Well here I am typing away when I need to be packing but that can wait for a moment. I am thinking ahead to my weekend away.
Four days, just DH and I. No family, no phones, no one that knows us.
I have hopes that I may find a piece of myself. I know that is a very far-fetched idea given that I have spent the last 3 1/2 years living with grief and loss. It is not as if I have lost my self. I have lost my future self. At times, I feel as if I am 16 years old again facing the vast expanse of my future and adulthood. Where will I go? What will I do? Not that I ever truly knew where I would be. But that little voice in your head always said work, life, marriage, children. I have achieved each of those things. However, God and life chose my picture to be painted differently than most would imagine.
I need to find that way within myself to frame this picture. There are still several paintings which have begun but are yet unfinished. For my own sanity I have to see my current painting differently. I will never give up the hope that I will be able to bring another child into our lives. But. For now I need to paint the picture differently.
I can always paint in whatever I wish. Heck, I am the one holding this brush!
What do I want to accomplish as a blogger?
Well, I know that for each blogger the answer to this will be different. I never aspired to be living large.
I actually never thought that I would even have a blog to begin with. Well, I never thought I would be faced with the reality of trying to live my life with no laughing children in my home either. I look back at what my goals were in the beginning. I compare them with today..
My goals today:
- To connect with people in similar circumstances.
- To find understanding by connecting with and reading other people’s views.
- To have an avenue to express my thoughts without repercussions from the world around me.
- To feel free to vent when necessary. In hopes to better understand myself.
- To have a place where I can talk through the unknown of this life that I now live.
Ok, I know, life is always an unknown. However, this life I am living is farther to the left of anything I imagined many years ago when I was just a tanned, carefree teenager, life guarding for a summer job.
I believe in my heart, I am accomplishing each of these things. I am not going to say accomplished, as with everything in life, not all goals are made to be attained. You just continue to strive toward them.
I have learned so very much from reading fellow bloggers. I have found a sense of peace at times in my thoughts. A sense of normalcy. Growing up, feelings were those things that did not happen. They did not exist. You did not discuss them, therefore you do not have them. For this reason, I have always felt a sense of shame trying to express something. Shame, that I even think it. What gives me that right?
I want to thank you out there in the blog world. You have given me that right. You have helped me see that I always had it. That it is ok, to express what you feel. That, although, not all will be happy to hear them. In the end that is their issue to deal with. That, we as people do not need to own everyone else’s issues. It is not my place to take on everything so that, my friends and family can live stress free.
I am worth more than that. I am not saying to just dump life in general on them but that I only have to own what is truly mine and what I may choose to take on. That I do not have to allow someone to force it on me.
It is quiet freeing to acknowledge that you are only taking on what is yours and what you choose. I will admit, it does cause much strife for those around me at times…. However, what matters most is the life I live and who I live it with. He is upstairs, asleep on the sofa. Quite filthy I may add. But hey, that adds to the manly appeal right! GO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS!
Hip Hip Horray! We made it through the long weekend. It was up and down and now is done. Here, in my little part of the world, we had THE BEST weather. It was 32 all weekend. With fall looming, anticipating the turning of the leaves, it was nice to have one last hot weekend to spend on the water.
We had more family visiting this weekend. It went well. However, it did further drive home just how little my own family understands our situation. My sister and her husband were at our home. He has never been (they live a 15 hour drive from us). He was eyeing the family pictures on the wall. The pictures of “C”. You could tell he was uncomfortable. He is our son. It is our family. Should we not have family pictures?
I often ask myself how can they be that out of touch with our feelings? I have continued to say time and time again, we do not want anyone to understand this, as it would mean they have lived through it. But, how can they not have any understanding at all. We recently had a family anniversary. I have one cousin who had a breakdown last year. He now suffers from social anxiety. That is how I would label it. DH and I have the same issues. We no longer can handle large groups of people or even family gatherings at someone’s home. Because we cannot handle the repercussions of not going we put in an appearance and then vacate when possible. Both breathing a huge sigh as we enter our vehicle to go home.
On the weekend I was speaking about this with Mother. DH and I had stayed in the foyer and talked to a couple of cousins during the party. There were 200+ people in the room. I said it was just too much. We could not be in the room. Mother replied “I know I could not get around in there” ??????????????????? No, Mom, DH and I cannot handle being around that many people.. It is too much for us. To which I get no response.
I believed we have managed the questions and people’s curiosity quite well over the years. However, I am finding it harder as time goes on and I am finding myself shutting down even more. Why do I need to continue to explain this?
DH and I are on the bubble. The future bubble. What do we do with ourselves for the rest of our marriage? Yes, we are TTC. I know the likelihood of it ever happening is pretty much nil but I am not able to make that decision to end it. I cannot face that decision. It is too hard. But that being said. What do we do with the next 40 years? There will be no basketball games on Thursday night, no sleep overs on Saturday. No birthday parties to plan, No back to school shopping. No summer vacations and summer camp. It will be just be the two of us.
The twins made their appearance yesterday. All was well. Only 3.5 hours from the time they started her IV until Twin B (the girl) was born. She only pushed for less than an hour. Over all a wonderful birthing experience. Twin A, the boy, 5 lbs 4 oz. Twin B, the girl, 4 lbs 15 oz. Born at 37w2d. They will be home soon. Now they are a family of 5. How very strange. We were pregnant together 4 years ago. The boys were born 8 days apart. Yesterday, she gave birth to twins. For the 1000th time, my period started….. Kind of an omen. Another reminder that our time has passed.
