The snow, it’s fallen over the entire weekend. It brings the delightful realization that Christmas is inching closer. It’s brought about animated conversations about sledding, and advent calendars, lights, snowmen, and Santa. The kids have excitedly peered out of our windows, frost starting to move in slowly. We’ve had a break, a wonderfully lengthy one from school for Remembrance Day. We’ve made the most of it; there’s been snuggling, PJ’s, a pizza party, romping in the fresh snow while the sun dances slightly behind the clouds. There’s been movies, and maybe a bit of fighting. We’ve read books, drank tea, talked about the upcoming holidays, and shared hot chocolate.
It’s been good.
Ever since my husband came home and told me about his promotion, I feel as though someone forced me under the water, and has been holding me there. It’s been a daily dance of remembering that right now, it’s just not about me. Admittedly, I go between feeling strong, and feeling an ugly sort of resentment toward the man that I love, who I know isn’t coming home at 2am on purpose, or because he wants to. It just our new normal. It’s not permanent, I remember, and remind him when he’s faltered in this new schedule, that we’re still transitioning, which is always the hardest part.
Yet, as much as I am trying to be flexible, to bend when I don’t feel like I have any more room to do so, the harsh reality that I’m not superhuman crashes into me. While there are some people who expect me to do the roles of two parents because I’m the stay at home parent, it’s just never been how our marriage works. This change has meant a total upheaval of our lives, for all of us, not just him.
I’m not used to all of this. I’m not used to a husband who works until 11 at night, or longer. I’m not used to having a partner who literally has no idea what is going on with the children, because work has totally enveloped his entire being. I’m not used to people assuming because my husband is never there, that I’m a single Mom, and the looks they give me when I offer, “He’s just busy with work”. I’m used to being able to find small moments to carve out for me, alone, but thus far, the only moments I’ve claimed at the the ones right before I fall asleep in exhaustion. I’m not used to yelling so much, and not always being this frustrated.
This weekend, I gasped for breath as I came out from below the water. All those punches, all the smiles and the encouragement I’ve been providing to others has hit a wall. It’s my turn. I need to be taken care of, if only for a moment. I want to be told it’s all going to work out, that we’re going to be fine, that this won’t last forever. I don’t want to feel like an obligation, a bother, or an annoyance to anyone.
The magnitude of all the obstacles we’ve been navigating over the last couple of months have peaked. Finding a therapist for my son, the result of his incredible breakdowns of his own. The death of a friend, unexpected. The unexpected, sudden promotion, and the resulting impact of that; Longer hours, more worries about his commute, the kids reacting because they haven’t seen him in days, the sheer loneliness and exhaustion of doing it on my own. There’s the stretch of our budget, something that always happens this time of year, and the worries of how we’ll make things work (even though we always do make it work). There’s the stress of our impending move, and the being unsure of when, how and where that will be. It’s the lack of texts, phone calls, or any communication from close friends; Nothing I take personally, but it makes the late nights a little harder, and makes me feel a little more alone.
Really, that’s the bulk of it. This is my way, before I have to dunk my head back under of reaching out.
I feel lonely. I feel isolated. I want to be cared for. I want someone to say to me, as I pour my worries out, “You can handle this. It’s okay to feel tired, because it’s a lot, but you got this.” Even if I don’t believe them. Even when I know, I do have this. I just don’t feel like it right now. I just want to feel as though I’m more than just a post for others to lean on, to use, to expect to be there but never appreciate.
I’m more than that.
I may not be super human, but I am still human.