It's summer time and I should be enjoying the pristine natural beauty and clean living life style, that Utah offers. Yet, my summer sizzle has drooped into a dreadful chill. Although, I planned for a lively summer, the still waters of the lakes seem to run deep and dark. I am figuratively describing the numbness I've been feeling, physically and now emotionally. There is so much I want to do. I mean my insides are screaming to go out and DO THE DEW - LIVE LIFE to it's fullest potential and FIGHT FOR MY DREAMS... but my body literally makes me feel like I have lost that choice, as if it isn't even an option for me, anymore.
(Breathe in...)*wte* (deep sigh and pause) Okay... (15 minutes later...after prescribed oral medical treatment, and ready for the bandwagon effect to set in). Now what was I saying? Oh yeah, so about making summer a more favorable season for Alana, what should we attempt next? I'm so so so sick of being tired and the guilt of dragging my LanaStar into my own pathetic and personal recession, and it was eating at my very soul. My poor baby has been cooped up in the house, to accommodate and comfort me. A 29 year old mother under the watchful care of her 7 year old daughter. Crazy, right?
I don't ever give Alana the credit she deserves. Call it what you want but I truly believe she may have caught a cold case of Dysrationalia. I am very ashamed to admit, but will truthfully accept that my own insecurities and blissful ignorance, has masked the beast behind my laughter and smile. Yes, that's right, I'm a monstrous brute. I'm always quick to judge, swift to bicker and violently hasty. Alana, as cute, gorgeous, beautiful and adorable, she may be, she hasn't been acknowledge as book smart, only street smart. She struggled to learn how to read, to pick up the pattern of the add/subtract numeral chart, lacked understanding of sight words and always seemed distracted. However, she had a solid comprehension and good foresight of human nature beyond what most kids her age have.
Deep inside, I've been quietly contemplating the next step. The disturbing thought had me in a daze. I cannot allow this pattern of the "Absent minded Professor" to repeat itself in my family. When I tell myself that I have no right to criticize, I really mean it. My past is represented by drawers upon drawers of filthy index cards. Yes, that's right I was the cunning ENFANTE TERRIBLE, capable of anything that would make an Evil Overlord proud. I didn't mean to be that bad, it just came with the territory of Parental Abandonment into Teenage Wasteland. (No disrespect to my mother and father, who I love dearly) My parents were good people who made bad decisions (of course not all were bad), that forced them to work longer hours and days. This could force any kid to mature fast, and a traumatic enough life could burn the childhood out of the most extreme and tragic examples of this personification.
Exhausted from summer school, reading programs, tutoring at the Literacy Center and chores, Alana needed a break. While tackling chores which included, fetching all things out of my reach, performing multiple task around the home (dusting, taking out the trash, placing all loose items around the house in their place, etc.) and making her own grilled cheese sandwiches and muffins, she would shrug at the sound of the her neighborhood play friends laughing outdoors without her. Alana was so sad. Yet, there I was, unaware of her true feelings, I didn't feel I had the time or energy to put up with her pouting and sulkiness. Her attitude became more and more careless. In no time, she was snappy, crude and ungracious. Without being tentative, I continued to assume that she was going through a phase and it would pass. Unfortunately, she went from ungrateful to down right disrespectful. Next thing you know, I'm totally embarrassed to have her around my family and friends. She was a BRAT! No, not Born Raised And Trained, but Belligerent Rowdy Awful Tween. Things were getting, if not gone BAD and this would require not only Behaviour Research And Therapy, but a whole lot of TLC and mad crazy patience.
Although, I would occasionally joke and propose Heavenly Father grant me another child to care for, because I messed up with Alana and I could do better parenting the next child per lessons learned, I was really bothered by my little dilemma. My mother would excuse her behavior because grandmother's have that right act like children can be children. My husband would take it one day at a time, negotiating treats and play days for smiles, hugs and kisses. This left it all up to me, the unpleasant parent. I performed researches online, read books and studied tips that would help this predicament. Even with all the resources attained, this required celestial assistance of a divine nature. I begged Heavenly Father for patience, understanding and love to be conveyed in the right language and tone, that would help Alana appreciate the importance of the lesson I wanted her to learn. A very important lesson, RESPECT. The First duty is to listen. Second, we are respectable only as we respect. Third, is unselfish humility. Fourth, friendships last when you respect your friend's dignity to the point of not attempt to gain or expect anything from him. Fifth, love and respect your elders. Look to them not only for comfort, but for wisdom, strength, inspiration and the contribution of their intellectual and moral powers. Lastly, but not least, respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that others do, from the effort of loving to the labor of service. Finally, I just cried, "Lana, mommy is very weak and never wants to spank your bum, more so because it really hurts my hands and wrist. Baby, I just want to see you happy, again? Mommy promises to be happy all the time, if you promise to be happy all the time, too. No more fret, frowning, and fussing, only LOVE, HAPPINESS and RESPECT.
I have tried to make it my goal, to be more active, regardless what my body is feeling, whether it's taking a nature walk down a scenic route (trail) or swimming at the city recreational pool. My family will testify to what they have witnessed. The more I have tried, the less I can do. When I try to play, my wrist, ankles, shoulders and knees begin to form these pocket of fluid, that appear swollen. My body breaks down and I feel like the Wizard of Oz's poor Mr. Tin Man, who walks down the yellow brick road like a Robot. Although, my body disagrees with me, I'm not going to let RA conquer me. My dear Alana is real dynamic spirit. I must be able to keep up with her zippiness. This would also benefit me. On the bright side I may cut some weight and release the pressure off my joints. We have come to an agreement about how Alana has been acting out and accept that this is our fault, my fault as a parent. She is very lonely and only seeking attention and company. She is the only child. She's got such a great heart. My negligence had forced her to display these behaviors. How could I not see her? Whew! I'm glad this was resolved without having to patronize her. I got my LanaBear back.
Now, that we got Alana taken care of. What about me? What about Sherwin? What about us? I've been having a great amount of mixed feelings. I'm having a hard time distinguishing the reasons for my behavior. Do I not feel myself because of my health or are these feelings of something else? I know what I'm worth, don't I? Am I forgetting who I am? Some days are good, but most have been bad. Is this something I can control? One moment, I'm determined to be productive and the next minute I'm distracted and fatigued. Some days, I'm really sad and dragging myself. Other days, I'm angry, sassy, snippy and frustrated. There are also times great anxiety, impacting my speech. I start stuttering at the tip of my tongue. What is wrong with me? OH EM GEE... I think I might have fallen victim to statistical claims to Utah's infamous growing mental health mystery? Have I let go of my BEEHIVE mindset? Am I finally letting go a demanding culture? Am I free from all female sister RS requirements? Am I being selfish? Is this considered greedy with my time? Am I just experiencing a depressive episode? NO! HECK NO. Denial? Maybe, but don't mistaken by depression as a sign of weakness. I have always been capable of being a great mother, sister, daughter, cousin, aunt and friend. However, marriage may agree with me when I say, I'm no Molly Mormon. I'm no crafty B. Crocker. I no longer say 'yes' to the PTA, reject church callings, nor do I take food to the neighbors because someone is ill, and smile about it. Like many women in Utah, I found it too hard to balance work, religion, school, family, home, and husband, while still trying to be DIVA. It just don't work for me.