Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hello, Dear Friend...

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I have been needing an outlet lately, someone or something to tell my thoughts and feelings to as of late and I have just been keeping them bottled up mostly... and then I realized it had been a very long time since I have turned to my blog. There have been times in these past few years when writing on my blog was the most therapeutic thing I could think to do... so I guess you could say my blog has felt like a dear friend to me. And I had forgotten that this dear friend is always willing to listen and let me clear my thoughts and feelings through writing on it.

Who knows if this will make any sense... its late and I am tired and my thoughts are going a million miles an hour and jumping all over the place in my mind, but here goes...

I cannot even express how busy life has been. I have been getting way behind on my blog... well, behind more than I usually do anyway. Between preparing the photo blocks that I have been creating, spending time with family, fulfilling my calling in church once a month, compiling our extended family newsletter, hanging out with friends once in a while, and trying to spend more quality time with Aaron Jr, my blog has been taking a back seat... and it stresses me out because it is on my mind so often that I need to get caught up.

I think its a good thing that I am so busy, but at the same time, it makes it so I feel like I am going through life right now in a bit of a haze and trying to stay busy mostly because the alternative would be bringing me back to somewhere I should not be.

I finished our extended family newsletter today after working on it for the past week in a lot of what would be 'spare time'. Once I got it done, I laid down on the couch where Aaron Jr was watching a TV show. I laid there trying to close my tired and strained eyes and trying to quiet my brain and to just relax. Then my mind zeroed in on how busy I feel lately and how I wish life would slow down a bit. Then my mind went to a time in my life when I didn't have so many demands on my time.

...It was back in those first couple of years after Aaron passed away. When we still lived in our beautiful home and when I was a mom to a 2 then 3 year old little boy. It was a time when I still had the stresses of finances, but mostly I was focused on being a single mom and the grieving process I was right in the thick of. I look back on those first couple of years and can remember times when Aaron Jr and I would not leave our home for days... times when I would not even change my own clothes for days... sometimes only leaving our home to run to the nearest gas station to get some milk and rent a few more movies at the redbox there. I would put a movie in for Aaron Jr on one TV, then I would watch another movie on the other TV.

During the summer months when the weather was nice, I would venture out and take Aaron Jr and Ode for a walk to the park and I would push Aaron on the swing for a while, then we would go home and do the same routine again. Movies, TV, movies, TV, eat, sleep, cry, etc. I wish I had a count of how many movies I watched during those first couple of years because it was my escape. It was how I chose to cope during some very dark and lonely days and nights. Sometimes it would get so lonely, we would get in the car and just drive to the closest grocery store at 10 or 11 at night just to be around people. We didn't know anyone, but at least it made me feel like the world was still turning.

These are some of the thoughts that went through my mind today as I laid there trying to relax... then I thought about how drastically different those first couple of years of grieving were compared to this past year and a half. I still miss Aaron every moment of every day, I am still very lonely, I still feel heart broken and just broken in general... but I am realizing that keeping myself busy and occupied with productive things is helping me to feel like I am a part of the world instead of like I am separated from the world.

I wish I could make my thoughts make sense in written form, but they are so jumbled in my mind.

To be completely honest with myself, I will say that keeping myself busy in these ways has actually begun to make me feel numb again because I rarely have been allowing myself to sit and just think. If there is a free moment, I busy myself with this or that, productive or not. I cannot say how long it has been since I have allowed myself to cry. These past few months, I have been pushing most emotions away unless it is a happy emotion or basically any other emotion other than grief. I think I am partly staying so busy as a way to avoid my feelings instead of coping with the things I am meant to be feeling. Who even knows? :)

Yes, it has been three and a half years since Aaron passed away. Yes, I have healed some. Yes, I am in a better place now than in those first months of grieving. But I still can't figure out or logically come to a conclusion about when I will begin to feel like a normal person again. I know that I am still living as though I am waiting around for something. I don't even allow myself to make certain plans in life because it is just Aaron Jr and me... and there are things I don't want to do until our family feels more complete again. I am living in limbo. I feel like I am pretending most days... pretending that life is normal, but then I get a reality check probably about 33 times a day that life is anything but normal. All I have to do is see a family together, or hear someone talk about what they are going to make for dinner before their husband gets home from work... the simplest little comments from others about their normal life brings on the reality check so many times a day.

I don't know how to move past this mental block and live life the way it is now instead of waiting for something great to happen. I don't know how to do it. And no matter how often I try to talk myself into moving forward and live life AS IT IS... my heart and mind are constantly, CONSTANTLY telling me that this is not as life SHOULD BE. And my heart and mind are right.

I guess basically my thoughts are that I keep thinking I am doing better because I am keeping busy... but when it comes right down to it... I still have a long way to go. I wish I knew how long that will be.

Then after all is said and done, after writing all of this out and getting my bottled up feelings out, I begin to feel very ungrateful because my life is nowhere near as difficult as some people's. So, I think I need to share a few things that I am grateful for...

I am grateful for a son who continues to make me laugh through life. I love Him.

I am grateful for Jesus Christ who knows the pain in the deepest corners of my heart because He has felt it and bourne it for me. I love Him.

I am grateful for our needs being met... miraculously at times.

I am grateful for a family who will always be right here when I need them and sometimes even when I think I don't need them. I love them.

I am grateful for Heavenly Father who loves me and hopes for my happiness even more than I do... I am His daughter and that knowledge helps me to get through some of the darkest moments of my darkest days. I love Him.

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Tawnie J said...

