Friday, November 30, 2007

Croup and Panic Attack

I have been meaning to post this whole week but Gerrit came down with croup and we've had a bad three days. Two nights ago Gerrit had a fever of 103.5 and was miserable. Between feedings for Willem, Gerrit crying and a 3 am cool bath to try to bring down Gerrit's fever, in addition to Gerard needing some extra TLC because he pulled a muscle in his back, I was pretty exhausted myself. Gerrit is finally on the mend, as is Gerard... I think.

Well, throughout the week I've been an emotional wreck of highs and lows about being here, motherhood, etc. It's probably partially due to hormones, but a few nights ago I thought I was literally having some sort of panic or anxiety attack. I've never had anything like it but I felt like I was paralyzed with fear and couldn't do anything. It wasn't even a huge thing that triggered it, either. It happened when I went out for a few things at the store on Wednesday night. I stopped by the pharmacy to get Gerard some pain meds and Gerrit some eucalpytus oil to help him breathe better. I had a terrible time communicating with the pharmacist but finally got what I needed. Not having the language really does a number on your self-esteem. At least in the U.S. I feel fairly educated. Here I am downright illiterate. It's a horrible feeling. Even though I'm taking classes, the pace is super slow (still fast for me) and I'm not really getting enough out of them to be able to communicate with anyone. I then went to a new grocery store a few blocks from our house. The cashier tried asking me something in German and I had NO CLUE what she was saying to me. She didn't even bother when she realized I didn't speak German. I loaded the groceries in the car and then it happened. My heart started racing and I felt like I couldn't move. I was afraid to drive home the three blocks to our house, I was afraid to move. I thought I was going to have to call Gerard to walk over and drive me home. I have never felt that way before and it really scared me. When I finally got home, I was all weepy.

Today I've been trying to be more enthusiastic about things. I've basically determined that I will never be to the point I'd like to be when it comes to speaking German... not right now and not with all I have going on with the kids and all that I want to do. I will continue taking my German classes and try to add to my German a bit more... some active learning and some passive. I figure I can get kids' CD's from the local library and listen to kids' music with Gerrit so I'm hearing German more often in the house. I also will try to find a German kids' television program for Gerrit and I to watch. Maybe I can learn a few elementary words and phrases that way. I will try to more actively use the German software program we have and maybe get some German teach/yourself tapes. I will try to learn at least a few new words or phrases that I can use regularly each week. This is my goal.... now let's hope that 1. it helps and 2. I can stick with it. If I didn't have kids I'd take an accelerated German language course several days per week, but I don't have the time, money, or energy to invest in that right now so I'm going to have to convince myself that it's okay to be illiterate at this point. Even if it's not at the pace or level I would like, I am still making some progress... no matter how slight it may seem.

So having said that, my new focus while here is to embrace the chaos in my life right now and try to use it to grow. I have to accept that I am not going to be the best hausfrau and just go with the flow. We'll survive even when I burn the food and can't keep the house as tidy as the "got it all together" hausfraus I've met here. Okay... so I'm going to enjoy Gerrit and Willem and set a schedule of activities for us to enjoy throughout the week, and try to find some weekend excursions and traveling that Gerard and I can do with the boys. Enjoying our time together as a family will try to be my main focus and yes, I'll still try to do all the house chores and what not, but that will not be my priority. I figure if my time here is limited I will try hard to embrace it and enjoy it because it will be unlikely we'll get this opportunity again.

See... now doesn't that sound fairly healthy of me? Yeah, that's how I feel today. Tomorrow I'll probably have an emotional break down again. I'm sure to any mother who has gone through major hormonal changes after pregnancy I sound perfectly normal, but I probably sound like a nut job to the rest of you with my many mood swings. Ah well... I will try to come back and read this post often when I'm feeling out of sorts to ground myself and refocus.


At December 1, 2007 at 2:22 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

Sorry about the panic attack. All things considered that you've had only one is amazing.

One day at a time, Sweetie. There is only so much you can do.


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