Balancing Act

I’m having a lot of trouble getting into any kind of groove, now that we’ve moved. I’m feeling more than a little overwhelmed.

Things in my family are good… very good in fact. The girls are happy in their new schools, and we finally sorted out the mess of school records, forms to fill out, plus a residency affidavit and Texas vaccination exemptions that needed notarizing. The girls have friends in the neighborhood and spend their afternoons running in and out of each others’ homes and rooms. David and I were both astounded by how many companies are hiring in this area, and not all of them are temp agencies either. We have both applied to a dozen or so, thus far, and David got his first call back, to set up an interview, within a couple of days.  No complaints really, on a personal family level.

However, it’s not just our family that lives here. I love my friend Melissa dearly, and I’ve known her since we started 6th grade together in 1991. I don’t think I would have made it through middle school without her by my side, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since. I knew she was having issues with her husband John, and that they were temporarily separated while we were making our moving plans. By the time we got to Texas, however, he was living here again.

Without putting all of their personal issues out to the world, I’ll just say that John and Melissa are having a lot of marital problems, and there’s a good chance they won’t be together much longer. John is a very negative person… finding the worst point of view, no matter the subject. David & I have tried to inject some happiness into their marriage and family, but it gets shot down every single time.

That kind of negativity and tension are exactly what we have learned to avoid, for our own sanity. It’s hard to be around it. Now, they don’t argue where any of the kids can hear it, so our two are oblivious. They save the arguments for the middle of the night, when the only witnesses are David and I. Once the argument is over, it must be analyzed, talked to death and analyzed again.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind being a sounding board for my friend, but it’s reached a point where it is affecting my own happiness, sleep, creativity and focus. I sat at the keyboard for over an hour last night, and couldn’t write a thing. I feel like I’m forcing this post… because it upsets me a lot that I have been neglecting my beloved blog.

I need to write and knit and read. David needs to draw and read and create. We are not therapists, and don’t want to be. We have a beautiful and open relationship, but that doesn’t mean that we can fix our friends’ marriages, and this isn’t the first time we’ve felt put in that position. We need to sleep at night, so that we can get the kids to school and devote our days to job hunting, learning our new city and starting this new life of ours. We cannot do that when we’re awake until 2-3 am (or later) talking about the same negative subjects over and over.

Basically, we’re fumbling through trying to set boundaries with our friends and hosts, which feels like a delicate balancing act, when they are two of only three people we know in this city. I don’t want to hurt my friends or their feelings. I love them. But I cannot allow my hard-earned mental health to go down the tubes in the wake of other people’s problems either. We have too much riding on this move. We have to focus on ourselves and our kids.

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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • Oh my! That IS a rather delicate situation.

  • I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond, Crystal! You know I’m usually so on-the-ball with comments, so that’s testament to my total lack of free time.

    The situation has improved somewhat… they’ve worked out some of their issues, and we’ve had long talks about some of our issues with their issues (if that makes sense). It’s still an adjustment, but I think we’ll work it out. 🙂