Monday, February 23, 2009

Feelings...

...after recently reading a blog, where the author discussed some feelings she was having, it got me to thinking. I usually try and keep my blog light, fun, and a record of the happenings of our family. But today, for a number of different reasons I am choosing to put my deeper, darker feelings out there--my form of cheap thearpy, I guess. Today is one of those days, where if I could curl up in bed and just cry the day away I would. I am lonely. I am sad. And I am feeling extremly misplaced here in the desert. I have felt this way on and off ever since I moved here in 2005, but lately, especially since Parker was born, I felt more isolated, more overwhelmed, and more in need of my friends and family. The problem is, all of my close friends are scattered across the country and my family is all back east, aside from my mom. My other mom and step dad, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins are so far away and I miss the sound of their voices and the smiles on thier faces. I miss feeling like part of a family. My mother is great, I love her, and I would have gone insane long ago if she was not living near me here in Tucson. But it's not the same when you only get to see your family every couple of years, if that. I know she misses them, too. I am not close to many members of my husband's family, and often feel very out of place and out of the loop. We seem to be an after thought in most cases, and I feel very much like I am on the outside looking in.

I struggle at church. I struggle to live up to a standard I feel is impossible to obtain. I am a convert to my religion and as a result there is a whole culture, language, and experience that I didn't grow up with. I feel spiritually inadaquate, and worrying on an almost daily basis that I am failing my children and my husband. I don't fit in my ward. It has been almost four years and I still feel like a visitor. I want to join cooking clubs and play groups and go on Relief Society trips, but I don't, because again, I feel like I am on the outside looking in and I don't know how to get to the other side.

I struggle as a mother. I am not a naturally maternal person and I feel very judged because of it. Now, that could just be me projecting my own guilt outward, but a lot of the decisions I've made in regards to my children, especially my decision not to breastfeed, have been met with disapproval. I do the best I can. I love my children, but I also want to maintain and cultivate my individuality. I don't want to lose the person I was before marriage and children. I want to have time for myself and my hobbies. Is that so bad?

I am grateful, too, although that may be lost in this post. I have a husband that despite what his parents or family thought, loved me and made me his wife. He has built a life with me, and has allowed me to be just who I am, GIGANTIC flaws and all. I will forever be grateful and humbled by the love of my husband. Most days I don't deserve his kindness, patience, and unwaivering support, but I am blessed by it nonetheless. I have three BEAUTIFUL children. Energetic, exasperating, and uniquely wonderful children, without whom I would feel incomplete. It's just somedays, days like today, I wish I had a close friend and confidant to tell my feelings to, rather than having to find comfort in posting a blog entry.

10 comments:

Annie M. said...

Oh Niki, I wish I had your phone number so I could call you and I wish we lived closer so I could come visit you.... we all have days where we feel like no matter what we do it just isn't enough so I hope you know you're not alone in that. It is SO hard not being home. Believe me, I cry about it a lot. We have no family around us at all and it's a challenge. Sometimes it stinks that the country is so big and people are spread all over the place. I just want to come over and hug you. I love you and hope that you feel better soon. I'm not sure what else to say other than I love you!!!

Niki Carpenter said...

I love you too, Annie, you're one of the ones I miss most. Some days you just need your "connection" you know?

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sara Adams said...

Hey Nikki,
I can also identify with alot of your same feelings. Belive it or not, even with my calling, I'm also having a hard time find a niche in the ward...sometimes I think if you have more than 1 kiddo, you automatically don't fit in. Its kind of hard, that in our ward I FEEL OLD. Well I hope you have a better day tomorrow. Did you get my email?

The Wills Family! said...

My baby is 19 months old now and I am just starting to feel like I am getting some normalcy back into my life. A routine that I can be happy with.
I have struggled with all the same feelings you have, however I've been trying to give myself a break in terms of the expectations everyone has of me, cause you could go crazy if you don't, and let's face it....we can't do it all!
It is always good to hear that other women go through the same things that I do. Thank you for sharing, and I hope you feel better soon :)

Emily said...

Niki!
Hey I just wanted to say hi, I know it has been sooo long since we have talked, I hope you don't mind that I am viewing your blog as I am just now entering the blogging world! Thanks for this post, being a mom I think that we all have those days like you described. Sometimes it is hard to stay connected when you feel like your whole world revolves around the little people in your life. Don't be too hard on yourself because I am sure you are doing an awesome job!

Mrs Joe said...

Niki.... Keep you chin up. We all have those days and even the times when it seems like there are more of "those days" than not, it does end. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I have felt just what you are feeling.... it took me 6 years to feel like I fit in in my ward and neighborhood here in Idaho. I stuck it out, cried a TON, and prayed for a friend. The lord WILL bless you, he DOES watch out for you! Just don't be so hard on yourself. We are almost always our own worst enemies! Love ya!!

Mie

Rachael said...

Niki, I just want you to know that I think you are wonderful and I can identify with lots of the same feelings you are having. I am sad that we didn't hang out more when I was in Tucson, but I want you to know that I appreciate your kind comments on my blog and I love to check yours! I think of you as a good friend, even though we didn't know each other too long.

Kori said...

my sweet grenon - your candor and vulnerability do you credit. you have an incredible gift to express what we all feel - but are too insecure to share. doesn't matter that you weren't raised in the church, very few women have natural maternal instincts. truth is - all women feel broken in some way... none of us measure up to what we "think" we should be and satan reminds us of that daily. all of us put on a pretense and are just trying to get through, get by, or get on with life... i love you and you are an example to me and the rest of us. remember my dear friend that you are "real" and that is "rare"!

TrishAnderson said...

WoW! Obviously, I understand how you feel. I am glad we have been getting to know we each other, but I feel that it is too slowly. I was grateful that you helped me with my kids the other day and I owe you big time. Watch for an email (if you didn't get it before reading this). I am planning something HUGE!