Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What happens if you don't want to see your truth?

When we found out we were going to have a child, we decided that I would be a stay-at-home mom. It was something I wanted, and E wanted as well. I have been a SAHM now for 5 1/2 years. My former life in the work force feels very far away...

Some days here are tough and mind numbing. But, for those days, there are an infinite number that have brought delight and joy in seeing my children grow. In being here at home with them. I feel very confident in who I am as a mother. It is something I do well. And, I'm passionate about my job.

From the beginning we took a risk to move to one income. We've had an up and down ride. It's been very hard on our marriage. As it is on all marriages. Something has to change soon. We continue to tread water in the same pond, and it is unhealthy for all of us.

I wonder how much of our lives are ruled by fears. The fear of trying something new. A way of doing things that you haven't approached before. If crisis means... a crossroad, a turning point, a moment of truth. What happens if you can't find your truth? What happens if you don't want to see your truth? What happens if what seems to be the truth is untenable? What if you don't have the courage to step forward? Even tentatively. If you are paralyzed. Stuck. Trapped. And then another day goes by. And another. And the life you're living is not what you want. Or even one that you recognize. What then?

I feel naked. And raw. And on edge. Not whole. I yell at my children. I am silent with my husband. I don't share my pain with friends. Because I am frightened that I will cry and won't be able to stop.

I am in that place. The place of FEAR. I am trying to hold on to what is true and good, and there is much. But, the reality is that there is a good chance I'll have to go back to work, and that our lives will need to change. And somehow I'll have to reach down, deep into my reserves, and pull out a strength of character that I didn't know I had. I'm just hoping it's there...

Painting: "Shower Series, 7" by Zoe Hadley

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  1. It's there. I'm sure it is.

    Thanks for writing about it. I've been feeling similarly lately and it's nice to have company even though I wish we both didn't feel this way.

  2. You are brave to be able to share such raw emotions with us---I know you will get through this and be all the better :)

  3. I admire you for writing so honestly about all of this. Keep thinking outside the box, a path will open to you.

  4. I think about fear a lot, and how it has kept me from doing many things. Your strength is just have to find it. And you will.
    Thanks for writing this post. I think a lot of people can relate.

  5. Thank you all so much for your supportive and thoughtful comments. It means a great deal. As per usual, I am tearful writing this to you - my community of friends.

  6. To put it very bluntly, depression blows and fear sucks. But even in the depths, I know I've been tested and I've passed.

    I know you will pass.

    Sending you a little extra strength.

  7. Thanks for describing what I've felt so often. It helps so much to know that others, another mother, struggles with identity. My dig into SAHM life was so brief in comparison. You have made a wonderful, temporary sacrifice for your children. I can't wait to read as the adventure evolves.

  8. There is no better/important work, or job, for a parent than to bring up the next generation of people with the hope they can make the world a little better. Consider using that as a guide for your upcoming decisions.

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  10. It's there, on the ready for when you need it.

    You are strong and capable; I hope the fear fades.

  11. I felt that fear before I went back to school. I have total faith that you will find the best path for your family. If that path includes working outside the home, you can be sure these years at home with the kids where what you and they needed--and you have the school situation settled, which is a great thing.

  12. Each of us, for our own reasons, has to deal with fear. I happen to think that you will deal with it better than most, but that's just me guessing.

    You'll know what's right, and when to do it. You will. And? I bet you'll do it better than most of us.

  13. cry, babe. cry yourself dry and then you will see how lovely and real you are.

  14. Perfect love casts out fear, I've heard it said. And your love for E and your children is surely that...or close enough.

    Sending hugs!

  15. the strength is there, of course it's there. you know where it comes from... ;)

    prayers for you, friend

  16. Of course it is there--it gave your the strength to write that post. You are amazing.

  17. Just know that you are so not alone. I too have felt that fear of looking right in the eyes of the truth and having to make the gut-wrenching decisions for the survival of the family and of our individual souls. Sometimes I want to just run and hide. Recently I had to choose my souls survival and it will impact my family. The "mother guilt" is overwhelming and compels me to sit stagnant but I know that I have to make movements forward. Hang in there J. I am sending you lots of love from Georgia. It looks like you have a wonderful group of women to draw support from.

  18. Courageous post. I can relate to the sense of paralysis and retreat from what will be big decisions and risks and constant inner questioning. Beautifully expressed JCK; I agree with a commenter who suggested Pema Chodron's writing; also Wayne Dyer's There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem.

    If your writing is any indication, you will persevere and come out on the other side strong and brave.

    Thinking of you!

