Saturday, October 24, 2009

What now...

Life has a way of getting away from me at times. Schedules get hectic, people need things. Lots of things to do and not enough time in a day.

But what about what we all need to keep ourselves healthy? What about attending to our own needs, so we are better prepared to tend to others?

What happens when the stress is just overwhelming?

I'm a compartmentalizer. Not even sure if that is a proper word, but it's what I am; it's what I do.

Right now, there's just too many things going on. I've got so many compartments in my head where I've stashed things. Well, my head probably resembles some of the homes featured on Hoarders. It's time to start cleaning up, thinking things through, getting organized, and trying to decide what to keep and what to toss.

Actually, I could probably benefit by seeing a good therapist. But I'll think about that another day.

I'm not even entirely sure where to start. Further, I have to be careful what details I talk about, because some of it is so intensely private, other family members wouldn't appreciate me divulging details.

Finances are one of the biggest stressers (stressors?) right now. Mike has been working, but on temporary, seasonal type jobs. Those are coming to an end. Staying current and providing basic necessities is a struggle we're barely keeping up with. Yes, it could be worse. It could be a lot worse, so I'm grateful he's found the temp stuff. But winter is coming. He did get an offer from a former employer, which is a blessing. But it's also a curse, as the former employer tends to be...honestly, the man can be a royal ass, and is difficult to work for. But it's work. Full time work, even through the winter. Honestly, Mike doesn't have a choice but to take this offer.

Mike's dad continues to battle cancer. It is taking a toll even though the man is a fighter. He's started a new type of treatment and we're all saying our prayers that it helps. Mike talks to his parents daily, and I think it's helping all of them. They've gotten a lot closer during all this.

But Mike also learned of some family information decades old, that pretty much turned his world upside down. He's working through it, but it's brought out anger, disbelief, mistrust, despair, and a bevy of hurt feelings. It's spilled out over all of us, because we are a tight unit.

My side of the family isn't with its travails, either. I have a brother who recently separated with his wife, and a divorce is looming. She's moved out, the kids are going back and forth. The reasons behind the separation are difficult to grasp, harder to understand, and impossible to forget. I hate seeing my brother in pain, trying to find how to deal with his new reality, maintaining some sense of normal for their kids. And the kids don't understand. They're too young. They're too innocent. My heart breaks for the kids.

Another brother's actions are the latest cause of stress. It's not even stress. It's something far worse, that I haven't found words for. No one in the family has seen or heard from him in over a year. Many of us have been fearful of his return, as he's threatened all of us. Now he's back, having done something so horrendous it has shaken the entire family right down to the bedrock of our foundation. The road ahead is long and will be full of pain. Yet it will also bring about a sense of relief that we've all needed for way too long.

There has been so much turmoil, I've made a point of trying to find a positive aspect to each and every day. Some days, it's as simple as being thankful for a hot cup off coffee. I'm so thankful for the friends and family willing to listen. I'm eternally grateful for all their shoulders, as they've caught many of my tears. And were it not for modern medicine, I just might have fallen off the edge of reason.

I cling to the knowledge that all this will pass. Pain will lessen. Hurt will fade. Solutions will be found. And normal will return. But normal will be different. Normal will put us in a vast minority here, and in the unfortunate majority there.

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