I have come to realize that the key to most of the things I need and want is balance. It is something I need, something I want, and something I don't have. I guess you can say I am feeling pretty unbalanced at the moment, all though not in a certifiable way, I assure you! But unbalanced in enough areas of my little world to feel like I am floundering. And the kicker is… I have no idea how to change things.
This isn't a new thing, but something I have been struggling with for several years. There are a lot of things that have led me to where I am now, a lot of sadness and heartache and pain. Some of it happened to me, some of it happened around me. Death, sickness, betrayal, dishonesty… and so on, enough to make me lose faith in myself, life, and in my spirituality. It's not that I can't handle everything on my plate; I can. But at what cost? The cost seems to be me. In the process, I seem to have lost myself. I'm exhausted, mostly mentally and emotionally.
Sometimes I feel like there is just not enough of me to go around. I have a ton on my plate and I feel like I am just scratching the surface with most of it, with nothing left over. Between being a mom, a wife, an aspiring writer, and a full-time student, there is nothing left for me to just BE. And that's the rub. There could be time, the time I very much need to find my zen. The time I need to unwind and relax, create or have some fun. Taking a hallf hour bath once in a blue moon just doesn't count as having down time. But instead I spend my life having to run around everyone else doing everything they haven't. Everyone tells me that if I need help to just ask. I ask, and I get put off until I give up and do it myself. It gets old, constantly nagging. It's just draining, and I guess I feel like I shouldn't have to nag at all. "I was going to do it later." That's the excuse I hear every time, from husband and kids a lot. "<insert thing here> wasn't that big a deal." If it wasn't a big deal, then why couldn't you just help me out and do whatever it is? There is a huge inequality in this house. It is an acknowledged fact in this house. I am a SAHM so some of that is to be expected. But sometimes I have things on my plate that just don't revolve around husband and kids. Sometimes I need support. It isn't even that I need to realign household duties or anything like that. The things I need from them and ask for are small things. But even those small things seem to be too much.
There are things I need, and I know what they are. I need them to take care of their own things and not run to me for every little thing that they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. Husband and kids alike, they are old enough to have some responsibility of their own. There is no reason that I have to be interrupted every 5 minutes while I am working when they could take the extra couple of minutes and figure it out. We are a family of six. We all live here, use the things in the house. I just don't think it is unreal to ask them to pitch in and help. If you see something that needs to be done, do it. Don't wait to be nagged. No one tells me what to do, when to do it, or how to do it. I just do.
The other thing I need is peace in the house. I don't expect Polyanna happiness all the time. But I expect the back biting and the snottiness with each other to stop. And that includes the husband. He is probably the worst at it. His patience is non-existent and I am sick of it. I spend my life refereeing between him and the kids, and then the kids and each other. I am tired of it. Enough is enough. All of the attitude is enough. I am tired of being talked to like I am crap, by everyone. I am a person, too.
But what do you do when the things you need that could help you need to come from other people? People who don't think and feel like you do, and just plain don't get it? I get the idea of walking away from people who don't add positivity to your life, and I agree with the concept. But the fact is that life really isn't that black and white. Sometimes these people are your family. Your husband/wife, your children. You don't just stand up and walk away from them. It's not that they are evil or negative people; they just don't understand or think the same way. So how do you work with that? I don't know and I wish I did.
I am too many things to too many people and most of the time, I am not one of those people. I am the one everyone goes to when they are mad, sad, or need something. But when the roles are reversed, I am made to feel like a burden. Family, friends, it's the same thing. Sometimes I try to bring it up, tell them how I feel. The last time I did that, I got eye rolls and snorts. There was no arguing, just a conversation, not even on the heels of an argument. That hurt, that I was opening myself up and my feelings meant that little. No one has time for me, but I am always expected to have time. I am tired of feeling not valued.
No one really ever stops to think about how much I have on my plate. I describe this like a pie. I am the pie plate and each one of them is a slice of pie. Each slice has its own wants, needs, and demands of me. There are 5 slices in that pie plate. Not 6, 5. There isn't enough of me left over to have my own slice. My needs are somewhere well below those of everyone else and no even questions the fairness of that. Nobody sees that I am only one person with 5 people in a constant state of demand. They are each so wrapped up in their own world and lives and they forget that I, too, may have a life. They make promises, over and over again, when I bring this up but nothing ever changes.
That's what happened this time, too. We moved, a fresh start. I sat them own before we left and explained what I needed,w hat I expected. I got every promise in the world about how these things would be different. Nothing is different. It is the same stuff, different geographical location. I believed, even when there was no reason to. And I have fallen hard with the realization that nothing has changed. I am still nothing.
I have been thinking a lot about this lately, with less than pleasant paths of thought. Some of it is resentment, resentment that I ask and can't get what I need from the very people who I do so much for and who are supposed to love me. That led me down another path of thought, one that hurt my heart and my soul. I suddenly realized that there is a pattern in my life, and not a good one. I realized that anyone and everyone I have ever cared about cared about me far less than I cared about them. That's a sobering thought, and one that comes from a lifetime of evidence, not a pity party. I am not talking only about romantic relationships, but all relationships. Friends, family, significant others. It's the way it has always been. How do you work with that, reconcile yourself with that? How do you make things better when this is the way it is?