Inside


These are the days of looking inside everyone’s life through social media. You’re looking at their beautiful children and their perfect marriage. You see all the fun they’re having. You see all of their wonderful times out with friends, vacations and new toys. You notice how perfect they are and you cringe because you know you aren’t like them. 

You tend to forget that people don’t live their inside outside. It’s so much pressure to be perfectly perfect, isn’t it? You must have it all. You’re failing if you don’t. The truth is that no one truly has it all. 

The older I get the more I realize that people aren’t who they seem. People aren’t perfect, with perfect children and perfect marriages. That’s all for show. That’s the outside. 

I just read an article about being a mother in your 20’s and 30’s. It was perhaps a relevant topic to me at one point, because at one point I was in my 20’s and 30’s. A mother working, balancing house and career. I worried that I wasn’t doing it right. I worried because of ear infections, bullying, giving enough of myself to this person and that person. I worried. 

The same is true of me now, the woman in her 40’s. The topics change, the worries shift, the balancing is different. I’d almost like to go back to those days. Those are the days that you should slow down the most. Nurture your children, love your spouse, instill strength and self love, take care of yourself, find who you are. 

The woman I am now in her 40’s is finding that perhaps this is actually the real shit. The real hard shit. See, it’s just relevant. 

My father lives with us and I continually am reminded of how sad his life is. It’s frustrating beyond belief to have to face his mental illness day in and day out. Choices. I made the choice to move him into my home. 

My daughter is utterly exciting to watch as she spreads her wings. As she speaks of moving, life without me, I can’t help but have a tinge of jealousy. Sometimes I want to spread my wings. That’s exactly why I am all for her becoming the self she wants to be. No regrets. No, I wish I would haves. 

My son struggles day in and day out. I can’t fix him. I’m no longer the mom in her 30’s who could have at one point hugged him tight and made it all better just by being mommy. This shit is hard. 

I no longer have hugs and snuggles. I no longer have someone needing me like they once did. There is no more helping with homework, fixing snacks, playing Disney movies a million times or kissing a hurt knee. Both of my children are finding their own way and it’s starting to feel like I have little to do with that. I have to remember that the woman I was in her 20’s and 30’s has a lot to do with that. 

Each stage of life is hard. It’s all hard. Its relevance to you is undeniable. Don’t forget that people show their outside to you. They struggle as well. Perhaps their struggles aren’t like yours, but again…. relevance is key here. 

Years from now you’ll look back and find yourself realizing you made it through. You made it to the next stage. For that, let your inside be thankful.

It’s Only Freaking June, People


JANUARY:

 
My father was in a psychiatric ward for three and a half weeks in which I went every night to see him, with the exception of missing three nights because…

My Aunt committed suicide

Went 7 hours away to support my mother and had to ID my Aunt.

FEBRUARY :

Hell I could be wrong, but I believe this is the month one of my best friend’s father had a really bad stroke. 

Skin cancer removed from my nose for a second time. 

Grieving. Anger approaching.

MARCH:

My dad started saying angry things to me about his situation and seemed to be blaming me for moving him into my home.
Made a trip to go through my Aunt’s home and personal items. Ugh.

Tubes tied!

My Aunt’s boyfriend had a very horrible accident in a logging truck and was pronounced brain dead. No family, so now we’ve got his things to contend with.

Feeling guilty, still grieving. 

APRIL: 

My anxiety is getting really out of whack. Counselor, hated her. Another, hated him.

My anxiety ridden son actually went to prom when asked to go. Finally a good thing. 

Found a counselor I really love.

Discovered we have a $5,000.00 medical bill our insurance isn’t going to pay for because it’s for my husband’s back. He hurt his back jumping out of a helicopter years ago, so they say it’s service connected and won’t pay it.

While visiting home , my step-father had a pretty bad heart attack after dinner. 

Grieving, angry, feeling frustrated.

MAY:  

My son’s anxiety is turning into depression. I have so much worry about him. My spouse and I are not getting along too well. We have stress? You think? He begins to come to my counseling sessions for support. 

My daughter’s car door handle fell off on the passenger side. The trunk won’t open either. 

My dad keeps acting like he’s got something to say, but he won’t say it. Finally told me he wants to move back to his house. Oh my gosh, I just can’t keep up with all of this. I quit my job to take care of him. Granted I do get money from his trustee out of his funds to help for the absence of pay, but I left a GOOD job that I’m probably never going to find again.

