4.15.2013

Struggling

I've been staring at this empty page for well over a month since my last blog post.  Not sure of what to write.  Or really, how to write it.  I'm hesitating with how honest I should be. 

So many pictures to update.  So many stories to tell.  So many blog posts waiting to be written.  Sheridan's 3rd grade performance at school.  Matt's 3rd (and last) R&R.  Our trip to California.  And Barbados.  Riley's new softball season.  My insanity at running for PTA president next year.

Yet I sit here.  And try to figure out how put a positive spin on everything.  The same way I always do when asked the question, "How are you doing?"  Because really?  Do you care?  Or are you just asking the question for the sake of asking ... not really listening to the answer or wanting to hear anything other than, "I'm fine.  Things are great."

But the reality after Matt being gone for over 10 months now, soon to return from his second unaccompanied tour, is that I can't.  For it isn't all sunshine and rainbows over here.  I've been struggling.


I'm struggling with my patience.  It's really wearing thin some days.

I'm struggling with our activities, the overlap we often have, and the agonizing decisions that I have to make to choose one over another.

I'm struggling with accepting that the friends who emphatically stated they'd be there to help, to check in, to be there, weren't.

I'm struggling with recognizing my social circle is far smaller than I realized.  And acquiescing that so many people who I truly thought were friends, are merely just acquaintances. 

I'm struggling with trying to be a good mother.  A fair mother.  A fun mother.   I raise my voice too  much.  I say, "NO" far too often.  I don't play outside as much as we should.

I'm struggling with putting Grady in preschool all day, and then not spending any time with him when he gets home.  I schlep him all around, and then thrust an iPad in front of him to occupy his time so I can get stuff done.

I'm struggling with knowing next year is going to be an expensive year for us, and losing all the extra pay that Afghanistan brought to our pocketbook.

I'm struggling with getting to my email.  And responding in a timely manner to friends.  And family.  I fear that my delay appears as apathy, which couldn't be further from the truth.  But perception is reality ...

I'm struggling with cutting out all the bullsh*t in my life. 

I'm struggling with finding myself.  For I fear I've lost who I am under the mounds of cr*p sitting on my desk.

I'm struggling with the decision of selling vs. keeping our house when we move to El Salvador, knowing that we'll never move back into it again.

I'm struggling with Riley's feelings of angst to move again as she's now made such a strong group of girlfriends.  

I'm struggling with trying to disassociate myself from negativity.  I just don't want to be around it or partake in it anymore.  While it's so easy to be caught in the trap of looking at the glass half-empty, I NEED to focus on only seeing it filled to the rim with expensive red wine.

I'm struggling with maintaining the enthusiasm to keep this blog going.  


This isn't a cry for help.  Or a passive-aggressive search for sympathy.  It's the explanation as to why I've been so radio silent here these days, and on social media.  It's the culmination of too much time alone and way too much time to over-think.  It's the catharsis of accepting that I'm flawed.  That I'm trying.  That I believe in myself enough to know that this is too shall eventually pass.

Despite all this honesty, I AM happy.  I AM okay.  I DO recognize those who are dear friends.  And I DO see the beautiful light (in the shape of a 5'10'' soulmate) at the end of the tunnel.

But for now.  I'm Jill.  And I'm struggling with admitting I'm struggling. 

26 comments:

Christy said...

I love you! I love your honesty! You are an amazing mom, wife and friend. I can't wait to see you - it better be sooner than later. xoxo

Danielle Beres said...

Very well said Jill! You are not alone in all these struggles. I feel like the difference between men and women is that we feel guilty about working or staying home, or putting on the tv or handing over the ipad so we can do what we need to do, even if it's just going to the bathroom all day. Men have these things too but they don't struggle with the guilt. This doesn't mean they don't care or wish for more time and space to attend to everything, they are just wired without that guilt adapter. I need a lesson in that although I'm not sure rewiring can be taught. Hang in there, your kids and your husband are so lucky to have you. None of us should feel we need to hide behind the wall of perfection. You're right about people asking "how are you," many of them really don't want to know. I have had to face the sad realization that even people whom I thought I was close to don't want to know about anything that isn't perfect. For now know that you're being thought of and the next time you do come to northern California let's have a big glass of red wine, with Julie C also and let all our kids entertain each other! Any chance you can come in June for the BBYO Reunion? Thinking of you! xo Dani

Headless Mom said...

