Today has been hard. Really hard. There is so much I want to say, but let it suffice that I’ve spent the better part of the past five hours crying. Parenting is hard. Parenting a sensitive six year old in the aftermath of his parents’ unexpected divorce is even harder.
I am exhausted and overwhelmed. I try so hard, and I just don’t know if I’m doing the right things. I left the pediatrician’s office in tears this afternoon and have hardly stopped crying since.
We walked in for a regular well-check, and I can’t even explain the bizarre behavior and tantrum that came from my child. Punching, hitting, and biting me. The nurses were completely shocked, as was I. I’ve been taking him to this same small office since his birth, and they’ve never seen this from him. They weren’t giving a shot. There was no threat. I asked him to pee in a cup, and next thing I knew, we were leaving the office without the exam because he was so beside himself, there was no way it would happen. He was delirious with fear and anger.
I walk a fine line here – and in my everyday conversations with those I’m close to – a fine line between being honest and trying to focus on the good around me. I’m trying so hard to follow the smallest sliver of light toward wherever it will lead. And I want to see that good emerge, so I look for it when I can.
But some days just suck. Sometimes it’s just hard. I get chided a lot from their father that everything I write is designed to make me look “like a martyr,” and I pray that is not true because I do not see myself that way at all. I am not a martyr. I am not persecuted and suffering. I am strong and resilient, and in most moments I am happy. But I refuse to gloss over the hard stuff all the time.
There are three people in this house who are all aching with growing pains, and some days it is really painful to feel and to watch.
I want every single person reading here to be honest and call me out if you see me as trying to appear like a persecuted saint. It is not my intention, but I fear it is what people might think sometimes.
I am not. I mess up everyday, and I take full responsibility for my actions. I’m trudging through some really messy territory right now, and it is not always pretty. There are days when I feel like nothing I could do will mend what has happened. My swollen eyes are evidence of that right now. It is hard – and that is not because I am a saint; that’s because it’s life. Life is messy and sometimes full of shit that I frankly don’t want to deal with, but I am expected to guide these two kids through this patch in front of us, so I have to deal with it whether I want to or not.
This space is really important to me. It is more than a website to me, and I want it to continue to feel sacred. I feel that I’ve written myself through some dark moments, and I can see the thread of my own expanding consciousness, my own growing character, as I read posts from the past few months.
And 99% of you offer so much support and a sense of community that I need badly. But sometimes I wonder if it is worth it when anything I write here is dissected by a few people, and some of you who leave encouraging comments or dare to click a “like” button even receive unsolicited personal messages educating you on all the million ways that I am a terrible person and the multitude of reasons you shouldn’t show me love or respect.
How do you do it, fellow bloggers? How do you feel free to write in spite of the nay-sayers? It’s the one in one hundred complex…. If 100 people in the room love you and one doesn’t, you focus on the one. It leaves me so frustrated with myself, but I can’t help it. Sometimes the one is so loud and so close to your own ear that it begins to steal the joy from the other 100.
I intend to take a break from this space for the rest of the year. Rest assured that I am still writing somewhere – in half-finished documents I hurriedly type or in scattered bedside notebooks. But I am taking a break from posting here until I can gain some strength and resolve to hear my own voice strong enough that others can’t drown it out.
I want this to be my space again, that small and quiet room where I can come to reflect and refresh. I don’t want to let a small few bully me into silence or steal it from me. But to be totally honest, right now it feels a little stolen. I just need to find a way to claim it back again without feeling like I am under a microscope. Especially at a time when I have fought so hard and for so long to sound my own voice.
It’s just a pause button. I’ll be back in 2016 to gain some strength again from all of you. Wishing you peace and gratitude in the last weeks of the year.
17 thoughts on “pause button”
Hang in there Katie. There were many times when my son was little that I had to stand back during a tantrum and swear that I wasn’t doing anything to cause it. We were not divorced, but my husband was deployed for a year overseas and it was traumatic for all. Kids melt down in the best of times and stress only makes it worse. Your son’s life has been upended and it is bound to take a toll. He is punishing you because he knows you love him and he knows he is safe with you.
