I miss blogging and the insights I gain from writing.
So here I am to write and share with so many things on my mind.
Where do I start?
I read this post just now…entitled, Living in the Moment Instead of Analyzing the Moment:
And I think it ties into what I was intending to write about…realizations.
My two oldest children attended a therapy session together for the first time earlier this week and the experience left me with a huge realization.
I came to realize how crazy my life has been for the past 3 years and how in so many ways, I have just been living in survival mode. Getting by, getting through the days and doing what needs to be done but with a heavy weight of disappointment, denial, frustration, and sadness.
The funny thing is that I thought I was able to live in the moment and enjoy life. No, not all of the time but often enough. And yes, in some ways I have enjoyed moments of life. Yet, the deeper sadness that comes form traumatic life experiences and challenges, the sadness of how life really is compared to how you imagined it would be or desire it to be, can be so encompassing that you do not realize how lost you really have become.
I see this as progress on my part. I feel I am embracing my sadness now and getting to the real emotion that was previously hidden by anger. Someone once told me that with anger, there is always a deeper emotion. Its like I have been living life in a mild depression, one that at times has moved to more of the moderate depression range, but only am now really seeing it fully.
Being in the therapy session where the therapist got a small glimpse of life at our home, through the interactions of my two older children, was somehow an opportunity for me to step back and gain a more outside perspective. It wasn’t awful but my kids revealed how they interact with each other and I had to tell myself, “This is good. The therapist is getting a good picture of what things are like between them and for me.”
The positive side is that it was a start, after the session, I took both my kids out to get a treat and have some time together at a coffee shop and we also enjoyed dinner together. I have been taking time with each of them individually like this over the past year but this was the first time I had done so with both of them together. I realized we needed to learn to have fun together again and have time with me without their 3 year old younger brother so I could really focus on them and helping them with their relationship.
And so we enjoyed time together but after I got home, the impact of the therapy session and the realization of how we have been living really hit me. And I know I have dealt with depression before- but this time, I am seeing myself as depressed and struggling to get out of bed to start another day and so relieved when I get in bed at night and everyone is quiet, so glad to lay still in the quiet. I know that there is much “work” to do in helping my children learn better ways of communicating and that it will be a process. They do have good moments together and always have, yet, there has been some deep hurt and resentment that has build over the years that will take time to heal.
I have also realized how much all 5 of us “react” to each other all the time. By react, I mean, react with quick responses without thinking and react to anger with anger and react with a refute or rebuttal to others comments. Picture a political debate where no one is monitoring responses and the candidates can speak whenever. Pure mayhem of everyone trying to prove that they are right!
Well, I think we may be functioning at a higher level than an un-monitored political debate. Yet, that tension is present, at least for me, wondering who will be next to blow their fuse or escalate.
Walking on egg-shells.
Moving through life rather than being in life, doing the minimum, on egg shells and covered in a masc of depression. This is no way to live.
I too tend to over analyze yet in some ways, I have not spend enough time analyzing, no let me rephrase that, I have spent time analyzing our moments but not enough time really looking at our moments and how we can improve them and working to improve them.
Sure, I would negotiate with my kids during their arguments and sometimes felt pretty proud of how I handled it. Yet, i was missing the larger picture of it all. The larger picture of improving communication skills and not just dealing with one particular instance at a time. The larger picture of how we function as a family rather than just getting through the days.
Since this realization just two days ago, I have been far more engaged and have invested more time in helping rebuild relationships and improve how we communicate as a family and spending time with each child, all three, and finding out what they need and making plans to better organize our time. Yet, the process of how best to organize our time and give all three kids what they need and still take care of myself still eludes me. I see how it will take more effort for a while to get into some better habits and maybe have some more schedule in our rather unscheduled unschooling lifestyle but in the long ran, may help things run smoother. Yet, meeting all three kids very different needs, is the challenge. Being 14, 10 and 3 presents enough challenges and then adding their learning differences and personalities, creates a rather complex equation! My oldest wants structure and set times to do set things and a plan. He is high school age now and looking to college and asking for more academics and needs guidance as he navigates puberty because all the changes going on within him, bring out his biggest challenges, as well as his biggest strengths. My 10 year old only daughter who has OCD, an anxiety disorder, is more of a free spirit and inspired in the moment and struggles with schedules for then she becomes rigid and frozen when changes are made to the schedule and just now in a much better place functionally and also more engaged with writing and learning academics. She is one who I think would benefit from some more structure, maybe loose structure but needs help being engaged and challenging her mind. She is very intelligent but not as self motivated to pursue things on her own like her older brother, yet when she is not challenged- and by that I mean engaged in an activity she loves and learning new things, and busy, it makes things worse for her. Yet, she also needs down time but guidance and craves being with other people and more so one on one than in a large group. And then there is Jason, who is three and a half. If his age alone does not explain the dilemma, I can give you a clearer picture with this. He is very physical, talks all the time, screams at people he doesn’t know who look at him and screams when he is overwhelmed and is very BUSY. When he is sleeping, you just want to stay very still as not to disturb his sleep and wake him so you can enjoy some quiet and calm. He is also a bundle of joy, affectionate and thoughtful. He is the first to give me a hug if I am sad and frequently rubs my back and gives me kisses if he thinks I need it.