I totally hear you. There are seasons when we all struggle like this. Just keep reminding yourself that its a season. It will pass. Be silent if you need to. Take care of yourself and the kids. We'll be here cheering you on whether you write or not. Xo my sister.

Kate said...

I've got nothing helpful to say, but I'm thinking about you and sending you a virtual high five, because you deserve it for all that you've done/are doing, and all on your own.

Kirsten said...

Thinking of you! I wish I had more words of meaning to leave here.

My mom is having some major health issues and life changes and I am just barely keeping my head above water. I feel your struggles.

Jill Ann said...

Thinking and praying for you all. I have a husband who works a ton and it is not easy. I go through mommy guilt daily. Your children look so happy in your pictures. You are doing a great job!! Keep working towards that light at the end of the tunnel.

Mom24 said...

Oh Jill! How could you not be struggling? Hang in there. Make the changes you need to, be good to yourself. I'm sorry about Riley, I can imagine how you feel, it would be so hard, but you're doing what you need to do, with support, she'll be okay. A friend of Julianna's moved two years ago and I'm amazed at how much they all keep in touch, texting and email really do shrink the world.

It's so sad to think of you having to sell the house, I know how much you love it, and rightly so.

I'm sorry that you're pulled in so many different directions with so little support. Thinking of you.

Bethany and Will said...

From the moment I first started reading your words a couple of years ago, I have thought of you as an amazing woman. Some days you won't feel strong, but you are. Some days you will feel defeated, but you're not. Tighten your circle of women, pick up a good book (I highly recommend The Red Tent), and know that everyday won't be sunshine and butterflies, but everyday you have children, friends, and family that love you to the moon and back.

Connie said...

I think, the fact that you are able to come out and admit that you are struggling, and yet dealing with it, and yet struggling, shows that you are, very much, ok. :) You are looking at, observing, weighing obligations and wants and needs and everything and... moving on... and feeling overwhelmed and still marching on. This is tough, but healthy. I think the best, the only, way to deal with any and all of life's problems and challenges, is to first recognize and accept them. Can't deal with something if you're too afraid to look at it honestly. This post is you, looking at life, right in its beady little eyeball.

Shannon said...

I'm so sorry you are struggling. Hang in there.

amy said...

Many hugs to you. It sucks when you that the people that you thought would be there are not there and they were just paying lip service to what you thought was a good friendship.
It sucks that you are the only one that is "there" all the time for the children and running a household.
There will be a light at the end of the tunnel, believe me, it's up ahead for you.
Again, hugs to you.

Anna See said...

Hey, Love. This is such a refreshing post. NOT that I'm glad you are struggling, but it is so real to just get it all out there about how hard and disappointing life and people can be. I admire you, beautiful lady! You have been walking a hard road and you keep putting one high-heeled foot in front of the other. That counts, I assure you! xoxoxo

Andrea W said...

I can relate to most everything you said. I don't write much anymore either, I just shuck up a couple pictures every now and then and call it a 'blog post'.

I tend to yell at my kids, especially my hormonal almost 11 yr old. Everything irritates me sometimes, it rains all the time, it's still barely 45 degrees during the day, I don't want to play Polly pockets, or dolls, or color, or play games. I also never want to clean or go to the store.

I think we all struggle sometimes but with a partner half way around the world it all just gets magnified.

Lynne said...

I have nothing insightful to add, just wanted to let you know someone else is here empathizing with you. Thank you for sharing.

ericajgreen said...

