It is very easy to want more, want better. All the time, I look at seemingly happy families, and think I want that. Who wouldn't? Who would choose this chaos? I get jealous. Often. A lot of times, that jealousy clouds my ability to see the amazing GOOD I have been blessed with.
During one of my up-all-nights, I Googled "I suck at life." Apparently a lot of other people feel the same way because I found a ton of links. But the best one (and if I can find it, I'll post it) was basically Crappy Situation Survival 101. It went on about how your perception of an event and your ability to remind yourself of and feel grateful for the blessings in your life will drastically effect the outcome and how you get through whatever mess you are in. Seems basic enough. But when you're in the trenches, its so easy to forget all the good.
I whine a lot in my head, but try to keep it there and not burden my friends too much. I whine about being lonely, about the financial strain this has put on me, about being straight exhausted raising four kids alone, about my stressful job...all kinds of things. But what good does that do? When I'm done with my pity party, I still feel lousy, if not worse, and the problems are still there. Sometimes its easy, and sometimes it takes more effort, but when I sit back and think about how lucky I am, despite this BS mess my husband has put our family into, WOW! I am blessed!!! Four healthy, amazing children (who are adapting well to this new life, thankyouverymuch), a roof over my head! A job! A relatively-reliable vehicle! A huge support system, full of family and friends! I might not have the life I envisioned, or planned, but its still wonderful and full of great things that some could only wish for. I've been hurt, my children have been hurt, our lives have been flipped all over the place...but look at us...all surviving and stuff!
I think about some of my clients who don't have their children. The families that count on public assistance to survive. The people who want to work but don't have a car. Or the women who've become so isolated from family and friends because of their abuser, they don't believe they have a support system. (For those women, I just want to say, there is ALWAYS someone there for you. Our local DSS has a Domestic Violence advocate who will walk with you through any court processes, and a lot of the courts have them as well...they can do everything from help lead you to safety, file protective orders, get funding and assistance, and just be a source of support).
Today was a rough day...a van with their little sticker family on the rear window drove by, complete with happy stick man and happy stick wife, and it just got to me. I cried all the way to daycare. Then I got there and saw my four babies, happy and healthy, and remembered I don't need the stick man on the back of a brand new car to make my life complete.