on being vulnerable

I know this blog has been so neglected for such a long time. I am going to try to explain why in this blog.

Do you ever wake up in the morning with your mind swirling with a million ideas and you just have to get them out? This used to happen to me more often, and I am happy to report that it has been happening more frequently the last few weeks.

To be honest with you, this year has been a rough one for our family. Recently, I have been thinking about why people are so hesitant to share their problems with the world. I am guilty of this too. I look through my instagram feed and see mostly the happy faces of my cute kids. I leave out so many details of our loves. So many people leave out the details of their lives. Why do we do this? There are so many reasons. We don't want to be judged or feel like we are judged. I have learned that most of the time, we aren't being judged, we just feel like we are. People genuienly want to help. We don't really want pity. We want people to think we have our shiz together. Does anyone really have their shiz together?

Anyway, back to the rough year. Most of you know that Eli was ran over by a car last year. This event spiraled to many events that has made for a rough recovery. On the outside, it looked like everything was fine. Just like my instagram account looked fine, the insides of all of us were not fine. The funny thing about all this is a few weeks before Eli's accident, I remember looking in the mirror and thinking "Em, you have your life together! You have a great job, your marriage is strong, your kids are so cute!" Don't ever think these thoughts because then the universe thinks that you need to learn something. And what I needed to learn about was PTSD and how that effects families. First, I want you to know that so many families have it worst that us! I know that! I have a 4 year old son who is running, playing, and talking! I am so thankful for that everyday!

When we left primary children's hospital that night, I never would have guessed that it would take us this long to feel back to normal. Extended family drama lead to Dan and I not agreeing on a lot of things. Flashbacks. Man, they are so real! Why does our brains want us to relive the most difficult parts of our lives? Meeting new people and having Eli say "Hi! my name is Eli! I'm 3 years old, 42 inches tall, and I got ran over by a car" Every time. Then flashbacks, then having to explain. Everyone is fine.

Shortly after the accident, we decided to move. Dan and I had been talking about it for a few years, and the time just seemed right. I got a full time teaching job in SLC, and Sophie started at the same school I was working at. Dan had a shorter commute. It seemed like everything would start being ok again.

Only it wasn't. The new school I was teaching at was in inner city SLC and while it seemed like the perfect school for us on paper, in reality, it was a huge challenge. I am not a person who is cut out to teach inner city kids. Working full time was too much for me. It seemed like I had zero time to connect with my kids. Eli wasn't sleeping at night, probably because of PTSD. We were experiencing more family drama, and honestly, I wasn't handling anything very well.

I wasn't waking up happy and full of ideas like I used to. I was feeling quick to cry, quick to anger, slow to laugh. Everything that used to bring me joy wasn't bringing me joy. I wasn't reading books or exercising. I think I was having stress attacks.

Then, my mom got diagnosed with leukemia. Then she also found out she had cirrhosis on her liver. Then she needed an emergency gall bladder removal. Those first couple of months during the testing faze were the most difficult. It was during this time that I decided to quit my job. I knew I couldn't keep everything up.

The day I quit was the first day that I realized how important it is to take care of ourselves. I have always been a strong believer of self care but it goes even deeper than self care. It is doing what is best for yourself and your immediate family. It means that you don't let what other people say about you count. This is so hard. I just kept reminding myself that I have so many people who love me.

The day I quit was also the day that things started getting better.  My childhood bestie called to say that she was able to go part time and asked that I teach part time with her. Honestly at this point in my life, I wasn't even sure I wanted to teach anymore. I ended up going into her class and meeting the other teachers I would be working with and decided that I would give it the rest of the year, then decide if I still wanted to teach or not. I am so glad I trusted my instinct because I have found joy in teaching again! The principal I work with believes in doing what she needs to keep teachers in the profession. We have prep time everyday! We have recess breaks! We have copy aides! We have bonuses! If you are a teacher who is thinking of giving up, maybe you aren't at the right school. Find a new school where you are valued!

The getting better was kind of a slow process. Dan and I had a lot of communicating to do. We kind of had to learn how to be fun again. It was such a heavy and serious year. My mom started getting better too. She healed from her gall bladder removal, found out that her leukemia is chronic and won't be needing treatment at this time. Her cirrhosis is treatable by a drastic change in diet.

This summer, I have been waking up feeling like myself again! I have lots of ideas! I have a yearning for adventure! I am reading again! I am finding so much joy in reading! Dan and I are having fun again. There is laughter and happiness in our house. I will not ever let anyone come in between that again.

Why am I telling this story all of a sudden? Would this all have been easier if I let you'all in earlier? I don't actually know. But I do know that sharing stories can help people be more understanding of what other people are going through. We are put on this Earth to help each other. To lift each other. To show kindness and patience. To bring joy and laughter to others.

Also, we have a Heavenly Parents who loves us. They want us to love ourselves. To do what is best for us. To show ourselves patience. It is ok to put ourselves first every now and again. I know this is hard for women and church goers to do. Heavenly Parents do not want us to live with sadness, hurt, pain. We have to figure out how to let go of that so we can live our best lives.

Sending you all love and happiness!



Popular Posts