Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A dark place...scary

Before we enter this dark place, I will shed a little light on the day...I received two more awards today! Yippee Skippee! I received the One Lovely Blog Award from Mud Mama ! Thank you so much! I really appreciate receiving this award!

And I received the Best Blog Award from Christine at Christine's Corner! Thank you, Christine, for this award!

Now, we enter a dark, dark place. A place full of depressed visions, sickening voices, dread, sorrow, skeletons shaking in the closet, anxiety, and suffocation. Where is this place of gloom and doom? Why do we have to go there? Well, because I can't get away from it and if I have to go there everyday, then I'm taking you with me. Where?

My head.

Yes, folks I am living in a dark, dark place. I'm not sure exactly what people are talking about when they discuss the "dark night of the soul", but I think I am there. And it is lasting much longer than "a" night.

Those of you who have been reading my blog know what a tough summer I have had. Really, what a tough year I have had. It has been the worst year of my life, and this includes the year my parents got divorced, my sister almost died from pneumonia and my great-grandmother died on New Years Eve (this all happened in 1997).

I can't find the words to begin what I am feeling....hmmm...well, let me just start from the beginning. And by the way, I'm not afraid of sharing anything, nor am I ashamed. I've never been one to hide my feelings. Here we go, internet! This could be a long one, folks.

My father worked for the Department of Human Services for something like 30 years. By the time he retired, he was the head of our county's DHS. My sister and I would play in the DHS building as kids, running down the hallways, in and out of the offices, playing in the "big room" up front with all the chairs. We always entered in the back (the employee's entrance). Never once had I ever been in the front entrance. Until last Friday.

Last Friday, I had to stand in the English-speaking line, waiting for my turn to turn in forms, forms asking for state assistance for health insurance for our son. Never as a child, did I ever think that 30 years later, I would be standing in that "big room" up front with all the chairs (now I know what the room is for), not to play and have fun, but to ask for government assistance because my son's health depends on it and we can't afford health insurance.

It was a very humbling experience, not that I think I needed to be humbled anymore, but I am now even more humble than I was before. I think it has moved from humble to low self-esteem and depression. How did I get here? I'm 35 years old. How did I get here?

After my unexpected c-section last year, long recovery, and breastfeeding disasters, I suffered from post-partum depression for about 6 months. Just when the light was beginning to break through from that, we began having money problems, broken air conditioners (plural), I needed new tires, 2 of my husband's family members died, I found out I have celiac disease, my husband lost his job on the day of his uncle's wake, we went through 2 months of unemployment stress, I had a miscarriage, we discovered we can't afford health insurance for all three of us, and now we are back to money problems. Oh, and we also have to "skip" Christmas this year, which is more depressing than all of it. Luckily, we bought presents for our son back in July, so he is covered for Christmas presents. But, for the rest of my family and for each other, well, we can't do it this year.

My husband found a job in September making much less money than he was making before (and before we were barely makin' it as it was), but we are grateful he has found a job at least! This is really just scratching the surface of everything that has happened to us this year, but those are the biggest challenges.

My dark place is this: when does it end? When does it get any easier? When does God or the Universe or whoever is out there listening say enough is enough? I am at my breaking point. I've had it. I can't take any more stress, any more bad news, I don't need to be humbled any more than I already have been. I'm tired of crying. I want to laugh again.

My husband and I can't afford clothes for ourselves so we can't present ourselves to the world the way we want to be presented. I am angry all the time. The slightest thing will set me off (our poor dogs have beared the brunt of this, I'm afraid). I am more cynical and judgmental now of others. I'm pissed that I can no longer eat many convenience foods because of the gluten, I'm pissed that coffee makes me sick because I loooooove coffee. I'm pissed that I can't afford to fix up my house. I hate my bathrooms - they are the ugliest places on earth. I'm pissed that i can't afford anything besides food. My cell phone got shut off yesterday because we couldn't afford the bill (it is now turned back on - hallelujah - how would the DHS people get a hold of me?). I'm pissed. The TV shows I used to watch in the spring...well, when they started back up in the fall, I found them to be silly and not as funny as they used to be. I've been through too much in the last few months to appreciate the unrealistic nature of television comedies.

