Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What is Strength? What is Fragility?

Questions I've been thinking about the past couple of days, as I deal with a higher level of anxiety than I've had in a very long time.  The same levels I dealt with for the first 32 years of my life, except for a brief period in my early 20's. And since those levels are no longer my "normal," I wonder how the hell I lived with them for so long, day after day, minute after minute.
 I think the stress is partly a delayed reaction to the move/LG graduating & switching schools/worries about WG's school placement/simply getting used to a VERY different living situation. One in which we have a lot less privacy, and less security.  It's easier for the kids to get into things they shouldn't, and to get outside, for example. And because the house is so large and we live on the 3rd floor, I'm constantly running up and down the stairs to check on them both.
There's also the fact that I have to have my keys and phone with me constantly.  We  lock the doors out of habit and the doorbell doesn't work.  Add to that there are certain parties who simply refuse to answer the door.  Why?  I REALLY don't know.  Bu it pisses me off.  However, they refuse to change, so I carry my keys.

The fact is, there are 9 people living in this house, including 2 young kids with special needs AND a baby.  As well as 2 dogs.  Adjustments have to be made, and not ONLY on my part. Over the past few weeks I've found myself slipping into the "It's their house, I am a guest, and I must be perfect" mindset.
Which is a)Wrong, b)Wrong and c) Ah, WRONG!  I live here now!  I bust my ass taking care of my kids, working, cooking,. cleaning, washing dishes, etc.  If you want something done a certain way, how about telling me beforehand instead of criticizing me after the fact?

Honestly, is it any wonder I'm stressed?!?!?!

I try to do my thing and stay out of the way. Truth be told, it's not always so bad.  And I'm glad to be out of the old place; paying rent instead of a hefty mortgage, and no homeowner's association fees. As I've mentioned before, I love the neighborhood, the kids are happy, and we can always escape to our little pool in the backyard.

(It's also hard having one or both kids underfoot all day.  I always forget, when they're in school, just how difficult it is when they're NOT in school, lol!)

I'm also realizing that what I've looked on as weakness is actually huge reserves of strength.  The fact that I can not only function but function WELL when I'm feeling so debilitated and overwhelmed is, I think, a testament to that strength. That I can work and take, if I do say so myself, very good care of my kids speaks not of frailty, but of power.
I have forgotten that no one else can give this to me.  I already have it.  Just as no one else can give me confidence, esteem, and the ability to work hard, use my (not insignificant) talents and Be Who I Am Meant To Be.
It's all already inside me.

Again,I go back to that feeling I had in my early-mid 20's, before I let grad school and living in L.A take it away from me.
Or so I thought.  Because it was never taken away.  It's been there all along.
And just because my strengths are different from other people's, people who don't understand them, doesn't make them any less valid.  Just because I do things differently doesn't mean I'm WRONG!

It's time for me to stop moving out of everyone else's way, and to create my own path again.



Geosomin said...

It must be tricky to try and assert your own space and self in the home of someone else...which is also your home. I commend you for finding an arrangement that works for you overall. I hope things settle in well over time. And yes - relax. It's your home too.
I know for me, it was something I found when we had a hosue guest for a few months. I ended up stopping relaxing and acting like I had to be on my best behaviour in my home because there were "witnesses" :). Escape when you need to and enjoy the summer. I mean - you have a pool to sit in! Start your pruning up immediately!! :)

azusmom said...

I know exactly what you mean!
Commencing pruning ...NOW! :)