Thanks for being honest. You are human. And all we can do is try. Every day. One foot in front of the other. And, please, know that we all have your back--us EFMs all over the globe. Now go and do one really nice thing for yourself (mani pedi, ice cream, buy a new magazine, go for a run--whatever). And make sure to find a way to take care of you, even in small ways. all the time.
good luck with this journey. good luck with today.

ericajgreen said...

Thanks for being honest. You are human. And all we can do is try. Every day. One foot in front of the other. And, please, know that we all have your back--us EFMs all over the globe. Now go and do one really nice thing for yourself (mani pedi, ice cream, buy a new magazine, go for a run--whatever). And make sure to find a way to take care of you, even in small ways. all the time.
good luck with this journey. good luck with today.

Sherry Crasta said...

Hi Jill,
I know how you feel, being new in DC area with infant twins and then Damon leaving for Pakistan had me in the same boat. This is what makes FS so tough, our good friends cannot be part of our daily life always. Everyone means well but sometimes there is no substitute for being right there as things are happening. Anyway your tunnel is almost over!

All the best with everything - the journey, the everyday things, the big decisions and the move....shareen kitterman

The New Diplomats Wife said...

Hang in there...people always assume that coming "home" to live in DC is the easy post but it's often not so for the many reasons that you list, and many more on top of that. You wouldn't be a caring wife, mother, friend and individual if there weren't some of those questions. As for the posts, the words will come when they're meant to. Good luck with the many decisions ahead.

kaley said...

Thank you for your honesty! We are half way through a UT right now and I am feeling the exact same way as you. Stay strong mama!

Sadie said...

Frankly, I'd be worried if you weren't struggling! (Maybe that doesn't sound supportive, but I do mean it to be.) I wonder if it's that much harder because the end is in sight. I don't know, having not gone through this, but perhaps. You've had an incredibly stressful year - only a year after doing the exact same thing. I hope in the near future you get some "you" time. And you'd have some very sad loyal readers who would miss you if you didn't blog. And who don't mind if it's only every 6 weeks. Sending hugs!

Michelle Heidbreder said...

Hi Jill,

I started reading your blog a few years back when considering a possible FS career. From what I have learned about you, you are a powerful and inspiring woman/wife/mother/friend/global citizen. I think you touch more lives than you realize with this blog- I hope you keep it up. Sending positive vibes your way.

Fields of Heather said...

THANK YOU. I have felt the same way. Over and over again. And I HATE how everyone re-appears when your spouse comes home on R&R and you have to share your precious time together with those who had promised to be there for you, but never were at all! But lo and behold, they want a piece of your time when he's around just so briefly! Am I awful and selfish for feeling that way? And I hate these people for not keeping their promises, for making me feel self-doubt because they apparently favor my husband's company over mine. UGH. Thank you so much for saying what I have felt before! You are not alone!

Robin said...

Sending much love, a good ear to listen, a strong shoulder to lean on, and a reminder that we WILL get that chance to meet up this summer - the only question being wine or spiked coffee?

How I wish you were still living here - I'd be over there with wine and chocolate in a flash.

xox

S said...

hugs and prayers

LeesOnTheGo said...

Thank you for your honesty, Jill. It's refreshing...

NKL

Sirianna said...

Thank you for being real and honest. Refreshing. And like somebody else already mentioned: it would be abnormal if you wouldn't be struggling. It is damn hard to be on your own and to worry over your husband and to keep everything going and not to loose it. Somedays nearly impossible. And now you are already exhausted because you have been doing it for awhile. So yes, it gets harder longer you do it. Good news is - the end is near! This lifestyle is hard for the spouses. Real hard (my husband is DS too). The sacrefices we make are ridiculous. The crazy choices we have to make.....I can also so relate to the lack of True Friends in my corner. I have them, but not in this city and there is nothing to compare to face to face meeting with True Friend when things are hard. That comes evidently clear when your spouse leaves. Regular friends are great when your spouse is around and he is your True Friend, but when he exits, you would need the True Friend. Sigh. Big hug your way!

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