Soul Doubt

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It strikes me as somewhat curious that much of what I write here I attempt to filter and slant to make all seem quite well in my life. And don't get me wrong- I think that overall, I'm a fairly happy person these days, with most of my demons long since exorcised or at least beaten into submission. But of course things aren't always A-OK, I still live daily with doubts and fears and misgivings and guilt, and at times my happy face is just that: a face.

I would say that this last week has been more difficult than most. I've caught myself several times slipping into a semi-daze of depression- never quite getting going throughout the day, just spending my time wandering through the house in my pajamas, drinking cup after cup of coffee but not eating... bouncing aimlessly from site to site but finding little of interest online... attempting to escape through the reading of a good book, but having to put it down after scanning the same paragraph a half dozen times yet still unable to have told you what I'd just read... electing to not answer the phone when it rings, for no other reason than instinctively needing to jealously guard my solitude...
Sadly enough, that's how it's been for me lately. I wouldn't categorize it as a full-fledged depression- after all, I'm still devoting a certain amount of time to the necessities. I guess I'm more just drifting on a sea of apathy, really.

Financially, things could be better; maybe that's part of it. There's a certain amount of strain between my husband and me in regards to my spending- we avoid talking about it, because it invariably leads to arguing, but the money issue lurks silently around the edges of our conversations nonetheless. I agree that I'm careless with money at times; he obsesses about the green stuff entirely too much, to the point where I end up calling him a stingy, greedy bastard- words I instantly regret the moment they tumble from my mouth, but of course cannot take back nor assuage the sting of their having been flung. The bills always get paid, and it's rarely that we're significantly late in doing so. We want for very little, in my opinion. But with a child, come goals, and long-term ones at that- perhaps that's the source of the tightly controlled panic I hear in Tony's voice when he speaks about our future. It's difficult to imagine buying a home, paying for good schooling, and achieving a higher standard of living financially when we have loused up our credit so badly in our past, are still somewhat in debt with various creditors, and literally live paycheck to paycheck. Sigh. Now that I'm keying this paragraph onto my computer screen, I can empathize so much more with Tony- how stressful the role of "Man of the Family" must be, his overwhelming desire to provide for us coupled with guilt for not being "good enough", "rich enough", or "smart enough" to figure out a way to propel us up the ladder another rung or two. I want so badly to assure him of his worth, his success in MY eyes as a husband and father, in a way that truly hits home, but hesitate to even bring it up, afraid that I might fail miserably in my approach and just end up making him feel all that much worse, a subject of pity to be consoled. He's a very proud man, my Tonydaddy. But aren't most of them, for that matter?

So I stay silent, as does he, and we talk about inconsequential matters- I, still in my pajamas at 2:00 in the afternoon; him, outwardly his regularly upbeat smiling self, but with shoulders knotted tense with the stress of trying to hold it all together. Both of us watching our precocious son intently as he struggles to keep his balance in this new, upright position, standing on wobbly bowed legs with a beatific smile on his face.


  1. What an honest, heartfelt post. And aren't we all struggling to keep our balance in one way or another? What a relief to let the mask drop and confess our worries!

    We have lots of financial issues, too. Like you, we've been able to pay the bills; God gives us what we need, and even more sometimes. But we can't seem to get on top of things and move toward all those same goals you mentioned--a home, college savings for the kids (we can't even get out from under the massive school loans WE have, let alone consider how we're going to help our kids get an education!) To be honest, though I'm trying to stay content with what we have (and we have so much), this two bedroom apartment is feeling pretty crowded most days.

    Anyway, thanks for opening up on your blog, and know that you're not alone!

  2. You're braver than me. I have yet to be completely myself on my blog, and I've been writing it for four years. It's probably due to the fact that I started my blog as more of an informational, impersonal type of website. I'm still hesitant to delve too deeply into my family's privacy, or my own for that matter.

    I've actually had a few blog readers write me to say, "You are so lucky to have the perfect little family." Oh, if they only knew. We're just like everyone else. We struggle with raising children, we get depressed about money, we're too tired most of the time to focus on ourselves as a couple, etc, etc.

    Anyway, we all go through these things, even if we don't blog about it.

    And hey, there is NOTHING wrong with wearing your pajamas all day!

  3. Boy can I relate. I hate dealing with money issues. My husband and I are doing better. After 21 years of marriage, and me pretty much shouldering the burden of keeping our finances in line, I finally told him it was too much and I couldn't do it on my own anymore. So we now communicate and talk about it and pray about it, which was way over due. But God has always met our needs over the years, and I need to trust in Him to continue to meet those needs. But it is always a struggle!!

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  5. What a great entry. I think a lot of us could plug ourselves in and it would be about us. It's the battles we all face, but never talk about.


Thanks for taking the time to read what I ramble about- I consider it an honor to get feedback from you guys, so please tell me what you think, feel, if you have a similar story... whatever you'd like! Thanks again and God bless.