Thursday, September 3, 2015

I'm a Bamboo Seed


3 years and 3 mos. till we move away from Texas...

Dear Kids,

      Ugh, I'm so disappointed with myself. It's been a VERY difficult 9/10 months here and it's rubbing off on you. So lets see- mommy and daddy are in therapy, we don't seem to have a consistent money saving situation buckled down yet (we could but we keep self soothing with trips and stuff...), I tried becoming vegetarian a couple of months ago (I sometimes fall off the wagon regretfully), I HATE my job and I can't seem to communicate with people around here. Here are a few examples of my everyday experience:  I ordered a salad with no meat, it came back with bacon. I ordered a deep dish pizza- it came regular, I ordered an apple walnut salad and there were no apples. I threw the salad in a fit of rage across the parking lot and walked off to cry, then you both saw me and started crying too. It's that kind of stuff that makes me really upset. Daddy and I are both trying to build better coping skills, but it's just so hard to shake this constant frustration and I do not want you learning this from us. I've started seeing a psychiatrist also and I've tried a few different anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds. Ambien has helped a lot in allowing me to sleep. I noticed that I have gotten less "screamy" and when Deklan throws a major fit, I've been trying less yelling/timeouts--more holding him. He gets vegry defensive of "his" things. Maybe that's just being 3. Today you guys were sharing cereal. There was D's plate, Q's plate, and a share plate. Q was eating off both plates because she's a baby and she's just going to eat. Deklan, you were freaking out about her eating your cereal. You'd crumble and cry or hit or push. I held you and told you, "It is ok! She eats your cereal and then what? Just ask me for more. There's more! I will give you everything Quinn gets and you don't have to stress about this! I'm your mom and I will take care of you." I notice that Deklan especially picks up on and reacts to things like he sees me do. The other day Ms. Kasey (daycare) said Deklan threw a toy across the kitchen because her daughter wasn't sharing or listening to him he felt like. oops. That sounds an awful lot like me throwing my salad, doesn't it? I'm just so out of ideas. I hate being misunderstood and I can't even seem to order a pizza here. My British and my Indian friend understand this. I don't have an accent like they do, but I do express myself differently (less aggressively, I think) and people just look at me with a blank stare. Someone told me once I sound "educated". It reminds me of when I was new to high school and I said the word "accelerate" in a sentence. A girl listening to me said, "What? What does that even mean? You use big words..." I guess I felt self conscious so I tried to dumb down to fit in. What a mistake. I will not do that here. All I want is to get my hours for licensure and move away. This town does not appreciate my type of work, and it's very hard to get supervision here. I used to love my job, but now every day is a struggle and not because of the clients- its the environment, it's a difference of ethics and of ideology. I don't know what to do, but I wish I had a mom here to hold me and say, "It's ok! You do not need to stress about this! This will all work out..." In the mean time, I don't want to miss out on you two, I don't want to be a bad example for you. I don't want to look back and think- why did I waste so much time being angry? Quinn climbed out of her high chair today (which breaks down into a small table and chairs- we rarely use it as a high chair), Anyway, she fell down, which is also unusual because she is so clever. She climbs down from heights. I was mopping the floor on the other side of the table and I just happened not to see her do this. I picked her up and held her. She seemed fine and did not cry much. Her head looked fine. Then she threw up. I caught it in my hands and put her in the bath. She played gingerly but seemed ok. Then I wrapped her in a towel and we read a story to Deklan before nap. She listened and sat in my lap and then afterward fell asleep. Being the anxious mom I am, I texted my nurse friend and started googling concussions and stuff. I told Joel of my guilt and I refused to let her nap in the crib. I held her with my hand on her tummy to feel her breathe even though my gut was telling me that she's really just fine. Even the omniscient Google told me so. Still, I thought- I really need to stop focusing on clean floors and getting hours or saving money for the allusive beach home.... THIS THIS is what life is about!!! My babies. Teaching them. Providing for them. Being a good example for them. Right NOW! now. now.  I think I really do have depression and certainly anxiety, but know that I am doing everything in my power to turn this around. Please be forgiving of me, sweethearts. Life does work like I thought it would; It doesn't look like I think it should, but I'll tell you what my father said about me once- I am tenacious. I will not stop trying even when I feel like hope is gone, things are ruined, I need a rest. Nothing dead or alive will ever get between me and my children, and I will always take care of you. Maybe this is my season for germination, or maybe there's some big cosmic life lesson or destiny brewing, but this is not the end.
I love you both more than these letters ever could express. Hang in there with me. I'm still growing up, too.
      And another thing I gleemed over in just the example of today- I drove across town to see my friends for a few minutes before picking up Deks just because I gave my word. Then I picked up Deklan and since he'd been mentioning that he wanted to slide on the way to and from school, and watching the older kids play at recess when we leave Pre-K, I decided we should take time to stop at the park on the way home. Then, I found a stray dog and took it home, posted about it, and walked it to find the owner... I am a nice person. I do practice selflessness and I have a sense for doing what's right just because that's what a person should do (not because I think I'll get kindness back or karma or credit...). Somehow, I'm just focusing on the "bad" right now and feeling shaken in my purpose. I pray you pick up on my good qualities, too.


I share this story with all my clients:
Chinese Bamboo Tree

I like the story of the Chinese bamboo tree: You take a little seed, plant it, water it, and fertilize it for a whole year, and nothing happens. 

The second year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens. 

The third year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens. How discouraging this becomes! 

The fifth year you continue to water and fertilize the seed and then---take note. Sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree sprouts and grows NINETY FEET IN SIX WEEKS! 

Life is much akin to the growing process of the Chinese bamboo tree. 

It is often discouraging. We seemingly do things right, and nothing happens. But for those who do things right and are not discouraged and are persistent, things will happen. Finally we begin to receive the rewards. 

I am now receiving the rewards of seeds that were planted 5 years ago. You are as well. Are you getting the results you want? If not, begin today to sow the seeds of what you want 5 years from now. 

Remember, if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll get the results you've always gotten. 

By Dan Miller