When you open your heart and thoughts to the public with this blog there will always be a percentage of readers who will take criticize and tear you down. You can never please everyone and many will try to hurt you with your own words. Have you thought about making this a private “by invitation only” blog? Or maybe an invitation only FB page so you can block the haters? Not sure how that would work, but you could limit your subscribers to your supporters and let’s be honest…that is what you need right now. Your friends and family and supporters on this blog need to circle the wagons and lift you up because that is what you need right now more than anything. Then once you are strong enough, you can make it public again.
You are a brave young woman. Sending love and hugs across the country to you. I will pray for peace and joy for you this holiday season.
Oh my, oh my, oh my. I love reading your stories and everything you write. Yes life is hard, and we all need a space to put out what we feel, and as an English teacher/professor, it makes sense that is what you do. Writers need to write. It is inside and needs to come out. I too will be praying for you and for your children. Rather than making your life worse, others should be supporting you or shutting up. No one knows until they walk in your shoes what it is that you are feeling. And, as my oldest daughter told me two days ago, you have every right to your feelings. May God be with you and yours this Christmas Season. May Christ enfold you in his love and grace and may the Spirit lift you up to give you the strength you need to endure. I will be looking forward to your return, here.
It IS hard sometimes, parenting and especially parenting through divorce, and some days it just plain sucks. It really does. There’s nothing wrong with a good complain after a bad day. If other people don’t like your personal perspective that’s okay, they don’t have to keep reading. Hang in there. Enjoy your holidays and come back refreshed.
This may not mean much coming from someone who hasn’t experienced quite what you’re experiencing but its going to be okay. Growing up in a household where you have everything and everyone expects your family to be the model family sucks because those people put you under a microscope. It sucks because they don’t know the traumatic events that you’ve been through and they don’t care either. But you know what, you gotta let that go and not let those people put you under the magnifying glass. Don’t let it get to you because Im sure they have a little baggage of their own. You have a great support system through your friends and family and even some of your students and we all really care about you, your family and your well being.
I know its hard for mothers especially because you guys are expected to hold the family together through everything. You’re expected to “put your big girl panties on, get your shit together and raise your kids” under any circumstances and its not fair to you all. Your son was having a rough moment as kids do. Its shocking when it comes out of nowhere in that way but kids don’t always know to express what they are feeling ya know. You’re a great mother and I know you know that. Even on days like today, I know you know that you’re a great mother.
Do you remember writing on Thanksgiving? You said “…Take a deep breath and give herself some credit. She was getting out of bed everyday. She was bearing so much more than anyone should ever have to. Stop being so hard on yourself and understand that this is a lot.” I want you to understand that this is a lot but you’re doing it and doing it well, even through the tough times and hard moments and the tears, your managing this well and you are stronger than ever before. Give yourself some credit and stop beating yourself up. Whenever things in your life start to build up and pile up on top of you to the point where you cant take it anymore, that’s when you know a miracle is about to take place and that God has something special for you right around the corner. So don’t give up!! Give it to Jesus and keep the faith. Its gonna be okay.
This break is much needed for you and I already know 2016 will be an awesome year for you. You’ve gone through a lot but gold isn’t made without a little fire. You gotta go through these tough times and withstand the heat to come out bright, brilliant and bold on the other side. How else would diamonds come out so beautiful and expensive if they didn’t go through so much pressure?? You are special, rather it be a precious metal or a beautiful stone but you gotta see that in yourself. There’s a special place in a little city up North where girls this year were given a challenge to be bold. Im passing that on to you. Be BOLD and remember that you are “as gold refined by fire.”
Wow. Really beautifully written comments. They all say versions of what I would say.
I don’t know you in real life. I found your blog, through a friend, just a few months ago. She sent me here because she found much of your writing beautiful and inspirational.
Not once have I read a piece and thought “man, she must be feeling really sorry for herself” or “she really wants us to feel sorry for her.” Rather, I read pieces of your real life and your real feelings expressed beautifully. I also read much hopefulness in your words.
Our inner critic is often the loudest voice we hear. But in terms of external critics, it is important to note who they are and what role they really should play in our heads. So, yes it is true that “If 100 people in the room love you and one doesn’t, you focus on the one.” But trying hard to focus on the voices who love you, respect you, value you and treasure you is part of the process of silencing the 1 voice.
Here is to a peaceful holiday season for you, a Merry Christmas and a kick a** 2016.
