The last several months have been among the most difficult of my life. I feel like I’ve said this before. However, it seems every time I think life has given me all I can handle, I turn around and get hit again, only harder.
Because of our recent move, we have become isolated from all of our friends and our church community. As a result, our family has largely struggled through with just the support of each other. This has made things more challenging.
Because of a new job, my fourth job in the last year, we had to make a quick move. We made the decision to temporarily move in with family, a decision I wouldn’t recommend. After being out of my parents house for 25 years, I moved back in with my wife and kids. My brother moved in as well.
The challenge, and the lesson I suppose, came from this. Two months before, my family had gone through losing my dad. This after over four years of coping with a post stroke version of Dad who often lacked empathy or self control. Towards the end there was also a struggle with my sister who had moved in and was using hard drugs and working to turn Dad against Mom. This took a toll on everyone, but especially on Mom.
So enter a house with my mom dealing with all I just mentioned, me starting my fourth job and still reeling from everything, and my family having been suddenly uprooted and moved, including my two girls having to change schools in March. Then add me being sick, having surgery, and missing work for nearly a month.
Unfortunately what followed was not what I expected. It’s probably what I should have expected given the powder keg that was created. Tensions ran high. My mom was in no state to deal with two teenage girls. There was fighting and yelling on a regular basis. My wife who had become very close with my mom, ended up confronting her about the fighting with the kids. Then things got worse. I needed to defend and protect my kids and wife, which created a division with my mom as well as my brother and led to us moving out much more quickly.
So, I mentioned a lesson and I know from reading the story there doesn’t seem to be one. But there is, one I’m still learning, and the only reason this is even worth sharing. It is that hurt people hurt people. When we are hurting and aren’t getting help to deal with those hurts, we take them out on others. Often we take them out on those we love the most. We destroy relationships and damage people. This is why it is so important when we are hurting to get the help we need. It is important for us and our well being, but also for the well being of those we love. We can’t control the fact that we’ve been hurt, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about it. But we can make a decision to do something about it. We can choose to pursue a path of healing instead of living in the hurt. Because when we choose to live in the hurt, we will bring those closest to us in to the hurt as well.