I write three blogs with varying regularity. I can’t decide which blog is more appropriate for this post: the one about adapting to Vermont, the one about parenting, or the one titled “managing the madness”. This one feels like it should be in the latter, but that one is focused on a different source of madness, and the first, it could go in because it’s got to do with living here, but it’s also about our life, and how it colors our life, as people and as parents.
Today, I am processing the madness that comes from within my marriage, my home, my life. I am writing only because I need to let a little pressure off.
My dear sweet husband is talented, creative, and smart-as-all-get-out. But he is stuck. He is stuck in a hole he can’t find his way out of. Me, I’m gonna talk or write my way out of my problems. Not him. He just sinks, isolated, deeper and deeper.
He has to find another place to work. After six years of hoping for change for a better situation, he has reached the point of no return. It won’t improve, the people don’t want to change, and he is on the verge of losing his mind, if not his job, over the disconnect between his level of professionalism and that of his colleagues.
I’ve seen this before and that does trouble me. He is prone to irrational moves when he gets like this. This is part of what moved us up to Vermont in the first place.
Last week, he was so excited to see a job posted at Yestermorrow that was part teaching, part designing. He was over the moon about it and used his contacts to advance his interests, but as it turned out, they were too far down the decision-making process and they wanted someone who was more teacher than designer.
Now, all the air is out of the balloon. He is scraping the bottom. Yesterday, he had hoped to hear from a confidante about a lead on another company but they did not connect. He was deflated again by end of day.
When he comes home so full of despair, so lacking in direction. It frightens me a little. I have been telling him for at least two years, to set up a plan, a directional plan for himself, with goals and milestones, so that when work is shit, he can do something for himself, his plan and feel less desperate.
He does not do this.
I cannot do it for him.
My family’s future is hanging on him.
I know he feels it. It’s why he can barely move, under the weight of the pressure.
I tell him to take a mental health day and stay home and try to figure out what to do next, touch up the resume, make calls, think outside the box. A day for him. He never takes time for himself.
We have many immediate things hanging that I cannot get him to focus on. This is part of how I know how stressed he is. Olivia’s currently double-booked for spring travel soccer and a tournament hockey league. There are some schedule conflicts and trips to Montreal & Quebec that I’ll need his help for, but I can’t get him to think through the possible conflicts for work. I think he is thinking he’ll just do the trips to Canada for hockey with O and he’s not thinking about IS THAT REALLY POSSIBLE to take off work given other work commitments.
We’re less than two weeks away from Spring Break and I’ve mapped out an itinerary for a trip to DC and he can’t focus on the piece of paper for 5 minutes; he’s usually the “ok, let’s book it!” guy, not the look-but-no-response guy that he was yesterday.
I feel spring break slipping away from me; I feel the sadness of my children as we don’t go and then I can also feel my own anxiety over a possible last-minute decision for the trip and all of us going, knowing that my dear husband is so numb, he will go, not because it’s the right choice for the family, but because thinking about it differently is too hard.
That’s what I’m up against, his NUMBNESS and FEAR. Oh, it’s just awful.
He keeps saying “I want to stay in Vermont”. I know this is true. But I think he says it because he is seeing how hard it is to stay in Vermont and find another job in his field.
And this, is why it can be so hard for me to get settled here. Just like I wrote last week, now that I’m so happy here, I feel it slipping away.
It is a madness that we live with, this uncertainty. It is raging right now and I must fight to keep the tiller steady, to keep the family moving forward safely, steadily. Meanwhile, I’m pretty much scared shitless.
To the point of tears.
Feeling quite helpless.