While I realize the over simplicity of this comment, I still have to say “haters gonna hate.” Take some time, but don’t let him steal any more of your energy than he already has. He no longer has the right to give you personal feedback. I enjoy your writing and never hear a tone of martyrdom. I think what he hears is actually the sound of his own guilt. 😉
Keep on keeping on. Your boy will heal in time, as will all of you.
This times a thousand!
Agree! This made my heart hurt for you. How brave of you to share it. It’s so hard not focus on that one person. Remember, your writing is helping people! I know those moments with kids are so hard.
If you don’t like it don’t read it. I love you and I love to get to visit with you, your family, and visit Georgia. In some ways your are a martyr. You haven’t committed a crime thru all this. I am a very old lady that has been through little compared to your storm. But remember, You are a GREAT person, A Fantastic Writer, and these are great attributes, but Mommy is the most important title you wear. You get the Mommy of the Year Award. Katy, when you open your soul for all of us to explore, you will always have people who can not handle pain in someone else. Judgement comes easy. Some people would love to go through this life without having to face their ugly selves. When some people read this blog it is a mirror into their soul and pain they have caused. Just like when I look in the mirror these days I don’t like what I see. It would be real easy if all in this world that cause pain could just leave one world we have destroyed and go into our new world without taken responsibility. This blog has made me reevaluate my life and some things I have said and done in my sixty one years. So take a break and put your “I DONT GIVE A DAMN PJ’s on” By the way I know your baby boy was upset and scared and you are trying to figure out what is going on in his little mind. STOP you can’t. Just be there, hug him, let him know that some behavior can’t happen, BUT you will be there in all his fears, tears, and nightmares. I am so sorry that you have to handle these times alone. Again thanks for being a mommy that did not and does not run when all hell breaks out in your life. You stick with those babies and your writing and what makes you happy. Your happiness and your kid’s happiness comes first, not how anyone else feels about you or what they perceive about you. Now, don’t grade my writing or my grammar. I’m just a high school secretary with an attitude.
Thank you – all of you. I gain so much encouragement from the community that has happened through this site which is one of many reasons I have no intention to put it away. It has actually been a BIG year for this little blog as well. More readers and entirely different content than in my past since the content of my life is so drastically different. I will keep writing, and i will be back soon. I just need to be sure that it always feels like me I am writing to and keep those other perceptions out of my head as I write. And that requires a break right now.
But thank you thank you thank you for reading and commenting. It means so much and grants me a lot of support right now.
I will listen anytime you need an ear. I admire you and the job you are doing and the way you care for those babies. I LOVE YOU and that sweet girl, is “nuff said”.
I have a front row seat to your mothering. I see how deeply you love and care for your kids. It’s really hard to keep my mama bear under control. You know the only naysayers to your blog has come from people that want to bring you down so they don’t have to face the consequences of their own behavior. They are fighting really hard to make it look like it’s all your fault. The funny thing is when a husband/father chooses to walk out on his family for another woman/girl It’s obvious who the “crazy” one is. I know Jude and Norah will be great adults one day. Your fight for what is best for them will never end!! “Be still and know that I am God” repeat repeat repeat. God will honor your family because of you!!
Hi, you write beautifully and don’t come across as a martyr. Your comment that you get chided “a lot” by your ex husband makes me cringe. Don’t let him attack your self worth! Refuse to listen to his negative comments. It sounds as though he is dealing with his own demons and projecting them back onto you. Best wishes for a happy and successful new year. 💜
I was going to say the same thing! It’s his own guilt that makes him attack you. Sounds like he did you a favor. Tell him to get a life and to stop stalking your blog. What a loser
You are not a martyr. You’re ex is a jerk and a dishonorable man. That probably hurts too, since you were married to him and he is the father of your children and your children have to go spend time with him and his woman. But ANY man that would leave his children and his wife for another woman is a man without honor and integrity. And ANY woman that would date or pursue or allow herself to be pursued by a married man is a woman lacking honor and integrity.
I just found your blog today and am doing some catch up. Your essay in the HP last year, “The Life-Changing Lesson I Learned Through the Pain of Infidelity” tore my heart out. Your ex has no business reading your blog and no business commenting on it.
Agreed, Sue. After I took a break and came back to writing, I never even considered his words or opinion anymore. If he reads it now, he no longer discusses it with me. It’s my calling and my craft and my own business. Onward.
Thanks for reading and commenting. ❤