Moving, Autism, and a Tired Mommy
Yesterday I pulled into the driveway and eldest burst into tears. Why? The realtor had put a sign in our yard. It was official. We are moving back to Texas.
The past few weeks have been an exhausting combination of cleaning, painting, packing, moving boxes, and telling people goodbye. I shipped the dog off to Grandpaw’s and sorted through every corner of the house. We put in new carpet and had two appliances and the air conditioner die in the same day. Not my idea of fun. In fact, none of this was my idea.
How am I doing with all this? I’m exhausted. I’m snapping at the kids and hubby. I have little patience with Rachel—and as you can imagine, with her autism, she has had some difficulty with all the recent changes. A friend asked me to blog daily about the move because she said it would be interesting. I wanted to, but today is the first time I’ve been able to turn my computer on in almost a month. Plus, emotionally, I refused to face it in such an official manner. I feel a bit like a failure for not sharing with others who are experiencing big changes in their lives and encouraging them, but there is so little of me left to go around.
My emotions and exhaustion came to a head yesterday when eldest sobbed over the sign in the yard. Anger and bitterness swelled in my heart. It took me years to make a home here, and I don’t like being uprooted. Hubby chose that unfortunate moment to call and ask how we are doing. You can imagine my answer: “Your daughter is crying because there is a real estate sign in the yard, that’s how we are doing.”
“Are you good otherwise?” he asked, hope in his voice.
“No,” I said. “I’m not okay. I’m angry, I’m tired, I’m sad, our daughter is crying, and did I mention that I’m angry?”
That was the end of that call …
The rest of the day, I spent time in thought and prayer. For the last few weeks, I have directed my anger toward hubby. In a human sense he is the cause of this change. In light of that, I allowed negative feelings to grow in my heart. Each time I had to exhaust myself working on the house, or whenever I perceived he wasn’t doing “his share” of the work, another seed of bitterness took root. Each time I told another friend we were leaving, anger watered the bitter roots. After that phone call, I realized I had grown a bitter garden in my heart. Too bad I haven’t put that kind of work into my yard …
So, what about the big picture? In truth, we are all part of God’s plan. All of us have parts given to us by the Father, and in His will, all those parts work out for good. But that doesn’t mean we are promised easy. So, my bitterness and anger were a manifestation of my will and not wanting to give in to God’s plan. Yes, moving causes real emotional sadness, but I should not allow that to turn into anger, especially toward my husband. After all, he is simply trying his best to follow God’s plan. Instead, I should focus on what God has for me in the next phase of my life. Yes, I must deal with my sadness, but not in a way that causes anger. I should not lash out at others simply because I am sad and I’m not getting my way.
What to do? First, I had to honestly face my emotions—not just the surface ones and the “you hurt my feelings” kind either. I had to look deep inside and face the truth there: I am a selfish being at heart. I get grumpy when things don’t go my way. I fear change, and the easiest way to deal with that is to lash out in anger at someone else. Then I need to move past that. I told hubby I was sad, and that I was struggling with being angry at him even though I knew rationally that wasn’t right. I had to own up to my inside issues and deal with them.
After all of this, I felt better. Yes, I am still sad. Yes, I will miss my home here. But I am not angry anymore. Whew!
May your day be blessed, my friends. If you have any issues like mine, I pray you will have the courage to face the roots and break free of negative emotions. Oh, and give yourself a big hug from me.
Editor’s Note: Is your family in the middle of making big changes physically or emotionally? If you feel comfortable sharing here, we’d love to know how you’re doing so we can pray with you and share life together. Leave us a comment below and let’s walk along this road together.