  19. I am holding you in the light, sister. You will make it through. We will make it through.

  20. My experience has been that if you don't want to see your truth it will just keep throwing itself in your path and tripping you. Fear can send us running willy nilly but truth has a frightening ability to predict where we are running and get there ahead of us.

    There is no doubt in my mind that you have the strength of character to pull your family through this time and make decisions that are right for all of you.

  21. It is scary to face big changes when you love how everything is. I'm sure you'll be fine! Sometimes change pushes us to new experiences and ways of being better than we would not have dared to try on our own. Perhaps it's meant to be. And if you go back to work, it can be a positive teaching moment for the children - about strength, sacrifice, staying positive, courage, all those things. I know that you will inspire them.

  22. You are strong and you can do whatever is necessary! I hope many doors are opened that lead you in the right direction. We will all be here in the background, cheering you on.

  23. Oh, J. I was in this place last February, and it was no fun at all.

    You are so brave to share it here, in the safe place you have carved out for yourself. Keep in mind that the community of support that comes to you here at Motherscribe is a community you have created. You are surrounded by women of strength because you are a woman of strength.

    I will say a prayer for you and keep a good thought for your decisions. These are difficult times for many of us, so please know that you have understanding and support at the deepest level.

    As for the yelling and the silence, all mothers have times when we are not measuring up to our mind's ideal. We have good days and bad days. Be as patient with yourself as you want to be with your children.

    And give yourself a big hug, from me.

    Peace, friend.
    - Julia

  24. Of course you can do it. Find something that works for your family. In a funny way, it will enrich your family, to have you out in the world. (I mean, in addition to wages).

    Choose wisely - look for the right thing. Ask your friends for help, and listen to your heart before you commit. And if you choose wrong? leave yourself a "trap door" to bail out.

  25. Thank you so much for sharing your fears so openly and honestly. You are speaking for so many who feel paralyzed and afraid, no matter what's facing us. Good luck.

  26. Yes, I have felt that fear too. I always talk myself round by explaining to myself that I do not have to stick with a change that I make. I am just trying something to see how it feels ie I can go back if I wish.

    And that is certainly the case for you. If you do decide to work outside the home you can give it a whirl and if it doesn't fit and makes you unhappy then you go back.

    You won't know until you try. So go for it. It's not a change - just an experiment in the first instance. And experiments are always fun and intriguing.

    Big hugs x

  27. It is odd that here you are considering going back to work when I am fearful because I don't know if I want another baby and if I do have another baby I know it will mean leaving work to stay home with the baby. . . and a toddler. We can't afford the day care costs and I just can't imagine being home at night with two little ones, with Hubby at work. But yet, I can't imagine being at home all day with them either.

    Spinning, spinning around. All these thoughts. Thoughts like yours, but different somehow. Probably thoughts like when you decided to stay home.

  28. I hope that there is some way that you can find a job/home solution that works for you financially and spiritually. Maybe part-time work while the little ones are in school? Or freelance writing?
    Fingers crossed and my thoughts are with you.

  29. It's endemic, I think - the fear, and the FEAR of the fear. I find that choosing happiness and love will bring me closer to where I want to be, and I've found that it is a choice. I believe that we can choose which one we want to use, either fear or love, to view the world.

    I KNOW what you're going through, as I have been back and forth with those dad-blasted feelings of dissatisfaction and hopelessness - but know that your true self is with you, inside, and that you are WAY bigger than all those feelings of fear, and that you have the ability to rise above and create your life that way you want it to be. (Sorry - don't mean this to sound like some trite self-help essay)!

    Suffice to say, I understand, and am sending good thoughts your way.

  30. I will be the person that gives you the virtual bitch slap. It is this: FEAR is a lack of faith. I'm not saying you must be Christian, Jewish, Pagan, or what not. But you can't have faith and fear simultaneously. And so, my dear, draw on your past, and you will find that faith isn't such a leap, since you've already experienced success.

    I talk a lot for someone who has been VERY FEARFUL lately and then I bitch slap myself also.

    I also think that it's okay to cry and get it out. Lucky for you, I'm pretty close by so I can be a shoulder for you.

    Unlucky for you, I'm going to probably cry with you, so you bring the box of tissues, I'll bring the bottle of 2 Buck Chuck (I love you, but I'm on a budget) and we'll stuff the kids with dairy free gluten free tacos and let them roam on the swingset in our back yard and we'll pray and whine and wine and gnash our teeth and go home to the men that we, in our heart of hearts, really do love and hopefully have a little faith restored.

    Love you, oh Blogher roomie of mine! Oh, happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!! To us! One year of our acquaintance!


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