An Emotional Struggle

As you can clearly see, its been a seemingly millennia since my last blog post.  Forgive me, for I have sinned.

Actually, I have sat down at my computer many, many, MANY times and started to write my next essay.  I get through a few sentences and then quit.  I am struggling right now against doing the same thing at this moment.  But I think I will continue...

The first part of this year has been a hell of a ride.  Well, if you consider a "ride" being strapped to a running chain saw in a tornado while covered in stinging nettle a ride. Ups, downs, curves, stops, starts....blah, blah, BLAH. There have been days where I feel like a normal human being, but after about 7.8 seconds, reality hits and I remember that I am far from normal. And this ain't no ride!

Where to start?

Well, how about starting off by saying we shoved away from the pier on May 31st into the ocean of uncertainty.  The last few months in the house brought me every emotion I have ever felt and seemingly taught me new ones.  I felt confident, inadequate, happy, melancholy, triumphant, defeated, chaos and peace.  Usually in a five minute time span, then it would start all over again.  

I did what I normally do when I am under a lot of pressure and stress.  I withdrew.  Big time.  Which explains the lack of blog posts.  I didn't even want to share with all of you what I was going through. I still am feeling the need to be a recluse on a large scale, but yet somehow I keep thinking that writing is what my soul needs. So here I am.

Making such an enormous leap of faith, courage and stupidity is a very personal journey.  Sharing my story has brought comments like "what, are you freaking crazy?" or "oh, I'm so sorry you are going through this.  You will get back into a house soon!" And there's even some true interest in my plan as others write to me and tell me they are on the verge of doing the same.  Fielding the comments on our life was draining, so I quit.  I stopped talking to people and stopped being social.

When we left the house that hot Sunday afternoon, I still hadn't formed a real plan, but I had no choice.  It was time to go.  I had hoped to feel liberation, freedom, a lifted burden and happiness.  Nope.  I was scared, stressed and felt a whole new level of uncertainty.  Even though I managed to secure a temporary place to park, it felt sketchy.  We needed to go and I didn't have time to figure out other options, so we flew and landed.

Even at this point, I kept wondering how this was going to work.  Everything was still foggy and the idea in my head about what we would do changed with every full-time RV blog I read and with every challenge we encountered.  I finally just felt the need to retreat to a place inside me where no one on the outside of our four walls mattered.  No one.  I didn't want "input," criticism, advice, opinion.....nothing.  It wasn't anyone else's journey and I needed to turn within to succeed.  Or at least to prevent implosion.  

As much as our move was physical and geographical, this has been, by far, the most emotional experience of my life.  My emotions flared and were so hypersensitive in so many different situations from cheer and school for the kids, to animal welfare, finances and a relationship that was beginning to get real.  I pissed off a lot of people and learned who my true friends are.  The list is literally long enough to count on a single hand.  I'm not talking people who like me and whose company I enjoy, I mean real friends.  The ones who will bail you out of jail or help figure out how to get us both out of jail.  The ones who will hold you while you sob about something entirely senseless and yet make you feel validated as a human being with real feelings.  The ones that don't shun you when you aren't your usual positive, happy self.  That one is the hardest to swallow.  Not everyone who calls you a friend is willing to be there when the pendulum swings to the side where emotions are "negative."  The true ones are the ones who hold your hand and pray for you, listen to you, and when you go to them for a favor, they are the ones who will give you the shirt off their back and never ask for a thing in return.

Less than a week on our own, one of my dogs was brutally attacked by the dogs of the person whose property I was living on.  I was gonna put the details here, but I think its enough to say that it was the first of several things that happened during the month long stay there that brought an enormous amount of stress, uneasiness and anxiety.  The rent was raised just 2 weeks into it, the electric supply burned up and I just had a very uneasy gut feeling that I could no longer ignore.  On top of that, I really questioned what we were doing and if there was an alternative that was better.  During that first month I learned a lot and was forced to put my family and pets first if we were going to make this happen.  I could not allow myself to be taken advantage of now like I had done so often in the past.

I knew we had to leave, but with pending financial obligations that I could not ignore (registrations for truck and trailer).  I didn't know what we would do, but I put it out to the universe and trusted an answer would come our way.  It did.  The answer was given to me by someone who has for years told me that if I ever needed anything, to let him know.  I know people say that, but I have found that they rarely truly mean it.  They are being kind, but when a difficult situation arises, they aren't equipped to follow through.  Not because they don't want to, but because they aren't ready to extend the kind of help that can temporarily change their life in order to help you with yours.  I also have never been the kind who easily asks for help when I need it, either.  But I had to.  I was not in a position to wait for help to be offered.  I needed to step far outside of my comfort zone and ask for what I needed, not just for me, but for my kids.  I needed to be the leader and take control of our situation and not fall back into the role of being a victim ever again.

It takes strength to ask for help.  It takes strength to put your hand up and tell someone that you will no longer allow them to take advantage of you. It takes strength to remind yourself that no matter what adversity is placed in front of you, you can overcome it, and not from a standpoint of being a victim or underprivileged, but from taking charge.  I took charge, asked for help and got it.  We moved just 30 days after the first move.  What a difference location makes!

After only 24 hours in our new peaceful location, I finally have experienced what I had hoped to experience when we first left the house - freedom, confidence, independence and peace.  Its like I finally can breathe.  I actually come home after work and don't feel extraordinary stress.  The weight has lifted.  I have the time now to sit and really come up with a real plan - to regroup.

Like a butterfly flitting from one flower to another, we will soon be ready to move to another flower.  I am so grateful to be at a place where I have had the chance to catch my breath and become re-energized.  Even the dogs seem to be calmer and at peace.  The kids are happier, too.  I know we will always encounter challenges, but for now, I think the storm has calmed and the sun is shining....for a few days.




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