Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Taking Off My Brave Face.

Sunday, January 22, 2012
Taking Off My Brave Face.
This song has been playing over and over in my head tonight....

It is well past two in the morning, I can't sleep but that is nothing new here lately.

Tonight I'm taking off my brave face.

I can't hold it in any longer.

I have hit a breaking point, a place that I don't feel like I can be strong anymore. At least not for tonight.

I appreciate all the support and kind words we have received from everyone. It has meant so much.

I'm just at a point where I can't pretend anymore.

I can't pretend I don't hurt inside like my heart was ripped out.

I can't pretend the loneliness isn't so overwhelming that I feel like I can't breath sometimes.

I can't pretend I feel like I am not falling apart.

I can't pretend that not letting these feelings surface will just mean I'm stronger.

Tonight I'm not. I'm not strong. But I am trying really really hard to be. But the tears just won't stop.

Tonight I'm being REAL.

Since Jerome has left we have been handed a load of things to deal with. The very day after he leaves Spencer gets sick and we spent the night in the emergency room only to find out he has meningitis.

The next morning I wake up to a phone call from school, Natalie was sick and needed to be picked up. We came home and she barely made it to the bathroom to throw up. She was blessed with a stomach bug.

I can't help but keep replaying in my head what the pastor lady (as Spencer called her) said to me. She came to visit Spencer while we were waiting for the tests to be run or the results to be in. I know when she entered our room that she wasn't expecting to see a fourteen year old boy distraught and wishing his dad was there with him too. I think she was taken aback by it all, by the tears swelling up in his eyes as she asked him if she could pray with him. She said a very emotional prayer. She prayed for his health and that he would get better soon. She then prayed for all the pain and loneliness and longing to be together that was felt in that room. She prayed for Jerome's safety and God's hand to protect him while he is away and to protect us as well. When she finished talking to Spencer and was getting ready to leave she hugged me and said that it isn't His intention for us to go through all of this alone and that everything will be OK (I had kind of laughed off emotion I was shoving down when she entered the room and told her how it was a deployment curse). She knew I was holding it all in. She kept asking to call our church or our pastor, and asked if he knew we were there. I didn't....because I had my brave face on....I was strong, or at least pretending to be.

And here I sit tonight feeling like I am falling apart inside. I'm not as strong as I think I am....but I am trying really hard.

The other night Jerome texted me to ask how Spencer and Natalie were feeling and if they were getting better. Then he asked how I was.

I told him, "I think the kids being sick has just broken the strength I thought I had to get through this. They are feeling a little better now so I'm feeling like I can take a big breath and just breath out all the stress..."

He replied by telling me, "I never doubted it...that's why it's not hard for me to leave, I know you have everything under don't know how much I LOVE YOU!!!"

I cried when I read his message...tears of love. And I kept telling myself to be strong.

Tonight I can't be. Maybe I've just hit a point that I can't hold these feelings inside anymore. Maybe it's because I'm exhausted physically and emotionally. Maybe it's because I am trying so very, very hard to be strong for everyone else. Maybe I just need to cry so that I can move on and be strong again.

Tonight Natalie climbed in bed with me and watched a little bit of tv with me. It was time to go to bed and I told her I needed her to sleep in her room tonight. I was feeling all the emotions built up inside and I just needed a good cry, but I didn't want her to know. But I wanted to be strong and not let her know why I needed to sleep in bed alone. She asked again to sleep in bed with me and I tried to explain to her that I needed some time to be by myself (I don't think I have had any time to deal with this emotion since Jerome left). She asked again and I told her the truth...I took off my brave face and told her that I just needed to be alone so that I could cry and that I was missing her Daddy.

She reached over and held my hand and said,"Mommy you can cry with me's OK. I know you are sad. It's OK to cry in front of me."

And so I did.

She fell asleep in bed with me with her hand on my back as I was crying into my pillow. I felt awful, I wasn't holding it together and I at that time was not being strong. Yet she was calm, comforting and understanding and strong for me.

I am going to be real here, honest and speaking what I feel inside. That sometimes is the purpose for all of this. Mostly it is so that Jerome can see pictures of our kids growing up while he is gone and to keep a journal of everything we go through good or bad. But sometimes it is a way of letting my feelings out that I can't keep bottled up inside.

Right now there are six loads of unfolded, but clean laundry sitting on our dining room table.

I haven't cooked a single dinner since Jerome has been gone because honestly it has been nothing but Jell-o, Gatorade, crackers and the typical BRAT diet. And to be even more honest...I just haven't had the time to and emotionally I'm not ready to sit down at a table and have dinner with Jerome not being there.

