Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My emotional breakdown

Today's post is going to be a little different than normal. It's actually more for me than the blogosphere. If I don't write this stuff down then it's not going to stay in my brain like I need it to. The truth of the matter is, I have a horrible memory.

So many amazing "events/epiphanies" have been happening recently that I feel the need the document them so that one day when we're on the other side of this world of unknown my family is currently living in, I'll be able to remember the details (even the small things) and share our testimony. Because, that's what life is about. If we don't share our wisdom from our battles then we're not doing God's work.

It's not always pretty. I'm not in the pretty right now. I could put on an air and tell you only the good things but honestly, life has been so insanely frustrating recently that I found myself sitting alone in a parking lot Sunday afternoon sobbing uncontrollably and not even knowing what my next move should be. I unexpectedly needed to stay in Dallas one more night but wanted nothing more than to be back in Austin with my family. I had promised Reed I'd be back the next day and I was about to break my promise just to see one more house and visit one more school. I ache when I'm away from my family. I felt like a complete failure as I'm trying to find the best place for us to land in Dallas and I'm hitting road block after road block. I was/am feeling paralyzed with indecision. I want nothing more than to find the place God's leading us and my timing certainly is not His timing right now. Each time I think I've got it all figured out, something happens to rip the rug out from under us.

I've found myself starting to be frustrated with John. Satan knows we're on a God mission and he also knows the best/quickest way to get in the middle of things is to mess with our marriage. It's an easy target. He's working in Dallas 3 to 4 days a week and I'm running around thinking I'm Wonder Woman and can do all of this without him. Resentment starts to build up and suddenly I find myself not even wanting to discuss things with him because he's not providing me with the answers/direction I'm craving. So, those much needed conversations start to decrease. It's much easier to talk about the day to day stuff that doesn't really matter. Well, guess where that landed me? Sitting in a parking lot crying my eyes out.

I called him and was ticked when he agreed I needed to stay in Dallas. I was so angry and frustrated that I couldn't finish the conversation and honestly, I couldn't get off the phone fast enough either. I texted him and asked him to book me a hotel room. There were plenty of people I could have stayed with but I only wanted to be alone. I needed to cry until I could cry no more. I didn't want to rehash everything and have someone trying to "make it all better." I simply needed to be raw. I was hitting rock bottom. My strong facade was crumbling and I was feeling 100% paralyzed.

We spoke on the phone that night once I made it to the hotel. It wasn't pretty. I wasn't nice. His best characteristic, the "laid back golden retriever that will be happy where ever he lands", had quickly turned into the characteristic I was resenting the most. It was making me feel impossible to please. How can he be so calm about this whole thing? Doesn't he realize in less than 3 weeks we won't have a place to lay our heads? Does he not realize how potentially horrible our summer is going to be with 2 kids living in a place they're dreading and I don't have a single thing planned for them to do since I don't even know what part of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area we're going to live? I knew in my heart these concerns were on his heart too, but why wasn't he offering any help?

Well, John woke up at a ridiculous hour the next morning to travel up and be in Dallas early so we could have coffee before he went to work. I didn't know he was on his way and I woke up wondering how in the world I was going to make it through my visits with the principals that were scheduled for the day since I couldn't utter a sentence without bursting into tears and my eyes looked like I had just faced Mike Tyson in the boxing ring.

He walked into the hotel room and instead of telling him how grateful I was that he had come up early, all I could do was continue to displace my anger. This time it revealed itself through one word answers and the silent treatment. He was talking about his meeting and what time he was meeting our realtor to see the houses we had previewed the day before and that's when I finally told him, "I need you to cancel your meeting and come with me to the schools. I need to be more important than work right now. I need your help. I NEED YOU."

Poor John, he was in a no-win situation. He thought he was doing exactly what I needed him to be doing...giving me my space to figure it all out. To his defense, he didn't even know these feelings going on in my heart because I hadn't taken the time to verbalize them. I was Wonder Woman. I could do this without burdening him. He's trying to learn a new position at work and this was supposed to be my area to take care of. I felt like I had let him down and I also felt like I was about to let down our kids since I officially don't have a place for us to live.

