Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sometimes it's yes to a different question.

When asking for God's will, I'm not always prepared for that answer. Sometimes I wish he spoke more clearly, louder and perhaps considered using those electronic road signs.

It became increasingly clear my marriage and home weren't safe places for me recently, nor appropriate for the children. I can't go into detail here, but sometimes the answer isn't what we first think.

As I left to give some time and space, the peace that entered my heart was surprising. I'm upset, saddened and dreading the battle ahead but I know I'm taking steps in the right direction.

I just wish it didn't hurt so much.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sometimes he says yes

"Please, God," I said, "I need your help. This is so much bigger than me, I can't carry it any more and I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose my husband, my family, and I don't know how to fix this. I want your will, and I'm desperately hoping that includes keeping my family together. I trust you, I need you and I can't do this without you."

I stayed on my knees for over an hour, sobbing and praying. The words, like my emotions and face, were messy and raw. It was a conversation long overdue, like many I've had recently.

For too long I've failed to ask for what I need and be honest about what's happening. With God, my husband, my family, my self. It's all come out now and there is some relief to be had in that, but there is no missing the fact the mess would be smaller and the repercussions less devastating had I only spoken sooner about so many things.

Our financial health is a mess at this point, thanks to a series of bad mistakes and decisions on my part as well as a lack of communication. For too long I've been hesitant, reluctant and downright afraid to have the hard conversations with the people I've owed the information to. Different decisions could and should have been made, and now the mess is bigger than it had to be. While I feel bad about asking God directly for money, I'm hoping we can improve our situation professionally and improve our personal situation as well. We have a hole to dig out of. Prayers for financial stability and recovery for ourselves and those we are responsible to would be deeply appreciated.

My physical health could be worse, and I'm fortunate in many ways, but I am not well. The time I spent ill last year, my lack of sleep and the stress of carrying many burdens without talking about them to the people who most needed to know has created some problems. I am anemic, my blood counts are not where they should be and several items tested were "off." Ultimately it boils down to not taking time to heal, and severe stress and anxiety. I'm having heart palpitations, sweats, fevers, and panic attacks. My lymph nodes are huge and I have recently been told I have a large cyst on my ovary, while still dealing with the interstitial cystitis. On the upside, I'm significantly closer to my goal weight, having lost an incredible amount of weight in a short time. Not in the proper way, I'm afraid - lack of proper sleep, having to force myself to eat, pacing and a racing heart have been the major contributors to my weight loss. Ultimately, weighing less will be a good thing and if I can get my anemia resolved and my energy level up I can actually exercise, which would be great stress relief and potentially help with my depression as well. I am hoping the recent events leading to full disclosure will ultimately lead to a reduction in my anxiety, but we have a lot of work to do to get things where they need to be so I don't anticipate the anxiety to abate immediately. I'm asking God for physical healing, and would appreciate your thoughts and prayers in that direction as well.

Mentally and emotionally, I've been barely holding my head above the surface for some time and I've finally reached the point of really losing it I am afraid. I'll be okay, eventually, and I have no intentions of doing anything foolish or permanent so I don't want to cast any doubts in that direction. I will admit there are times in the last few days I have hummed "they're coming to take me away.." but I am notorious for making terrible jokes when I feel at my worst. It didn't help matters to find the wheels falling off the cart and see my husband take his wedding ring off just days after the two year anniversary of my brother's murder. It has been a hard, difficult time and some have said I am holding it together but the only people who think that are those who are not looking closely enough.

There has been a bit of relief in the disclosure, more in the conversation held several days after I thought my marriage might really be ending when it was decided that we really are going to try to work things through. It would not have been my decision to divorce, but there were several days when it appeared that would be what my husband wanted. There's still a long road, a deep hole and much work to be done.

Part of that process is going to involve an attempt to return to working full time outside the home. I'll miss the days with my children, more than I can express, but keeping our family intact is more important. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. The decision for me to stay home was mutual, but I have realized staying home altered my position in the relationship - at times making me feel as if I were a lesser partner. My contributions to our family are valuable, but harder to measure. As my husband was the one working full-time out side the home, and I was working part time but falling further behind in that work, I became more and more reluctant to have the hard conversations with him about finances choosing instead to juggle instead of saying "we can't do X." My guilt over our situation and what I wasn't disclosing led me to also swallow other things that bothered me, creating a situation in our relationship where I rarely talked about what bothered me.

I'm working on being healthier in a lot of ways. Another of those will be to pursue something of my very own outside of the house, not just in terms of a career but also a creative/social outlet. I have the best friends in the world, many of them living way too far away, but I rarely make a point to see even those who live across town. I allowed myself to feel so badly about how far behind I was in my work that I felt guilty even scheduling get togethers for a couple of hours, knowing there were other things I should do. I haven't been living my life, and it's time to change that.

