This entry is part 26 of 32 in the series Still Standing

It’s tough to describe the level of exhaustion I feel on a regular basis.

This is how you feel when the life has been sucked out of you.

Like the machine in the movie The Princess Bride, this summer of caring for my children with attachment issues has sucked years off my life.

I am reminded of the newborn period when we first brought our babies home from the hospital and when we fostered newborns.

No one quite prepares you for the relationship intensity. People talk about fatigue and lack of sleep, and total love, and maybe even depression.

Those are all there, but there’s also also the invisible pull.When the Life Has Been Sucked Out of You|The Holy Mess

I worry about the kids when I’m not with them. How are they behaving? Are they holding it together? Should I have just stayed home? They are rarely far from my mind.

We are working on arranging respite. I have got to get a break soon.

Some family friends have watched the Nancy Thomas respite video and agreed to give a try to watching my 10 year old son for us. God bless them. We met with them last week go explain my son’s behaviors. They understand that this isn’t typical babysitting and it’s not fun time for my son. Their job is not to build a relationship with him, but to give us, and him, a break. Thank you, thank you.

We are in the process of arranging respite through Medicaid, too. This is not easy to get. Last time our son had this, it didn’t go so well. There were several incidents when he was out in the community with his respite provider (despite her training in handling tough kids), and he was asked not to come back to the program.

I know Mike is worried about me. I lie down on the couch and could fall into a dead sleep almost any time. I’ve still been getting in my workouts most days of the week, which helps with my energy level. I know I could be eating better. I grab something when I can, and it’s not always the most healthy.

When the boys are awake, I am on duty. Period.

I don’t work. I rarely sit. I am supervising. I am monitoring.

I am dealing with behaviors or working through a fit or rage. I am engaging them in the next activity, helping them clean up the last one, or trying to mentally think ahead to the next one before they get there.

The older three teens have been fantastic. They’ve been a tremendous help to me this summer when they are home between activities. Bekah’s taken over most of the cooking. They do laundry. They supervise one when the other one is throwing a fit.

In between, there is a never-ending, I’m-continually-behind list of phone calls and emails to advocate with Medicaid and the school district.

When I feel like I can’t keep going, I am thankful for this promise from God.

A fresh well of new mercies waits:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
    his mercies never come to an end;
 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23When the Life Has Been Sucked Out of You|the Holy Mess

Still StandingStill Standing|The Holy Mess

Bible Verse

Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

1 Peter 5:9

Journal Prompt

How does it make you feel to know you are not alone in your daily struggles?

Resources

Do You Have Angry Depression? The Day I Didn’t Get Out of Bed

Do You Have Secondary Traumatic Stress?

When the Life Has Bee Sucked Out of You|The Holy Mess

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