Well these past weeks have brought upon us the visits from the far off. We are both from very large families. DH has an even large family than I.
We recently had a 50th anniversary celebration in the family, which brought cousins from near and far. Throughout my life, I have never been able to get past that feeling of inadequacy. It was hammered home once again by some of the cousins. Being talked down to, ignored. Just because I have chosen to go to college and work here at home instead of going to one of the degree programs I was accepted to in my teens and twenties (teaching after high school and 3 years later Computer Science majoring in Software Engineering) does not make me any less intelligent, than those who did and have moved to the city to work. I did not want to live in the city. Why spend $100,000 for an education that would have taken me near and far, if in the end, it was not what I truly wanted. Yes, we do struggle at times to make ends meet but in most ways is worth the sacrifice to be in a quiet area surrounded by nature and small town setting. In recent years, I have swung the other way. I have been cutting this from our lives. I do not allow these people, family or not, to intervene and allow their narrow-minded CRAP to change our daily life. We are worth far more than their ignorance.
That being said. I have touched before on the issues with the in-laws. My MIL after the birth of our son etc. My BIL has been having issues with the family for some time. But chooses not to vocalize most things to his parents. They live a couple of hours from here and this was their first visit home in 10 months. My SIL commented several times on the weekend about how stressful it was to come here. How stressful my BIL was and how angry he became the moment they got in the vehicle to come here. I listened to her make this statement several times over the course of the day…. Finally, I could be quiet no longer.. I responded…”It does not do the 4 of us any good if he is not open and honest with his feelings. If he has issues then he should be telling them. At the end of the day it doesn’t help us all any if I am the only one saying something.” No response to that.. Sometime later she continued with the how stressful it was to visit. At this point I was beyond my point of no return. I responded, “In case you forgot your drive down here, it is a VERY short distance from here to their house. You do not think we do not know how stressful it is.. WE LIVE HERE.” What is with this? They swoop in for 36 to 48 hours every 10 months and expect me to hold their hand and eat the constant complaining about the stress. They expect us to offer sympathy for their pain. Sorry fresh out of that!
I am not trying to belittle their feelings on the subject. Nor do I wish for them to bow down to us. But at the end of the day it is really too much to ask for them to not recognize that we do indeed live in the hot spot and deal with it on a daily basis. We do not live hours away and have the availability to ignore the phone, emails and texts.
I apologize for the negative. I do not wish to portray that I do not care as I really truly do. Since the death of our son, our dynamic and our personal interaction has changed with ourselves and with those around us. Not everyone can understand this and continues to think we should be the same people. Three plus years later they expect us to be those other people. Nothing has changed this year. On the anniversary of our son’s death, the clock did not suddenly rewind, and we did not suddenly become those people from 3+ years ago. We have different priorities. The world around us has a different effect on is than it once did. But one thing that does not change is our need for each other. I used to be a person of supreme sympathy and would never answer back. I would just take it all and bear the brunt of the reality so that whomever it was in the family or a friend would not have to. So they would not be worried about the subject.. I still offer sympathy and support but I do not own the situation for them anymore.
My grandmother was not feeling well earlier this year and had to undergo some tests. She told me the partial outcome. On one had it is comforting that she trusts me enough with the truth. But what an ultimate slap in the face. I have to life with stress of the knowledge.. She told me not to tell my cousins, because she did not want them to have to worry. Who I might add are all adults and married with children. So I get to worry about it….. But they get spared.. Trust sometimes is a hard pill..
I can no longer do this. I cannot own their crap. There is no place for it in my life and more importantly in our lives. I offer assistance and support where I can but I can no longer allow it to consume me. I can no longer allow it to become a stress for me so that this other person can live without distraction or an unkind event.
Unfortunately, tragic life events, can change many things. It is the reality of it. It also allows us the clear vision to what is most important in our lives. I love my family very much, my cousins, my parents, our siblings. But ultimately the single most important thing and person in my life is my marriage and the person that I share it with. Love you very much DH.
Wishing you all a wonderful long weekend. I hope that you all have a wonderful time and can find joy in even the smallest of things.
Today I wanted to share with you the “view” from the big rock. You can see the tip of the rock in the picture. As kids, my cousins, my sister and I would sit upon this rock. It was where we would throw pebbles into the lake, spit watermelon seeds, cast our fishing line, watch the stars, feed the ducks, and dry out towels. This is just a few of the many things. I can remember as a child (before we had a gas barbeque), my Grandfather would cook the meat for supper on a Hibachi. There is a small crook in the rock that would hold the BBQ. He would pull up a lawn chair and sit and watch the us grandchildren playing in the lake.
My Grandfather was one of the most special people in my life. He has been gone from this earth for almost twelve years. I was almost 27 when he passed away. Even then, at that age, he always called me Grampie’s Baby. I am his oldest granddaughter. And second grandchild. My Grandfather had that knack of making every grandchild feel like you were his favorite. And for those brief moments on Sunday at the lake with 30 family and friends around there wasn’t anyone there but just the two of you. It was during these times you learned the ways of life. He was never one to give advise per say. But if you asked a question he would tell you a story. It would be later, that you would realize the story was actually telling you what you needed to know or the “advise” as it were. You had to figure it out on your own.
It was during these stories that I learned of unconditional love and acceptance. This rock holds a special place in my heart and when I need to think or get away it is there that I go to hear my Grandfather’s voice. It is there that I hear the last words that he spoke to me from his hospital bed the night before he passed away. Bye Bye sweetie.
Although special people may not be with us in person, their spirit and their love last a lifetime.