Friday, February 17, 2012

The reworking of Melly

I am a fairly driven person.  I like to go farther, faster, sooner.  I like to try new things, learn new skills, feel new "highs."  I wouldn't describe myself as competitive, as I could care less if I finish first; I just want to start something new and conquer it.

Knitting, DONE!
Triathlon-ing, DONE!
Half Marathon-ing, DONE-TWICE!
Moving across the country...5 times, DONE!
Birthing without medical intervention and even at home, DONE!  

Sitting still is not something I do well.  Resting is not really my thing.  Being "weak" is crazy-making for me.  So, when I found myself with a broken pelvis at 20-weeks pregnant after part of the house fell on me during the tornado, I felt like I was a contestant on "Survivor"...a bawdy housewife dropped on some weird island with no recognizable survival skills and only a stretchy bandana for a top.  How could I be Melly when confined to a bed?  Who the heck was I without the ability to DO?

I am still confronting that question.  I thought that after my sweet baby was born (via c-section due to my now deformed pelvis) I would bounce back to conquering shape, ready to run, ready to race, ready to let the world know the strength and passion of Melly. Wowzah was I mistaken.  My body is so jacked up now.  My belly is floppy and weak; my legs are now different lengths and as a result my gait is wonky, which makes my right knee, hip and foot ache every night; and nearly every muscle atrophied while I was on bed rest.  I feel doughy and weak and wobbly, physically and mentally.

I've always valued my physical strength and now it is a fraction of what it was before.  So, I am working to figure out who I am at the heart of me.  I am brave, I am creative, I am funny, and I have great hair.  But how will all of that translate into how I live my life absent of the challenges I am used to placing in front of myself?  I know that this is a season and I know it has value and will make me a "better" woman but it super sucks.  I don't like the uncertainty of not knowing what my body will be capable of once healing is complete.  I don't like that I will be reminded of that stinkin' tornado every time I see the scar on my belly or feel the ache in my hip or foot.

But I don't like the idea of being kept down and out...I will rework Mama.  I'll find new paths of success that will challenge and thrill me without taxing my jacked-up body.  I'll recover. I will.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tuesdays are the pits

Yesterday I found myself emotionally frazzled.  I couldn't mentally organize myself, kept snapping at the kids, and eventually ended up making excuses to sneak off and cry secretly in the bathroom, in the car, in the laundry room...

At the end of the day I was praying, asking God to show me what was wrong with me.  I don't like living in such a fragile place.  I am a tough chick; I DON'T sneak off to cry.  That's just not me.

I was complaining to God about how much running around I had to do on Tuesdays--take Ian to his special needs preschool at 8:30am, take Bear and Caleb to their church preschool at 9am, go work out at a local park (I run a trail with Ellie in the jogger while Prewitt and Maggie play in sight of me the whole time), pick up the younger 2 boys at 1pm, run errands across town, get Maggie to art class at 3:45pm and then pick her up at 5:15pm and take Prewitt to wrestling practice at 6pm.  Sigh, Tuesday is crazy at our house.  Then I realized that every one of those events required a trip into the tornado zone.  I drive through the desolate, broken, trauma-ridden landscape of the tornado path up to 8 or 9 times on Tuesdays.

I noticed last week when I drove a "new" way through the tornado path that my hands were moist, I was scratching my fingernails against my leg, and my breathing was rapid and uneasy.  There was destruction I had not seen and my mind reeled to process it all.  Every wounded skeleton of a home, every partially standing building, every tree missing its bark and most of its limbs, every bent street sign, every bit of random debris in the trees (jackets, insulation, sheets, metal from garage doors, etc.) was a story of fear, of trauma, maybe of death.

Sometimes, when driving through the destruction zone I get flashes of that night.  The odd, disconcerting mix of hail falling on me while lightening flashed without pause...the look on Maggie's face as she screamed she was dying and seeing her body trapped and twisted and thinking she was going to die...yelling to Chuck and him not responding (he blacked out for part of the storm) and thinking I had to save all the kids on my own...Maggie's face again...

So, yeah. Tuesdays are the pits.