Between Dreams

I am a woman between dreams.

There is a lot of tension in my household these days.  My husband and I have been short with each other.  In my opinion, he has been withdrawn; from the household, from discussions about our future, from me.   In his opinion, I have been doing flip flops daily about everything; my job, whether we should move, where we should go for a holiday.   My husband is my best friend so when the two of us are missing, as we have been for several months now, it terrifies me.  It feels like the foundation upon which I have built my life is crumbling.

We have both been struggling; he with a severe and extended case of insomnia and me with a 4-hour/day commute.  But that is not all that is happening. We are going through an extended time of change and uncertainty.  I lost my job 3 years ago and have been very unsettled since them on the work front.  My husband started a new job 3 years ago and is away for weeks at a time about half the time now.  My son left home two years ago for school and my daughter is finishing high school and preparing to leave home.   So, everything is changing; our family unit is splitting apart; my work is taking me further away; and my husband’s work has him travelling around the world.

My husband and I are dealing with the changes and uncertainty in very different ways.   I am trying to control the wave. I am fixing up the house for selling so we can downsize and possibly move closer to Toronto.  I am also playing with all of the options in my mind; trying to figure out whether I stay at this job or quit; whether we move towards Toronto or stay in Hamilton.  The pros, the cons, the possibilities.  My husband, on the other hand, has withdrawn; from the projects being done in our home, from weekly chores, from discussions about our future.  His withdrawl has been making me anxious, feeding my worst fears, and frankly, pissing me off!!

So, this week, I confronted him about it.  As we talked, it all became clearer to me.  He is as scared, anxious and sad as I am about all of the uncertainties and changes in our lives, but he is resisting the change.  He is trying to stem the tide; trying to ignore the changes; trying to deny their reality.  He has been away so much, he has not had time to grieve what is passing.  He does not know what it is like to be the only person left in an empty home that once housed a family.  I know that change is upon us so I am trying to find a soft place to land.  I am trying to find a new dream around which I can build my life.  But he is not quite ready to give up on the dream that was our little family.

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About kp

I am a woman and a mother, a sister and a wife. I have called myself a socialist and a feminist, an environmentalist and an activist, a pagan and an atheist. But, at this stage in my life, none of these labels feel right. I am searching; trying to find an inner calm; trying to make peace with life's disappointments; trying to answer the big questions in my own small life.
This entry was posted in Empty Nest, Healing & Compassion, Parenting & Family, Stages of Life, Writing for your life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Between Dreams

  1. Oh how i know what you feel. (Side note I’m from Kitchener Waterloo formerly) We moved two years ago to BC…in short all hell broke loose there, but somewhere amidst it all, it became home to me..the only place i ever felt home. now just over a month ago we moved to Alberta, my Hubby is away a week at a time. I am completely alone, I don’t know anyone, and I don’t much like it here…we are looking at buying our first home, which has him scared and digging his heals in, while i fight to move forward, because, i just want to put down roots and feel settled. him being a way a lot is so hard on our marriage, which i’m sure you know. then there is the men and women thinking differently and handling things differently thing..i hope you find some peace soon.

    • kp says:

      It sounds like you know exactly how I am feeling….well, except for the kids leaving home part…but change really is unsettling. And we forget how long it can take to make new friendships and create a sense of community when we move to a new place. While talking about it does not change the physical reality, it helps us to feel less alone with our feelings. Thanks for understanding…and good luck settling into to Alberta. (Where in Alberta??) Kim

      • it does help to talk (or blog) about it! it is really hard for me to get to know people…i said to Hubby i don’t really want to until we settle, it is too painful…we are looking at buying our first home, when we do, then i know i’ll be there for awhile and i’ll feel safer to make friends. I hope things settle for you both in every way sooner than later!
        We live in Grande Prairie Alberta

        • kp says:

