This isn’t real.
This can’t be real.
It’s like a dream, totally surreal.
I never planned things to go this way, we never planned things to go this way.
This can’t be happening.
No way, this isn’t happening to me.
I know it does happen, to other people, but this wasn’t ever going to be our story.
Life is occurring in slow motion and my brain is in a constant fog.
The fog won’t lift.
Even breathing is laborious.
My insides are in endless knots. My heart feels like it is being ripped out, my flesh is being torn apart and my stomach is constantly nauseous.
I haven’t eaten in two days but I don’t have the slightest bit of hunger.
I am mentally exhausted from thinking about everything, analyzing everything, trying to compute a solution.
I am physically exhausted from the endless crying, the restless sleeping.
The stress is wearing me out. I feel like a zombie. Not the new mother kind of zombie that is exhaustion behind the joy of having a child. This is miserable zombie. Zombie that results from immense hurt and pain, yet at the same time there is a numbness.
I can barely function. Just waking up is misery. I want night time to come faster, so I can go back to bed.
Can we just bypass the day? Yet I have these kids that need to be fed and a newborn that needs milk and a clean diaper. Sleeping the day away isn’t an option. So I ‘ll get up long enough to pour cereal, then head back to bed.
They can watch some videos today; that’s about all I can do.
Does any of that sound familiar?
I remember day after day, and night after night, completely overwhelmed by life, trying to fight the impulse to scream and cry at the same time, as I desperately sought to make sense of it all.
I felt like I was going insane.
My thinking must be faulty. Surely I’m missing something. It doesn’t add up. And no matter what I say or do, nothing helps and nothing changes. Life is still way messed up and I can’t figure out how to fix it. Accusations started flying that I was hearing for the first time, ever.
“Does he really mean what he is saying or is he trying to justify his actions? If he really means it, then why is this the first time he has said anything and why doesn’t he want to address these issues to deal with them? Why did he never say anything before?”
It sure seemed like he was swinging into the wind, hoping to throw enough at me to convince me that it was all my fault, and he was succeeding. His gripes seemed petty, yet there were an abundance of them. Maybe it really was all my fault. Maybe I am to blame. Maybe if only I did this better or that better,then maybe he’d be happier. Love hopes all things, right? So as a diligent wife, I desired to assume the best about his motives.
Do you know that feeling?
You start to second guess everything. EVERYTHING.
Every accusation causes an overwhelming introspection.
Every mis-spoken word is analyzed for the degree to which it is the cause and blame.
If only I didn’t say that. If only I didn’t do that.
Immense guilt follows.
You have successfully convinced yourself that it is indeed all your fault.
After all, you know yourself and the areas in which you are most selfish.
And that conversation last week when he was pushing all the right buttons and you responded with angry words, of course, that was wrong.
See, if I just didn’t do that, then he wouldn’t have gotten mad in return, and then that fight wouldn’t have continued. It’s all my fault.
There is much to say about discerning the difference between taking responsibility for one’s actions versus accepting misplaced guilt, but for now this is what you need to know:
Everything that you are going through, it will pass.
I know you don’t believe me, just as I didn’t believe Karen when she first said those words to me. But those words were true in her life, they proved true in my life, and they will also prove true in your life.
Hold on to Jesus as you careen through this gauntlet because, How you feel right now is NOT how you will always feel.
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