On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Worth it

I've been away from the blog for so long I had to login and then I couldn't remember my password so I had to reset it!  Geez. 

The internet hiatus was not intentional but it sure was nice to be unplugged for awhile. I've been doing lots of thinking, tinkering and quilting. And apparently lots of sleeping. When did I get so sleepy? I feel like a bear in winter and it's only just fall. Is this what happens when you creep closer to the 40 mark? I don't think I like it very much. I had so much energy in my 20s. When I think about it, it makes my head spin. Now it's a struggle to brush my teeth before I sack out at night. *tsking at self*

Life has gotten so slow and normal and lovely that I hardly remember the daily chaos of raising Sissy. With her hospital stay extended through November 8th, I feel decadent, rested, peaceful and hopeful. Spending time in the classroom volunteering has me thinking about continuing my education so I can return to the classroom. Then I think nah, that would be settling. I can reach for a higher goal than that.

In the past few weeks I've come to a very clear and resounding revelation about myself which is that were it not for my energies being completely spent on raising challenged children, always striving for the idealistic goal of "happy, healthy family," I would be accomplishing many other great things. That's not to say that parenting isn't a great thing in itself, rather that I've allowed parenting to usurp my personal identity. It's life affirming because for many years I lived with the misunderstanding of myself that my inability to accomplish my personal dreams and goals was somehow caused by an error in my character or a lack of ability, discipline and determination. Not so. I've just had my ability, discipline and determination diverted to one unilateral goal.

Which segues to the next personal revelation, if all my energies and identity are used up in attempting to raise a healthy family but I have no more control over the choices the people I love make than I did ten years ago, then it is futile to continue. That doesn't mean I'm giving up, it means I'm diverting. I've had the flood gates open at full to flood one narrow tributary for so long that my lake is bone dry. I'm effectively closing those flood gates emotionally and mentally, leaving them open just enough to keep the tributary of my family full, not flooded. I'm going to let my lake refill and then I'm going to use the power and force of the reserves to turn the turbines of the dam and generate power to benefit everyone whose life I touch.

So as I wait for Sissy's eventual return and our families inevitable return to daily chaos and trauma, I will be refilling my lake one drop of water at a time. I'm taking back my life, my energy, my dreams, my goals, my resolve because (and this is the third personal revelation):

I'm worth the effort
Worth the sacrifice
Worth the price.

I'm worth it.

Truths I never accepted about myself, truths that I now cling to steadfastly. Go ahead, try to take this power from me. I'll drop to the floor in the best knock-down drag-out RAD ragefest this side of the prime meridian. It won't be pretty.


Ashley said...

I'm so proud of you, Integrity. Good luck with refilling. Let us know if we can help.

Jenn said...

You are totally worth it! I'm so glad you're getting the time you so desperately need to rest, recuperate, and rebuild. To the clouds passing over that lake, I say "Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!"
*many hugs*

I mistyped clouds as "coulds." I think that could work really well, too. :)

Corey said...

Amen sister. You ARE worth it. (me too!)

robyncalgary said...

yes. yes! YES YES YES!


Kristine said...

I am so glad you are getting this time of respite! I'm not at all surprised you feel the need to sleep so much.

This is an interesting blog post for me, because I have had very similar thoughts lately. My life is not at all what I expected it to be at this point. I have never doubted that I was going to do great things and positively change the world in some way.

I know what I'm doing with Noah is important, but I need it to be not so all consuming.

I think that right now I'm at a crossroads. I hope I can figure out how to make something great out of the life I'm living now.