Thursday, November 5, 2009


(That baby was me, and that is my mom holding me, teaching me something.)

I am hitting the wall, I think.

Most autumns I get depressed, ever since the year Laura was born and we struggled from her birth (October 8) right through the entire winter with health problems.

I don't know if it's SAD or if it is just the emotions that are there in the unconscious memories of the winter of '92-'93.

This year I thought I was doing better, but today, not so much.

The leaves are falling more frenetically this year than usual. Every time I look out the window or walk down the street, my eyes chase flocks of leaves whirling in violent flurries off to the east. It was amusing, mostly, but today it seems ominous.

Daylight Savings Time stinks. It just messes me up something awful. Whether we gain an hour or lose one doesn't seem to make much difference; it all puts me off.

Yes, I am whiny. There is just a lot right now. Things I can't talk about, things that burden my heart, things that annoy me, things that worry me, things that discourage me. Bleck. Sometimes when there is a lot, God piles on more, to where you were sure you would have broken and fallen to the ground. But then He lifts you up and carries you on His eagle's wings in a miracle of grace, and you survive after all. I have had that happen and it is both terrible and wonderful. I am not exactly hoping for it to happen again, even the wonderful parts, and that is certainly a failing on my part and a lack of faith.

My mother was an anti-dramatist, and by that I mean that drama did not exist in her universe. She never cried at anything staged, probably never in her life. It has always been pragmatics. Her mother died while she (my mother) was in the next state helping my brother and sister-in-law with their new baby. My mom didn't bother to go home for the the funeral because she figured she was needed where she was, and she had spent plenty of time with her mother while she was alive, so it wasn't so important to be there after she was dead. My dad offered to drive down and get her, but apparently she couldn't see wasting the return airplane ticket she already had, or something like that. She was never one to embrace a change in plans.

She also did not embrace tears. Anytime I cried, it was chalked up to manipulation, no possibility that I actually had honest feelings of, say, disappointment or some such nonsense. I could never just be sad; all sadness was interpreted as a ploy to get my way. Which, by the way, I rarely got. Principles, you know.

I'm not trying to be harsh here, because I love my mother and I get along with her really very well. I just say this because I have been raised to be skeptical of dramatics, so when issues arise in my life today, I do not immediately assume that the sky is falling. By and large, this is a good thing, but there are times when I think I let things go that are "a big deal" and then sometimes the fallout is less than pleasant when I find out that something I was minimalizing has grown to epic proportions outside of my control.

Yes, there is a lot.

I think I will make some sloppy joes.


Hope T. said...

This is a hard time of year. I am pretty sure I have SAD so thinking ahead to what the winter will be like with a preschooler and a toddler at home is gnawing at me. It has been a beautiful fall for the most part and I have spent hours outside with the kids. It has been so healing to be outside, I can't even explain it. Then when I come in again or when I think ahead to when it will be too cold to go out (like today, too windy!), I think I almost feel claustrophobic.

I am so sorry to hear that your emotions were not acknowledged when you were growing up. I recently read "Giving the Love that Heals" which talks about validating children's emtoions and how vital it is. I am trying to do that more with my children and also with myself. I can be really hard on myself and it can make me feel so down- in -the- dumps. Instead of doing that, I am now trying to tell myself that sometimes I am a bad mother but sometimes I am a really good mother (for example). Trying to accept that I am human, both good and bad in me..

This is a long comment and I could write more but my son needs me so I'll just say that I hope that the issues you are facing resolve soon and if not, I hope you have an understanding friend who lets you vent. I love venting; I feel so much better after a good rant but most people don't want to hear it!

ruth said...

What state do you live in, Hope? Someday I hope to live somewhere where I don't dread winter, but I also very much want to be near my children (and maybe someday grandchildren), especially because I have lived most of my own adult life (all of it?) separated from extended family.
Yes, it is hard to find the right person to vent to sometimes, and sometimes it requires a different person for each separate issue, just because of extenuating facts. And that can get overwhelming to work out, so it is easier to just hermitize. It is a good thing that God always hears, and HE always knows exactly what is going on in my mind and heart. The trouble is, He doesn't talk very loud most of the time when I'm wanting advice.

Un Joo said...

I miss you. I was going to send you whole bunch of questions about how you are doing? Class you teach? College search for your daughter? Recovery from surgery etc. Then I thought I should check out your blog rather than make you type up all again…
I am sorry for the difficult day you are facing (faced by the time, this reach you…) and perhaps a difficult season. I appreciate you being transparent with us. Do you know that God is always using you … whether you are on your ups or downs … in my life?
So here is my prayer for you…. Dear Lord: I lift up my dear sister Ruth before you. Her heart is heavy and ask that your comfort, peace and presence will be even more so for her now. We praise you for you are lifter of our heads and may your shield be around my sister. We look forward to the days where You will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Meanwhile, as we battle in this world, I ask for your guidance, healing, wisdom and strength be upon my sister. Jesus name , Amen.
Ruth… I am reminded of your account of the winter of 1993, and many tears shed …crying out to the Lord. In that midst of brokenness, you’ve shared that you sensed His presence and His faithfulness. It is obvious to me that God allowed so much of His fruit to come out in your life through that trying season. That low point in your life was not wasted … like “ survivor ”rose bush - on the surface it looked like it will not make it. But what our eyes could not see, it was doing what it was suppose to for the next season and bloomed so beautifully for you.
Your faith, knowledge of Word, love and reverence for the Lord are transparent too.
As you reminded us dear sister and thanks to you, I’ve reminded other women of faith, you’ll not be always here in this point the cycle of life, it too shall pass. Miss you tons and Miss your study tons too!

Hope T. said...

I am in PA. I do like the changes of the four seasons (although winter seems twice as long as the other three). I would like to stay in the mid-Atlantic region as that is what I am most used to. I know how it is to be away from extended family. we moved here to be my in-laws but it did not work out as expected. Sometimes it just seems crazy to be so far from everyone but I fear that my children will also scatter far and wide. My oldest son is already determined to "go see the world" and once he goes, I don't think he will come back.

I love the word "hermitize". So THAT is what I was doing the past two or three winters. Things seem better now for me but who knows what this year will bring? As the commenter above said, there is the ebb and the flow.

I am curious about how you approach the holiday season. Do you dread or welcome it, especially Christmas? I have a dread of most holidays but some years there are aspects of Christmas that I actually like. This year, for instance, I am already listening to Christmas music (mostly Steve Green's Christmas album) and for some reason, it cheers me.

ruth said...

Thank you, Un Joo, thank you very much. When we are weak, sometimes God sends a sister to care.

Hope, I wrote about how I approach the holiday season in my most recent post. Maybe I shouldn't have, but I did. I appreciate your spirit and wanted to share with you, but I feel a little odd about it being in such a public format. I hope I self-censored sufficiently.