In all of this, I am talking - finally talking. To God, my husband, my friends and trying to finally work through all of this. There are many, many things I feel grateful for including another chance..

I asked God if he would hold our marriage and family in his hands and help us work through this, if he would help my husband see we have something worth fighting for....and he said yes.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

While we wait for the results...

...a conversational nugget.

My husband called this afternoon after my appointment with the doctor. I told him the doctor had ordered quite a bit of bloodwork, told him some of the possibilities and that we'd know more on Monday.

Then he asked me if it was possible they'd screwed up and taken my bladder instead of my uterus.

Not what happened of course, but it made me laugh.....and made me think for just a moment...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Back to the doctor for me

I'm not sure what's wrong, which seems to be a recurring theme with me, but I find myself struggling again with feeling crappy. I'm running fevers, having the occasional chill (though those are easier to deal with) and sweats. My skin feels like it's burning, I'm exhausted and run down.

At first I thought it was due to an increase in medication, but now I'm just not so sure. I was told if it was the medication, I was looking at a pretty short adjustment time but this has been going on for weeks. It might be hormonal, but I'm not sure that wouldn't explain actual fevers.

I don't know what's going on, and though I have an appointment with our general doctor tomorrow I'm just not feeling convinced I'm going to come away from the appointment knowing anything more than I do right now. He'll probably order bloodwork, and it will mean more waiting. Hopefully some answers, but my optimism fails me right now.

I just want to feel better.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My parents.

Twelve years ago, my dad broke his neck. It was an unexpected accident, shocking and overwhelming, but his recovery was nothing short of amazing. He had a tremendous amount of damage to his vertebrae, but none to his spinal cord. After 12 hours of surgery, months in a halo and vest, he was able to go back to work. A portion of his hip bone replaced some of the damaged bone in his neck, and until recently he had no complications from the injury other than slightly decreased range of motion.

Recently, however, we've had some serious scares and it's not over. He'd apparently been having some symptoms for a few months that were put off, until one day he tried to stand and collapsed. It seems there's a problem with one of the discs. I don't understand it fully, but his situation involves a disc out of place, a bruised spinal cord and pinched nerves. If he's to retain his ability to walk, surgery will need to be done. Monday.

Meanwhile, mom is trying to care for him while not well herself. She's fighting the effects of multiple myeloma, a cancer that is currently in remission for her. Her own back is weakened, and while bringing in groceries a couple of weeks ago she fell -breaking her breastplate just above her sternum. A CT scan has shown that there is a fragment behind her sternum and surgery will be needed to remove that fragment before it causes significant problems.

My parents are overwhelmed, scared and struggling to hold it together. There are so many hopes pinned on my dad's surgery. They are fortunate to have good health insurance, but he's been unable to work for several weeks already and in March they will have to pay the premiums themselves. I wish I was in a position to help them financially, but all I can do is lend moral support.

Today my dad called me, seeking a promise that we'll make sure someone stays with mom if the surgery goes south. He's not so much scared for himself, as worried she'll stop taking care of herself. Apparently when he was in the hospital in February, she spent four days not eating ...just laying in bed, crying, drinking soda on occasion.

I worry about them both. I wish life had taken some different turns for them, so that if this was to be the end of my dad's working career he could just retire and they could still make it - but the end of him working would be financially devastating to them, especially because of their health needs and insurance issues.

I keep praying this will all be ok, that they'll both get through this and things will start looking up for them. They had started thinking things were getting a little better for them financially right before this all happened. As long as they have each other, I know they'll find a way to be okay....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The me I used to be

I can't remember the last time I saw her, face relaxed and smiling, eyes sparkling. I know it was before stress and tension caused the night time teeth grinding and clenching, before it forever changed the line of her jaw into something tight, tense, older looking.

I know she used to laugh more, smile more, and go entire days at a time without feeling as if her stomach were turning inside out. Those wrinkles weren't around her eyes. Tears were almost always close to the surface, but they could just as easily be from laughter, joy or simply being moved as from grief, pain or fear. I know there were times she felt broken, but there were times in between that she either felt whole or felt confident she would be again.

I want to tell her it's going to be okay again. That all this sucks, it really really sucks, but God is there even if he feels far away. That he is carrying her through this even if she feels so weighed down she struggles to lift her legs to climb the stairs. I know she knows the only way out is through, and I watch her struggle to open her mouth to talk about it, watch her struggle to hold it together when it feels as if everything has shattered into a million pieces. I want to remind her she is loved, that there is always hope, and the sun will come up tomorrow even if it's still cold outside.

I watch her grasp at the moments that make her happy - playing with the children, moments of laughter with her husband, and I want to point to those things and say, "see! even with all of this, look at the miracles you hold in your hands. They haven't slipped away yet, you can keep this family together. You can."

I tell her, as much as I can, but I say it softly....for fear that these conversations in the mirror might just really prove that she has cracked once and for all.