I have a menopausal wife, aging parents, and two kids who are entering adolesence.
I don’t see how you could have any questions, but I’ll continue.
It’s all drama around here, all the time.
I hit a moment yesterday, when I had just completed a horrible day at work. Our kids’ school presented us with an unexpected bill for $1600, which we do not have right now. I’ve never, in my entire adult life, had someone tell me I owe them money, and not be able to pay it immediately. We also just paid a $450 electric bill. That’s not a typo. We’ve had car repairs, extra doctor bills, kids that need shoes.
Our finances are so screwed up, we’re two months behind on our tithe. Don’t worry, I’ve worked out a debt repayment plan with God. In fact, we’ll catch up with everything in time. But it’s a punch in the stomach in the here and now.
So, back to yesterday. All of this is simmering in the back of my mind, and I’m exhausted from the hard day at work,and I’m frantically trying to get the kitchen clean and get dinner ready, while at the same time trying to get a post done for UBN (I have to get six done per week), and watching the clock because I had to be somewhere at 6 and I knew I wouldn’t be back home till after my normal bedtime.
I have to be somewhere or host someone for the next 7 nights. Then it begins again. I just can’t say no, and somehow I end up volunteered to be somewhere every night.
Anyway, the kids were fighting and yelling and screaming at each other, like they have been doing nonstop for the last 6 months or so. Lintilla called, and started in on me like she has for the past couple of months. The doctors will not let her take hormone replacement therapy, and she’s been wildly emotional for quite a while now. I know it’s not her fault, but it’s tough being on the receiving end of it all the time., with everything else going on.
I had a meltdown.
My mind simply refused to allow any more stress into it, so it just shut down.
I’ve have a really weird habit since I was a kid: when folks I love are upset or mad, I cook, clean, and do laundry. I’ve been doing a lot of this lately – but the people in my household are still constantly upset. Like my mother, I’m wired so that my happiness is directly tied to the happiness of the people I love. I’ve run myself ragged trying to will three people (whose hormones are all out of whack) into happiness. And I’m making myself miserable in the process. See what’s wrong with this picture?
I’m stretched so thin, you can see through me.
And I feel guilty for feeling this way, because I know many have it far worse than I do.
Funny, my mom absolutely lost her mind when she was about my age – and I’m just like her.
So anyway – I can’t go on like this indefinitely. I can’t do ALL of the housework, and all of the cooking, and be responsible for the happiness of each member of the household, and be ‘the man’ at work, and fully devote myself to band and church and ministry, and play peacemaker to every friend and family member, hell, every person on the planet. There just isn’t enough me. I have to draw some lines.
So, I need to take a step back, to find a way to undo my wiring that causes me to be depressed when any member of my family or any of my friends is anything but happy, to finally get the kids to help around the house, to tell church, or the band, or my kids’ school every now and then that I just can’t make some event or other without feeling guilty.
I can go forward this way or that way, but what I cannot do is continue going the way I was going.
That’s what I meant.
On a happier note: Warrior is home already! 6 days in the hospital – it’s a miracle. How can I be upset in the face of that? I’ll post more on that tomorrow.
Sorry about the vague post earlier. I hate those. I hope I’ve cleared some things up.