Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Straw That Broke the Camel's Back

(Before I get on with this post, if you see a lot of spelling errors for words that usually have the letter "T" in them but it's missing.  Well, that's because my lovely fingers seems to miss that letter more times than I care to admit.  I spell check every post with my computer app.  So what you may view as spelling errors may actually be keying errors.  Why the spell check doesn't pick up on that I don't know.)

*****News Flash*****

This just in - I'm a terrible wife, mother, employee, person, and just an all around bad human being.


Do you ever have "one of those days" I mean "one of the weeks"?  Like when your husband isn't working because he can't, and he's only been on permanent disability for just barely over six months.  But you finally think things are not perfect, but certainly better than they were, so you call it fine for now.  You're going through life day-in and day-out trying to stay positive and counting your blessings, which are many, and thinking that you're coping with the stress of it all remarkably well (if you do say so yourself).

And then something happens and everything around you starts to fall apart.  Your look around and notice that your kids have to much clutter scattered around and they leave it everywhere.  Then when you've had about enough of dealing with it all, so you say something about it and their immediate response is, "I'm moving out!".  (Sure, ultimately that's the plan, but realistically we all know it just can't happen yet).  Instead of the reaction you were hoping for......"I'm sorry Mom, I'll pick up after myself".  Instead of maybe a heated conversation and a simple solution a complete family fight takes place.  Now everyones involved.  To the point that Kevin gets up to defend me and that back-fires and he storms off thinking we are all ganging up on him.  Now with everyone in their respective corners of the house, and no one really speaking to one another.  I'm left with the mess and attitude from everyone.  Yeah, it's not good.  

After about an hour or so things calm down and two of the kids are speaking to you, but your husband has shut the door to his room and flat out will not speak to anyone, especially you.  The one kid comes home after he cools off and actually sits down to talk to you.  (You know, the one you were originally talking to).  We talk for a while and he's crying and I'm crying and he's offering to pay rent and you're telling him you'd rather him save his money for a car so he can be one step closer to his own independence.  The original issue you had was with the clutter nothing more.  Then you go in to try to talk to your husband and he's upset because he came out to defend you and three people got on him for his language and the kids were upset because they feel like the only time they hear from their dad now is so he can yell at them.  In Kevin's defense, he tries to talk to the kids but they are either to busy, to tired, or they just don't want to listen.  He's still not speaking to you and doesn't until the next morning when you go into his room before work to say goodbye and to tell him you love him.  

 Keep in mind, the entire dynamic of our household has completely changed since Kevin's spinal cord injury.  It use to be that Kevin always had the final say and he voiced his opinion every time he disagreed with anything pretty much.  He was great at getting after the kids to pitch in and pick up their clutter, keeping them and, sometimes even myself, in check, and in giving general counsel to us all.  Now, he just doesn't have it in him to get out of bed most days so he isn't there to get after them and everything.  Sure, in my opinion Kevin still has the final say.  I can't and don't want all the responsibility on my shoulders.  Sure, there are things he cannot do and I've got to step up and do them.  I also think we have grown children that should help out once in a while without attitude or having to be asked, especially when it comes to their own things.  

