Who Am I? #shortversion
Born and raised in Utah.
Married for almost 10 years with two little boys.
Stay-at-home mom in a small town.
A blue dot in a red ocean.
Growing disconnection…and deep discontent
There have been many struggles that have come up over the past 5 years that I never would have anticipated.
Stay-at-Home Mom separated from the Woman I Was Before Kids #losingmyself
For one, becoming a stay-at-home mom made me feel very disconnected from society. My retail career kept me active. I always felt a part of things. Relevant. Once my life became the four walls of my home, I struggled to find my identity. I couldn’t figure out my new place in society. I felt dismissed, brushed aside. One of ‘those’ women that couldn’t make it out there. It hurt.
The disconnection from my husband hurt more. With a working/stay-at-home dynamic, I found us drifting apart due to the fact that our lives were so different from each other. We tried to pretend like things were the same, but it wasn’t.
Biggest indicator: We had NOTHING to talk about anymore.
Save-My-Marriage Solution: Create More Stimulating Conversations #becomeanewsbuff
I decided one of the things I was going to do to become relevant again was to start following the news more. By doing this I would be able to talk to Mark about something that isn’t just changing diapers and what the kids said today.
Major Political Differences Under One Roof #totallybackfired
As I started talking to him more about current events I began to realize we had differing opinions on most things. I found myself landing on the left side of the spectrum while he fell on the right. I found myself shocked by how apathetic he seemed when he spoke of societal issues. How could this be? He’s such a kind, caring man.
Things escalated quickly. Comments that had just annoyed me before made my skin crawl. He wasn’t looking at me the same anymore either. We were pulling apart at the seams and I felt powerless to change it.
It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better… #wisdomthroughpain
Then the diagnosis of autism came [of our firstborn son].
If I thought I felt disconnected before it was nothing to what I felt after that day. 30 hour therapy weeks started up and my life became something I couldn’t recognize.
I clung to the outside world through news, articles, and books. The more I learned the more I realized my views were outside the norm in my community and my own home…then the election of Donald Trump happened.
The Election of Donald Trump #notmypresident
We all remember election night. I was in the basement watching the results come in with Mark. When it started to become clear that Trump was the next president I became ill. The anxiety was sharp and suffocating. Then, to my dismay, I looked over at him and saw his happiness. I couldn’t take it and just went to bed.
After that, the disconnect between Mark and I became a ravine.
I struggled to make sense of it. What had happened to us?!?
- We have always been close.
- I’ve always adored him.
- He had been a man who made me feel safe.
- We loved each other for who we are.
- We’ve always been on the same page.
And now, in one night, it felt like that shattered for me.
Not giving up that easily #loveheals
I couldn’t let this destroy my marriage. Marriages that last embrace change and I was determined to find a way through this.
New Save-My-Marriage Solution: Listen to Understand, Speak to be Understood #empathy
I decided I would take a different approach to the situation. Instead of debating with him, dropping facts that counter his thoughts, or telling him, he’s wrong, I decided to listen.
And I mean, really listen to him.
To know if we could bridge this ravine, I needed to figure out what is driving his opinions. Is it self interest, resentment, or empathy?
Instead of firing back when I disagreed with his views, I asked many questions. He became more open as I challenged him to think deeper, to think more about others and less about only our circumstances.
I talked to him about what guiding principles he wants our children to walk away with.
Over time I realized that he wasn’t apathetic at all. We both had spent the majority of our adult lives ‘not being political people’ and this was the first time that we had spent much time talking about deeper issues. There hadn’t been a lot of reasons for him to question the ingrained views that he grew up with.
As I kept learning about how the government worked, read about history and navigated the healthcare system, conversations would turn to how other people deal with things. I helped turn his head outward rather than focusing on just ourselves.
Discovering True Empathy #foundourwaybacktoeachother
Over time, with a lot of patience, we have found our way back to each other. To be more specific, he found his way to me.
We have been able to find common ground. I’m happy to say that the ground we are planted in is driven by empathy for others. It is rooted in the understanding that we aren’t born on a level playing field.
We are closer than we have ever been. I have such a deeper understanding of what he thinks about and I believe he feels the same about me.
It was a hard road that took years and the election of Donald Trump for us to find this place. Now we are united in our belief that his defeat is imperative for our country’s survival.
You are not alone #bluemomredstate
I can’t imagine we are the only ones that have experienced something like this. I’ve decided to reach out and find others in my situation.
Whether it is a parent of a special needs child or someone living in a split household, we can help each other find answers in these complicated times.
Who Am I? #longversion
Read my posts. You will learn quickly who I am, why I am, and who I am becoming. Thank you for coming here. I want to help you find your voice so you can become the fully realized woman you want to be, too.