Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baby Girl's Newest Words

"Now we are a glued family...That means sticked together."

Those were Baby Girl's words this morning when she came into my mine and Beloved's room and found him laying in bed.

Last night I slept only a few hours. But I'm not tired.
Beloved came home.
Shannon is back in the past where she belongs.
More later.

Right now I'm going to go snuggle with my family. Right now there are 5 people piled into our little Queen-sized bed, hugging and kissing and telling stories...oh, and one Baby Boy who is crying all of a sudden. Better go see what that is about. ; )

Gigi.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thoughts. Just...Thoughts...

I've been thinking about Baby Girl's words. Hoping they meant something to Beloved.

I prayed for that the night she told him all those things too profound for a 4 year-old.

As I lay in bed I pictured what I had asked in my prayer:

Let Baby Girl's words be like creatures with claws. Not mean. Not hurtful. Like, birds. Let her words be like little birds which might perch themselves on Beloved's heart. Let those little claws hold tight, so they cannot easily be shaken off. Let the weight and heft of their meaning lend weight and heft to his heart. Let him see what he is doing to his little girl.

And the wind is shifting. Something is changing. So we'll see...


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Also:
If some of you missed it, here is an a w e s o m e article by one who has gone through this. Well, something similar. Go read it.
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Oh. A quote. Something in the last post's comments made me think of C. S. Lewis:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will
certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of
keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an
animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid
all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your
selfishness. But in the casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it
will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable,
impenetrable, irredeembable."
It sucks sometimes. But it is worth it.
Gigi.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Get Over Yourself

OK. So here's what I have learned:
I have good days and I have bad days.
The good days...are good. (I know, so eloquent. It's a wonder I haven't been nominated for a Pulitzer of Blogging. I done write real good.)

The bad days consist of me dragging my tush out of bed, and getting things done in auto-pilot mode. The bad days are salty with tears. The bad days are wearying.

But I am learning to avoid them. Not altogether. But mostly. I don't have bad days anymore. I have bad hours, or bad minutes. And they are more maneagable.

You see: If I focus on me, on how this sucks, on how hard this is and wouldn't it just be easier another way. If I start to worry that I'm too weird and noone will ever love me again. If I think about my fears/self-doubt. If I focus on the miriad of little blows and piercing remarks (that he probably doesn't even realize he's dealt), then I feel like...like I am going to sink under the weight of it.

It's physical. I can feel my shoulders fill with lead. I can feel my heart begin to race in panic or anger or fear. Or pain. I can feel myself slipping into a mud that is deep and thick--and cold at first, but then my body heat warms it up a bit and it can become...comfortable, and my will to fight it kind of...fades away. That is the danger of it. It feels so good sometimes to wallow. (As my mom used to say,--ok, she still does--'It's nice to sit in warm s***') The thing is, you can't stay there. Or you'll drown. You just keep sinking deeper and deeper into that mud. You may not even realize it when it begins to fill you. And all you are left with is hurt, pain, anger, a feeling of mistreatment, and discontent.

Now. Don't get me wrong. This isn't about depression. Depression is real. People I love suffer from severe depression or it's various incarnations. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about choosing to wallow in and focus on/relive/pick apart hurtful experiences/words/etc.

When I focus on my kids and Beloved and the concern I have for them--and stop worrying about the ways I've been wronged, etc.--the rest just melts away. I can focus. I can breathe better. I may not feel light and airy, but I sure don't feel cold and wet and swallowed up by something that could kill me. I feel peaceful. I feel--dare I say it?--happy. I smile. I laugh.
I can move freely and think freely and feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. It is good.

Now, some may say that I am going about it the wrong way. Some may say a little anger never hurt anyone, and not to bury my head in the sand.

OK. So say that.

But you see, I know I was wronged. I know this sucks. Most of those things that make my bad days bad are real and true fears/feelings/concerns. But I think life is about choices. I choose not to dwell on them. I choose not to focus on Gigi.

Now that isn't to say that I don't take care of myself. I'm eating (a little too well...gotta get back to that sugar-free lifestyle), and exercising, and taking time to read, and get together with friends, and being spiritually fed as well. I feel good. But focusing on something is different from caring for something. I'm caring for myself right now. I'm focusing on my family.

Now.
I'm no fool. I know I'll have bad days again. I'm not impervious. I'm human. There may be a day in the not-too-distant future when Baby Girl comes up to me again and says (again) 'Mommy. How about a makeover...Instead of more crying?' But I will try to avoid those days. I know the secret:

It's not 'get over it'.

It's 'Get Over YOU'.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"We are a broken family"

is what Baby Girl, age 4 lamented today as she got into the car with her brother and sister.

She kept asking as we were walking to the car and as I was coercing the kids to actually "get in", 'why isn't daddy coming to church with us?'

Then she said, "He's supposed to come to church with us. We are a broken family. WE ARE A BROKEN FAMILY!!!"

