Today is blog day. And I am going to be real. I don’t feel like writing a blog. It happens sometimes. But I try not to show it. There are days in all our lives when doing things is a struggle. And that goes for helpers, therapists and life coaches too. Let’s face it. If we all waited until we were perfect to help others, we would never start. I get that you see the social media persona, the live stream video person, the consistent blogger who never seems to miss a beat. But that’s not always who I am. Sometimes I feel like it is all too much. Sometimes I feel like it is not making a difference. Sometimes I feel like I am running and running and running, but not getting anywhere.
Deep down inside, I know those are the lies that futility brings. And I am lucky these days. I don’t have to work as hard to see the truth. My life is not perfect, but it was created by me. And that makes it much better than it was. The “help” I used to have wasn’t real help. The money I made came from a job I hated. The things I bought gave me no joy. But they looked good on the outside. Maybe to external unaware people, my old life looked better than the life I have now. But that’s not true. And I know it.
But I have tired parts. My controller still runs them ragged sometimes. And there are those moments when I get blindsided by a problem I didn’t see coming. This is my biggest trigger. My controller’s hypervigilance has failed and the resulting futility can send me into a spiral. That’s what happened Monday. My kids’ first grading period ended on Friday and I was beside myself with the amazing job they had done. This was their first grading experience in their first public school. And I promised them we would be a team through this transition. And we were. I’m not going to lie. I managed things closely. I am a recovering hoverer. But I didn’t do the work for them. I just reminded them of the work that needed to be done. I handled the logistics. (Why the hell do we think 11-year-olds can handle those logistics?) And they showed just how smart they really are.
They are pretty damn smart too. On Friday, my son had straight A’s with one B+. This is remarkable considering he went to this school testing several grades back in spelling and sight reading. I was told by others (not the school) that he would need an IEP. It was suggested he be held back a year. I ignored it all. I knew better. I knew my son. And he stepped up to the challenge. I know how smart he is. He had tests he “forgot” to mention to me (so he didn’t have to study at home) but he got A’s on them. No amount of hovering is going to give him that ability. And my daughter stepped up too. She runs high on the anxiety scale and I worried about how she would handle the tests. The first few tests were disastrous. I was concerned. But then she figured it out and finished with A’s and B’s.
I saw it as a miracle. I expected a disaster and the disaster didn’t happen. Whew! I dodged a bullet there. Lucky me. And then Monday happened. Large in-class project grades were suddenly posted. And two grades plummeted (one each). I freaked out. What the hell? How are these just showing up? They were worth more than 30% of their grades. A’s suddenly became B’s. In one case, it was justified and we were given the day to fix it. My daughter was overwhelmed with the formatting in a Google doc and chose not to do it. Not a good decision on her part, but haven’t we all been there? But my son’s situation was brutal. He forgot to put labels on a PowerPoint and got a C. Labels took his A+ to a B+. What? How does this teach our kids about the real world? It doesn’t. It just gives them anxiety. And with one other logistical issue in another class (his fault), his grades changed to 3 A’s and 3 B+’s. Blindsided.
And I melted down. You might be thinking, “Get a grip. Big deal. What the hell is your problem?” Believe me, I have thought it all. But the time I put in to this transition was monumental. In many ways, my business suffered from lack of attention. My mental health definitely suffered. My sleep suffered. And let’s face it, it was stressful for the kids to make this shift. Their anxiety was higher than normal. But the three of us had done it! We had made this transition and survived it with flying colors. We proved so many people wrong. And that hasn’t changed. But the message changed. What is the message now?
“Just when you think you have everything under control, the universe will pull the rug out from under you.”
“You let your guard down for one weekend and all hell broke loose.”
“You can never really achieve what you want. Something will always get in the way.”
Are these thoughts and their emotions truly justified in this situation? No. Are they flashbacks? Yes. Does that matter right now? Not that much. The futility is here. The futility is real in my body. And I will need to sit with it in this moment. I will need to express it in writing (and believe me, I have). And in the very near future, I will understand that my son’s grades are still awesome. I will remember how far he came in 9 weeks. I will be able to give myself credit for managing this transition as a single mother with NO help. I will even come to a place of knowing this doesn’t even matter. But not right now. My controller is pissed. My other parts are futile. And I will accept their response until it passes.
But I will write this blog post.