- Chris Anderson
- Watkinsville, Georgia, United States
- We lost my beautiful wife of 20 years on 9/12/07. Lisa was my world she was my everything and now she is gone. We are learning to live without Lisa now. I say we because I am not alone. My children are stuck in this mess with me. These are my notes, my vent, my way of letting you all know that we are doing well (some days). This is for myself, my friends and my family that want to know how we are doing and what we are up to. Along the way I hope this might also help someone else who has been dealt a similar hand.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
If I Could Only Read Their Minds
I think that one of my biggest challenges these days is making sure that the kids are okay. I am not talking about are they being fed or are they getting enough sleep or other physical things like that. What I am, and have been all along, more concerned about is their psychological and emotional well being. Having teens is tough enough with having the hurdle of doing it without mom. As I have said before, I like to talk things through. However, It is hard if not impossible at times to get any teen to open up and talk about life. If they don’t talk to you, how do you know what is going on with them?
With Abby I have found that she is pretty receptive to opening up to me. I have found that she will let me know one way or another when she is not doing well emotionally. This is good for her and me. It gives me a huge amount of comfort just knowing what her state of mind is. Granted, I hate to see her struggle and it upsets me to see her upset, but just knowing how she is doing helps me a lot. It helps me know when to worry and when not to worry about her. It helps me know when I need to focus on her. Thankfully, I see her using other avenues as well. She has a great deal of women in her life that she can talk to on a daily basis. Every day she is at the school where Lisa worked for so many years. There are a number of women there, and throughout the community, that know her and are available for advice and counsel. In addition she has many friends that she can call on for support when good old dad just doesn’t get it.
Matt, on the other hand, is a whole different story. He is not that much of a talker and does not have the daily access to others like Abby does. Typically he seems to be doing well emotionally and psychologically. However, from time to time he appears to have the weight of the world on his shoulders but still I cannot get him to open up. Additionally he tells me that I am a hard person to talk to because I don’t just let him vent. I know what he means. I am the repair man. I feel like I have to jump into action and fix the problem for him or with him. He tells me something and I immediately start talking or critiquing what he has said. I know what I have to do but it is hard for me. I have to start keeping my mouth shut and just try to listen more often. I have to let him know that he can say anything and talk about anything without fearing I am going to jump into action and call in the troops.
It just breaks my heart to see him struggle and gives me a great deal of anxiety not knowing what is going on in that head of his. Lord I wish I could read his mind! We all know that is not going to happen so I have to stick with being a better listener. Maybe, just maybe, if I listen better and stop asking him to open up he will do just that. Additionally, I have to remember that it is about him and not me. I have to stop interrogating him on his emotional state just to make me feel better. That’s easier said than done because I don’t want to go too far to the other side. I don’t want to be oblivious to signs of distress or instability. I don’t want to be asleep at the wheel so to speak.