He canceled his meeting and we headed to the schools. After our tours and viewing a few houses, we FINALLY started to talk. The kind of talk we've needed to have all along. The one where I'm direct and tell him exactly what I need from him and he offers me solutions instead of just being a listening ear. He reached for my hand and it dawned on me that I was also needing his physical touch. It's hard to touch someone when you're harboring feelings of anger and resentment, so sadly, it'd been too long since I had even taken the time to hold his hand.

I was blown away in that moment of how perfectly God created us for one another. As evidenced by my complete melt down and sobbing fit, I cannot operate to my fullest potential without him. We cannot move forward as individuals. God created us to be one and that's how we have to operate if we're walking in His ways. While I did not enjoy even one single moment of the last few days in Dallas, I'm very grateful it happened the way it did. I'm thankful that we'll be able to move forward from this with peace and know that we're in it together and we're going to figure out the next step together. He doesn't expect me to be Wonder Woman and I need to take off my cape and stop pretending.

I drove back from Dallas in a hurry because a dear friend had arranged a Farewell Dinner for me with many of my friends from church. Again, I'll be real honest...I almost canceled. I was so emotionally and physically drained that the thought of being the center of attention and having to face the good-byes was a bit overwhelming. It also meant another evening away from my kids and Reed's hug upon my return was one of "don't ever walk out that door again." His sad little eyes when he watched me get ready for the evening was enough to break my heart. Thankfully, the promise of dinner out with GjGj and donuts for dessert was enough to win him over.

I was fearful that I'd once again, cry my way through the evening, but boy was I wrong. I had such an amazing night. Surrounding myself with the women who have spiritually impacted my life over the last 14 years was exactly what my soul needed and God knew it! It was an evening of celebration and counting blessings. I am so fortunate to have these ladies in my life. My tank was on empty and as they spoke their overly kind words that made me blush and extremely uncomfortable, I quickly began to feel renewed.

I was among my prayer warriors and it was God's way of letting me know I'm not alone and I have no doubt each of these women will continue to pray our family through this transition. The only tears shed last night were ones from laughter. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much, such a dramatic difference from just hours before! Instead of feeling sad about leaving these wonderful ladies behind, my heart was filled with joy as the eldest in the group wisely suggested we sing, When We All Get To Heaven. It was the perfect reminder that there truly are no good-byes to be said because before long we'll all be together again, but this time we'll be living in true perfection!

Well, friends, thank you for allowing me be self-indulgent with this post. We don't have an "ending" to our story yet but I know it will come in His perfect timing. If nothing else, I hope what you'll take away from my experience thus far is the importance/vital necessity of open communication within a marriage and the importance/vital necessity of surrounding yourself with friends of faith who are ready and willing to fill your tank with your running on empty.

I'd love to be that person for you. If you need someone to pray you through a hard time, please don't hesitate to reach out and let's start talking (dfrieling1@gmail.com).


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

oh dana, thanks for sharing! we are all human and we all reach that point sometimes... we try to "be strong" and on our own, but end up feeling angry and alone. such a relatable post, and i am sure you connected with so many people.

Ange said...

Thanks for being real, honest and open here. You are amazing! I just know wherever you land, God has a plan and purpose for you! Watch out Dallas, you are going to be blessed!

Stephanie Jones said...

Love you Dana. You inspire me. So glad to be able to keep up with your life, and Caitlin loves her emails from Bryn!

bonniegetchell said...

Thanks for being real, Dana! God has a plan for you and your family.. I'll be praying for you guys!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

I'm sorry you're going through this Dana. So frustrating even though you know it will all work out. So many times I have said to myself and my family, God works in mysterious ways. Hang in there!

pam {simple details} said...

Oh, my sweet friend, my heart aches for the tough time you're going through. I'm thankful God gave you that 'golden retriever' husband and amazing friends to lean on! Huge hugs and prayers for you!

Anonymous said...

Hey girlfriend! I'm sorry you are in such a rough patch! "this too shall pass!" I'm here if you need me!!!! Love ya!!!!

Paisley Print Shoes said...

I love your brutal honesty and I cannot WAIT to hear how God has this story end for you. I'm sure it will be amazing!

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