It started on Sunday. Or maybe before Sunday but that day felt significantly hard.
The panic over not being able to provide for my children for 12 weeks while I am student teaching is setting in. It's right in front of me, only a few months away, and it is affecting my mental health.
Feeling like I'm asking for too much or relying on others makes me uncomfortable.
And on Monday morning, I said goodbye to my children for the week and immediately drove to a job interview.
Knocked. It. Out. Of. The. Park.
I left feeling on top of the world. Maybe my circumstances would change. Maybe I wouldn't have to student teach. Maybe God had placed that job interview in my path at the exact time when I was needing it most.
And then the rejection email came on Wednesday. On the day when I realized my baby boy was getting sick and vomited all over me at dance.
I felt completely kicked when I was already down.
And then on Thursday, I felt more rejection after a difficult conversation with someone I had put a lot of faith and trust in. More shame for feeling like I'm not providing enough for my babies. More anxiety as I felt more being put on my already-full plate.
It didn't fully hit me that night. I was sad. I was anxious. I felt completely stupid. But it wasn't until Friday when Leo was still sick and I had to leave work early to get him that I started to lose it.
Like fully lose it.
"Sobbing to one of my best friend's on a Marco Polo" losing it.
And all of this in the parking lot of dance before I walked in to teach.
I've lost it a few more times between yesterday and today. Each time, it is when I'm alone and feeling the depth of everything being placed in my path.
There is a lot going on right now. And I feel like I am just treading water in the middle of the ocean, waiting to see if I'm going to make it or if my legs are going to give out.
And why am I writing this down? Why, if you are a close friend, have I not told you personally?
It's probably because when I speak these things out loud, I cry. And what I'm trying to do is continue to tread that water and not completely drown. Crying takes energy and makes me feel weak. And I'm hanging on by a thread over here.
Somehow, I'm still passing all of my classes. Somehow, I'm still working two jobs. Somehow, I'm still raising three children.
But it doesn't feel as amazing this week as it normally does.
More than one circumstance from this week has made it feel less amazing. My brain has decided that I'm not getting by because I'm strong---I'm getting by because everyone else is making it possible. It has nothing to do with me.
My heart knows that isn't true.
But the inner struggle between my heart and my brain has left me feeling exhausted and confused. I'm having a hard time believing that somehow, I've made this all happen for us. I'm feeling like a fraud---like the only reason I'm passing my classes is because I half-ass every assignment and they must feel sorry and give me points for effort. Or like the only reason I am providing for my children is because everyone around me helps out and feels sorry that I'm a single mom and I have NO idea what providing for a family 'in the real world' looks like. Or like the only reason I am able to raise Leo is because the government financially assists his life and not because I'm actually a good mom or that my love is what is helping him to thrive.
These are the real struggles. The un-sugarcoated mess that has been swirling around in my brain and tells me I'll never be good enough to actually be successful. These are the fears I currently have that tell me I'm not successful, that I should have this all figured out after five years of divorce and that I rely too much on the fact that I'm a single mom.
The phrase "single mom" just feels like some nasty crutch that I've apparently used for way too long.
I don't always leave the darkness here---the reality of how I feel on my worst days or the struggle I have with feeling like I'm good enough to succeed at anything.
I have been rejected before and although I feel like that should prepare me better for more rejection, it just seems to have me feeling worse.
I am not going to happily end this blog post. I already know that once my babies are back tomorrow, I'll feel immersed in the joys of raising them. But this week was awful. It broke me down. I felt worthless and ashamed and childish.
And there is no sugarcoating those feelings. They just are.
PS: It is really hard for me to just leave this here as is. I so badly want to wrap it up with a positive message. I don't like when people are worried about me. That isn't the point of this. And in fact, I don't need the worries because this isn't the first or last time I will feel this way. But it needs to be written and intertwined with my blog posts about how everything wraps up perfectly in a pretty little bow. Because life does not always wrap up in a pretty little bow!