As I sat in my therapists office Monday the only way I could describe the way I'm feeling is disconnected.
I haven't felt like writing.
I have stopped texting with friends. Two friends who I've had an ongoing group chat have gotten kind of annoying about my absence which is only making me want to ignore them more.
I've been trying really hard to focus on the kids and make sure they don't notice the difference. Not sure how successful I've been.
We went to the beach with K's family and for multiple reasons I spent the entire week fighting overwhelming feelings of anxiety and annoyance. I woke up most mornings just wanting to go home. Which I did at the last minute Friday night and, as I drove off island facing a late night of driving, it was the best I'd felt all week.
I feel disconnected from K. That makes me unbelievably sad.
I don't feel like myself.
As we tried to troubleshoot why I'm feeling this way, the only thing I could pinpoint was that I am unbelievably tired emotionally, mentally, and physically.
I was thinking this morning that when we adopted the girls I didn't take any time off. I continued to work. I kept up with all the kids activities. My mom duties around the house were the same. Only now we added two traumatized children (one with special needs). This is in stark contract to the 3-4 months I took off for all of the boys' births.
As I tried to establish the new normal for our family, I was determined to move forward without skipping a beat. I've definitely documented in this space how hard that has been.
I'm sensing a new shift in our family too. D especially is sliding into puberty and getting more disgruntled by the girls. Even A is starting to verbalize his frustration with E and M and how they are so disruptive to our family dynamic. E being home this summer has not been easy. Lately there has been renewed talk about dying and the little girls and how the decision came about. It's hard to navigate. It's part of the parenting gig that is especially draining for me. Probably because it triggers my own grief and trauma.
Problem is that now after 5 years of this most people think that we are all totally adjusted and it's a breeze now. I get kids to activities, dinners are made, parties thrown, work done (mostly), appointments are made, school stuff organized, hugs given, and somewhere in all of that I've gotten lost. I've lost weight and nobody seems to notice. I get shingles and was told by everyone I need to slow down and take care of myself. How? There is nobody to pick up the slack. I need to work for our family financially. I love how active our kids are and how many cool interests they have, and that requires a lot of time and effort.
Not sure how to get back to feeling better this time. My therapist and I talked about figuring out some strategies when we meet next (taking the kids to AZ next week so it will be a few weeks till we meet). Some things have brought me some measure of joy...the spectacular World Cup win by the US women (I'm friends with the coach and can't wait to see her at a wedding in two weeks), watching A skate awesome, laughter between the kids at dinner time, cuddles with L, and escaping with my book for a few minutes at night. None of these things, though, have squashed the feelings of being overwhelmed. Sad. Alone. Worried.
I'm not sure why I had the urge to write tonight. A first step to getting a grip on things and feeling better? Not sure, but hoping it helps.