Sunday, March 9, 2014

We return after these brief messages . . .

Or something.

Seriously, peeps, the times when life is full of change and chaos, what do I drop?
It's not fair, really.
I mean, if the only side we saw of the Kardashians was the let's-all-get-along-and-do-nothing-outrageous side, they still wouldn't be on cable.
Disclaimer: I have only ever seen TWO episodes of the Kardashians . . . I tried . . .  you know, to be on top of pop culture . . . I can't do it, folks. I can't.  I was bored and bewildered, and my I.Q. was dropping.
Give me Bridezillas any day.
I don't know if that's better or worse, but roll with me, peeps.

I don't try to hide the drama.
If you've read this for any amount of time, you know I don't shy away from showing you my dirty laundry.
My life isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. Heck, even my furballs aren't perfect.

But, I mean, seriously, look at that face!

I sat down several times to write about things. To just get it all out, fighting back tears and fear and rage and everything else.
Then I'd second guess--would I just be whining? Were my problems even that bad? Would this be disrespectful to the people involved? How do I write it? What words are there?

I'm likely to make them sound worse than what they were.

The bottom line is this: we were faced with a major decision, one that could change so very, very much.

Chris's position at work had been shaking from the beginning--not that he did poorly or didn't like his boss or anything.  It was not as advertised. That wasn't anyone's fault, but Chris walked into work every week  and had something change, something he wasn't sure he could deal with.  For the first nine months of our new lives in California, he came home, depressed and defeated.
Looking back, it felt like I was in the middle of some sick love triangle that was almost more of a hate triangle--me, Chris, and work.
He held on, hoping it would get better.
It never did.
He'd leave for work and return a bitter, withered up shell.
He'd talk about doing something artistic working from home, and I am ashamed to say that I panicked. We didn't have the funds to start a business.  I had surgery coming up; we couldn't afford to be without insurance.  This job was all we had right now. Please please please please make it work.

First world problems, people.
Children are dying of starvation, and I was terrified that I couldn't pay rent.
Maybe, in our first world country, it's a legitimate concern. Sometimes I don't know.

 The worst was Chris's tinnitus.
Oh, you've never heard of it?
Many people have no idea what it is despite the fact that so many are afflicted.
Essentially, your ears ring.
Or buzz.
Maybe they hum.
Sometimes it's only in quiet moments, sometimes it's nonstop.
Sometimes it's no big deal, but other times it is absolutely maddening.

No one REALLY knows what causes it, and there's no known cure.

Chris's started six years ago when we were dating.  Since then his ears have gotten worse despite all of our efforts. We've changed our diet, we don't go anywhere loud, we make sure there's always "white noise" to help Chris cope. We've seen several specialists and herbalists and dietist and ever other "-ist" you can think of.
And the stress of his new job was making it worse.
Some nights he had panic attacks, the ringing was so bad. It scared even me.
And then there was the miscarriage.
And the loneliness of it all.
We spent so many months all by ourselves, alone in our living room watching Doctor Who or in the kitchen--me scrubbing dishes like a shield--arguing about careers and life choices.

I was watching my husband slowly disintegrate, and nothing I did made it any better.
That was the worst part: the helplessness of it all.

His boss noticed Chris's steadily plummeting morale, and, after much discussion with the higher-ups, Chris received two months PAID leave to try to get to the bottom of the problem. We saw more specialists, and he did notice a difference for the better.
He concluded it was being away from work.
So he emailed his boss with a question. You see, the company had always assured Chris that he always had a place there, even in a different position.
So he asked for one.

He came down the stairs after a phone call and looked at me without a spark.  I had been expecting good news, but the moment he said, "Well . . . "
I just knew. I swallowed, pushing back fears, and waited.
"They have a position . . . in Florida . . . There's nothing else out here. I don't want to go back to Florida," he said.
My stomach knotted, my heart pounded. I was having flashbacks to the time I hit a bumper in a parking lot, a brand new teenage driver pounding on her steering wheel sobbing, chanting, "This does NOT happen to me! This does not happen! No! No! No! No!"
Here's the truth: I hit that bumper. I dented in the corner.
We all hit bumpers.
No one is exempt.
Some of our bumpers just look differently than others.

I began going over our finances--how much did we spend? How much could we not spend? How much did we have saved? How many months did that give us to find work?

Two months, I calculated.
Maybe three.
To find work in one of the most expensive states in the nation.
Or else we move back to Florida, if we could even afford that.
Leave our new friends, new church, new favorite places, new hobbies, our NEW HOME. All behind. It felt like some bizarre sort of defeat.
Now, I see it wouldn't have been defeat--it would have been change. That's all. Adaptation. Isn't that what we're supposed to do? Survival of the fittest? Pack up and move on, new chapter.
But the thought of it broke both of our hearts.

I'm ashamed to tell you that I shut down.
Like, peeps, I literally laid in bed for a day and would not get up.
Would not speak to Chris.

The thing that finally snapped me out of it? My cat sat on my head.
The smelly cat.
With her dirty smelly butt on my head.
The butt whose farts qualified as chemical warfare.
On my head.
Because I was being a poo-poo head.

