Saturday, June 19, 2010

God is an awesome DJ

Thank you for your prayers after my recent post about A and me. They definitely worked.

It's so strange to be in this very dark place and to be losing hope for so long and to start feeling like something drastic and bad is going to happen, and then the clouds clear and there is hope again. I feel almost silly - as if I shouldn't have been so upset - because things are so much better, it's like there was never a problem, so what was I worrying about?

But, really, things between A and me were very bad for a long time, and I felt like I was drowning. I had reached the point where I wasn't even sure what to pray for anymore. I felt numb and completely alone. And, I've found in my life, that that's where God steps in. Not that he's not stepping in the whole time, but I guess for me it's more noticeable when I'm a sack of despair and pity and anger and other assorted yuck, and then I wake up one morning and I feel as if I've been placed on a beautiful beach with sunshine, warm sand, the smell of the ocean, and sparkling water. Life just seems different.

So that's where I've been this week. I realized A and I weren't operating like a couple. We were two people living together, but doing our own thing - as if we were roommates, not partners. My tendency when someone is frustrating me or disappointing me is to think, "Well - I'm just going to have to do X myself!" And, that's what I was doing. About EVERYTHING. And, I was throwing myself into raising R as if I was a single parent. Everything else sucked, but it didn't matter because R was wonderful and he was the center of my life.

And, then R's issues at school were identified, and we started seeing some behavioral problems with him getting along with his friends when he was frustrated. The "perfect" part of my life was disintegrating, and I felt completely overwhelmed by it. Because I was trying to deal with it all on my own, and I couldn't.

Then, last week, I read an article and blog post about how putting your marriage first (instead of your kids) is actually good for your kids. It talked about how when people aren't doing so great in their marriage, they focus all their attention on their kids, and that attention is too much - you end up helicopter parenting. And, the kids pick up on the seemingly hidden tension in the home, and problems crop up.

That article was a big, painful slap in the face. But I needed it. Because I was thinking that I was hiding how unhappy I was from R, but of course he noticed. And, when I thought about it, he had been trying to compensate. He had been extra snuggly and cuddly with both A and me recently, telling us both separately how much he loves us, stroking my arm very tenderly, things like that. He was making up for the love that was missing between A and me. And, the absolute last thing on Earth I want is for my problems to affect my child.

After reading that post and benefiting from your prayers - something just clicked. I reached out to A in a way I hadn't in a long time, and I feel like we're a team again. Of course, our team's a little weak and out of practice right now, but I'm hopeful that will change. We still have a lot to talk about and figure out - but I finally feel like we can do that together in a positive, constructive way.


On Thursday, I was listening to the radio in the car when U2's "One" came on. I love that song, but it's one of those songs for me where I know all the words, but haven't a clue what they mean. This time I heard these parts in particular - and not in the right order:

Too late
To drag the past out into the light
We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

You gave me nothing
Now it's all I got
We're one
But we're not the same
Well we
Hurt each other
Then we do it again

One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

And, I knew God was in the DJ's booth that morning.

The "we're one, but we're not the same" part really struck me. Because that's what marriage is. Two people who aren't the same, who have different personalities and needs and ways of coping, trying to be one. And, that's really freaking hard. It goes against our individual natures (or, at least it goes against mine!). It takes work trying to make one good thing out of two messes. And, if you don't tend to that one thing, it falls apart.

A and I have a lot of tending to do. And, I need to stop deciding that when things get tough, I can do it all by myself. Because I can't. Neither can A. And, I'm guessing that's why God made sure A and I found each other in the first place.


sandwhichisthere said...

if you and A need some alone time, I will take care of R for a few days or weeks or months or however long it takes. I can teach R how to whittle and spit and watch the Stooges. He might not enjoy the poetry until he learns to compose and write his own,

Anonymous said...

What a heartfelt post! I'm so happy that God showed you the way. Relationships are work, and when you have a child, your priorities understandably change. The focus goes from the couple to the child. It has a point. I'm proud of you for recognizing that you and A need to reconnect and that your interaction or lack thereof affects R. If there's anything I can do, please just call or e-mail. Love you!

Kansas Bob said...

Glad to hear the news Kristen. This cracked me up:

"whittle and spit and watch the Stooges"

Where was that babysitter when my kids were little?