I don’t know how you do it.
I couldn’t do what you do.
You are so strong.
Phrases I’ve heard a lot over my life, especially over the last 3 years. And I will counter with:
“Do what?! Love my children? Do what’s best for my kids? Make sure my kids are happy, healthy, and have a roof over there head?” It’s the same thing the people who are telling me they don’t know how I do it, are doing. The exact same thing. I just may have a few different steps.
“I’m not strong.” Let me tell you. Resilient? Yes, maybe. Strong? Meh. I can put up appearances and I’m good at pretending and my shoulders can carry big things for short periods of time (hence my football player physique) but I break more often than I’m together. Fake it to you make it has always been my motto. It’ll continue to be my motto.
What other choice do you have when you are alone in this city except for your husband, kids, and a few close friends? I lean on the people near and far who I can count to have my back and take over when my legs and shoulders can’t carry the load any more. For those people, I’ll be eternally grateful. The last 3.5 years have allowed me to find out that people who should be there, who say they will be there, who say things will change….sadly don’t. They leave you floating in their abyss of good intentions that don’t come to fruition. Then others who you least expect, step up to the plate and go above and beyond. It’s funny how that works. Some days I feel immense sadness and anger over how that works.
But I’m building my village. I’ve found most of “my people”. People who “get it”. Get all of it. People who accept me and how I must deal with the cards life has thrown in my face. They don’t hold expectations of me, nor I of them. It’s an understanding you can’t learn or explain until you’ve been down that road with a child with complex needs, with someone who must live away from their family and “home”, with someone who lost their Mother. The list goes on.
So all this to say, please don’t compliment me for going through rough times and trying to get through to the other side. I’m not getting through unscathed. I’m not better or stronger than you because of “it”, whatever that may be. Just like you, I’m doing the best I can and that’s all I can do. It’s all anyone can do.