For two weeks, we searched, found nothing, and then Chris had conversations with someone from the company.
He came to me the next night and said, "I want to try again. I want to try to make it work until we for sure have something better. This is the best I have to take care of you right now."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm sure."

And he did.
Peeps, I can't tell you how proud I am of him. He's been back for a month, and, while his ears aren't great, he's doing really well.  We're trying new things to try to help make them manageable.  The job is a little better, but we continue to just work at it together.

Also, I apparently freaked out over nothing.
It's still an adjustment. I still find myself afraid we will fall back into the hate-triangle. But we have friends, now.
Hobbies we love.

I've learned to hold plans loosely.
So loosely.
You live one step at a time and keep going.
We don't know if this job is Chris's life-time career. We don't know if he will stay there forever or if we will be in California for another year.

I realized I'm afraid.
I was afraid of the money. I held on to it too tightly. It wasn't a lot of money, but, crap, it paid the bills. I like bills paid. And I cared too much.
I was a jerk about it. I let my fear--my irrational fear--drain me of my humanity.
"Oh ye of little faith."
And it was over a flippin dollar.
Not a life, not a faith, not the fate of humanity.
A flippin dollar bill.
I felt smacked upside the head.

In the midst of all this, Chris came to me, asking if I wanted a family again.
We had been waiting since September to get that greenlight. To get passed the surgery, the blood tests, the doctors, the maybe/maybenot job, and see if we could stay pregnant.
And, peeps, the thought suddenly terrified me.
To think of miscarrying again.
Of sitting alone in that bathroom with the blood and the heartache and no where to bury it.
Of knowing that my body did this. It's not genetics or accident or illness. It's my blood. It chokes out life. All of that came rushing back.
Yes, there's medicine and injections and methods, but they're not 100%.

But nothing mortal is 100%.
Not even failure.
And aren't the greatest rewards sprung from the greatest risks?

So, this is me, trying to come back.
Trying to record things.
Even the insignificant.
The unimportant.
Because life is made up of all those little blips.

And they are glorious.


  1. That's rough. And the feeling helpless part is very scary. I also am on the side that believes, in the long run, the "dollar" as you say doesn't matter...but yeah, when I look at the prospect of Angel quitting his job, I start calculating and I have moments of freaking out too. At those times I'm thankful for reminders that God is faithful--reminders that come like the kick in the head I need!

  2. life is a beautiful struggle, and this is a beautiful post! thank you for sharing. i was wondering where you've been.=) i'd like to share more of the yucky life stuff on my blog but my family reads and gets their panties into a bunch. i know, i need to be more brave!

  3. Michelle @ Jarrah JungleMarch 10, 2014 at 3:15 AM

    Sounds like lifes being a bit of a bitch to you right now! At least you have your sense of humour, that is going to get you through these hurdles Im sure. My Dad has tinnitus so I know what thats like, hes pretty much learnt to read lips over the years as he finds it too hard to hear what people say with the constant ringing in the ears. Must be very frustrating its not a pleasant thing to have thats for sure :(

  4. I'm sorry you've experienced this all lately. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully t's just a little blip in the grand scheme of your life! Many hugs to you. x

  5. girlfriend, i'm so sorry you're going through all of this right now. i have so missed you around here. i hope that chris's job gets better and he gets a break from his tinnitus. praying for you both <3

  6. Thanks so much, really. I've missed you and your delightful little family, too!
    The job seems to be better, but his ears keep getting worse. We're hoping that soon he'll be able to work more from home, but only time will tell. We just keep on keepin' on :] It's all good :]
    Thanks again for your prayers!

  7. Thanks so much, Amanda! Things seems to be improving, but really, all in all, everything is pretty good. :] I hope you're doing well!

  8. Meh, life is life, we'll make it work. Thanks, though! ;]

    Oh my gosh! Your poor dad! I didn't even know it could get that extreme! :[ Chris's hasn't affected his hearing, yet, but it distresses him. It's this constant humming that just drives him bonkers, and, just as he adjusts, it gets worse and sends him into a panic again. I hope your dad finds some relief. I'm so sorry! :[

  9. Thank you so much for reading!
    I get away with writing like I do because only my mom and the random college buddy reads ;] Family politics in blogging does get tricky, though! I think so long as you're honest with them so that nothing blogged about is a surprise, maybe they take it better. ;] I hope you're doing well! Thanks again!

  10. He is SO faithful! It just doesn't always look like what we'd expect, and that can be scary. In the end, His plan is always best, even if it's tricky getting there.
    Best of luck! I hope you're doing well! :]

  11. I feel really lame trying to sum up my feelings about this post in a comment. I guess I'll just say that I'll be praying for you guys. I KNOW the feeling of a job that sucks the life out of you and makes you depressed and bitter. And I know the feeling of freaking out about how you're going to afford to keep your apartment and buy gas. And it seems like a first world problem, but it's YOUR problem, so it's okay to stress and freak out a little bit. Thanks for sharing all of that. It's really so much to handle all at once, and you handled this post really well.

  12. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Amanda, really :]

    Chris is feeling much better about the job, but his tinnitus just keeps getting worse, which is the hardest for him.
    Thank you so much for the prayers! We so appreciate them! :] I hope you have an awesome weekend!


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