The next day when you get home from work everyone seems to be back to their normal self.  Everyone was talking and everyone was doing okay.  Our one son had a date and the other is getting ready for a coed camping trip with friends from his singles ward.  (No, we did not approve of this little adventure).  Just before he's about to leave and you have dinner ready he decides to spend time talking to neighbors.  Then you go outside to see if he wants dinner before he goes and you end up talking to the neighbors too.  Then it happens.  Your next door neighbor who you've had "words" with several months ago comes walking up the street.  Mind you, you've apologized and you both hugged each other so you think all is well, and maybe you can at least be on speaking terms.  You know, if something happens and you need to retrieve a ball out of their backyard you won't be afraid to knock on their door kind of terms.  Well, she walks up, says hi to the other neighbors but does not even look in your direction and just keeps walking in to her house without a word to you.  What the heck?  Sure, I don't expect us to be besties, but a general hello once in a while might be nice.  Then when you go in to talk to your family about it they wonder why I'm so concerned about this one (in their words) "physcho" neighbor when it clearly is her problem because you've tried to apologize.  I guess I just don't understand how you can still hold a grudge if you've tried to reconcile.  Sure, I know I have been commanded  to forgive, but is it really that hard to be nice to me?  (Trust me, I struggle with forgiving others from time to time too)  She even said we've got to find a way to get along since we live right next door.  At the time, I was thrilled, but she was either slightly drunk or under some other influence because she was super super nice and immediately came up to hug me once I apologized.  She never apologized for her part in the entire previous blow up but I didn't care and I let it go.  Now this!  The other thing I don't understand is why does everyone seems to like my other neighbor?  Sure, I get it, she's nice and has the perfect home (and maybe that's it).  But honestly, is there anyone she doesn't get along with, or is there anyone that just doesn't care for her?  How does one get to be so darn perfect throughout life and not have any confrontations or issues?  I just don't understand, and at the same time, I do want to be more like that.  I just don't see it ever happening for me.  I could pay my tithing and then some, avoid confrontations at all costs, get my house and yard to top notch status, try to be a better friend, pray my heart out about it, and I'd still be the one everyone hates.  I feel like the kid on that show, "Everybody Hates Chris".  I seriously do.  I also think I'm pigeon-holed into a certain stereotype and even if I did change all these things, it still wouldn't be enough.  No one will ever see me in a different light, so why should I bother to make the effort?  

The same thing goes for work too.  Let's face it, being out with Kevin and then with my health issues has been a strain.  I know it has.  But at the same time, I can't change the things that have happened.  I don't have a magic wand to make My husband all better or to make it so I don't get sick.  Trust me, I wish I did.  And I am well aware where this puts me.  If the company I work for needed to let go of people I'd be one of the ones top on there list.  That's the facts.  After all, they're trying to run a business.   However, some of the attitude I've received from co-workers is hard to deal with.  Especially when they say they can't be out like I've been because they don't have the time.  That makes me wonder, did they not take the short term disability benefits when they were offered to them for pennies at open enrollment?  And this kind of thing is the exact reason we have those benefits because that's saved my family big time!  So, I don't quite understand that comment.    

Then, today you go out to get food for family and when you shut off the car the fan stays on and will not stop no matter what you do.  In fact, it still hasn't stopped when your oldest son get home.  He goes out to try to figure it out and he can't.  So we disconnect the battery and the fan finally stops.  When you look up what the problem is it sounds like it could be a temperature sensor that just happens to be located in a spot that will require a mechanic to fix.  (Of course!). Needless to say, this all comes at exactly the worst possible moment for the budget because you're between paydays and have no money because you just started back to work and the 60% of your paycheck doesn't go very far. And all the bills still need to be paid too.

On top of all this you look out back and the pool you worked so hard to get and keep blue is now green.  And your front yard with the nice green grass now has patches of brown because you skipped watering twice this week after your minor scuffle with a skateboard and again when you were just to tired.  Then, you're oldest daughter has reached out for a ear to vent to you because her MIL has been in town for the funeral of her mother's new husband and has just announced that she plans to be in town for several weeks now. While she is her this trip the MIL decides to basically tell your daughter she's awful for not doing the dishes when Danielle works full time, cleans the entire house and does laundry and cooks, so she feels letting her husband do the dishes is a-okay.  Then this fall Danielle will also be going to school full time too.  She's going back to finish her degree and ultimately get her master's.  Besides, who cares!  It's between the two of them and us parents just need to stay out of it.  (Mind you, the MIL has absolutely nothing to do with her mother because of things that took place when she was very young).  So, we think the mom is just sticking around to see if she can get any money out of her Mom.  How messed up is that?  (There's more to the story and that's why we think she's looking for a hand out)   Needless-to-say, my daughter's MIL makes me appreciate my MIL a whole lot more!  And we aren't on speaking terms and haven't been since right after my daughter's wedding.  (It's a long story, and I'll leave it at that).  My MIL was all about family, all about  being close to each other, and would do whatever she could to help you, if she was in a situation where she could and you really needed help.  Anyway, she would never tell me I need to do the dishes or anything in my own home unless I asked her for advice on something like that.  Never!  My MIL and I use to have a lot of fun together.  So, I don't understand why my daughter's MIL is sticking around.  Is she here looking for a hand out from some life insurance policy?  How sad is that?  Here her Mom is dealing with one of the hardest things she quite possibly has ever had to deal with in her lifetime and her children are acting like vulchers waiting for their time to swoop in and attack.  It's so sad.  Talk about kick the poor widow when she's down.  It's awful!