Beloved was standing in the doorway of the house with Baby Boy in his arms. He asked what she said and I told him and he looked surprised and said, "why would she say that?!" I just looked at him. I wanted to say something (like, 'DUH, I wonder?!'), but it was just too sad to hear those words coming out of that sweet little mouth.

As we drove away she started to cry and said, "We are a broken family because Daddy doesn't sleep with us. Or eat breakfast with us. Or go to church with us."

I thought she forgot about it, but tonight she gave the prayer as we knelt as a family. And she asked that Daddy would be blessed and safe as he drives to his friend's house. Then after she said 'amen' she got up and looked at him and asked, 'why don't you live with us anymore?'

She said a lot of things tonight to him. And I think a dressing down by a four year old is a lot more powerful than any one I could have given. Some of what she said to him were:
why don't you live with us anymore?
you should sleep with us.
you shouldn't sleep at your friend's house.
why do you want to sleep at your friend's house?
you should just live with us.
you should come back.
just come back.
our family is broken because of you.
you should come to church and have breakfast with us.
you are breaking our family apart.

I know. It breaks my heart to write this. And it isn't all. It's all I could remember, and at one point I decided I needed to give them a little privacy so she could cry and be mad at him and he could deal with her on his own.

I don't know what to think about how he handled it. He tried to comfort her and talk to her. When she said 'our family is broken because of you' he quietly responded, 'You're probably right'. Which I wanted to say, "What 'probably'? There's no 'probably'! She IS right!" but I didn't, of course. And of course, as is typical of Beloved lately, he completely missed the point and kept saying that he never eats breakfast with the family because he is always at work by then. I felt like explaining, 'she's not complaining about breakfast. she's complaining about your lack of presence. she misses kissing you good morning and hugging you goodbye. she misses waving at the window as you drive away.' But I kind of feel what is the point in saying those things. I don't know if he even would hear it right now.

On the upside--I am feeling very well. Woah. That was totally self-absorbed, wasn't it? "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" and all. Sheesh.

I am going to see how to handle things with Baby Girl tomorrow. Big Boy and Big Girl act like nothing is going on. That can't be healthy. They are going to see their school's counselor soon. I talked to her about what is going on and I think after that we'll know what next.

As always, please pray for my kiddos. But also (again, as always) please pray for Beloved. That his heart will be softened to his family and that he can begin to gain some clarity of mind, some discernment, maybe.

Gigi.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Purgatorio

I have been asked what I am doing for myself. The answer is: "Um..."

I have been taking time every week to go to the temple. And I am reading a little bit. I have been journaling, and working on an essay to enter into a contest. Do those count?

I try not to sit without something to occupy myself. Because if I have a moment to sit, without a kid on my lap or someone vying for my attention, I know what will be running through my head: Thing One and Thing Two in the form of "what-if" and "but-when".

It is inescapable. I get frustrated with myself for allowing this trial to overrun my day thoughts. I hate that I can't even escape it in my sleep. But I don't think there is anything I can do about it. I mean...I'm in limbo. Until Beloved chooses one thing or another, I am in my own personal purgatory.

Interestingly enough, Purgatory (according to Wikipedia) "is the condition or process of purification in which the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven" Now, I must say, I think that fits in this situation. Wait a minute, hear me out! I mean, I'm not dead (um, obviously...why did I need to point that out?), but aside from that, I am in a situation, or place, if you will, in my life wherein I can be changed.
.
.
.
I wrote this post a few days ago, but didn't get around to finishing my thought, but yesterday as I was catching up on my googlereader I read this post from Jennifer P. I liked how she described her life right now. It is uncertain and the normalcy that she keeps thinking she'll obtain or has obtained keeps escaping her. She said, "I'm kind of spilled right now. And I want to just stay cleaned up for a while." It makes sense if you read the post. She's a great blogger. Go read the post. WAIT! AFTER you finish reading this post, Silly!

Anyway. As I read those words I felt like they describe me. So much of me is laid bare and spilled out of me right now. I am having to look very seriously at myself and I have come to realize that I wasn't someone I could be proud of before this all happened. And I thought about how Beloved's infidelity has changed me--in a good way. In a really good way. And I think the beauty of being stripped bare, of being spilled out, is just as Jennifer says, "And that each time I get spilled, there is a chance to purge out the junk and what isn't needed and only put the good stuff away."

So here I am. The beauty of it is I can change. I have choices. I can choose to take out the stuff in my life that was just...noise...or, excess...or even deficiencies (can you remove deficiencies? oh well, I think you know what I mean). I can choose to keep the good that was there before, and add to it with what I am learning now.

It is my hope that I am becoming refined and purified in this process. I know my heart is different than it was before. I know I am more forgiving, more open, more understanding, more trusting in God, more hopeful in His promises.

So maybe this purgatory isn't so bad.

