Pounding. Thumping. Screaming. Yelling. These are the background noises to my post.
It has been another one of those days. Possibly it has been another one of those weeks, but I think really it has just been the last few days that have been hard. I tend to feel that a small amount of unpleasantness lasts much longer than it actually does. I’m fairly certain what feels like a miserable week has really only been a miserable two days. Yet it feels so much longer.
It all comes down to perspective, I guess.
To me, each day like today feels like an eternity. Each tantrum, each emotional outburst, each physical altercation drains from my body and soul emotional and physical energy. And days when the hits just keep coming, days when there isn’t time (or energy) to replace what has been drained, I find myself in a sort of puddle. Every emotion just oozes from my being as though I were a sieve. I find myself empty, deflated, exhausted. The tears flow freely, for the will to restrain has gone.
This perspective of living day to day, seeing only what has immediately befallen me, has a way of driving all hope from my sight. I see little more than endless drudgery, endless pain, endless hurt. I feel powerless to change my situation. Hope is my comfort no longer.
Tomorrow is Erica’s testing. And then another two weeks and we will have results. Possibly suggestions, ideas, and (dare I hope?) answers. And really, progress has been made, and sometimes things seem better.
But then days like today happen, and it feels like we’ve slid halfway back down a mountain we’ve been struggling to climb for years. And I feel like I’ve got to pick myself and my family up and pull them back up the path. But I don’t have the strength. So I sit. And I cry. Because I can see how far we still have to go before we will reach the top.
But the part I forget, the part that eludes me on days like today, the part I don’t see after such a momentous downward slide, is how far up the mountain we still are.
It’s all about perspective.
I turn around in my mind, and look back on the days that are past. Look back on a child who wouldn’t allow praise or hugs. A child who was unwilling to entertain even the thought that I was proud of her. A child who would spend hours screaming her hate for me, and violently beating herself and others for no apparent reason. A child suffering in silence for weeks before admitting to a physical discomfort or asking for help. A child unwilling to be touched, unwilling to accept from herself anything less than perfection. A child unable to accept and show love. And then I can see that we have come so far. It still seems that the goal is out of reach, but maybe it isn’t as far as I thought. When I turn around, maybe we’re not quite as far down the mountain as I had feared.
And so, as each of my children struggle to be their authentic selves, and I struggle to help them find out what that is, I find I have to remind myself that perspective makes all the difference.
I am going through something of a personal struggle currently. Something that has been as draining to me as my struggles with my children; possibly more so. And I wonder if the idea of perspective would be helpful to me as well. The difficulty isn’t the same, and the parallels are hard to draw, but I’m certain that somewhere in the mess that is my life, there is a common theme. Perspective. The pain, anguish, and frustration I’m experiencing now, personally, feels like such a huge part of my existence. Like so much of my life has been and will be filled with this pain and difficulty. But I have to remind myself that this is only a small part of my existence. That there is more to my life than simply this.
I want so much to believe that there is more to my life than pain and struggle. To know and feel that I am more than mother and wife. That I am also a woman, a human, a person. A feeling, living, being. And so, while I detest the pain and anguish I face on a daily basis, I recall that these emotions validate what I need most right now: that I am. I am. And while that may seem obvious and self-evident, I have to remind myself of it today. Because today, I feel less. I feel drained. Exhausted. Spent. And who is there to comfort me? To dry my falling tears? To hold me and tell me that I will be ok? Times like this, when my heart is hurting and my body is finished, I find little solace in the emptiness. And so I must tell myself, again, that the pain and suffering serve to emphasize the simple fact that I am human. I can feel. And for that, I am grateful. The feelings are hard, and difficult, and painful, but they are there. I’m not so far gone that I am beyond feeling.
Perspective. It’s all about perspective.