Sometimes when you have been running a while, you want to stop and catch your breath. But once you do, it can be difficult to start running again. You can find plenty of reasons to walk or quit. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to remain, well, at rest.
So for me, a respite isn't always all that helpful. Yes, the peace is lovely. The slower pace is heavenly. But the knowledge of what I have to return to is not so helpful or lovely. The emotional rests is amazing, but in 36 hours, I will be back on the front lines where the fighting is most intense.
I love my family. I miss them when I am not with them. I miss the hugs and the kisses goodnight, I even miss Chris's OCD need to know exactly what is going on tomorrow. What I don't miss is the survivor mentality.
A while back I wrote about the whole survival mentality. When a natural disaster occurs, typically what you see are people trampling their neighbors to obtain food and water. The same thing happens within a family who lives in constant crisis mode. The kids trample one another to obtain what they emotionally need, the couple are intensely focused on different things, and the whole concept of teamwork is literally thrown out the window.
I am not suggesting that my familly is trampling one another. But the teamwork is definitely gone, and the level of angst is definitely at an all time high. The question is, now what. Where do we go from here and how do we help the kids develop healthy coping skills while trying to still deal with a spouse who is also struggling.
When I was told that 70-80% of marriages with a chronically ill child end in divorce, I was shocked and incredibly prideful. There was no way that was happening to us. But here we are three years later, and the entire family is struggling. There is not a relationship that is not affected. And when you are stressed, then generally your best foot is not put forward. So the struggle escalates.
The question is...what now. I have no answer...so we continue to get up in the morning and work all day and fall into bed exhausted at night, knowing that tomorrow brings another day. Is that fatalistic? Probably a little. But it is more a case of not knowing what else to do.
So we cry...a lot and we realize that “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” (Washington Irving) and we continue to look for solutions, all the while praying that the Lord would work out His plan for our family and give us the strength we need to manage whatever comes next.