Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dear Anonymous Mom...

This, I think, has quite possibly been one of the longest days of my life. The only thing that keeps running through my head, though, is what one of my students said to me a couple of days ago. This adorable four year old who screams the words to the thousand songs we sing in English said, "Jodi, Jodi, guess what I saw yesterday...I saw the sun fall into the sea!" You should have seen his face...kids have such a way of simplifying the world.

So many people have written asking how I am, and when I answered one mother with this letter, she responded in such a way that I understood that I am not the only one who has gone through this exact same situation. As personal and difficult as all this is, I'm posting it, so maybe it will help someone else know how to go about this being a mom to a child with a disability thing...and what to avoid, so you don't find yourself where I am at this very moment...

Dear Anonymous Mom,

First of all you know that I already love you and your letter made me love you even more. Thank you so much for taking the time to ask, I really appreciate it.

I've been kind of changing and growing since I found the Ci Circle and started blogging about a lot of the shit we went through during the really difficult years with Jordan. As I've said it's all been a cathartic experience for me and helped me find myself when I had been lost for a long time. I started growing and Luca didn't come with me even though I tried to give him signs to come along. I know that my husband loves me totally and is in love with me, but I don't have that in love feeling anymore. I feel really out of place here and everything about my life is in limbo. I work from 9-8, blog and when I have time add to the support groups, I am not doing anything I want to be doing except blogging and reading the support groups. I have lost touch with my kids because I have had to work so much and during this away time, I have been becoming aware of who I am maybe for the first time in my life.

As a kid, I tried to help my parents and be the bureaucrat of the family, then we got married and one year later found out about Jordan's deafness, so I rolled up my sleeves and became Jordan's mom...I went through it alone. Yes, my husband was there being a good father, but he did not help me during a time when I didn't know the language and struggled. I think I have a lot of resentment, but I don't blame him. So, after so many years of doing for others, along comes the cochlear implant and allows Jordan to become independent, so he doesn't need me anymore to such a great extent. This newfound freedom and the book allowed me to become me for the first time in my life. I feel really strong right now as sad as I am... and I need to figure out if the new person I am wants to be with the man I married twelve years ago.

I started growing and he woke up a little too late. We are both really good people and I love him so much, but not that in love love.

He looks at me with passion and realizes that I don't have it and it is killing both of us. We have been seeing an amazing psychologist for the past month who is really helping both of us, but I'm behind in being able to make that choice again that I made twelve years ago, because I am a different person now than I was then. Basically, I'm being selfish. I have NEVER been selfish in my life, but I need to figure out who I am and what I see my life as twenty years from now. And it is not easy knowing that I will never find another man like my husband because he is the total package. Anonymous Mom, we haven't fought in twelve years...that is the problem. We were so good at giving each other space that we got lost, at least I did.

It's not easy, maybe now that he left to give me space, I can get my head together.

Thanks again...Jodi

As a side note...after I discussed the changes that were going on in our home with Jordan, he asked if it would be okay if he and Sofia could live in two separate houses. Unbelievable.
(TBC)

20 comments:

Jennifer said...

I feel like I could be writing this...except from a slightly different perspective. I would love to have your e-mail address...would you mind sharing it with me?

Paotie said...

Ahh-CHOO!

OOPS!

Sorry!


*HUGS*

:o)

Paotie

Anonymous said...

Bless ya, Paotie, you got a cold? And here I am with itchy, runny eyes and nose from an allergy.

Jodi, you've managed to survive transplanting to a country in which you didn't know the language, then the crisis with Jordan's deafness, his CI surgery and subsequent education, writing a book and blogging about Jordan's journey, teaching classes, and being a mom to two wonderful kids. The wife role took a backseat because of the many pressing matters to deal with. You've been placing others' needs above your own, and suddenly one day you ask, "where is ME in this life of mine?"

For some, the marriage isn't enough to sustain a person after the many changes that happen in her life. And you went thru major changes in very short order. Sorry to hear that you're now experiencing an upheaval of a different order. Hope Jordan and Sofia will understand what is going on with their parents.

HUGS!

Ann_C

Valerie said...

Jodi,
I am very sorry. My heart hurts for you. I am just ending the worst-best year of my life. As in every marriage it can be so painful. After 18 years of marriage, the last year has been the hardest.