There has been a child sleeping in our bed every night since he has been gone.

There is a Christmas tree on our front porch that the wind knocked over the other night and scared me to death. I need to do something with it, but haven't had the time to. Jerome was going to take care of it before he left but we ran out of time with all the packing and everything else we were trying to squeeze in in that week.

There are Barbie's and board games scattered all over our living room floor.

Jerome's dress military shoes are sitting underneath the bench in the entry that just caught my eye today and when I saw them I got all choked up.

And to be completely honest, I sometimes want to throw the paper chain away that me and our girls worked so hard on. Because every time I look at it, it just feels like forever staring back at me.

I can't eat because I don't have an appetite. And I can't sleep at night because the quiet at night is when my mind starts wondering.

So there you have it. That is how I'm doing.

I'm not strong tonight.....but I am trying very, very hard to be.

I need to be strong. I need to be strong for my husband so that he can go over there and know that we are good on the homefront. That he can focus on what he has to do and come home safe to us again.

I need to be strong for my kids. They haven't broken down as much as they did the last time he left, but something tells me they are holding it all inside too.

I know that I can do this. I've done it is just very hard to do. Just for tonight I am taking a break from being strong.
"Just Cry"
by Mandisa
Why you gotta act so strong?
Go ahead and take off your brave face
Why you telling me that nothing's wrong
It's obvious your not in a good place
Who's telling you to keep it all inside
And never let those feelings
Get past the corner of your eye

You don't need to run

You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright
Just cry

I know you know your Sunday songs

A dozen verses by memory
Yeah they're good but life is hard
And days get long
You gotta know God can handle your honesty
So feel the things your feeling
Name your fears and doubts
Don't stuff your shame and sadness, loneliness and anger
Let it out, let it out

You don't need to run

You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright

Just cry

Just cry

It doesn't mean you don't trust him

It doesn't mean you don't believe
It doesn't mean you don't know
He's redeeming everything.

You don't need to run

You don't need to speak
Baby take some time
Let those prayers roll down your cheek
It maybe tomorrow
You'll be past the sorrow
But tonight it's alright
But tonight it's alright

Just cry

Why you gotta act so strong

Go ahead and take off your brave face 

Posted by AmberHope at 4:36 AM Description:

It's always been said that " a real man is one that can allow himself to cry. " I believe that holds true to women as well. Being strong doesn't necessarily mean you need to shield your children from your pain, or hide how you feel. Last night Natalie witnessed just how much her Mother loves and misses her Father. I know she will never forget that. She was the brave one. She learned that you need to cry and be held too. She was happy to be the one to do that for you; let her. In some way I think that by her feeling needed, her feeling brave... that she grew a bit stronger... perhaps she thought to herself, " I am strong too and my family needs me. " Perhaps that moment will help her when she is sad. I see nothing wrong with you crying with Natalie last night. I know that if I were in your place, it would take every ounce of strength I had just to get out of bed in the morning, to get the kids to school, to smile when all you want to do is cry... When your loved ones say they are here for you if you need it, know that people love you and they mean that. No one expects you to be strong in a way that doesn't allow you to feel what is natural to feel. No one expects you to hold this in and be strong for everyone else, and then cry alone in your room. That doesn't seem fair does it? There were very few times when my Father cried. And when he did, I knew it was serious. When I was the one that made him cry, I felt a bit of security... a realization or confirmation of his deep and true love for his child... I imagine you have experienced this as well? When your children see you cry for Jerome, it doesn't weaken them my dear, sweet sister... it strengthens them... it strengthens their hearts because they experience that realization... that undeniable truth that he is a part of you... and you need him... it strengthens their character because they use empathy... they learn that they are very important, that they are needed... and that they can help their mother in her time of need. I promise you that when Natalie remembers last night, it will not be with sadness... she will remember it with a sense of knowing and pride. You will get through this... yes it seems like forever, and yes it will be the most difficult thing you have ever done... but it will still pass. Stay the course. Your children are older now... they are smart, understandin, caring and tender hearted, just like their mother. Let them hold you if you need held. I believe, with my whole heart, that you are teaching them far more by being open with how you feel, then you would be by putting on a brave face. Just let go and breathe... you will make it just have to do it one day at a time. That paper chain WILL get smaller. Just imagine what a wonderful feeling that will be! I love you sis, so very much.

1 comment:

  1. thank you for moving hearts in blogland and for linking up. praying that you can let go of holding it all together and have His perfect peace. xoxo.


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