Monday, August 10, 2009

out in the wilderness

Lately, I have been feeling like my life is really quite a lot to deal with. So much, in fact, that it has severely impacted my ability to not end a sentence with a preposition.

I'm here, doing what I do, all of the ninetyelevenmillionbazillion things I do, and it's like the autopilot has taken over and even though I'm kneading the bread, I don't really feel the dough. I nurse the baby, and don't quite soak up his milky grins.

I don't know how to slow down, how to even locate the pause button to freeze-frame a moment, how to plug myself in more than I already am so that I feel my life a little bit more.

Detached. I'm detached.

I have a protective, colorful candy shell, and it does its job by keeping me from melting all over everybody's hands, which is great and all, and it keeps everybody from melting all over me, which has its benefits, believe me, but I'm still in a shell. And really, there's nothing remotely edible about a 32 year-old candy shell.

Not that I want you to eat my shell. Don't be weird.

I went to the Women of Faith conference in June, and while most of it was a colossal shiny commercial for the BOOKS!!! and CDs!!! and OTHER CRAP!!! that was for sale, I was struck by one of the speakers' talks. She mentioned how, due to an unusual childhood, she had constructed for herself a shell, and she just did not relate to others the way most people related to one another.

My therapist told me it was because I'm a really high functioner, and that I built my shell out of a need to be able to be. And he was right. I am a high functioner, I can do a lot of things at once, and for a long time, and not choke.

Except I'm finding this shell thing to be debilitating. I don't really like it, but I need it; most of the time I don't need much at all, others? Well, I need a whole. freaking. lot. of shell.

I need to do some sorting, but there's always actual work to be done. The whole pile of stuff from being a mama and wife and the general Boss of Things around here. I struggle to keep my house semi-presentable, my short people clean(ish) and fed, other commitments fulfilled.

But I want to be the one who is fulfilled. I really think that my life is fulfilling, but I want to feel fulfilled. I want to be satisfied at the end of the day and I just never am. I always see the missteps, the unfinished, the lost temper, the unreasonable. I want so badly to feel something other than tired and alone and believe me, I'm know that I'm really not alone, because how could I possibly ever be alone with five other people in the house with me all freaking day long every day of the year?

There's no good, coherent ending for this post. Oh, how I wish there was! And ending where the unknown fulfillment reveals himself to the cute girl at the end of the movie and it turns out she always had the fulfillment in her life, she just didn't realize what it felt like to hold the fulfillment and make out with it in the park while fulfillment's dog jumped up on them.

I hope feeling fulfilled has nothing to do with having a dog.

13 comments:

  1. I was pretty much thinking that whole first paragraph today. And I, too live in what I call my bubble. Having a dog helps. ;)

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  2. You should contact the bizymoms Dayton community to get your blog featured to their large mom community. I am sure they would love to read your posts.

    There is a form on their expert page, http://www.bizymoms.com/experts/index.html </a

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  3. Big hugs to you! I dreamed of you last night and woke up wondering if you were okay.

    More hugs and sympathetic ears and everything. You're not alone, but you already know that.

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  4. If you crack that shell, some of the craziness can get in. Are you willing to chance it? I think it's worth the risk.

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  5. give yourself permission to take some "you" time, start out slow, it's hard, i know, but do it!!!!
    a phrase i repeat all the time
    " i care but i don't mind"
    Oh , and learning the word "NO" helped me alot.
    i hope today is a better day.

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  6. I was nodding through this entire post.

    I'm two kids less than you, but there is this pesky part-time job I do at home and oh yeah, school. I get how fractured you can feel, how out of touch with yourself, when it's go go go. Always caring for other people, so when do you care for yourself?

    Now that my kids are older (read: I'm not nursing 'round the clock), nighttime is my salvation.

    I wish I had some advice for you, but I don't.

    There is a book of meditations for the kind of lives we live called The Quotidian Mysteries, by Kathleen Norris. I haven't read the whole thing, only have seen quotes from it, but it seems sometimes the best we can do is to find magic in the mundane.

    Love you...

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  7. A dog? Are you nuts??? ;-)

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  8. hey long ost friend that I never see and don't talk too! I have to second Kelly! I nodded through the whole post I know how you feel. I don't have any advice for you. I won't tell you to take some girl tome, because I know whenever it is that i do get to go do something completely by myself I feel totally guilty and we don't have any extra money to spend anyway. So spending money on something for your self just makes you feel even more guilty!

    Go out side! enjoy your flowers and garden.

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  9. I can totally relate to this post.

    And I'm getting a dog next Saturday. :)

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  10. Not to belittle you and your quest for fulfillment, which you expressed very coherently and movingly, but have you ever considered dipping food you love in batter and deep frying it.

    If not fulfillment, you'll certainly feel queasy enough for a few days that you'll forget that you are dealing with some more hard core psychic issues.

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  11. Not to belittle you and your quest for fulfillment, which you expressed very coherently and movingly, but have you ever considered dipping food you love in batter and deep frying it.

    If not fulfillment, you'll certainly feel queasy enough for a few days that you'll forget that you are dealing with some more hard core psychic issues.

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  12. i hate to say that i understand ... but i understand. thinking of you.

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  13. Pamela,
    I wish I had something wise and witty to say... but I don't. Funny thing - I was also very moved by that speaker at WOF. I feel stuck in the exact same place you are. It's a weird kind of stuck - I wish I could get closer to people, but sometimes I feel like I'm not sure I have the energy or time. Ya know what I mean?

    BTW, I love how you compared it to an M&M. Good stuff.
    Steph

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talk to me, people. because you know i get all giddy when you do.