          Same to you!!! Grande Prairie! I have been there….many years ago, I drove with a friend from Mississauga to Whitehorse in the Yukon in 7 days. We stopped one night in Grande Prairie at the house of a friend of my travelling companion. We slept in sleeping bags in their backyard while a big party was going on inside the house if I recall correctly. I think you could find a sense of community there! In the meantime, you can look to your sisters on the blog-o-sphere for mutual support and understanding!! Kim

  2. M says:

    Isn’t this the empty nest syndrome? Now the kids are grown up, both dad & mom have to decide what they want for the next stage of their lives. Be it growing their career, or changing career, or just riding the wave. I believe men generally do not do well with change. Their mind seize up and they do nothing but go to work. I hope that you can tap on your friendship with him and redefine the direction. The goal is the same, but sometimes you need to change course.

    • kp says:

      Hi…I think it is indeed empty nest syndrome with a few of our own special circumstances thrown in. I don’t know if it is true that mean and women handle change differently as a rule, but it seems to be the case for us. But I think it is true that, as women, we talk about our feelings more which helps us to understand what is bothering us faster. For my husband and I, who both came from families that fell apart when we were in our early twenties, our family provided the safe and loving place that we did not know anywhere else. I think, for us, that is part of the grief associated with our kids leaving home. Thanks for offering your thoughts on the situation. Kim

  3. This is about the worst time… I went through that about 5 yrs ago when my Son left the nest aged 31… My daughter who is far more independant left aged 22.. years before.. The house is empty, and Many things change within the relationship too.. Men often do not talk through their own inner feelings, bottling them up and appearing aloof and not seeming to care.. When in fact they too are just as scared..
    Its good at least you talked.
    This is a time of Change.. and as I have posted in many of my posts to do with change.. Change is not just happening on our Earth, but in our personal lives for we are reflecting like a mirror our insecurities and pain as we are seeking answers and healing..
    None of us are immune…
    Sending you some Healing thoughts as you centre yourself, and allow calm in, so too you will find the balance to tackle your issues..
    Love and Peace ~Sue xx

    • kp says:

      Hi Sue…It is always good to hear from someone who has walked the path before us…your words of advice and healing thoughts are gratefully received. Kim

  4. jgsgal says:

    I see why you were moved by my poem, Dreams. This was the same type of situation that made me write it. When I say to “start with what’s real” at the end of my poem, I envisioned it a team effort. I see you are having a struggle with that. Im sorry. But sometimes taking a look at it from a different perspective helps. I am in no way shape or form in the position to give you advice, but look at this like you are your own best friend. What would you tell her? I hope things clear up for you soon. I know that loss … even if what you lost is still physically in your life. Good luck, and stay strong. Thank you for stopping by my page. This is exactly why I started my blog…because I knew there were others feeling like I did, or do. And sometimes thats enough for me to heal. Good luck in your adventures :)

  5. Just dropping by and hoping your days are brighter… ~Sue xx

  6. Hi Kim, I’ve taken notes from Marvin C. Shaw’s book, THE PARADOX OF INTENTION and this is a good one: “Your problem comes from trying too hard; let go of the intense striving for the goal, even so far as to will the opposite, and you arrive at the point you couldn’t reach through concentration and striving.” He says that the Universe always provides what we need from a soul-perspective; thus we already have everything we need, but we can’t get into the ‘receiving stage’ because we haven’t let go of fear or control. We can’t even see what we’re receiving from the fear place, which is like another dimension for all intents and purposes.
    My daughter moved home for the summer but is moving into a condo with her good friend on 8/1/12 and I’m already feeling sad! I’m missing these precious moments because of sadness and the feeling of loss! I guess it truly is all about letting go… And you will. :)

    • kp says:

      Dear Pam….thank you for this lovely note and the perfect quote. This feels dead on. Letting go of control is a tough one for me and for many people I imagine. My sister, whose kids have lfet home, keeps telling me that the family is not splitting up; it is changing. Here’s to change my friend!! May we find joy in the freedom that comes when our parenting role is complete. Kim

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