I am losing faith. Faith in what, you ask? I'm not entirely sure. I'm trying to pinpoint what exactly this feeling is; this something-is-slipping-from-me-and-I-can-feel-it-but-not-stop-it feeling.
Faith in people? Faith in the process of life on earth? Faith in fairness? Faith in my continuing belief in doing the right thing when it seems to be an exercise in futility much of the time?
Have you ever been hit so hard with the realization that you are having absolutely no effect on a situation that you felt as though you'd just had the wind knocked out of you? Furthermore, have you ever been hit so hard with the realization that someone you thought knew you well is so far from knowing you and your heart that it makes you question your interactions with everyone else you know? Like - if this is what this person sees, what does everyone else see of me? Is this what I portray? Is this who I am to other people?
For instance, I was once told by someone I thought knew me very well that I act as though I think my family is better than anyone else's. If you've spent more than one hour with me and know anything about what I deal with and how little self-confidence I have in my abilities as a parent, this has to be as laughable a statement to you as it is to me. Right? But it happened. This was what someone close perceived of me.
More recently, when I was in a conversation with someone and mentioned, " . . . with the issues I have to deal with every day [with my two younger boys' diagnoses and issues] ..." I was mocked for portraying my life "as a big sob story" and called a martyr. To my face.
I am losing faith. In what, again? Well, I suppose I'm losing faith in, among other things, my own ability to do life in a manner that is anywhere in the zip code of what is appropriate to others. I am losing faith in being able to sustain a relationship outside those of my marriage and with my parents, brother and sister.
As I said in a previous post, I cannot seem to keep things to myself. Because if I could, I would have kept these incidents - that have stayed with me deeply - to myself. It is humiliating to know that is how someone sees me. It is disheartening to know that all my actions and beliefs in how to act and treat people and what to do with my time and energy seemingly amounts to this - at least to some. And it makes me want to shut down.
Why? Why would I let something like this dictate what I do or say or how I act? Because things like this affect me deeply. Yes, I am emotionally weak. You can take me down very easily, and I can stay down for awhile. Yes, I give away my power and give others a lot of control over how I feel. Not on purpose - it just happens to be the awesome way I'm built. There. I am not a strong person. Yes, I am stubborn and hard-headed; this is true. But stubborn and strong are not one and the same.
I am losing faith in the process of life as I am knowing and living it. I am losing faith in realizing any kind of remote fairness in the random way some families have so much to deal with while others do not. I am losing faith in getting through. I am losing faith in having any type of positive impact on any of it at all. I am losing faith in trusting that any of this that I divulge to anyone else is doing anything positive for anyone.
I am losing faith in trying.
If the above incidents are any indication at all of who I am and what I'm accomplishing in being authentic about my life as a parent, then I've been doing a whole lot of nothin' for a long time now.
If I live an average life span, then that means I'm half way through my time here on earth. And if this is all I've accomplished and the manner in which I've impacted those around me, then I'm doing it wrong. Very wrong.
Thank you, God, in all seriousness and honesty, for the awesome opportunities you've put before me. I've apparently completely derailed them. And for that, I'm sorry. I truly thought I was doing a good job for at least some of the time so far.
What can I do at this point? I'm not really sure. But I do know this. If these are the perceptions of my life and how it's lived, then I need to shut. up. about. it. I'm either obviously not portraying it accurately or, quite frankly, saying more than anyone can even fathom or believe. Or care about hearing.
I have been told over and over how people appreciate my "realness" and how authentic I am about my life being what it is, being honest about how I try to deal with it, and that I've even helped a few people who thought no one else in the world felt that way.
But it only takes one or two small things of the opposite manner to take me down.
So here it is. At least for now. I don't feel qualified or even comfortable talking about my parenting life in detail. I feel gun-shy, at this point, writing about my boys' lives being lived on the autism spectrum and about how things are spinning around here in any detail for fear of sounding like I'm searching for sympathy.
I really only feel even remotely okay right now writing about myself and my own emotional journey because it is mine and not another person on earth can tell me what is and is not true and accurate about that.
So if you'd like to hear about my own journey of ups and downs and of how I got to be where I am today, tune back in. That's all I'm promising for now.