I had virtually quit crafting after the death of my brother and when we adopted Deniska 4 years ago. I was the main caregiver to my aging mother with Alzheimer's, I had a 4 year old who didn't understand a lick of English, and a husband who was overwhelmed by all the new changes in our life. I can remember going to work, crying, taking care of Mama, crying, dealing with family life, crying, going through the routines of life, crying, etc.... Seems I did a lot of crying.
When Mama went to the nursing home, I thought things would somehow be easier. Instead, it got harder to go through each day. In May 2006, we lost Gabriel. That was devastating to me and I will never forget his smile and sweet little body. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of him and say a prayer for him. It was almost too much to bear.
Nikolai arrived a year ago and once again we started with the difficult transition of adding a child to our settled family. Temper tantrums, crying, acting out, throwing things, pinching, stealing, and tattling are just a few things that we went through daily. It took a year for him to settle down and those things are not as common. I still was going to the nursing home, crying on the way home, dealing with difficult children, and tottering on the edge of despair. Still, no crafting in sight. I just did not have time.
I can't say that the past four years have been fun or particularly happy. In fact, they have been very difficult with more sadness than happiness. Our marriage must be really strong for us to cling to each other as we drifted on this sea of unrest and unhappiness. Ir's been hard - too hard.
Mama died in December 2007 and something died in me too that day. I can't explain what died, I just know that I am no longer the person I was. I am an orphan. Something deep inside awakened and called to be recognized. The creative part of me was waking as if from a long slumber. I started crafting again. The dishes could go unwashed, the clothes unfolded, the floors unswept, I needed to craft. And, craft I did. Through crafting, I found that the problem was within me. It was not the external pressures place on my life, it was the internal pressures of having everything perfect. I had to change if I wanted my life to change. I could not continue trying to do everything.
Perfectionism is a horrible thing. She will not allow you to be human. She robs you of enjoying the laughter of children when they have made a mess playing. She doesn't allow you to enjoy small accomplishments because she always points out what is wrong. She is jealous of your free time and always sends guilt to you. I don't like her very much. She has been with me far too long and I am tired of her negative spirit. It was time for us to part ways.
As I crafted, I sent Perfectionism away. I told her to leave me alone and let me grieve for my mother and my brother. I have never grieved for my brother who died 4 years ago. I was too busy taking care of my mother, my child, my husband, everybody else instead of me. Now, I have time to grieve. I grieve for my brother who was robbed of meeting and loving my children. I grieve for my children who will never know their uncle or grandmother as vibrant, productive people. I grieve for my husband who is stuck with a slightly crazy wife. I grieve for myself who has been denied so many things by herself. Perfectionism still tries to sneaks in sometimes and I have to guard against her. I find prayer helps a lot to keep her at a respectable distance!
With each craft, I grieve a little more. I feel better. I feel healthy. I feel that I might enjoy life once again!