Maybe it is all a matter of perspective...

Identity Crisis

Well, ok, not really. But I have been thinking lately about how much of my life and myself is consumed by this whole mess.

And I have been thinking about how lately when I think of myself I think "Gigi" instead of my real name. When I think of Beloved, his name doesn't always come first to mind, often I think first of "Beloved" (which, to be honest, is how I thought of him before, so that isn't much of a stretch, except for now I almost call him that to people when I'm talking).

What does that say about me that I consider myself Gigi? I mean, this IS me, writing. And this IS me being ME. So why shouldn't I think of myself with that name? It used to be a nickname my big sis had for me.


You tell me. Is it weird? I really don't know.

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OK. Here are a few readers whom I am worried about or hoping to hear from. (I know that was grammatically horrific...I really don't care. Oh, what am I saying? Of course I care. It's going to bug me, just like it usually does, but I am going to choose not to notice it. Laziness helps...)

P: I am praying for you and your beloved. I haven't stopped. I keep checking to see if you've written more. I am hoping since you haven't that you are doing ok. You don't need to contact me. Just know I'm pulling for you.

Anonymous blogger who set up an 'imnotgivinguponyou' email: I've responded. I hope you haven't given up on answering me. Where are you? I would like to hear your story, if you are still sharing.

Cameo: I am praying for you big time, too. How is your baby? Are you OK? Please let me know. Email me or something. When you get a chance. No rush....I'll just be sitting here drumming my fingers... ; )

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To the rest of you, and my commenters, I love you love you. And I am sorry I am so slow about replying to comments. I'll be going through my emails and clearing them out this weekend. Maybe that will help? We shall see.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

And I thought I was doing a good job...

...of holding my world together and keeping up appearances.

As it turns out--not so much.

I guess I feel like people can't see the inside, so how are they to know how thinly I am tied together some days? How are they to know my world is suddenly made up of 'what-if's'?

I was at the school getting my kids registered and paid for, etc. (This was a few weeks ago) I felt I needed to let the school counselor know what is going on at home. She wasn't there, but I spoke to one of the women who work in the office with whom I'm only a little familiar. She said she was sorry (I don't know how to react to that without saying, 'yeah, me too.') and that she knew something was wrong as I walked into the gymnasium with my kids. She said it just looked like something was weighing me down.

It isn't the first time someone has said something like that. But the others who said that are people who are close to me, who know me and the buoyancy with which I usually go through life.

It surprises me that I have become so transparent. Have I? Should it surprise me?

It makes me think of "Graceland" by Paul Simon. Not the album, but the actual song on the album:

In July, right after returning from our trip to see Brother and Sister, the 6 of us were driving home from Beloved's softball game. Beloved decided he wanted to listen to music. He put on Graceland. I tried to keep my cool, but couldn't help reaching out as if to shut off the song, though I thought better of it and told myself, 'it's fine, you're okay' over and over again.
Because this is the part I forgot was in the song:

"And she said losing love
Is like a window in your heart,
Everybody sees you're blown apart,
Everybody sees the wind blow"

And I was thinking, yes, that is what I feel like. Like everyone can see it. And yet, I didn't believe that strangers could see it. But maybe they can. Maybe it isn't as hidden as I thought.


Maybe this is something like a tattoo. It has scarred me. It is now a part of me.

Can I make it into something beautiful?

You know what? I believe that with God's help, I can.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

On Losses...

My father in law and youngest brother in law came to visit. It was a nice visit. They were just stopping through, though, and so we only had them for the night and they left a little after breakfast the next morning. While FIL was here I told him about my cousin who just had her first baby who was just diagnosed with Down Syndrome. My youngest brother in law also has Down Syndrome. I asked FIL if he would want to write a note to her as a parent of a Down Syndrome child. He pulled out his computer and read me this article below.

As he read it both of us became very choked up. I'll explain why in a moment.




Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kingsley.
copyright 1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights
reserved

As published in “That All May Worship and Serve,” July, 2002,
as published on the United Church of Christ Disabilities Ministries web site at
http://www.uccdm.org/2000/07/21/acceptance-of-your-child-welcome-to-holland/

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."


As FIL read this to me I felt like it describes my situation
well. A loss of expectations (over a child or over your life) is a loss all the same. And yet, there can be so much joy found if one is searching
for it.

I feel blessed to not have to search very hard.

And for the record, dear readers, I view you as the lovely tulips
that have popped up in the landscape of my life. Only not so numerous as
in the picture below. ; ) Um, and sorry if that was totally cheesy. I guess Wonder Woman is rubbing off on me. (hugs, WW!)

ugh...i stink at using the 'blockquotes' thing. how do i fix this?! blech...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What I wish I could explain to people.

.
.
Do not mistake
my willingness to forgive
or my loving and peaceable attitude
for weakness.
.
.
.
I know the easy way out.
I'm just not choosing it.
.