miss you and am so glad I found you.
Till next time...