Is This the Life?

Do you ever have one of those days when you wonder what the heck happened to your life?  You know, where you take a look at your life and don't even recognize yourself in it.  Some days I feel like a ghost of my old self just hovering around but unable to connect to anyone or anything, helpless to make changes.

I look at my body and I don't even recognize myself and it's not all aging.  I look at my house and can't believe I live here like this.  Some days I forget though.  I forget that I'm not who I want to be and attempt to live my life the way I want to but it's not long before I hit a wall and am brought up short.

My walls are financial, physical and emotional.  Pretty powerful walls.  They keep me here and won't let me out.  I've lost the hope I used to have for my future.  I used to feel powerful and able to make a life that I wanted.  I felt I could do the things I wanted to do.  But now I don't.

One of the things I learned is that you can only hold onto happiness you don't really feel for short periods of time.  People can tell you to change the way you feel and your life will be wonderful but when you do that it doesn't last.  You feel great to start and then of course you start to work to be the person you want to be but are hit in the face with all your limitations.

I don't want to have a small empty life.  I don't want to live this way forever.  I never would have believed I'd be stuck here like this for this long.  It's wearing me down and taken away my motivation and energy for change.  I feel angry and bitter and I don't want to feel those things.  I want to feel at least satisfied and peaceful if not happy.

Poverty sucks the life out of me every day.  I didn't grow up in poverty and in my head I'm not poor but in reality we live pay cheque to pay cheque and have no savings.  We have debts that some months I have no idea how we are going to pay.  We never go out, we don't buy clothes except for the kids and only when they absolutely need them.  We have never had a family holiday because we can't afford for all of us to go anywhere together.  I have my dang husband cut my hair!!

My heart bleeds for my kids when they feel left out because they can't go and do the things their friends do.  My daughter is starting to feel depressed and never invites friends over because she is ashamed of our home.  Her bedroom is so small and the only other place they can be is in the living room where everyone else is.  Most teens do not want to hang out with their parents.  I try my best to get out of the way when the son has friends over.  I go in my room and lay on my bed.  There is no room for chairs in my bedroom and the bed is too tall to comfortably sit on.  I would love to get a lower bed frame and get rid of the box spring but alas that of course costs money we don't have.  Pretty much everything costs money we don't have.

I am very worried about Christmas.  I know there are lots of people with worse difficulties than mine but that really doesn't make it any easier for me.  I am worried for my kids and family.  I can't possibly be worried about everyone else or I'd lose my mind.  We do give to charity.  We donate all our used goods to the Salvation Army that has a store that sells them.  I give small amounts of money to causes and charities when I can.  I've volunteered my time and energy to my community also.    I also help my family members when ever I can.  When their children were small I was always available to babysit or help when needed.  They always knew I would do what I could and still do.

Some days it just feels like nothing I do has helped.  Nothing I do has got me to the place I want to be.  It's just hard some days to put on your happy face and go out there.  It's hard to listen to people talk about all the fun things they do and all the fun things they are planning to do.  It's hard when no one really understands especially your family.  All of my family members have good paying jobs and when we say we can't afford something they don't get it and continue to  say things like "Want to come to the movie?"  "You guys should come out to the lake this week and come boating."  or "why don't you come shopping Saturday with me?" 

I'm not sure how many times I can delicately say that we can't afford it and I'm not having them pay for me yet again.  At family gatherings I find myself sitting and listening with nothing to say or add to the conversation.  The conversations are about people's latest trips, wine tours, other people who I don't know and things or places I can't go.  I'm not a total bore and can converse with most people about lots of things but somewhere along the line I've lost the ability to converse with average people.  Sure I can ask about the other person but I have nothing to add myself.   I'm boring.

I remember a saying that went something like this "small minds talk about things, medium minds talk about other people and large minds talk about ideas."  I am really hoping it's true because that would put me in the large mind category.  Hey, it's all I've got right now and I'm gonna hang on to it as long as I can.


Erin said…
You are right, it sucks and you have every right to your feelings. I know you try not to complain but at the same time don't let anyone tell you that you don't have a right to your own feelings. Our feelings are born of circumstance and surroundings. I have had times where I have felt that I was drowning in debt, or that our small successes would be quickly stomped on by the next major malfunction that was always around the bend. I think the difference is that my kids are younger so we don't have the space issues as much, and also because we created our space ourselves, small as it is, to feel as large as possible, which of course caused more debt, but at least we feel at home now. I am also surrounded by other families that are just making it, being transient military, so there is "safety in numbers", psychologically at least :) I so wish I lived closer, as I think we would get along well. I can't offer anything financially but I'm sure we would be able to find some things to laugh about for sure and if nothing else - we could lift each other up on those dark days. I'm glad you blogged about what you are feeling, women already do so much to hold families together that you simply can't carry the whole emotional load all the time without venting, and we all know that sometimes our spouses "just don't get it"! I also get the whole lack of adult interaction/career hopes thing. Different situation I'm sure, military spouses can never get hired easily because employers know they will be leaving soon, and I think you said before that yours is a depressed area or has a lack of fulfilling jobs. I feel like I won't be really "starting" until my husband retires from the military and we get to move into a house and area of our choosing, but wow I will be 50 and that just isn't the way I had imagined it would be, but I have to learn to let that go and just not dwell on it. Sending you hugs across a continent!
Sparkless said…
Erin, thanks so much for your reply. We sure would have fun if we lived close to each other. I'll be 50 next fall and I'd really like to make some meaningful changes to my life. Today I'm feeling much better and able to face the world, thank goodness!
Annnightflyer said…
Dear Sparkless You should read my blog on my bipolar lol.I am just happy at this point to be alive.Its NEVER too late to change and I am now the person who dont care what someone thinks of me,I proclamed I am who I am.
Sparkless said…
Hi annnightflyer. I will check out your blog. So glad you can get to a place where you don't care what other people think. I don't care too much what other people think about me but it's a different story for my two teens. I'm more frustrated because I can't seem to get to where I want to be.

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