Monday, June 1, 2009

I Had an Eat You Up Week

Ever have one of those weeks that seems to chew you up, sucking out the fun and spitting you out as a chunk of grumpy, lumpy, slumpy mess? If you answer no to that question, you might reconsider reading this post. You just won't get it. Normally I can feel depression sneaking up on me and head it off, but sometimes I get slammed. I think my problem last week was I had all three of my stressors hit at the same week: situational, environmental, and physical.

#1 Situational

I knew before it started that the last week was going to be stressful. Not only was my schedule jam packed, but Peter was going to be gone. In an effort to motivate themselves to lose weight he and a friend had set a prize of a weekend golf trip. It worked, so a couple Wednesday afternoons ago they loaded up and set out. A weekend alone is always stressful, but after years of practice, I know how to handle it.

On the drive down to South Carolina he got the call we had both expected and dreaded: his 22 year old niece had finally lost her battle with cancer. Now his much anticipated trip included finding flight plans and leaving Saturday morning for Texas. The funeral was Tuesday and Peter was able to rearrange his shifts to be gone longer so he could be there for his family. The emotional toll of dealing with death, combined with additional days alone, took a lot out of me.

Then I lost Joseph. Saturday night I called the kids to get into PJ's and come down for prayer. But Joseph didn't answer. I thought he was in the playroom, so I sent Elise up for him, but he wasn't upstairs. Nor was he downstairs. Getting upset that he had gone out to play in the yard (or maybe I hadn't noticed he stayed outside when the other kids came in? I was pretty sure he'd come in, though) I ran out to call him inside. No one. Did he go onto the beach? It's empty. I could feel that initial prick of panic.

Now I searched the upstairs. And the downstairs. And the outside again. No Joseph. With every second the panic is building. He has left the yard. The kids are searching the neighborhood to see if he took the scooter out for a spin while I search the water breaks to see if he tried to climb the rocks alone and fell. There is nothing quite like searching the water for your son. I was bordering on hysterical.

Ten minutes after we started searching I see a tiny figure leave the driveway of a friend down the street (not a friend Joseph's age, a friend my mom's age). He had gone down the street on the scooter and, seeing grandkids playing in the backyard, stopped to play awhile. I was relieved and extremely angry. Three times he had been reminded not to leave the yard without permission! Punishment was no outside play for a week. A punishment for us both. I am additionally punished with nightmare of searching the water for one of my babies.
No outside play while being home coupled with an out of town husband requires a lot of errands to keep away cabin fever. I'll never know if it would've worked, though, because two of my kids developed pink eye Monday night. Now I can't go outside or leave the house. All the while still under the shadow of dealing with a death in the family. Definitely a high stress week.

#2 Environmental

We had finally warmed up enough for shorts. Finally warm enough to enjoy the beach and go for walks. And then last week the lovely North East decided to become cold and rainy again. Dreary. Drab. Yucky. Just what someone on the border of depression needs, right? Normally I would combat yucky weather with a trip to an indoor playland or the library, but I was quarantined with pink eyed children.

#3 Physical

I went to put on a pair of pants and I couldn't get the button together. It wouldn't reach. In the time it took for my husband to lose 15 pounds, I managed to find at least 7. In addition, the following equation became relevant: certain time of month = always a little down. Enough said about that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
So last week was the perfect storm for a depressed me. When Peter came home he could tell I was barely holding onto sanity. The house was a mess. I was exhausted. The kids were climbing the walls. He cleaned up, retamed the children, and let me take a nap. The weather warmed again. The week grounding ended. Pink eye left the house (for the most part). I feel better. Some weeks are just like that.


  1. So sorry you were in a funk last week - and glad that you are feeling better. I can't imagine searching the water for a child - I am impressed that you only grounded him for a week, not until he's 18.

  2. This mom business is not for sissies, is it? I'm glad you got through your week.

  3. Wow. That is a rough week. So sorry to hear about your neice. Cancer is devastating, especially in those that are so young. I understand the toll it can take on you. I'm glad that all worked out with everything else though and hopefully you 'll have a much better week.

  4. I can only imagine the fear that you had searching for your son. I hope I never have to go through that. I hope this week is better for you

  5. I feel so much better about the ocean not being in my back yard, I never want to search the serf for my kids. Glad it turned out well though. Give me a call sometime.

  6. OH and by the way, I like the new header... I have forgotten to mention it before!

  7. Oh Charlotte! Hearing about Joseph made me burst into tears. I am so sorry you had to do that alone. Sometimes I really really miss living closer to you guys. I wish I could be there when you're having a hard week and I know you would do the same for me.
    I love and miss you sista!!

  8. Yuck! I'm glad you are feeling better...the weather always seems to be the last straw for me too! I think it's sweet of you to let your husband take off. Now you need to plan a girl's night out!

  9. I am so sorry your week was so awful. When you told me on Saturday how bad it had been I didn't realize it was quite THAT bad. You seemed blue but I thought you were just mad that you caught me breaking into your house and stealing all your books.
    I wish I had been a better friend. Unfortunately, with pink eye running rampant I wouldn't have done much good but I could have at least said "Poor Charlotte" a little louder for you.

  10. I lost a kid at the beach one time. We were camping at St. Andrews in FL and my daughter disappeared. At a campsite. On the beach. She was 4. It was terrifying. She was hiding because she was mad, and after I found her, and cried, I was mad too.

    I'm sorry you had a bad week.

    I hope this next one is better.

  11. What a week indeed. It's so sad that when that is going on it's the hardest time to call a friend and say HELP because usually, at least for me, I don't know how to be helped. Sometimes the only way through is straight through. I'm glad you made it, with your sanity and ALL your children. What a terrifying experience. You need to bask in the sun in a hammock by the beach with a good book. Forget the book, take a nap.

  12. awww, I am so sorry! I wish I lived next door...I would have brought soup and brownies.

  13. awww, I am so sorry! I wish I lived next door...I would have brought soup and brownies.

  14. I'm sorry it was such a rough week. Sometimes when it rains, it pours. (Especially with this crappy weather we've had back here. Give me a blindingly blue Utah day every once in a while, please.)