Love you Leslie.
Your life is as normal as anyone elses. My heart aches for you often but you are beautiful and fun to be around and more things are in store for you.
Stay busy. Go to the temple often. Take care of yourself. Love you lots.

Anonymous said...

I have never commented before but have been reading for years. I experienced something similar to what you're talking about when my 17 year marriage (19 year relationship) ended, due to divorce. I also had one son at home. He was 12 at the time of the divorce. I understand now that the problem I was experiencing was repression, as you state, and depression. Both of those happened because of not accepting my current situation as normal. I'm going to say that again: not accepting my current situation. Things didn't change for me until two years ago, when I became very ill. As I was recovering, I realized that I had to accept my life if I wanted to keep my life. This may or may not make sense, resonate, or help you. But it did work for me, eventually. Keep believing in yourself.

Leslie said...

thank you 'anonymous'.
i have to admit, for a long time now i have been trying so hard to accept this life as normal now... the struggle is making my mental accept the change in thinking.
sometimes i think i am doing it, then i will realize i am still not truly thinking of my life as normal.

i will keep trying for sure though. thank you for your comment. i cannot imagine going through a divorce. i am so sorry.

Kristi said...

No one's life is 'normal'. There is no such thing. Maybe being busy is normal. If that is the case, you have arrived :)
What you are living now is the new "normal". You can make it as great or crumby as you want to make it.
Love ya

Rebecca Adams said...

We all experience some trial in our lives, some harder and worse than others. There are many times I even look at other families out there and get slapped in the face with reality--that I don't have kids yet and don't know if I ever will have kids (at least not biologically... I may adopt if that's the only way I can get kids). Even though our trials are different, we can still somewhat know what each other is feeling. I know that keeping myself busy has taken my mind off of my infertility which really helps. Otherwise, there are days when I'm so very sad and don't think it's even worth it to keep living. The thing that really keeps me going and living is knowing I am loved. I know you are very loved by all your family and friends...and even those you have never met! Please know that the Lord has a plan for each of us--though it seems that some of us have harder plans than others. The Lord is in charge! That's another thing that keeps me going--knowing there are better things in store for me in the future. Time just needs to hurry up. :) Love you Leslie!

Tracie said...

Just remember that no ones life is as perfect as it may seem. Just take it one day at a time, it is okay to say "Somedays I can, and somedays I can't." And learn to be okay with the days you can't. Accepting the new normal doesn't mean you have to forget the old normal, that you can't miss it. I agree with Kristi that it is what you make of it. While I haven't had to experience death or divorce I do know that from the trials I have had that the Lord has a plan for each of us, that he loves us, and knows us by name. And though it may not seem like it at the time if we follow his promptings he will guide us to where we need to be. And looking back I can say that if it weren't for some of the trials I have had some of my greatest blessings and help that I didn't know that I needed/or would need He provided. Like Hubby losing his job and having to move back with my parents. A trial at the time but looking back living there when we found out we were pregnant with the twins and being so sick I couldn't get off the couch to take care of my oldest,when they were newborns and Hubby was working nights Mom's help was something He knew I would need. And having it was such a blessing.

I know you see the blessings, but sometimes knowing they are there doesn't make the trial easier just more bearable. Sorry this is so long. Again like someone else said many people love you and pray for you. Just keep living life one day at a time.


Anonymous said...

From the "same anonymous" as above: You're welcome, Leslie. My son just turned 21 recently, so you see it took me 7 years to finally get that my life was "my life as it is now." Acceptance is so hard sometimes, and you understand that I am not talking about "making up my mind to feel differently." There is a quote bandied about, attributed to Lincoln, that goes something like this: "People are as happy as they make up their minds to be." Well, yes and no. It is true that we all have trials and we all need to learn to accept, but getting our heart/mind/spirit to really understand what is meant by "accept," and getting those in synch, is what is so difficult. You are beginning to see it though, and in less time than it took me. Perhaps because my ex-husband was and still is in this world, it was harder for me to let go of him completely. I feel for you. I wish I had good advice. I don't. But I appreciate this opportunity, however small, to connect to you.

Leslie said...

i am grateful for the caring and kind comments from all of you. i will get there. i know i will.

we all have struggles in life... i hope for happiness for us all.

Karey said...

Love you, Les. And you need to remember that normal is a false reality. If we all knew what each person goes through, struggles with, worries about, and cries over, we'd realize that there isn't anyone that's living a "normal" life.

You're doing great. You're coping, learning and doing the best you can for yourself and Aaron. That's something to be proud of.

There are good things now and there will be good things to come. Don't be discouraged.

Leslie said...
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Leslie said...

maybe people don't know what 'normal' i would love to have.

the 'normal' i want is to have a complete traditional family. me (the mom), a dad, kids. that's all (that's everything to me).

i don't think 'normal' means i will have a life free of sorrow or pain, but the 'normal' i want is to have that best friend (husband) to share those sorrows / pains / heartaches with.

i'm not asking for a stress free or problem free life. that does not exist. but MY idea of normal does exist... i want a husband for me and a dad for my son.

and that is my two cents for today.

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie, remember I told you about my friend Penny? Her husband died 5 and a half years ago, without warning, leaving her alone with a 16 month old. So many parallels to you. I want you to know that in October last year she fell in love with someone who has made her and her daughter very happy. It took nearly 5 years for this happen..for her to be really ready to let this happen, too. It hasn't meant that she has stopped missing her husband...she hasn't, but she has found room for the memories and the future to coexist now.

It will happen for you, too. You just need to give yourself space and time.

You keep writing when you need to. There are people around you and in "blog" land who care about you and want to listen.



Leslie said...

thank you Jane.


Anonymous said...