{a house comes tumbling down}

Strange how life works, I didn’t sleep – and because of it I am in a bleak, dark place.  I’ve had two nights in the last few weeks where I quite literally lay awake all night long – not awake enough to do anything productive, but not resting deeply either. The result is I’m sick at heart and physically shaky; short-tempered, and irritated by everyone.

Old and ugly insecurities are having their way, messing with me.  This makes me sad, so very sad.

I ran this morning out of pure conviction, blaming and shaming myself the entire way.  You should be running longer, you should be faster by now, how silly to be your little 2.5 miles, why do you bother? What’s 27 pounds, when people will always be younger and fitter than you!? To them, you are fat.

I can tally my mistakes so quickly when I am tired.  I am full of self-doubt, as a writer certainly and especially.  I wish for a career again.  Or even simply an office to go to or perhaps a paycheck to make me feel I’m making a contribution to something tangible on the planet earth   I wonder why I cannot ever feel resolute and worthwhile in my role as a mother, caretaker, home maker?

My chest is heavy with fear and doubt about my path.

My chest is also heavy too for my children.  I want so much for them, but I am learning that they must be “allowed” to question, make their choices, voice their doubts, express their ideas, have problems that I do not solve for them.  I cannot always defend them to other or be defensive about their choices.  I have to let my children become.  I have to let them fail, perhaps.  Bailing children out isn’t the answer. Pushing is okay, at times.  Encourage and buoy up, even reward and bribe, a carrot, for a future which is full of possibilities they cannot yet imagine.

I am learning about boundaries, mostly that I am terrible with them. I do for others until I resent the doing ending up with no time to write or think or pray or sit with the Holy One.

I resent those that have been to seminary and are clear in their understanding of theology and can write out of those assurances.   I resent those who knew early on who and what they were.  I resent that I lived in a gray, lost fog for much of my life, and then that I became a drunk, and then … just managed to survive.  Yes, I am a survivor but what else am I good for?

Yes, most days I just persist on, hoping that the future is better than the past. Today I’m having a hard time believing in anything.

I feel empty and invisible in a world where stature, and statuses, and lists and mentions matter. And then I feel utterly ridiculous for looking, for caring about those things at all, for being the sort of person that needs assurance of others, the esteem of men in authority, the likes and tweets of writers whom I admire.  Perhaps if I get another degree I will finally feel okay.

I sit in church and I am filled with doubt; traversing into the land of agnosticism, as my husband likes to say – he takes day trips, I am living there today.  I feel angry, skeptical, pessimistic, fearful and tired.

No, I cannot prove there is a God to satisfy my children.

No, I do not know why some people are so happy, successful and life seems to be so easy, for some.

No, we do not live in the perfect house like so and so, nor am I the perfect homemaker, like so and so’s mom. Nor am I handy, to create the perfect anything.

I need sleep and some days that’s all that it takes to push me over the edge into an ugly place of fear and skepticism.

I read this morning in the book of Psalms, David asked for a sign of God’s favor to help against his enemies. 

Who are my enemies?  Today they are self-doubt and lack of surety about the purpose of my life. My faith is weak but does this mean God has failed me?    My children doubt, push on my beliefs, even fail to thrive, does this mean we are failing them? I look at newborn babies and I am filled with dread.  For we all grow up and live lives full of disappointment.

 It is amazing how sleep holds one together or lack of it brings a house tumbling down.

On Motherhood: Searching for Meaningful Metanarrative

I keep crying out that I want a bigger purpose for my life.  

The universe cries back, your purpose is right in front of you.

I cry back– it’s not enough.  It’s not enough.  This is not enough!

I cannot pretend. I’ve been up and down, sometimes miserable lately. And I’m ashamed of myself. Why is it that I just cannot figure out how to be happy? I had an interaction with E yesterday that spun me into these gloomy thoughts.   We were talking about cheerful people – you know the kind.  The people whose voices go up when they talk to you and they always smile and they are mostly cheerful and helpful!!  They seem to have an inner glow.

It’s just not me, I am mellow, solidly so, but she really likes those sorts of people! (Even though, or perhaps because, she isn’t one.)

I don’t like them, necessarily.  I doubt people’s sincerity, strangers, when they behave like that. I find them hard to trust.  People that I know in my real life, who are like that, I take with a grain of salt. But it is hard for me to accept that they are always UP even as I try to believe people like that are sincere, not putting me on.  But I have to admit they can grate on me.

But I realized yesterday that I long to be that sort of Mother. Oh, I encourage, I hug, I kiss, I affirm like crazy – but I don’t slather on love or exude joy.  I’m not all over my kids, thrilled that they simply exist and I’m just lucky to be their mom!  (Though I am, very fortunate to have them.)  And I don’t serve pink Valentine’s Day meals or even give valentines to my kids.

But my daughter wouldn’t let me even try yesterday – pushing me away when I smothered her with kisses and smiles.  “It’s just not real, Mom.”  Saying that I was making fun of her, which I definitely wasn’t.   That got me really in the dumps yesterday.

I woke today with gloomy, anxious thoughts.  My body physically hurts from my heart racing so much.  I even thought I was getting sick, so I laid down yesterday.  Just as I dropped off to sleep – probably ten times – a jolt of adrenaline woke me.  I know this, it is anxiety.  (And I start to wonder if I should return to my shrink.  Damn it, I haven’t seen him in a good long while and somehow returning solidifies my failure.  Failure to stay calm and maintain my mood. )

Even as God did a beautiful thing just last week or was it the week before?  And he brought me out of the depression that clung to me from November to January.  It seems that I cannot maintain any peace in my heart. 

Reading through the Bible with my church.  We’re in the book of Numbers.  And I am struck by the Israelites inability to trust God.  Even as they had miracles – Clouds leading them, and manna provided for them and plagues cursing them … and I think to myself, if God spoke to me like that, I’d have more faith that he’s got a plan for my life.  (Um, maybe.)

Perhaps it really is simply that I don’t trust God with my days – with my future.

I think, I just need to be struck with some horrible punishment like Miriam when she challenged things (Nu 12) and then I’d believe.  Then I’d stop complaining. Or would I?

And every time the people do something stupid, Moses and Aaron’s response was to fall face down on the ground.  Hm…..

Is that what I’m doing?  Am I just complaining when I say I just want to be happy.  I find the days I am living — the sweeping up endless dirt, cooking and washing up, washing and folding, the damn whiny dog, the endless homework, and children who really don’t want to achieve, trying to be helpful and failing,

endless, same, same, same…

Being at home is about giving up my rights, serving. But perhaps I am not principled enough to get meaning out of any of it.  Not much anyway.  

Phooey, I can’t stand myself right now.

A friend keeps telling me to read the Bible for the metanarrative.  I think to myself.  I cannot even live life in the big narrative. 

I’m sweeping up dust bunnies and resenting every minute. 

I’ll regret this grumpy post.  I always do. Definitely not living in the light!   But I need to be truthful, even if it’s not cheerful!  Some days that is all I’m holding on to — being a person that is straight and honest.   Some days.