What Keeps Me Up At Night

I had the stupidest dream ever last night. Copying and pasting from my own Facebook status, here it is:

 I traveled somewhere to run a 5K. The hotel I stayed at had numbered the rooms out of sequence. I was late for the start because I couldn’t find where in the hotel the race was (oddly an indoor race). I get to the start, and it looks like a miniature golf course. In order to find the right path, the runners had to stop at points and solve math problems. The answer directed which way to go. Wrong answer, wrong path. I manage to find the right path, but I get disqualified at the end because I didn’t show my work.

I woke up exhausted from this dream. I thought it had to do with Jacob’s fun run at school on Tuesday as well as his last piece of math homework for the year. However, my dear friend Kathy offered this explanation:

Your scientific and mathematical brain is trying to figure out the next path you should take (is my interpretation). But it’s confused because what used to be the right path is clearly not anymore. And I agree with Amy, you must remember how you solved your problems so showing your work is the best bet! And they said I’d never use Freudian techniques in grad school. I showed them!

A word about Kathy–she is my weekly therapy session via mom dates. We get together once a week and talk talk talk talk talk. It is very refreshing and much cheaper than a shrink. And she usually brings me either iced tea or hot chocolate, depending on the weather. She is one of Zach’s many girlfriends, but don’t let the others know because he’s in the middle of a juggling act here…anyhoo, she also has a wee bit of education in this area and she’s one of my sounding boards through this mess, so her observation is spot on.

So, what is uncertain about my path? Everything. My fears about this uncertainly lies in finances. I know I’m mom enough to take care of my three kids and I have a great support system in place. What I don’t know is how the money is going to work. I’ve been submitting resumes for any job I can find where my skills and education remotely apply. So far, not a single bite. It doesn’t help that I’ve been out of work for three years being mom. Nor does it help that the last company I worked for is cutting jobs and the number of people applying for the same jobs has gone up considerably.

I try not to worry about what I cannot control and leave it all in God’s hands, but I’m struggling. I want to know that I can keep the lights on, food on the table, tummies filled, clothes on our backs…and I feel very alone in this. Yes I have great friends and family, but ultimately it is up to me to take care of these kids and making it all work. There is no longer that other person who was in the same place as me, in it with me the whole way and understanding the fears. Being all alone in this because of that other person just adds fuel to the fire and muddles my brain. I hate it.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford my house and the kids and I will be uprooted again and again. I’m afraid the kids will be taken out of their neighborhood and schools. I’m afraid that when all is said and done I won’t have anything to show for it. I have worked very hard getting to where I am and taking care of everyone and there is a definite chance that I will get hung out to dry. All of the time, care, and dignity I gave up for someone else means nothing. It is so hard putting this into words while trying to take the high road. This is what has hurt me the most through this experience.

I’m fine with finally being able to worry about myself first, and not having to take on someone else’s severe demons. I’m grateful that the atmosphere in the home for the past six months has been much calmer (most of the time). What hurts is being cast aside and treated like something meaningless, or at the very least like an inconvenience. I wasn’t one to keep score, but dammit after all of this if I put it all down on a balance sheet it would certainly show where the problems were. I was far from the perfect wife but I gave it everything I had. I held to each word of my vows, the ones said before God, family, and friends. Every. Last. Word. And what happens to me means nothing. By extension, what happens to me will also happen to the kids. And it scares me.

It’s unsettling to be in this position of uncertainty, and I feel a bit like a child with a black and white sense of justice. I have a running list of things that are needed (hardly of it anything I need), and no way to pay for it all, but for another relative extravagance seems to abound. In or out of this marriage, I seem to be the one who keeps getting shit on.

I’m trying to navigate this path and clearly it will take a calculean approach (made up word. You know, like this path is hard like calculus? Never mind). And while I’m not alone, I’m alone. Any thoughts, prayers, kind words, hints, or advice is appreciated.

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