Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Over-sharing, Naturally

This past year has been very valuable and eyeopening and sad and full of relief.  I've been balancing 2 major life issues and they both seemed to cross paths somewhere and take off into opposite directions.

We are crossing into 1 year of being approved to be foster parents.  I wrote briefly about our first experience with 2 toddler boys and we watched a 4 month old girl for about 24 hours a few days before our annual Christmas party.  I think after deciding 2 toddler boys were not for me I requesting a single baby girl and I got exactly what I was asking for.  This baby was sweet and cute and everything you think of when you think of 4 month old babies.  She was not abused or poorly raised, her mom just made a mistake that was very costly.  I realized in those 24 hours that I am just not cut out for this.  Kudos if you are and if you've never experienced the full range of emotions that is fostering you just don't understand.  But I can't do it.  I just can't.  And the thing is, once I realized that, I've never felt more relieved in my life.  Relieved.  It's a strong, powerful, positive word.  So I'm okay with my decision, I am happy.  I am accepting.  I do mourn the loss of not having children of my own, but for the most part, I am okay, childfree isn't the sad, awful world I used to think it was.

So we decided to remove ourselves from the list.  We are in the process of telling everyone, it's a strange conversation to have, so you guys are among the first.

The second major crisis is my mom.  She stopped drinking a while ago, everything feels 2 years ago when you're old, and I think it was longer than that, but for the sake of argument, let's say 2 years ago.  And I think she was aware that alcohol did permanent damage to her.  It's easy to say yeah, a lot of brain cells were lost but you're going to be okay, but it's just not that simple.  I don't want to get into it too much but something happened over the holidays and I realized, I think along with my brother and our small families, that my mom is suffering from a mental illness.  I know you might be thinking, well, yeah, who isn't and that's how I used to feel too, but really, it's a big deal.  It was a huge revelation and the holidays just ended so it's all very fresh but it's scary and sad, I just don't know what the future will hold.

I've had issues with my mom before but I could always blame it on the alcohol.  Heck, I've gone months where I refused to talk to her, these emotions are nothing new, but the problem is there isn't any alcohol to blame it on, this is just who she is now, and it's really hurtful and feels kind of like being pulled inside someone else's rabbit hole and I don't want to be in a rabbit hole, if that makes any sense at all.

I've been waiting for the right time to tell my mom about the fostering.  We have a pact not to sell anything until we tell the other person to see if they want our stuff first, so I'm waiting to tell her so I can sell my baby stuff and set up the front bedroom as a guest room.  I'm trying to decide to go full guest room with a double bed or go partial guest room with a daybed and get like a giant cat tree or something for the cats.  We rarely have guests, a guest room will hardly be used so why take up all the space with a bed when we can do something that might be used in that room.  We both decided we love having the desk in the dining room so I don't think we'll use that room for office space.  I don't know, we'll have to see where this takes us.

Sorry I haven't written in so long.  I consider myself and oversharer when I write and that used to be okay on blogs but blogs have really changed (I know I keep saying that, it's just so sad to me) and I don't feel comfortable sharing such intimate details anymore, though here I am at it again.  I never learn.


  1. Laurie, I have a good friend in Wilmington. She fosters and just quit her job as a social worker handling children's' cases there. It's tough. If it isn't the right thing for you, then you've done the right thing by making the decision and moving on.

    Blogs are a lot different. I've been writing mine for 10 years. I have practically no readers, which is kinda nice because I don't have to deal with the haters.

    Take care and I hope 2015 is good to you.

  2. I'm so glad you are sharing. I much prefer truth to all of the over-branded, superficial blogging that's everywhere these days.

  3. I was just having the same conversation with my son. He was describing the difficulties two friends are having with their mom. The "kids" are in their mid 20's. When he got done telling me everything I said - there is a diagnosis there. The family has been blaming everything on her drinking, for years. And yes, it is the drinking too. But mostly there is an undiagnosed, untreated condition. She needs to be evaluated by a really good psychiatrist (who is good at diagnosis).

    And I felt sorry for the mom, because everyone has been enabling her for years, just not to make waves. With the right treatment, she might have gotten to live a very different life. I have an aunt, who did not drink, who lived that kind of life in the 50's and 60's and 70's before medical science was able to help her.

  4. Thank you for sharing. I'm pretty new to blogging and had no idea just how personal and powerful it can be.