Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Hate Fall

Fall is always our busy season.  It is travel season, meeting season, and the start of a new school year all rolled into one.  Added in this year, is that I am training as a doula, and have two births I am assisting with in September, too.  (Not at all stressed about the births - I've been to over 20, but finally decided to get certified.  But they add in some busy-ness.)

I want to write more about the decency thoughts.  I have a story about an amazing MK from Columbia who lived a life of integrity in front of me in such a way that it caused me to think.  I have more to say, and hate to leave the topic here as it could look like I think decency is not important.  If you're new to my blog, just take my word that that's not true, and suspend judgement for a time.

But with busy season and travel season, there is talk on my horizon about travel that is a big step, and I feel like someone just hit the pause button on my world.  I'm not sure how I am responding or what I am thinking.  So it's been hard to blog.  It's hard to think about.  I'm not sure about this step.  No one told me it was coming.  No one told me or warned me it would be this soon.  I feel blindsided by people who knew it for a long time and chose not to tell me, and those same people are asking me to trust them that it will be ok.  I'm finding that hard.

And yet, I know I don't really have an option in it.  I can't really say no.

I'm not sure if I would have said no if I had been asked, either, but I feel betrayed that I wasn't asked about it a long time ago, back when it was only a thought.

I'm also struggling right now from another type of fear.  There is the fear that something could happen, but there is another fear.... during the last crisis, we were abandoned, uncared for.... by our team, by our mission, .... both during and after the crisis.  Even by people who had been our "support people" just weren't there.  Some had reasons that they couldn't be and others just failed miserably.  Now, these same people are asking me to walk through that possibility again.  Yeah.... and if something goes wrong, not only do I have to deal with the crisis, but with being abandoned in it.

I just don't really know if I can go through that again.

It's making me angry.  Grouchy.  I'm not so angry about the risk or the choice - this is the life we went into with our eyes open.  I'm angry because I feel pushed and half deceived by people who already failed my family in a crisis.  Grouchy because I feel so alone right now.  There is no one near me who gets what we are asked to do.  Part of the oddities of the type of cross-cultural marriage that I have is that we live with different scenarios than other workers, and I feel alone.  There is no one to talk to who understands.

I'm also deeply concerned about the effect this will have on my daughter who still has not completely recovered.  In the middle of our handling it, I am going to have to find a way to be extra strong for her.

So I live on pause right now.

One of the things I learned in my doula training is that when I have taken on the responsibility to support a mom for a birth, I need to be there.  If something comes up or some emergency in my family happens, or I am sick, so I can not fulfill my chosen responsibility, I am responsible for arranging a back up doula.  I think as I heard that, a light went on in my head.  This last crisis greatly changed some key relationships in my life.  There is an element of guardedness and disconnect that wasn't there.  I hold myself at a bit of a distance.  I can get close to people, but I don't stay close.  I distrust more.  I pull away faster.  I've tried arguing it my head that "ok, it was a crisis, people couldn't function in the normal way", but it didn't remove that niggling wariness.

They couldn't be there.... but they didn't arrange back up, either.

And telling me to "just get over it" doesn't work either.  One of them tried it recently, and it hurt.  However, another met me with a "I'm really sorry.  We really messed up.  Can you help us learn how to handle this to do better?"  That was a great response, and I felt comforted.... able to put down some pain and go on.

But then came this talk of travel again, and I'm jittery.  I don't like doing this.  I know I have to say yes, and I am saying yes in faith.... but I have faith in a God who sometimes protects us in this life and sometimes chooses to allow evil to happen while saving us in eternity.  I'm in no pollyanna bubble that assumes that only good will happen.  So I say yes because I have no other choice, but it is not a carefree yes.  I don't think God is any less happy with me because my yes knows what a yes can mean and is said in a whisper, not a smile.  And through the pain of knowing what it feels like to be abandoned in a crisis, I hang on to the truth that God did not leave me alone in it.  His people did.  And that hurt.  But He was there.  So while I may be isolating from people because I don't want them to hurt me again, I'm hanging on to God.  He's really all I feel comfortable with trusting at this point.

But that's all I have.  That's all the trust and all the faith I have.

So, if anyone is reading this anymore, hang in with me and remember my family.  It's going to be a rough month ahead, and I'm already feeling isolated.


Joyful said...

One thing we know for sure is that God will go with you. It would be nice if other people were there to support you too but sometimes it isn't like that. I see you are very realistic about it all and want prayer.

I have prayed for you and ask God to help me remember your prayer need since I'm new to your blog and to you and your family. Hugs. xx

Anonymous said...

Will be praying for you through this.

Shan in Japan said...

Reading and praying! Was reading and praying last year during the crisis and will continue this year, too.

Ellie said...

Thanks Joyful!

And thanks Shan and Beth. It means a lot to me to have people praying who know what I'm facing with this travel plan.

I worked this weekend at the old people's home, and was comforted by my coworkers there. Strangely, even though all were not believers, they did the best job actually being there for me after the crisis. Perhaps because they don't see my husband, so they did not focus on him, but asked how I was doing. Everyone else, from the brief debriefer to the mission asked how he was doing. I'm glad they did - I do care about him!, but no one asked how we, the kids and I were. And I feel that they, my husband, his coworkers, and the mission make this decision without considering us. I don't want them to change it because of us, but I wish they would acknowledge that we are struggling and be there to support us. But they haven't. So I battle both fear and a sense of betrayal or the feeling of being belittled and uncared for.

We'll make it, though. My coworkers are there and listening. I'm thankful for them.