The two worst parts of it all are that 1) there is a piece of motherhood that is missing for me. I have had so many other things to worry about since my son was born that I have a disconnect from this experience called motherhood. There is a dam blocking my ability to fully be grateful and overwhelmed by this blessing. And it has nothing to do with my son. He is perfect and I love him more than life itself. Motherhood has made me very serious and all of our problems seem worse when I believe they could possibly affect him in a negative way. I want him to have so much, so many opportunities, a life that isn't riddled with financial stress and I fear we won't be able to give that life to him.

And 2), well, this year has seriously made me doubt that there is any kind of anybody listening out there in the Universe. I have done more praying than Job and not a thing has changed. I grew up going to church, being religious and all that. And, I've always been a very spiritual person. Spirituality is from where I drew my hope, my strength. Before last year, I could always, without a doubt or a problem, cheer myself up and turn things around. I was a super-duper positive person and I NEVER had bad days. Seriously. But this year has caused a serious rift in my spirituality and I so badly want it to be healed. But, I can't find my way. I feel alone.

On a positive note, my husband and I are closer than ever before. Tough times have a way of making us join forces and become a caring and supportive team for each other. We become the other's biggest fan. And let's face it, sometimes that gets lost in a marriage. But, all this distress has brought us closer than ever. And I am grateful for that.

So, somebody hit me. Somebody give me a swift kick in the ass. Shoot me some perspective. Tell me to get a life. I need to move past all of this. I need to get my groove back. Where is Stella when you need her? I think I have cried every day for a year. It is time for it all to end!!!

I wrote a petition to God, just like the one Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Eat, Pray, Love. By the way, if you haven't read that book, go buy it. Oprah was right. It is amazing! Anyway, here is my petition. You can sign my petition in the comments if you like...maybe He will listen to us in numbers! Thanks to all and I hope everybody is having a rock star week!

Dearest God/Universe,

This is a petition. A petition for You to please intervene in my financial situation, my spiritual drought, and my lack of purpose. Please intervene and take my husband and I toward financial abundance. Please intervene and help me find peace in spirituality. Please intervene and help me find my career path and life purpose. I am currently not contributing to the good of humanity being as miserable and depressed as I am. I am not being the best mommy I can be when I am worrying about money and wishing I had a marketable passion to call my own. My son did nothing to deserve a mommy who can't give her all. I don't want to inadvertently damage him in some way because of my misery, which in turn would damage others. Our stress and unhappiness are not contributing to the beauty and peace of this world as a whole. Our lack of finances is causing us to be burdens on others who have problems of their own. I never want to stand in that DHS office again. I never want to see that look of defeat on my husband's face again. And while we are at it, I do not believe I should have to use our few resources and those of a hospital to have surgery again in order to have a second child. I petition that You intervene and help me get pregnant without surgery. A lasting pregnancy with another healthy, beautiful child. Please intervene and take away my anger. Please intervene and help me find peace again.

My deepest regards and always yours truly,

Amo


21 comments:

  1. oh hun. i am so sorry you and your family are going through this. it hurts me to know a sweet person like you is feeling like this. i hate how this economy is making good people question everything they thought they stood for, worked hard for, and depended on.

    when i felt like this a few years ago, i started believing in karma...you get out what you put in. i truly believe that good people will defeat this...whatever you want to call it. it's crazy, but in my heart i can tell you are a good person. stay strong and stay true to you. do the best you can and good things will come. you just gotta hang on! i'm here if you ever need to talk to someone. email me! {{{big hugs}}}

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Amo,
    Not to sound cheesy but I get it. I almost have to process your post more so I can send you a more powerful message back instead of this little comment. But I will try to put a few things into words.
    I was laid off in March. I am still not fully employed though I choose not to to save money on daycare. My son was denied health insurance because he has a heart condition (that won't affect him, if at all, until he's like 70!). We have had hernia surgery, broken leg, ultrasounds for me because of mysterious pains, and multiple car issues totally around $25,000 in bills for everything. Financial issues, got it down!
    Feeling like a shitty mom because all I do is concentrate on the bad, got it down!
    Two of the things I have learned are that i am NOT ashamed to ask for assistance. (it has saved us 1000s of dollars!!) or advocate for my child. You have no idea the bloody hell I rose demanding insurance for him.

    Anyhoo, this is getting long, but I do know how you feel and I can totally relate that those damn sitcoms are ridiculous and even in a positive state of mind, I think they are not funny (just my take)!

    I pray to Mary, because she's a mother and I have to have some faith in that!

    Take care. My thoughts are with you and your family.
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's a big virtual HUG!!!!! Financial concerns suck. This health care thing needs to be worked out, I hope you get what you need!
    I had a series of traumatic event that I wrote in my book (as you know too, writing is very theraputic!) But, I touched on my birth complication, postpartum depression and wondering how spirituality played into it all. It is easy to lose faith sometimes. Have you ever read the Secret or Creative Visualization? Sometimes it helsp me to write things as if they have already happened. Like imagining yourself walking to the mailbox and recieving checks rather than bills. (I know when reality is a knocking that is all well and good, but those kind of exercises have made me feel better in the past) That is wonderful that it has all brought you and your hubby closer together. And that's great that you already took care of your sons Christmas. You can get creative for everyone else! Remember the saying "the darkest hour is just before daen" Sometimes when you least expect it, things turn around!
    lots of love,
    Lauren

    ReplyDelete
  4. I know this is one of the oldest cliches ever, but...this too shall pass.

    I am not particularly religious, but I am spiritual and I believe in the universal laws and power of prayer. I also think there is no shame in taking advantage of community resources put in place to help out when we are struggling.

    The worst thing you can do in this situation is resign, retreat, or isolate yourself. It will only accentuate the depression, anxiety and anger.

    I've been there, I know it's difficult and feels unmanageable. You can do it! Make a plan of action, map out community resources and hold your head up high when filling out those papers. You will have plenty of opportunity to pay it forward when you are in a better position.

    I'll be praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you everyone! I needed the encouragement and my mom just called to "kick my ass", so...I'm workin' my way back up. A little ass kicking is good sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh man. Boy do I understand this. I love your petition and it would be ever so close to what I would write. We've been through so many of the same things this last year. I don't know where we would be if my in laws hadn't taken us in, but to be living in their home with our son...I think, WHY can't we take care of him on our own? We are in our 30's, we've been working hard for so many years, how did this happen? I'm so blessed to have health insurance through March. After that, I've no idea what we will do.
    And I too feel like there is a huge chunk of me that is missing motherhood. I don't remember big chunks of his first year.
    There is all this joy and happiness and then once we moved there is like this blur... it's heartbreaking.
    But this isn't about me.
    I'm so sorry you are feeling this way, and things have to turn around for us! They will.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amo.....my heart goes out to you. You are going through a very rough time but you are a very strong person. You are strong to be able to express to us how you are feeling and what is going on in your life...you are strong to be able to stand in the line at the DHS to get health insurance for your son because it is for the welfare of your beautiful child....you are strong to pass up eating fast food or drinking coffee because it will keep you healthy.....you are strong because you gave birth to a beautiful son who you know needs his mom....I say this because it is this strength that will help you get through the tough times....you and your husband sound like an unbeatable team who will work together to see this through. You have each other and that is a huge step to surviving this bump in the road. Please ask for our help if you need it. We all may not know each other face to face but I've come to believe that blogger friends are good friends and good friends help each other out.
    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amo, I wish there were words of wisdom I could give you - or that I could fix your pain. Life is hard... But you have so much beauty to show. I love reading your blogs - you bless me every day - you are an awesome mom for the fact that you want to give your best to your baby boy and if that means standing in line and humbling yourself so be it... You are a fighter.. and you are a winner... The Bible tells us true stories of people who have suffered the hard to imagine but they were rewarded beyond belief... I believe that God blesses fighter.. sufferers.... with abundant and never ending blessings... I promise it will get better - keep you faith.. your love... yourself... You amaze me.
    I sign your petition.
    Love to you
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  9. amy my love,

    i am so incredibly thankful for you. you are still one of the most special friends i have ever had. you posses some of my most favorite qualities that i always long to posses myself. :) you are by far and away the best listener of anyone i know. you are able to express empathy and compassion and acceptance toward others in the most effortless way. i love your style and have often wondered what it would be like to go shopping in your closet!! i love that you also hate spiders. i love that you freak out during thunderstorms/tornado warnings! you are an incredibly gifted writer. you have a way with words and i've always thought you should write a book. i think you will one day. probably drawing from all of your life experiences. i love your passion for reading and books. i am right there with you. i would love to have my own personal library with all of my favorite books on display and i know that is probably a hope of yours as well. i love your inner beauty and genuinely believe it is equally matched by your outer beauty. to me, max is a perfect blend of his beautiful mommy and handsome daddy. if i were there right now i would call us in some madam wu's and we would chow down while watching some cheesy lifetime movie about a good girl turned gogo dancer or something like that. :) although i am right there with you about how tv these days is completely unappealing.

