Today should be a twofer Tuesday. I started a post last night that my wife asked me to write and I will finish it later and then post it.
So it has been a rocky road over the last few days. It culminated into my wife breaking down last night. I pushed my troubles aside and focused on her. She has so much self doubt and anger that she is just holding in. I told her she has every right to those feelings and to let them go. Don’t hold them in or they will just get worse (I wish I could follow my own advice).
She told me how hard it has been to watch me in my depression. She can’t believe that I was able to watch her for so many years. The helplessness that she feels is almost unbearable and she feels so responsible. She said it is so hard because she knew I handled everything over the last two years and how hard it must have been for me.
She was extremely upset for what it did to my self-esteem. I told her that what I did was much worse on her self-esteem than anything she ever did. She said maybe, but the length of how long she did it was incredible. She kept crying and crying. I held her and just listened. She told me how she has always watched me in my different professions and how confident I am in those positions. How so many people look up to me and years later still contact me and thank me for the impact I made on them. She said I dripped confidence in everything I did so she never imagined that I would have self-esteem issues. I told her that in my jobs I have to be confident. I would not be very good at my job if I was not confident in what I was doing. It is almost like I am a whole other person when working than when I am at home. Plus she was my everything and to be constantly rejected takes a lot out of you.
She said she wished she made an impact on people like I do. I had a hard time listening to her beat herself up. She is not a big contributor to our family financially and now with the threat of me not having any jobs in a month she feels guilty. She thinks she should have done more. I finally stop her. I remind her that while she may not make a huge financial contribution to our family she contributes more to it than I ever can.
We chose to have her stop working to stay home with our kids. She has worked in their schools, volunteered at activities, set up play dates, all while keeping them grounded. I say this all the time but my kids are amazing and she is mostly responsible. She has shaped them to be responsible, independent, confident, and loving young adults. Everyone of their teachers always praises how they wished they had more kids like ours. How they may not speak up all the time but when they do it is spot on. They are also the first to help someone who is struggling, most of the time without even asking. If they are going to miss school they are proactive and get every set before hand. My kids are not the most popular, but they fit in any group they want to be part of when they want to be part of it. I am very confident they will be better than we are when they grow up. Yes, I help provide balance in the parenting and I can be a calming influence and I really have taught my kids to express their emotions (funny that I can teach others but I cannot do it myself). However, she is the one who is mostly responsible for who they are and what they will become.
As she struggled last night I finally pulled out my phone and said listen. Then I read her the post I wrote about her and how amazing I think that she is and how much I love her. She cried through the whole thing. Then I pulled her in and held her until she went to sleep.
Now I have a lot going on inside my head. Too much. I have had set backs that I need to write about from this weekend but I am still processing them. But right now I will be the confident man she needs. I will be there for her to lean on until she can stand on her own again.
What am I going to do about my feelings during this? The constant doubt, the constant black cloud hanging over my head, the understanding that I may never be enough for her, well I will hold it in for now. Bury it until it is time to dig it up and visit it. At the end of this I need her to be happy. I need her to have that chance and be strong enough to grasp it. I am hoping that I can help with that even if I am not part of it in the end.