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Monday, May 29, 2017

I Apologize for Disappearing

I'm sorry everyone for disappearing. It's been a long time since I've posted.  I'm still here. I've posted a few things on Facebook but that isn't really blogging.

I started posts (I have 3 drafts in my saved files) but "The Universe" has been busy reminding me that I am not actually superwoman and so said posts did not get finished or published. And to be honest, (that's why you read my blog, right? For the honesty?), I just didn't feel like sharing all the crappy things I was feeling.

I often use this blog to process and work through my feelings but my feelings were SO BIG and I was SO STUCK that I just couldn't write. Or think. And I really, really didn't have time to do either. And I REALLY didn't want to think about foster care. Or trauma. It was all I could do to keep it together so that my kids did not freak out, and so that my marriage did not implode on me.

Do you have those days? Weeks? Months? Where you feel like you are barely going to make it and really don't have time for the nervous breakdown you deserve? Of course you do! We all do. I just didn't feel like putting it all on display in real time.

About three weeks before my final grad school thesis paper was due, during an uptick at my full time day job, and a week before we left on a week long road trip, Hubby felt he needed to quit his job. Leaving me as the sole income for a family of 7 about to go on a vacation with hours and hours of writing and research to finish. Oh and I had started my side gig selling fabulous bags in order to get the discount but ended up with actual customers and a team member. The timing was awful. The decision was stunning. The words between us angry and mean and then, not many at all.

The fear and the worry and the triggers about money were overwhelming to me. The man I had shared my life with for the past 15 years seemed like a total stranger. And the deadline for my degree program and the to do list for the trip weighed on me like an elephant. But that's my side.

Hubby would tell you he just couldn't walk into the office and feel the anger, disrespect, frustration, and stress any longer. He would tell you I wasn't listening. He would tell you he gave it his all and that our savings would mean we were okay financially.

We were both right. And none of it had to do with foster care or trauma. Except how we reacted because if I've learned anything in these past 6 years, its that how we react is how the kids react.  And this whole situation filled with worry, anger, and unknowns was, of course, the perfect recipe to send my children spiraling down into a pit of trauma-related behavior. I like to avoid that when I can so here was Foster Mom R with what felt like all Hell breaking loose around her and I had to remain calm enough not to set my kids off.

So that is where I was. Sad. Lonely. Scared.

It's been a few months and we have managed to come out relatively unscathed. Sarah had a few bumps as did Smiley. We had a case of sticky fingers that brought the police to our front door. We've had some emails about meltdowns at school. I had some less than stellar moments where I've forgotten all of my therapeutic parenting skills and had to do some major repairs.  There were a few events that were glaring examples of how much trauma still affects our lives and of course those weren't much fun. But somehow we managed to keep it together and keep moving forward which is always my goal.

The trip was a success, Hubby found a new job and I finished school. I took a few weeks to re-focus on me.  I made it a point to do some hands on projects to help me connect to the parts of myself that I miss.

Then Hubby and I took a vacation just the two of us.  It had been long planned, prepaid, and much looked forward to.  I was literally out of the country and able to unplug and decompress fully.  It's probably the most relaxed I've ever been in my adult life. I am so grateful that my Mom can watch our children while we take a trip like that because if we hadn't gone, I don't know that I would have gotten back to "normal". Its easy to forget that my sanity matters just as much as the healing that my kids need.

I'm hoping to take some time this summer to blog about some of the things we've been up to.  With Solana's foster case closing we've officially entered into a new season of our foster care journey.  We are taking a break from any placements for a while.  Solana is still spending weekends with us so we still have a very active toddler on our hands.