Saturday, December 31, 2011

Update and such

It is late and I am tired, so I'm sure this is going to be a disjointed blog entry. Apologies in advance. :)

So, Sophie acclimated to school fantastically. We are still trying to figure out the rhyme and reason of things, but her report card (which only had 3 weeks worth of time on it) was right where we expected, if not better! She looks forward to school, except she does miss us. I think making new friends, learning new things, and hot lunch (which I'm sure will wear off eventually) is allowing it to go well for now.

Whether or not our goal at home is going well...that's another issue. It seems without Sophie around, Ben's target has become me. So I've been getting a double dose of attitude and what not, during school time. We have not made a lot of progress academically, but there is some progress in attitude and effort, despite the war wounds I have, and his Tourette's management is a slow but effective process, mostly. I am hoping for some huge progress to be made the next 6 months. For next year, we are looking for a solution for Ben and Madeleine that isn't full on homeschooling and isn't full on public school, but allows them to answer to another teaching authority alongside mine, and helps them to become more responsible for their own education, AND catches them up and challenges them. Part of that reason is that I absolutely feel that if I have to wake up another year, day after day, and have to fight my son each day just to get him to write a sentence and do 10 math problems....well, I just can't do it like this anymore, and have run out of solutions. This leads me to my other reason for looking for a more creative solution...

Recently, a friend of mine who is also a homeschooler with a fun gaggle of kids, made the choice to put her kids in public school for the first time. I was so intrigued by her reasoning, which so echoed some of my own thoughts. She said something along the lines of being commanded by God to LOVE her kids, but not necessarily homeschool them. In my life, I know I haven't been loving my children successfully according to my goals (and I KNOW I haven't been homeschooling them well, according to my goals). So, if I end up succeeding at only one, I sure as heck want it to be the LOVING one. If things continue like this, anything resembling a loving mother will be replaced permanently by the grumpy, yelling, angry, defeated mother I'm becoming. (And this isn't necessarily shared to open up a discussion on homeschooling vs. other schooling...I have friends who travel many different paths for their children...this is just a sharing of where I'm at in my journey and what works for you may not work for me and vice verse).

So, I've been pondering this, among other things, as I've entered into a season of darkness. See, I used to have many seasons of darkness, that would last long periods of time (or not, depending). For a few years now, I have felt that the depression I experienced was basically healed, and if it did start to creep in, I could cut it off quickly with a few healthy choices or changes. This time around, though, it's hitting me hard and quick. This is mostly due, I'm sure, to the fact that I have a lot on my plate and am failing at most of it...I'm sure all you women and mothers can relate to my feelings. I'm worried about money and health and school and my weight loss stall and upcoming reunions and family members Tourette's and holidays and cars and housework and finding time for me and healthy cooking and work stress and and and and....yes, that right there is enough to get someone going.

However, I am still nursing a wound, a wound I think gets healed, but then festers up again. It's a wound that, upon examination, I see is steeped in feelings of severe anger, resentment, bitterness, hurt...but most of all, it is soaked in feelings of betrayal and grief. A severe loss. And it's at the point where it's affecting everything now, and I've lost all hope in what I once knew to be the only true thing in my life. And I'm lost without it and not sure I will find it again. So, to fight this battle to LOVE my kids well, I must first battle this WOUND and then battle the DARKNESS creeping in and then argue with the SCHOOLING issues and then I can try to love them well...all while feeling like I'm in a dark room with no flashlight.

So where does that leave me? Well, other than not sleeping and crying a lot and removing myself from as much interaction as possible (including with those awesome kids I'm supposed to be loving) and oh, not leaves me with an absolute feeling of utter defeat. I feel that I am accepting defeat. I quit. I cannot do the money and the schedule and the schooling and be a wife and a mother and friend and ME, successfully. Something needs to change in order to stop the insanity. Tonight, I'm living on about 8 hours of sleep in the past 3 days and I know this may be too much for some of you to read on a blog...I know. I also know that fear and worry and hopelessness are not from the Lord...I know. Sometimes, what the brain knows and what the heart understands seem the same, but actually fail to connect. A mismatched marriage of sorts.

Poor reader, I started with a school update and end on a note of defeat and sadness. Sorry! But here I am, in my insomnia, on the last day of the year 2011, pondering this past year and looking ahead to the coming year. What needs to change in order for me to find my fight again? To find the purpose, the hope, the reason to not allow this season of darkness to finally win? To be fair, we have lost a lot in the past 5 years, and depression supports itself on two pillars...anger and loss. I know this, and know that there's a lot of missing pieces that many reading this don't have. My puzzle may not completely fit together for you, and that's okay. It doesn't necessarily need all the details to see the bigger picture.

I will search this out and grasp at the promises I once upheld as undeniable truth, hoping that they will again manifest themselves as comfort and hope in my heart AND my mind. Friend, if you are a praying sort, I will covet your prayers. If you are a thinking sort, an encouraging sort, I covet your words that build up rather than tear down. If you are a cooking and cleaning sort, I covet your desire to come spruce up my home and kitchen...oh, that's asking too much? Okay then. I'll take whatever I can get.


Coco said...

Wow Stacie so much on your plate. I'm just going to give you my two cents because I know you'll get a hundered different comments! first of all you need to break it down - or as my therapist once told me, peel the onion. Get down to the number one thing that is causing stress and start dealing with it - now. Then you need to make a list of the other things that are real issues (not so much emotionally manifested) and start making the changes necessary. For example, school. It has been a huge issue for you for quite a while now so get rid of the issue. You have too much else you need to focus on like your health and Ben's and ultimately the whole family's mental health. It really is that easy. Stop tearing yourself up about homeschooling and look at the big picture. Twenty years from now will your kids care that you home schooled them? Will they be any more or less successful? Will their faith be any different? You've laid the foundation, now let them fly. (What about homelink? Is that an option?) I'm not saying you shouldn't home school, I'm just thinking that will everything you have going on that is an unecessary burden you are puting on yourself. Simplify. Life doesn't need to be as full of stress as we tend to make it. I am constantly reining myself in to try and keep the stress under control! I could go on and on - you're so where I've been on many levels - but I'm afraid it doesn't sound the same in writing! If you ever want to talk and get kind of an outside opinion let me know! I'm always here.

Julianna Lawson said...

You know I'm praying, my friend! I keep Psalm 42:5 on my nightstand. I'm sure you've heard it, but maybe a little something to hold on to through these tunnels of darkness? "Why so downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God."