 My daughter graduated high school. She keeps talking about moving in with her boyfriend of three years.

 Ahhhh. Stress. I’m still grieving. I feel like I’m on a nightmare roller coaster.

JUNE: My daughter’s driver side door handle fell off. Laugh. Just laugh. 

Our Toyota died. Hysterical laughing. 

Dad treats me like a servant and all my repressed anger about being left out of the family farm corporation is building up inside me. Did my grandparents leave me out of it because I’m a female or because their son adopted me and they refuse me as blood? They’re dead and all the men in my family run the show. The shit show. None of them even speak to each other. Oh and grandma and grandpa if you’re watching down on us…. look who’s taking care of your precious bipolar son. The woman, not related to you by blood. 

Daughter’s boyfriend breaks up with her.

Son is bad, real bad. Hospital time. Someone get this kid on the right medicine. I love him so so so much. We need to move back to where we moved from because that’s the one thing we know for sure we could do to help our son be happier.

Husband stabs himself accidentally in the bicep. Yep. He was at work, I did not do it.

Oh Mr. Loan officer, you say I can’t use my trust income for the mortgage loan and so we can only use my husband’s income to buy a four bedroom home we need in order to fit us all??? FRACK.

My mother. She’s in pain both physically and emotionally and I can’t save her.

Ring…. Ring…. insurance hasn’t paid any of your counseling bills and they aren’t going to because of blah blah blah.

Ex husband modifies child support because daughter graduated and instead of 7% less he made it for 57% less and the freaking judge signed off on it so now I have to contest everyone’s stupidity.

Husband has stitches removed and was told he has to see an ortho surgeon because he’s more than likely sliced his muscle. 

Husband’s father looks like he’s having a stroke only it’s not, it’s a brain tumor. Brain surgery on Monday.

Worry. That’s number one right now, worry. Anger, grief and my own anxiety need to all get in the back seat and shut the F up. 

Panic attack, husband soothes me to the point of getting it under control. Kisses my forehead and lays down next to me. We tightened our interlaced fingers together and I say, I feel closer to you and he whispers back, so do I.

Locked keys in car along with spare.

Husband’s father has brain surgery. The tumor is malignant. 

JULY: BRING IT!

Chapter One

When I started writing about bringing my father into my home, I didn’t realize how stagnant some of the days would be. Most days are filled with (him) watching television right now. I keep asking him everyday to go on walks with me, but he won’t. He says his hip hurts, so I am going to make sure that gets brought up to his doctor. I’m trying to decide if it’s an excuse.

He did go with us to the zoo two weekends ago. Albeit a small zoo, but he walked the zoo. Then this past weekend, my beautiful daughter graduated from high school. He got a haircut and a beard trim the day before. He took a shower the day of! Yes for small triumphs!

Now on to my life…

What can I say? I’ve worried over the past 8 months that I wouldn’t be available enough for my teens. There have been times I’ve felt bad. Literally, I’ve felt bad because I’m pretty sure when my father was in his catatonic depression that I was going down that path as well. I’m good now. At least I think. I’m learning that my teens don’t need me as much as I’d like them to. I’m also learning that allowing my apron strings to fall to the floor is a healthy process that we must go and charge forth with. 

The day of graduation I was my usual unorganized self running around and finding that I only had 30 minutes to get ready all of a sudden. Happens every damn time I have something important to do. I spent most of my afternoon trying to get my son to sign his sister’s card, which he did in his dark humor of ‘Rest in peace, you were a cool sister.’ Ugh. 

It was time for Rowan to drive off ahead of us to the school; and as she was flying out the door and I was trying to get a hug that I never got, she handed me several cards. She asked me to give them to the people they were addressed to.

The door slammed and I looked down to see these tiny little thank you cards. One for her best friend’s mother, her boyfriend’s parents, my father, my mother, my step-father, her brother, my husband and myself. 

I haven’t spontaneously cried at the first sentence of written words in years. The affirmation that I’m doing it right, I’m doing it right for her. It may not be perfect and it may not be the best mothering a mother can do, but I’ll be damn… she thinks so and that’s all that matters. 


My beautiful children I am so blessed to have in my life. Seth and Rowan