I dumped my brain on here the last few days. I haven’t done that in a while, I try not to. It makes people feel uncomfortable. It makes me feel weird.
I want people to understand that the little things each day shit me just like the next person but I also want none of us to forget that while we bitch about picking the slow queue again in the post office or the idiot driver who pulls left to turn right (what the FUCK is wrong with people) there are so many bigger fish to fry.
Sure, I spend a large portion of my day trying to ignore the worries and stresses I have about Oscar.
Sure I, as a mother, spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about my boys, particularly Felix as he hits high school and enters a decade of becoming a man all while negotiating puberty, school work, who he wants to be, believing in himself, becoming more responsible, comprehending consequences on a far grander scale that what happens if you flog your brother again, having fun.
I didn’t really have fun as a teenager, my life was a pretty intense one with mum working her arse off and dad being absent but expectant all at the same time. When it all went pear shaped one of my aunts told me I had to grow up now, be responsible for mum, to be sensible and to help. Having fun and being a ‘typical teenager’ doesn’t really come into action when someone says that to you when you’re 11. I was the good Christian Girl going to not one but THREE youth fellowships (really covering all bases) and while it truly did get me through a lot of my teenage rage the pay off was guilt. I look back and think much of my adolescence was spent holding my breath. For the next bad thing to happen, for not being good enough, for letting people down.
Where do these emotions come from? I think they largely come from self, I can see it in Felix, but they are then compounded by external factors.
Fast forward a few years.
Fast forward to now.
I just can’t shake this feeling that I have done it all wrong. I mean, who the hell at almost 40 lives with their mother? Who at almost 40 has to ask for a hand-out from their in-laws to pay for car repairs? Who at almost 40 reduces three of their children’s bank accounts to zero to pay for car registration?
I’m doing it all wrong.
Where did I imagine my life to be at this stage?
Well, not living rent-free with my mother for one.
Not living pay-packet to pay-packet for another.
Not having to accept charity from friends.
Someone said to me the other day that accepting charity from others, help from people is about being humble and that having humility is the hardest virtue to learn.
In the last two weeks people have:
- looked after and cared for my children unconditionally
- picked up my kids from school and pre-school and looked after them for me without question
- texted me to say they’re having my kid over for a play, no discussion entered into (so so good)
- dropped off food parcels for my family including homemade dessert
- dropped off food parcels for me, to me, in the hospital
- brought me chai lattes at the hospital and hung out to talk shit and make me laugh
- taken my kids to and from footy practice
- dropped off a toiletries and cleaning products care package – anonymously. With one of those double Cadbury Family chocolate blocks in it. That I’ve hidden. And won’t be sharing. Maybe.
- sent us a crate of Gourmet Dinner Service meals that I keep looking at and bursting into spontaneous tears over. Because re-entry into family life after 12 days at hospital is just as hard, in some respects, as 12 days in hospital.
- sent me texts and tweets and Facebook shout-outs telling me you’re thinking of us, willing us a swift trip home
I have been humbled by all of it. Blown Away. Driven to tears at people’s love for us, for me. Bolstered by people’s generosity of heart and spirit.
I know we are blessed, that I am blessed to have a world so full of love and friendship. Plenty have pointed out to me they wish they had family and friends to help them out in times of need (subtext I am so lucky) and they need not fear me not realising, appreciating and being infinitely grateful to have so many holding on tight to the safety net under me, ready to catch me as I fall.
I know everyone has wanted to do this because I know when I see a friend struggling I want to do something, anything to ease their burden just a little. Sometimes it’s words, sometimes something I’ve made, sometimes my hilarious company. (Remember when I was funny?)
So why is it sitting so uncomfortably with me?
Somehow all this makes me feel like I’ve failed.
Having to accept help is about having failed, of not being able to manage, of not coping.
I feel I’ve let everyone down.
That I have done it all wrong.
There are so SO many should haves swirling around in my head.
We have some family friends who are the most beautiful people in the world, but bad things happen to them all the time – a child off the rails, poor health, financial stress. There is always a feeling of unfairness when they are talked about, that they don’t deserve all this, why does it happen to them?
I do NOT want to be that family people talk about.
And yet I totally know we are.
I DO NOT want to be the sympathy card. The “Poor Kim”.
SO I just want you all to know I won’t let you down.
I will try harder.
You will not have to keep picking me up or carrying me.
I will not let you down.
I will not fail.