February is the shortest month of the year, and yet has always felt the loooongest month of the year for me. February is bitter and cold, and a month between the winding down of the holidays and the emergence of Spring, which I am desperate for. February has typically run me into the ground, and today I'm feeling it. Today has me utterly defeated. I didn't do a great job not being frustrated with really tough behavior and dynamics in the house. I'm feeling terrible for missing moments of not doing a better job modeling being calm and regulated. I didn't do a great job with my work responsibilities today. Work, which has historically held a huge section of my identity. I'm unsure how to not do my best work professionally and continue to feel like myself.
We are waiting for news about court. We are a week away from visits that will mix up things in our home. I'm so tired from 16 months (but whose counting...) of not getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time and less than 7 total. Every. Single. Night. My "you can do it foster care" speech is not working for me today. I'm missing naps and quiet hikes with the dogs and The Artist and Ice cream and wine for dinner and watching reruns of The Office.
And here I am wanting to remind myself that defeated is not getting back up or wanting to try again. Defeated is not feeling hopeful, or finding quiet moments to go deep inside and sit with the self that you know you are. Foster care can just defeat bright hopes and idyllic hearts. There are so many ways the unpredictability, the casual and unusual pains weighs on us, and leave us feeling defeated. Maybe you're feeling that tonight too. Maybe tough behavior, tough days and endless uncertainty is making your day tough right alongside me. Friends, tomorrow we'll get up again and try. Defeat is when there are no voices of solidarity or support. If you're feeling this- here's our solidarity - our togetherness. I'm in it too. We're in it together and moving through it. And I'm working on memorizing the Loving Compassion meditation so I can hold onto compassion for myself and then in turn offer it freely to those I love, perhaps especially when it's hard. We are exhausted. We are mending broken hearts and weathering tough stuff. And while it actually feels like it, we're not yet defeated. Tomorrow when I rise and begin again I'll think of the one or two others who are in the midst of this with me. Us. And there is our invisible thread of compassion - tying all of us together.
Worn out and waking tomorrow to hold compassion and connection in my days. Right beside you.
Foster Mom (The Therapist)