The truth is, I am weak.
Apparently, this is only a surprise to me. God knows it, and God knows my husband knows it. I guess even my friends have come to realize that I’m not perfect (gasp!). So yesterday I felt pretty out of it. I was angry at everyone, for no particular reason. I had no patience. I wanted to spend time with my kids and enjoy being with them, but only if they were behaving perfectly. And they weren’t. Ava was whining and Drew wasn’t listening to me and Dan wasn’t reading my mind so I was mad! I wanted to escape, to go and hide in my room and felt extremely guilty about it. So I spent a lot of time feeling angry and even more time feeling guilty and even worse, I felt too prideful to ask for help. I didn’t want to admit even to myself that I was having these feelings, let alone ask someone else for help with my inadequacies as a mother.
I thought I should be happy to be home. I should be happy this part is over and that it went well. I should be happy to be with Drew, because I am lucky he is even alive. Plus, in the world I live in, the world of heart defects and surgeries, a cath is not that big of a deal. I thought, what is wrong with me, that I am feeling this way? I thought no one understands me.
Luckily, I have awesome friends. I talked with a friend who told me that these thoughts are not from God. That He wants us to function in community and that no one thinks that I am perfect anyway, so there is no need to pretend. She said to ask for and accept help. And she was right. Another friend forced me to go to lunch, even though I told her I didn’t feel like talking to anyone. And I’m glad I went. I probably wasn’t a cheery addition to the group, but it was good to get out of the house and slowly but surely I started feeling better. I talked to another heart mom, who does understand my feelings. And still another friend came over to watch mindless TV with me.
So what did I learn from this experience? I learned that apparently, this is my way of dealing with stress. I can get through the hospitalizations relatively unscathed, but the day after is going to be bad. So next time I will allow for a decompression day. I will ask ahead of time for help with my family so I can have a melt-down, knowing that they are being taken care of. And I will lean on my friends.