"I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside."~William R. Young, The Shack
I was feeling disappointed by my children today and so I did what I do when I'm feeling down and went to Borders to get some new books. I told myself that if I can't feel peace in my real life, then the next best thing would be to get some books so that I had a place to escape. There are times I want to scream and never stop screaming, but instead, I try to talk myself out of it by telling myself that this must be what life has in store for me. I find comfort telling myself this because it feels less like a punishment and more like a life lesson that I'm meant to learn. I know that I'm more fortunate than most, but that doesn't stop me from having moments when I just feel trapped down a deep, dark hole while the world goes on all around me. I'm on the bottom waving like crazy and still, no one sees me.
My son has been home from college since mid May. He had a job in the state where he attends college and I wanted him to stay there this summer to continue to earn as much money as possible to help pay for his tuition, etc. He stayed in an apartment this past year and the lease was not up until this August so I knew we would have to pay for an apartment he would not be living in and I felt the best thing was for him to just stay there and work and maybe come visit for a couple of weeks.
Well, he wanted to come home for the summer and I do not blame him one bit for that, however, when you are attending a college out of state the cost is astronomical and I felt that he needed to contribute as much help as possible. But my husband told him he could come home as long as he got a job. So even though I knew I was right and knew he should have stayed up there where he HAD a job already, he came home. Don't you think I want to quit my life for a few months and get away every now and then? Because I do. But reality asks that I stay here and not walk away from my responsibilities just because I'm sick of the scenery, so I stay.
He went back to the little job he's had for the past several years where they do not give him many hours. It was discussed and agreed upon that he would find another job to supplement the little one but that never happened. A big show of going around and filling out applications (after I had a little blowup where I told him to go out and not come back until he had another job) was made with NO second job ever materializing. I've tried to be patient but I've run out of patience. I was talking to him today about it AGAIN and he tells me that the little job he has suits him just fine because he's been able to continue working out and refining his hockey skills! He then told me that he's not worried about not having enough money and that I needed to stop "whining" to him about it. This is the reply of a person who knows he can call his father at the drop of the hat and tell him that he's out of money and know that I will then be asked to deposit money into his account. Against my will, I'm his personal money tree.
Sigh. Here's my big problem. Whenever I take this discussion up with my husband, he will initially agree with me that our son is not really holding up his side of the bargain, but then he will slip into the conversation that at least our son is playing hockey better than he ever has before. Well, I'm sorry but this doesn't impress me. I mean, if he was going to become a professional, that would be one thing, but chances are slim to none that will happen. Also, he's decided his major is going to be Geography. Huh? WTF can you do with a major like that? So we're spending enormous amounts of money for him to basically skate and get a useless diploma. I cannot tell you how much this bothers me, how totally ridiculous I think this whole thing is. But I cannot say this to anyone here because when I do, I get told that I'm trying to begrudge him this opportunity, or that I'm not being "supportive." Neither is true but try telling that to them.
And the best part? He really wants to be a cop or a fireman so after all this he will then have to go and get training for either one of those professions so that's MORE time he'll be dependent on us for everything. My husband doesn't seem to think this is a problem but I think it's a HUGE problem. I have no one to talk to about it because apparently my job is to just go along. But I feel resentful and the feeling doesn't go away.
Moving along. Our oldest daughter moved home to focus on finally finishing up college. She's been going to college off and on for SIX YEARS. Her major changes with the wind. She's been to three different colleges, and I think that part of the time she was living away from home, she was NOT attending college but lied about it. I finally told her that I did not care what happened in the past but that I needed to see grades and transcripts from the time she WAS in school so that she can sort her life out and get moving in the right direction. She has been claiming for the past year that she wants to be an x-ray technician but then we were speaking to her the other day and my husband asked about it and she goes, "well, I don't know if I really want to do that anymore." WTF? I know it's difficult to know what to do with your life, but PLEASE give me a break and make some sort of decision THIS DECADE. She's incredibly smart. She can speak 3 different languages fluently but doesn't stick with anything long enough to get anywhere. So my husband tells her that he will pay for HER tuition in the fall as long as we have proof that she is going full time. HUH? I nearly flipped my lid on that one because SHE'S BEEN GOING TO SCHOOL FOR 6 YEARS AND I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD BE REWARDING HER FOR BEING A FLAKE/LIAR.
Then I hear him tell her he'd pay for her to get a personal trainer. Um....WTFFFFFFFFFF? When I heard THAT, I had to bust into that conversation and tell him that I did not think so---that all summer long I've been wanting to join a gym because I'm getting tired of running out in the heat every day but that I didn't even bring up the subject because we don't have an extra car for me to use at my disposal. There is no fucking way that I am going to allow him to pay for a personal trainer for her while I sit home vacuuming and baking cookies and doing laundry a million times a day to keep towels in the linen closet. Not when she's 24 1/2 years old and has been working full time all summer. But this is the sort of insanity that I deal with here. I keep looking around thinking it might be some sort of joke, but it's not. If common sense came up and smacked my family members in the face, I swear to you that none of them would know what hit them.
In another year, my youngest will be in college and I will then have THREE children in college, two of which should be graduated by now but who are instead taking their own sweet time living in a fantasy land with the full support of their father. I'm the mean mom who wants my children to get off their asses and grow up. I'm the the whiner, the nagger. I used to fear them all leaving me but that fear has now been replaced by the fear that they will NEVER leave. I can only mention this to my husband every once in a while because he loves having everyone around. He looks at me with an appalled expression as if it's unnatural for a mother NOT to want to wait on their kids 24/7 for the rest of their lives. He seems to forget I've been doing this since I was 23 and am TIRED of it. I have to remind him, and I'm sick of him never thinking of me first, of never asking me what I might want for myself other than this. I know that his greatest desire is for me to quietly just go along with whatever decisions get made and not question anything. My childhood was spent doing that and then I unknowingly picked a life that continued the pattern. Congratulations for being consistent, your prize is masking tape that can be used to seal your mouth shut so you're not tempted to voice a contrary opinion.
So I get in the car and I drive to Borders. I pick out books because I don't drink or do drugs and I need a place to escape to when I feel I'm going crazy. I give myself pep talks, too. I tell myself that there are reasons for life unfolding the way it is and that I've got to hang in there. I tell myself I'm needed here and that's it's wonderful to feel needed, and who wouldn't want to be needed and loved the way I am. But it's this constant battle to be positive when nothing is how I want it to be. I take each day and tell myself I can do anything for a day. In the back of my mind I am unwaveringly hopeful that there is a plan for me other than this "going along" life.
I'm pretty much counting on it.