9.26.2008

No longer out to sea

I have come to the conclusion that one of my deepest character flaws is that I tend to give up. I give up when things get too hard for me to cope with...when I have no idea how to handle something...I just let it ride over me like a wave in the ocean until I float away and it was no longer crashing over me, consuming me.

I guess I've always been like this. And for a while, it worked for me. When I was a little girl struggling with the concept of having two parents who no longer wanted to be married to one another, I would lay in bed at night and dream up this family with a mother and a father...and they had a pool. All the kids had their own rooms, toys, a dog...that is mostly what I remember. But that is what I did, night after night. Think of this family until it comforted me enough to go to sleep.

When I got older and had friendships that weren't working out, I let myself float away until that friendship wasn't this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I woke up to every morning. When I dated guys and I got that familiar feeling that they weren't the one for me, I simply stopped talking to them. All I had to worry about was uncomfortable silences whenever we ran into each other.

In my marriage and in my mothering, I have kept up this habit. And it's been to my own detriment. I dig my head in the sand because that seems to be the only way I can cope.

But I have to ask myself, am I really coping? No. I feel like the time has come for me to stop letting the water pull me out to sea. I have to stand my ground and let the water crash over me. Yes, I will probably get a thrashing. I'll probably end up scraping my knees a few times and I will most definitely come out of the water with a wedgie...or worse, my top falling down.

But I am beginning to understand that if I don't learn to handle conflict head on, I am never going to grow as a person...a mother...a wife. I will never learn how to persevere in anything.

I'll just be floating away in the sea.
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