This is my third attempt to write this post. Each time I’ve written it on a separate day and each time the site has had trouble uploading it. (Or is it downloading? What’s the difference?) I should maybe take that as a sign to not share this part of me. Or maybe I just wasn’t getting it right and so God intervened so that I’d have to step back from it and rewrite it better. I want to write it because I chose to take you all on this journey with me and am near getting closure. I feel that, as a faithful reader, you deserve to know that and the how and why. However, some of it is just mine and I won’t be divulging it all to you. I know Reader! Shocking, isn’t it? You guys thought I told you everything. Pfft. Sillies.
So now I will attempt AGAIN to tell you where I’m at and where I’m headed. Which should be interesting since I’m not really sure myself. Ah! Clear as mud!
Let’s see….I’m definitely working through grief but I was sad before Grandma died and Man has been pressing me to figure that out. After several evenings of fire-side chats with him, I have been able to pin point that I am sad, frustrated, resentful of the fact that I have never really steered my own ship. I went from my Mom’s house to Man’s. There were a couple of years where I was on my own in college but even then I was still answering to my mother and considering Man in my decisions.
Several times I wanted to change my major but Man had advised against it. He wasn’t necessarily wrong either but why the hell was I even asking him? I turned down various opportunities because they would either take me from him or I thought he would disapprove. Let me make it clear that this was MY doing, not Man’s. I have this drive to please others. Maybe a middle child syndrome or something….I don’t know.
I was a very compliant child. I had good parents who did their best. My mother likes to have control (don’t we all) and I was the one child that she could. I did whatever she asked, wore whatever she liked, did things her ways. Always. My Dad would actually try to get me to make my own decisions and to have my own opinions, come to my own conclusions, but most of my time was with Mom and then he left.
When I left for school I had little practice in making decisions for myself. I remember being so pumped to choose the shampoo and hairspray that I wanted! So, you know, very basic things were new to me. I studied what others suggested I study. I took on a major in a field that I had experience in and knowledge in but was not necessarily interested in. My employers, parents and boyfriend all urged me into the dental field and I obediently pursued it. It made sense. Seemed wise.
I chose to marry Man at the age of 22. I chose to have children at the age of 25. This had always been my plan. A little girls plans. They weren’t bad or wrong but…they were perhaps naive. I had no idea that being a parent was so submissive. One thinks that the child submits to the parent but it’s actually the other way around. Not in a Run All Over You kind of way but in the sense that my every action and decision is tied to my children. When they were infants and they cried, I jumped to serve them by either feeding, changing or aiding them to sleep. Could we go to the party we were invited to? Could we afford a trip or heck, new clothes? Everything was to be arranged around our children.
How I respond to them effects their whole lives. Yes it does. If you don’t think so you are not forward thinking enough. Your parenting style effects their parenting style. The sort of spouse you are shapes the sort of spouse they choose and become themselves. ALL of it, my whole everything, is theirs. I’m bound to my children and my spouse. So I never made decisions for myself and the one big choice I did make is to take on a career that requires you to die to yourself daily.
(I love them. Just in case it sounds like I don’t.)
This is why I have an urge to bolt. This is why a handful of pills is weighted with promise. I don’t want to really leave my family (or to die for that matter) I just want some control. I want to rule my destiny. Steer my ship. I don’t leave or take any other tragic option because of my love for my family but also because of the bind to them. Ironic.
So My Man, my wonderfully understanding Man, is talking with me in the evenings and holding me while I try to figure out how to cut a slice of this life that is just for me. He says that’s good. I’m still struggling with that. I really want it but it seems so selfish. He won’t decide or even suggest what direction I should take because that would defeat the whole purpose, now wouldn’t it? He is trying to be more careful about how he words his opinion so that when I say, “I’d like super short hair!” and he says “no” that I don’t think he means “No you can’t do that.” He is realizing that I don’t want to displease him and so telling me he dislikes something cuffs me. So I can be a ninja if I want, cut my hair if I want, have a house cleaner come in and help me get my head above the water if I want.
Does this make sense? Sounds pathetic. Again.
I’m off the meds. I find that during the day I do pretty good but by the evening I’m sad, chest hurts, pit in my stomach…that whole thing. I think it’s because I’m working very hard in the day to change my thinking. I am mourning, not just Grandma, but a lost opportunity. I’ll never be 18 with the world as my oyster again. I’ll never be in a place in life where my decisions are all mine. So, I’m trying to get over that and accept that. I’m trying to find what my slice will be. How to find that thing that’s all mine but with-in the confines of the family. All of this overwhelms me and saddens me. By the evening I’m worn out and I think that’s why the anxiety and depression come crashing in at that time. That and it’s the time when the whole family is home. A reminder of what I’m working with.
I’m definitely doing better though. My sister says it’s so because I’m calling her again. Man says it’s so because I have my appetite back. (I’m trying not to let THAT bum me out. Fat Michal is on her way back. Ugh.)
Man says I should be excited. I’m in a place in life where I have time and the financial stability to CHOOSE something for myself. Which is what I want. But I just see the restrictions and the lost time. I know that’s a mind over matter thing. Like I said, it’s exhausting.
That’s it. That’s the big breakthrough. It’s fixed nothing but it solves a mystery and has set me on course to fix it. Clear as mud.