Coming out of the emotional closet…

Before I begin this attempt at unadulterated internet communication I feel it necessary to explain that I have become one of those “Pollyanna” people who rarely admit to being anything other than fine. I wish I could say it was out of some brave desire to save those around me from my problems, but in reality it stems from stress and exhaustion, and the fact that talking about my problems means dealing with them. Dealing with my problems, on an emotional level, is a lot harder than simply “moving past” them and on with my life.

Of course, I am perfectly capable of ignoring the effect this lack of dealing has on my life. Hence my reason for being here, tonight, and writing this.

I am not fine.

I am stressed, exhausted, overloaded, sad, and generally too busy to do anything about the above.

I am terrified that my new practice is going to fail, and that even if it succeeds it will happen too late to make a difference in our current precariously balanced financial situation. Everyone tells me it takes three years to make a go at a practice, but tell that to the fucking credit card companies and student loan holders who ask for a combined total of over $2000.00 a month. I don’t have three years to make this a success. I have to succeed at something now.

To top it off, in an effort to lower that frightening $2000.00 a month by deferring my loans, I have gone back to school part time. Therefore I am spending 10 – 15 hours a week on a classload I don’t need just to buy me time to build up the practice. My class time interferes with my practice time, and the babysitting help I have is used up for school and I haven’t even had time to work remotely close to as much as I should have in one class. I am bound to fail it, which shouldn’t matter, except that it will show up on my transcripts if I wish to apply for graduate school someday. Which I do.

I never have time to clean my house, we don’t have the money to fix the leaky roof or the swollen floorboards or hire an exterminator for the hideously large flying ants that have invaded the rooftop deck and pop into the masterbathroom for a shower or a spa from time to time. We have a broken dishwasher that we can’t afford to fix, even though that means more than tripling the time we spend doing dishes.

I am sucking at being a mom right now because I don’t have a lot of time to spend with my children and they are “babysat” by the television more than I ever wanted them to be. I don’t have the energy or the time to play a lot, and I often feel as though all I do is oversee them, instead of interacting with them. I occassionally remedy this by ditching work and school to play with them, but that always results in less success in work and school.

I am not the best partner right now because I am so stressed out that I never feel as though I have time to be a wife. I rarely play and laugh anymore, and I have developed an uncanny ability to fight and argue with my darling husband. I used to take all the things he said with the idea that he meant well, even if they came out really badly. This is an important thing to do when you live with an engineer, they really think from a different perspective and find nothing initially wrong with telling you a dress makes you look “hippy”. To them, it’s a problem solving thing. Thusly it is enormously important that I retain my sense of humor and ability to recognize that he means well and isn’t being a dick.

I am sad because as much as I love my life, and I do, I don’t dream anymore. I realize on every level that I am incredibly blessed. I have an amazing husband, who is a best friend and partner in addition to being a spouse. I have two funny, intelligent, caring, sweet, and lovely children who I get to spend most of each day with. I have a lovely home that, as of yet, is not in danger of foreclosure, and my husband has a job that pays most of our bills. I wouldn’t trade anything about my life at all. I look at my life and I feel like an ass for complaining about it for even a moment.

As a child I spent hours building castles in the air, dreams about what my life would someday be. I don’t do that anymore. It seems a waste of time to dream about things that will never be. I miss being able to lose myself in a rosy image of my future. I miss my dreams.

So I am not fine these days. I don’t know if there is anything to do about it, other than continue to move on with my life and do what I have set out to do. I don’t know why I finally felt like saying this, online, tonight, but I couldn’t help myself. I guess this is part of saying goodbye to my childhood, and hello to everything adult.

Thank you for listening.

11 thoughts on “Coming out of the emotional closet…”

  1. I’m so sorry you feel this way. I wish you felt like talking about it with me. I am always here. I’m predictable that way.

    Are you looking for advice or straight up venting? Pressure release, as it were?

  2. If it’s any consolation, I often feel the same way. I think part of it is just this phase of life that we both happen to be in. Trying to push our careers forward and being parents to young children isn’t exactly a recipe for stress free living. I just try to keep pushing though, fully expecting to reclaim those dreams somewhere down the road.

  3. I’m sorry that you’re going through this, Mama. Financial troubles are enough to make a person go insane, without all the other crap on top of it. It’s so hard to balance work, school, marriage and motherhood. Women wear so many hats and sometimes the hats have to be worn all at the same time and that can make for a heavy head.

    I don’t have anything insightful to add… but hang in there. One day we’ll look back on this and laugh.

  4. Aww, I’m so sorry. I have nothing prolific to say, I wish I did. I’ll borrow from Anonymous:

    “everything will be okay in the end. if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

  5. I’m so sorry it’s so tough. These are stressful times and you are really at the bottleneck.

    I have a bit of advice but skip it if you just wanted to vent…

    1st- I have found it very helpful recently to keep the whole “to everything there is a season” thing in mind. If you are so moved, you can read the bible passage. I tend to hum the song quite a bit. Anyway, it helps me remember that when I’ve been focusing on one thing, somewhat to the detriment of others, that they will come into season as well

    2nd- Is it too late to just withdraw from the class you may fail?

    3rd- Could you barter for some of that work you need done? Maybe you could help someone navigate a foreclosure in exchange for some roofing or you could offer to write up some boilerplate contracts for a subcontractor? Maybe post something about a barter to craig’s list?

    4th- I’m married to an engineer as well and totally hear you about the tact thing. We were really helped by the five love languages. It’s available as a book at WalMart although we did it in video format at Sunday School. It lays things out in ways that are easy for engineers to understand- you figure out which “love language” works for you and he focuses on that. It’s really helped strengthen us since I feel more appreciated and a little less strung out and he knows exactly what to do to make me feel a little more loved.

  6. The only suggestion I have is to meditate. It’s difficult to find time I know. I’ve been told in my meditation classes that the brain waves produced in meditation are equivalent to those produced in sleep and helps you to focus and relax.

  7. Hi!

    I know that feeling. I too juggle classes and a daughter and my work. It’s difficult and as they grow up, we need more time to be with them.

    I got some good advice from Maybe you might find something good in there too.

  8. Thank you Jonathan, I will check it out!
    Mtn, I love to meditate, I will have to try and get back into it. Too many excuses get in my way.

  9. I feel your pain and I don’t even have a job to try and fit in. Somehow just being a SAHM keeps me reeling. Here I am catching up on blogs while my little ones are left to entertain/fend for themselves. God only knows what their up to!

    I’m here. You know it. I love to kvetch with you. It will get easier… someday the kids will move out. 🙂

  10. I’m sorry this is so intense right now. I don’t have much more than that.

    The next time we’re in Colorado, we need to drink wine and dance crazy to some music. That always seems to help me.

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