the day the dam broke (and i survived)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Our move to Birmingham has been less than smooth. To put it incredibly lightly. We were supposed to get here and spend a few nights in a hotel while we prepared to close on our house. Glitches that were out of our control kept popping up and the nights in our tiny, one bed hotel room started adding up.

Radko, who has been sleeping through the night like a boss for a very long time, could not sleep in the hotel. Most nights I was lucky if he slept for a two hour stretch. I couldn't let him cry at all considering that we shared paper thin walls with people on both sides of us. So I spent the majority of every single night in the hotel pacing back and forth with him. There were times when I was certain I was going to fall over while walking with him. But if I made the slightest attempt to sit down, he would scream his little head off. Not just a cry. An "I am being tortured" shrill.

Then one lovely evening, we all got sick. I started feeling nauseas. Then Ace told me her stomach hurt. And the next thing I knew she was projectile vomiting in my face. I was next, then Radko. Archie somehow escaped it. But the rest of us were down for the count. Ace threw up literally the entire night. Radko too. We ended up with not one single clean sheet or blanket. We had two tiny hotel towels. You know the kind that are so rough, you rub your skin raw when drying off. The bed was stripped down to the mattress and we covered up as much as we could with the towels.

The next night was super fun. Ace and I had recovered, but Rad couldn't keep anything down. It must have been 11 o'clock at night. Radko was crying and I was pacing back and forth from wall to wall with him. He puked about every third lap. I tiptoed around the room as if I were walking through a land mine. He finally got still and quiet when there was a knock at the door. I ignored it at first and "shhhhhhhhhhhhh"ed loudly in Rad's little ear. But the knocking continued. With vomit caked hair, I opened the door to find the hotel manager standing there. He told me he had received a noise complaint. In my mind I throat punched him and slammed the door. In reality, I said "Ok thanks" and quietly shut the door. That woke Radko right on up and we started back from square one. You get the idea.

The hotel nights continued to be sleepless and I was reaching a point of really nasty exhaustion. My sweet husband who was working in Oklahoma felt helpless. I desperately needed him. I desperately needed my mom. But I kept reminding myself that this right here was what it was all about. I could do hard things

I wanted to break down. I wanted to cry all the time. I was far from home. Far from my family.

But I told myself that if I broke down down, I was failing. So I pulled it up by the boot straps and kept on trucking as best as I could.

Fast forward to yesterday. I thought being in our house would solve everything and I would be magically rejuvenated. That those hellacious weeks and all that I kept inside would fade away.

I was sitting at my house dealing with the security system guy and the television guy when Joey texted me:

JOEY: The ADT guy is coming by but I told him you wouldn't be there cause you are picking up the kids from school
ME: I'm here
JOEY: Well who is picking up the kids?
ME: They get out at 3:55, babe, I am leaving to get them in just a bit.
ME: Weirdo
JOEY: What the heck, Lisa, they get out at 2:55!!
ME: (Look at time, it's 3:15) Holy shit!  (excuse the language, Gigi, just keepin it real)

I ran to my car, threw the baby in his seat, and drove off (entirely too fast) to head to their school. I called and told them I was so sorry and was on my way. They had just brought the kids in from the completely empty and finished carpool line to the office.  As soon as I hung up the phone, I felt it coming. The dam was about to break. My eyes started to fill with tears but I took deep breaths and held it all back.

I got to school in five minutes, though it felt like an hour, and ran into the office to find my two kids sitting in chairs. Ace was crying. I have never been ashamed of being "that mom". I've always been that mom. But I had never been THAT mom. When I saw Ace crying, it was over. The dam broke. I broke. There I stood sobbing to a room full of strangers.

I don't embarass easily. But I was humiliated.

It continued when we got home. I let it all out. And I thought, "well, Lisa, that's it. You lost. You screwed up. And you couldn't endure hard things."

I beat myself up for a while before I finally came out of the haze and was able to breath.

And in the end, I realized I hadn't failed. It was okay not to be okay. I let myself feel all of the feelings. Even the hard ones. The tears didn't mean I had lost. In fact, they were exactly what I needed.

Lots of Love!


Anonymous said...

We have moms who are regularly late. It's okay if you forgot one time, especially after the week from hell. Hang in there.

simplymaren said...

Your family's story is an inspiration to me and many others. Glad to see you posting again! We all mess up at times but it takes an amazing person to admit it. Continue to inspire!

Tiggs said...

My God you're so amazing. Never quit mama.

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