The Stages of Grief

I think the most important thing to always remember is to never give up.  No matter how many times you have tried to change, tried to become a better person, wake up early, be a better employee, wife or mother.  Whatever it is in your life that is holding you back or constantly feeling like a failure, if you give up on it then you will fail, forever.  My life is a mess right now.  I have felt like I was teetering on rock bottom for weeks.  We have never struggled harder.

Unexpectedly becoming a stay at home mom isn’t at all a dream.  It has felt mostly like a nightmare from the very beginning.  First desperately trying to make money from inside the house (denial).  From there I began lashing out on everyone while giving up on my small business to accept taking on the stay at home life in all it’s glory (anger).  Next, convincing myself and my husband that we could afford this life just by living simpler + cancelling out our debt (bargaining).   And then came the depression and…  here I am.  Depressed.  I thought I would never type that actual word….  Sadness.  Sadness is ok.  But to admit depression feels so clinical.  Sure, I have probably been depressed most of my adult life and all of my late childhood.  Sure, if I went to a therapist they would say yeah you are in denial, this is depression.  But to admit that to myself, no I just can’t do it.

Now please, if you are depressed, if you have a psychiatric disorder bless you.  Strength and perseverance to you, life is worth living.  I mean that from the bottom of my heart, I believe that life is worth living.  Because I believe that and because I have struggled for so long, because I have seen the glimmer, the light.  Because there have been periods of time where I can say yes I was happy then.  I just know that I don’t want to be medicated, the last thing I need now is to be numb.  I saw what it did to my mother, my aunts, my grandmother, I am trying to start my life now not end it.  I am more focused on breaking the cycle than adding to the number.  So lastly, I am searching for acceptance.  I am searching for myself, my soul, my happiness.  One day I know that I am finally going to look back at this and say I did it.  I finally did it after all these years of trying and failing.  That I am finally finishing all the things that I start.  That I am finally proud to be myself and can say that I am an adult deserving of respect.  I will get there, I will persevere, I will not give up.

My 6 year old daughter looked sad today during her soccer game and I said,

“Summer why do you have that frown face, you look miserable out there, you’re not even trying, are you sad about something?”

She said to me “I am not sad, you have a frown face sometimes and say that you are not sad”

That really struck a cord with me.

Lately, she seems sad.  Timid.  Crying at the littlest thing, afraid and nervous every time were rushing to get ready for something.

I cannot fix her by telling her to be happy.  I cannot fix her by telling her not to cry.  The only way to fix her is to fix myself.

When she was a baby, maybe about my son Mason’s age (14 months) or even closer to 2, my grandparents watched her 4 days a week at their house.  When I would pick her up at the end of the day she never wanted to go with me.  She cried and begged to stay.  It broke my heart.  I knew that she loved me but, she spent so much time with them that she was like a little stray kitten being fed by the neighbors.  I knew the only way to make a change with her behavior was to earn it.  I started going in to work earlier so I could spend more time with her at night and eventually, she became excited to go home with me.

In fact, she became so attached to me that she wanted absolutely nothing to do with my husband who works 65+ hours a week.  He felt more hurt than even I had every single day when she pushed him away.  Not even a glass of water could be gotten by him it was always “mommy do it”.  I knew she needed more time with him alone.  Again, I changed my hours and worked two nights a week.  Eventually, those nights became the most precious daddy-daughter time anyone could have and their relationship blossomed.  They made “traps” and “caught” the dogs.  They sent me silly videos they recorded on his phone.  We FaceTimed, they invented “pizza cookies” all of these wonderful moments brought them closer and now her daddy is just the absolute best guy in the whole-wide-world.  He is her playmate. Sometimes I wish I was but unfortunately, someone has to be the boss around here!

Which I guess is partly how we got here in the first place.

But, it doesn’t matter how we all got here, what matters now is how we get out of here.  I need to find inner peace, confidence and a purpose in life.  I need to remove all the stressors, make and maintain friendships, clean and organize the house, de-clutter and completely stop loosing my temper.  I need to find the calm.  Be the calm.  Live, breath, eat, sleep the calm.  Your children look up to you.  They see everything that you are.  There are no secrets.  They feel what you feel.  They are affected by everything that you do, everything that you say.  And, everything that you don’t.  My parents never quite understood that.  Summer is sensitive just as I was.  Sensitive and impressionable.  This is a very delicate time in her life.  If I don’t alter this behavior now at this crossroad, things are going to get worse.  For all of us.

Maybe it is ok for me to ruin my own life.  But I will never ruin the lives of my children.  For the first five years of Summer’s life I did nothing but enrich and cherish her life to the absolute best of my ability.  I showered her with love and kisses, never let her feel sadness or disappointment, always remained calm, never yelled, never made her cry.  She was the best little dolly in the world.  She is so intelligent and funny, silly and sweet.  Giving and caring.  She loves to share, loves other children, LOVES animals.  All of these wonderful qualities came from us and I will be damned if I let postpartum or whatever the hell this is ruin her life.  No way, no how.  We are taking a fighting stance now.  We are taking every single day and making it wonderful.  We are bringing in the light and letting go of all the darkness.  The darkness can just GET OUT.  Get the hell out.  Out of my head and out of my life.  Forever.

Please?

Slowly things will come together I know it.  Slowly I will watch the pieces all fit.  Sometimes I think a little something new, or someone new is a great transition into a brighter more positive space.  Last week, Summer asked me for a bunny which I actually thought might be a good way for us to bond and spend more quality time together.  Unfortunately, my husband was very much against another pet.  But, when you have a mother in law who loves your kids the way every grandma should, you find a way for your daughter to get the bunny of her dreams without upsetting daddy.  It’s funny how a tiny furry little life can brighten your mood and bring so much excitement to your family!  Suddenly, we have not only something to bond with each other over but, with my mother in law too.  She truly deserves it.  We all do I think.  This little bunny is going to be incredibly loved and cherished!  It has only been one day and already I feel the world shifting just a little bit, a change is coming, and the future is feeling like a much better place.

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