Over weekend, a friend and I went to the beach for a relaxing weekend without husbands or children. It’s been almost a year since I have gotten away without my child, but that was a different kind of weekend that had its own share of stresses. This was an incredibly relaxing weekend with the two of us doing whatever we felt like doing whenever we felt like doing it. I am not sure I have ever had a weekend quite like it.
As I shared yesterday, I had a professional massage for the first time. We ate at restaurants I have wanted to try but that hub has always nixed. We watched movies (something I love to do but rarely get the opportunity to do at home since nobody else in my family likes to watch movies). We laughed. It was a fun, carefree weekend – a concept that was completely foreign to me. I felt so relaxed.
As we started driving home, I felt a heaviness settle over my shoulders. I could feel the weight of returning home, and it made me feel so sad. (It doesn’t help that I also have a sinus infection, so I was/am in physical pain while working through these emotions.) I just wanted to cry.
When I got home after a 4-1/2 hour drive, I wanted to cry but had no time. I had dinner with hub’s family following by 2-1/2 hours of online (webcam) training for my job. I was exhausted after that and went to bed. The next day, I hit the ground running for work and appointments.
Thankfully, I had a therapy appointment yesterday. The first thing I did was cry. My T asked me what I was returning to in my life that was about me. I said nothing, to which he replied, “Exactly.” We talked about how I spend my time doing everything for everyone else and that there isn’t time or room for me.
My T asked why I went to family dinner the night before when I was so tired. I said it never occurred to me not to. He said that I need to examine all of those automatic responses that I have. I am on autopilot in so many areas of my life, and the autopilot is programmed for me to take care of everyone else. There needs to be time and space for me. Right now there isn’t, which is why I felt so depressed about returning home.
My homework is to challenge every automatic response and think about ways that I can make room for me in my own life. I have to expect that all of these changes will come with resistance, and I will have to let go of being perceived as the “good” person (good wife, good mother, etc.) It has always been so important for me to be the “good” ___ , and the people in my life have exploited this to direct me to meet their needs at the expense of my own.
This is such a tall order, and I don’t feel up to it with my head hurting every time I breathe. I need to get this sinus infection cleared up first and then focus on this challenge. I actually did do one thing yesterday – I didn’t feel up to cooking dinner and bought takeout instead. That’s nearly unheard of for me.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt