As I have written about before, we have moved around a bit in the last 5 years: 4 times to be exact and 3 of which we thought were going to be permanent. No, we are not in the military. My husband just seems to be in the wrong field at the wrong time. He works in research and when the economy is down, there is less money available to support research. His last 2 jobs were lost because of funding cuts. It’s been tough.
When my husband got his last job about 8 months ago, we had to move again, but we were filled with hope. He was going to make a comfortable salary, it was in a place we both liked, and we were close to family. Things were going well for months and although it has taken some time to adjust to living in an entirely new area again, I have felt so content and happy.
Since having my kids, all I have wanted was to be able to stay home with them, have a good school for them to attend and that I could be a part of, live in a nice place and take care of our needs.
A few months after living here, I finally started to breathe again. I let go of the worry that I carried around and didn’t have to figure out how to work from home while being with my own children. I was living the dream I always wanted. My son’s school is more than I could ever have dreamed of and has even made national news. We walk and ride bikes to and from school everyday. I am there to talk about his day, have afternoon snack together and do homework. I join him for lunch and help out when I can.
I am also home getting my daughter ready for kindergarten next year and enjoying our special one-on-one time together. My husband has been happy. We could take care of all our bills and have some money left over. Our neighbors are amazing and have become like family to us. Everything was going as I had always dreamed. The skies looked bluer and the trees looked greener.
Things were just going too perfectly, I should have known the bottom was going to drop out.
About 2 months ago, problems started at my husband’s job. I can’t even bear to get into it all now, because it hurts so bad. This problem is not by the fault of my husband, but it is also making his stay at his job unbearable. Day after day, for 2 weeks, something new would happen and none of it was good. He goes every day because he needs to provide for us, but it isn’t easy. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring and you can only live on the edge like that for so long.
The mere thought of unemployment or moving again was impossible for me to handle and I had a nervous breakdown. It was intense, my first one ever, and I hope it is my last. Having one panic attack after another, sobbing uncontrollably on the bathroom floor, not eating, feeling like I was letting my kids down, feeling incredibly hopeless and afraid, are things I don’t ever want to go through again. What made it so scary to me was how much I couldn’t control what was happening to me.
I pleaded for help from my family and thankfully, help came. My family and my husband’s family alternated spending time here with me, to help take care of the kids and the house. This also gave me time to get to the psychiatrist and psychologist. It was a solid 2 weeks of sheer hell. A small amount of people actually know all the details about what happened and their support has been amazing.
I believe what set me off was the prospect of losing everything we have here, the comfort and stability I always dreamed of, and my children’s happiness. I don’t want things to change, but I can’t stop the change. I am so envious of families who get to stay in one house and raise their children at the same school, in the same neighborhood.
Some days I think about our future and literally throw my hands up because I feel helpless. Other times, I am able to focus on the positive of what could be ahead for us. I am still dealing with the embarrassment of having some of my husband’s family see me in such bad shape. I ask myself where we went wrong. What did we do to deserve this? At the same time, I am grateful for my family, especially my husband and children. It’s a huge mixed bag of emotions that I am dealing with, but on the whole, I am having more good days than bad ones.
I have come so far in the last month. I am seeing a counselor, taking medication, going to yoga, walking more, eating better, caring for the house and most importantly, taking care of my family. I started writing and drawing again, too. I am not 100% better, and I know it is a process, but I am doing what I can to get better and am learning a lot along the way.
The sky is beginning to look bluer and the trees are looking greener.
Have you experienced upheaval in yours and your family’s life? How have you adjusted to major change?
This is an original World Mom’s Blog post by Maggie Ellison of South Carolina, USA.
Photo credit to IG8. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.