    i will absolutely be praying for you, steve and max. i fully believe that prayer is powerful and effective. i know what it is like to be lost in the middle of an overwhelming life. i have been there many times. my only hope is in God's absolute love for us. i admire you and respect you more than i can express. love and kisses and hugs and peace and strength and revival of heart to you my dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
  10. amy, when you have time, check out my friend megan's blog. i follow her. you both have some things in common. it's called hubbard family fun. hugs :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my goodness! I'm sorry to hear you are going thru such a difficult time, my thoughts are with you!
    Here to follow you thru MBC!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm not very religious, but I have been where your at a few times and we are struggling right now to not be there again any time soon. I have learned that life will always be a struggle in one way or another and I have learned to look past them and continue to smile, because I know that even if I end up living in a box in a ditch, I have all I need, my family.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amo, let it out or shout! So many of us have or are there now. I know when that grey cloud stays above us its very hard to think of a bright future. You are not alone. You are becoming a stronger not bitter person during this. Most marriages are destroyed in times of hardship, sounds like you have a great friend with you. I know its hard and I do feel your frustration. With this economy so many of us are hurting! I use to sell cars, the 2 dealerships that I worked at shut their doors. I found another job, a good job. Then before my 90 days I became very sick (under the care of 4 Doctors) I sank into that dark hole! medical bills, roof leaking, furnace out. Then lighting hit my house! I lost everything electronic, stove, fridge, microwave, tv, pc, UGH! sure insurance took care of that, but then they dropped me. See I've been there, I have cried too! It will become better! A(((BIG HUG))) for you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yes, many of us have been there and came back stronger. I pray that this time will pass and you will be grateful that it has brought you and your husband closer. When I'm in my dark place I find a movie that will force all of my tears to the surface. I don't why, but that helps me. We are all struggling but you are having a particular difficult time. It's a cliche, but it will get better. Remember to reach beyond the breaks.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sometimes I think that to throw it out there and vent it is the best thing we can do. It releases so much of what has been building and holding us hostage.

    I hope that you will begin to see a turn and a change for the better.

    (((hugs)))

    ReplyDelete
  16. i hear ya and i can relate oh so well! too bad we aren't neighbors - we could go have a beer and dish out our dirt even more so -- and i'd even treat you to that beer!!!
    we are in the same boat, i'm just floating way out here in california, and you are just floating way over there instead.
    hang in there -- and go love that little boy - having been in your world with the endometriosis, i know what a gift he is so make him the "why" of your days!!!
    hugs

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hear and feel your pain. I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  18. Amo, I would first like to say you are an awesome woman! To be able to bare your soul the way you have done with this post takes one amazing person. I can so relate to what you have written, at times I thought you were speaking my mind.

    You say you are looking for your passion, I don't think you need to look to far. Your writing is fantastic! The way you are able to put your feelings to words really makes the reader feel what you are saying. I only wish I could do that.

    I pray that things will turn around for you and your family soon. Sending love, hugs, and positive vibes your way!

    Ali...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my dear! I don't think I can add anymore wonderful words then have already been said.

    Hugs to you and yours.
    It will get better, darkest before the dawn and all that:)

    I'm adding you to my blogroll so I don't miss any more of your posts! I want to be there when you get your groove back:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Amo, you are not alone girl! Trust me!

    Obviously, I deal with it all via humor -beats the alternative 'cause I don't have any dogs. But rest assured there are so more of us than not going through the very same thing! Doesn't make it better but that's all I got. Wish it were more!

    Here's hoping for better tomorrows!
    xoxoxoMelyssa

    ReplyDelete

I love your lovely thoughts...