Thursday, March 18, 2010

Fake it 'til you make it?

I don't know how old I was when I first heard this old addage. I do know that for some reason, it made sense to me. It sounded like a great idea. All you have to do is smile and act like your happy and somehow that will transport you to happiness? Cool.

Or not. That stupid addage drug me through all my teen years, "faking it" without ever helping me to "make it" and still haunts me today.

See the problem with that addage and other similar pieces of advice is that faking it does not help you make anything real, just a nice facade, and eventually, you will have to deal with whatever is bothering you. You can bottle it up as long as you are capable of keeping the top on your bottle, but regardless of the strength of your top or the size of your bottle, eventually the pressure will get to you.

I've been dealing with a lot this year and its only March. January 3rd, I found out I was pregnant. January 21st, I began to have my first miscarriage. February 8th, my husband lost his job. Late in the night February 20th or early in the morning February 21st, my beloved Papa died. Monday morning I POAS and saw that old familiar 2 pink lines. And Monday afternoon, I dropped my husband off at the recruiter's office so he could spend the night at a hotel tonight and swear his oath of enlistment Tuesday morning. I'm not sure I've properly dealt with any of this. I'm 100% sure I haven't properly dealt with ALL of this.

But fake it til you make it is not going to get me through this. My baby is still dead. My grandfather is still dead. My husband is still going to ship out May 9th, leaving me alone with our 3 kiddos and pregnant. And no amount of faking is going to change the fact that in 2 months, I will be pregnant and raising my 3 kids alone for 17 weeks or longer while my husband does basic training and AIT. I'm going to have to deal with this -- all of it -- before he goes.

The problem is, I don't know how. I didn't learn those skills as a teen. . . just fake it 'til you make it.

I don't have any delusions that this will be easy. I am finding it difficult to feel so many conflicting emotions at once without dealing with the underlying issues. In fact, I'm not even sure what the underlying issues are much less how to deal with them. I guess I could start by just processing how I feel.

I'm scared. Scared that I will fail miserably on my own with the kiddos. Scared I don't have the patience or strength to handle the house, kids, and pregnancy on my own. Equally scared that I will handle it fantastically on my own and discover that having my husband around only serves to make me less productive. Scared that this is just one step in the path to my husband deciding he does not want to be with us anymore, that joining the army is really his way of trying to escape us. Scared to be excited or hopeful about the baby for fear that I will lose this one as well and that it will hurt more if I get excited and lose it.

I'm angry. Angry that he gets to follow his dreams and I get to stay here and be responsible. Angry that he doesn't seem to take advantage of the time he has with us. Angry that I seem to be drawn to men who just want to run off to the army.

I'm feeling abandoned, unimportant, unloved, expendible. Its not a fun way to feel. But its just feelings. They come and go and ebb and flow like tides, although not with as regular a pattern. I *know* you can't live your life based on feelings. I *know* things will likely be better than I fear they will be. I *know* how I feel will change. I *know* God won't give me more than I can handle. What I don't know is how to deal with these feelings and get past them. All I know is not to fake it til I make it because if I follow that path, I'll never make it.

1 comment:

  1. I just started following your blog and wanted to take a minute and chime in. I could have *almost* written this post myself many many months ago. I am home alone with the kids all but 4 months out of the year with a husband who is an overseas (Iraq) contractor who was also prior military in our first few years of marriage. I just wanted to tell you that we moms have this amazing ability to take control and run a (semi)one parent household like no other. I have been doing this for quite a few years now. The one thing I found that rings most true in your posting is this:
    "Equally scared that I will handle it fantastically on my own and discover that having my husband around only serves to make me less productive"
    I adore my husband and he is truly my best friend but I swear I can run a tight household 8 months out of the year but for some reason those 4 months he is home I become this lazy bum...well, I like your way of putting it better...I become "less productive" for sure. Maybe I just need the break and thankfully he steps up and picks up my slack without a complaint....possibly because he knows how hard I work at this family when he is not here. I went through an entire pregancy last year in my own for the most part until the very end and the birth. My scariest moment was when it was time for him to leave again....and leave me with not one but 2 children and one of them being a newborn. Guess what? We are doing great and all my fears were just that....fears. I hope you are able to make this transition with ease. Most days are great and run smoothly...some are not by any means, but you CAN do it, I promise....and eventually you will have it down to a science. I hope you get SOME comfort from my comment, even though it will take some trial and error on your part to find what works. I just wanted to tell you I completely understand almost all of your fears. Good Luck.