Back to my story.....

And in that one moment, with all of these things weighing you down more than normal, the weight of the stress of the entire past year and a half, comes crashing down on you as if it had been balancing precariously above your head the whole time just waiting for this moment.  So you jump up and say some things you're not very proud of and storm out the front door and think you're going to take off in the car, but you remember you can't.  So you turn the water on in the yard instead.  

Then you come back inside and the tears start streaming down your face, as you wander around the house, aimlessly and you wish you hadn't done what you just did, not because you're really noble and good, but because you know you're going to have to eventually pick up the pieces of the mess you just made and you're now exhausted.  Your tantrum hasn't made you feel any better at all and you wish you could just take the last couple of days back.

Nope?  Just me!??  Good.  I wouldn't wish one of those weeks on anyone.  Ever.  Thank goodness I have awesome kids and an awesome husband and we have been through much worse than this and we can bounce back quickly from a week like this.  We are resilient!  We are quick to vent and express our concerns (sure, some of us more than others).  Our kids are quick to forgive and remind you why motherhood isn't completely thankless work.  Thank goodness for good mothers everywhere (especially my Mom and my mother-in-law) who are strong enough to bear the weight of significant burdens, who set a good example for me.  Thank goodness that tomorrow is a new day and yesterday is in the past.  Mostly.

I just need to give myself a break.  It's OK to struggle a little, right?  I read so many blogs, Facebook posts, and even Instagram posts written by beautiful women, with perfectly beautiful homes, who never seem to struggle with anything ever.  Or the ones written by beautiful women who are dealing with major illnesses or deaths of loved ones or unimaginable trials with Grace and poise.  And who have beautiful homes and create beautiful crafts and things with their happy kids in spite of their troubles.  I don't fault them for that.  More power to them.

I am not one of them.  My house is in almost constant need of cleaning.  My kids don't always get along.  Or make the best choices.  I've had both of my boys go to in-school detention when they were younger.  That wasn't in my perfect mother plan.  I would rather watch a lame movie in a dark room by myself than cook a beautiful meal or spend quality time with my husband.  I can't help it, that's just me right now.  I need to stop beating myself up for not being someone else when I'm honestly doing the best I can.  It's hard to thrive or Excel in your own skin when you're drowning in comparison to everyone around you.  We are in survival mode, but it's OK to be in survival mode right?  There's nothing wrong with me that I can't do more, right?  Please say yes.

So, as the day progressed today some good did come out of it.  (Tender mercies) Remember me talking about those pork roasts I was going to make.  Well, I put them in the oven this afternoon and by this evening they were done and perfect!  I drained all the smokey juices from the roasting bags and dumped the roasts in the tin throw-away container and shredded it all up.  It only took two regular forks to shred it because it was fork tender.  I made Kevin a sandwich with some spicy barbecue sauce and he loved it!  I made myself a sandwich without sauce and it was wonderful.  So, we will be enjoying those two roasts for the next few days.  I started off with 16 pounds of meat.  Sure, there was a bone in each and a bottom layer of fat, but once I took the bones out and gave the bottoms to the dogs we had a huge roasting pan full of this awesome meat.  It's wonderful.  I filled two gallons size zip lock bags plum full to the tops with all the shredded meat.  We have tons!

 This is a photo of my sandwich....

I also called earlier this evening and left a message for our mechanic.  He called me back at about 9:30 tonight and I told him what was happening.  He said make sure the car has plenty of oil and check the coolant.  He said it's not uncommon in this heat for the fan to run for 20-30 minutes after the car is shut off, that's normal.  But if after we've checked all of these things and the fan is still on we will need to bring it down so he can check it and ultimately fix it.  So, Kyle and Curtis are off buying coolant now.  

While we were outside our neighbor's husband drove by and asked if we needed any help with the car.  He came over and we all talked for a bit.  We told him what was happening with the car.  He then told us that their hot water heater was giving them trouble and come to find out it was the breaker to the house that had melted in he heat.  (How crazy is that?).  So they had to have it replaced.  So, I can't fault my neighbors for being what I call perfect.  I'm sure they would say they weren't perfect if you asked them.  They have troubles just like the rest of us.  It's all in how you look at things.  

Have a great weekend, friends. 
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