I really feel your pain, I'm here for you.
Valerie

Candy said...

Hey~ Don't know what to say...other than I hope things works out the way you want them to. Hugs~

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Hey Jenn, email me at jodi@rallycaps.net whenever you want...

Paotie: Bless you *smile*
Ann: Thank you for listening. My allergies are driving me crazy, too. I've gone through two pairs of contact lenses in two days between crying and sneezing.lol
Val- I'm cool.
Candy-you are so sweet.
Jodi

Anonymous said...

Jodi,
I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. I hope everything works out the way you want it to. *hug*
--Jenny

Karen Mayes said...

Ahhhh... marriages are not easy. Even with 13 years of marriage, the passion is more or less gone from the marriage and there is love, yes, but...similiar to yours in a way.

I know, I know, marriages have ups and downs and with a lot of responsibilites and so forth... it is a challenge....

I feel for ya.

Anonymous said...

Even if i decided not to interfere in Jodi's blog, I need to comment at this one.. (please excuse my not perfect english)..
At first I was a little upset because i didn't wanted our personal relationship problem to become pubblic, but because I know that Jodi does it because she is really willing to help people, here are my advices...
This is the point of view of a man, a husband, a father of two one of wich is hearing impaired.
In my experience, having a kid With an handicap it has been the hardest thing. I was so lucky to have Jodi as a wife because she took care of Jordan and all involved his problem.
Now I'll talk about the relationship problems..

Everybody it is a different story, everybody is a human been and everybody made mistakes, so what happened between me and Jodi doesn't necessarily will happen to others.
If you recognize that you're at the point that Jodi described, well, it could be already too late. I reached that point without understand what was happening to me.
so don't reach that point and my advices are meant for helping you not to reach it..
Always talk to each other, talk about everything, good or bad. Communicate.
Always find some time for yourself, for the couple, for the intimacy with your partner.
don't lose your identity and your role in the family and in the relationship.
Never think that love is neverending. It need to be constantly fed.
Always support each other, do things together and with the kids as a family. when you're at the point I am with Jodi, You'll realize how much you miss the above things.
I've lost my wife's love, and I wish for you all that nobody will feel the same way.. but be aware because these things happen... Maybe that for us it was meant to be. everything happen for a reason, and to say this for me that I was not a believer it is an incredible thing..
Luca, Jodi's husband

Val said...

Okay now I'm crying! and I'm at the public library!

Karen Mayes said...

That was an awesome comment from Luca.

Sometimes it feels it is too late... and then it is not too late. Luca is correct about love needing to be fed. Love is an action, communicate, listen, acknowledging, etc... even nagging and arguing are parts of communication, unfortunately :o). If there is no communication, yes, problems are bound to arise.

Marriages are WORK... not fairytales.

Paotie said...

So, that's it?

'Scuse me, but I think ya'll need to FIGHT!

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

Kick an old man down a hill!

Beat up the town squirrel!

FIGHT, guys! FIGHT!

Who's with me?!

FIGHT FOR PAOTIE!

Oh!

Well .. ya'know, I'm just sayin' ..

:o)

Paotie

K.L. said...

I agree with Paoti (as usual). The passionate love is hard to maintain, but the man you fell in love with is still there underneath it all. You will both need to grow and work hard as hell, but if you can find it, it will be worth it. Give yourselves space and time. Write letters to each other, that are honest, but not accusing.

Know that we love you and feel your pain. Keep up with the counseling. Share with us or not as you need. ((((hugs))))

Anonymous said...

I promise that this will be my last appearance..
Paotie,
I've been fighting hard not to lose Jodi.
since I realize what was going on I've been fighting,
all the things and choices I've done I've done them trying to let us back together because I love love her...
but she lost it.. It seems to me a battle that I'm going to lose... But there's always hope, and we're really trying...
"you gotta fight.. for your right ... to party!!"...
Luca

Karen Mayes said...

Sometimes, becoming friends could work miracles... that is where communication occurs. And being willing to take risks.

Don't give up. Just become friends, have less expectations... could lead to better relationships.

Relationships change.

Hang in there, Jodi and Luca. Become friends... have less expectations (ya know, having certain expectations can lead to disappointments.)

I am with Paotie in a way... don't give up entirely.

Anonymous said...

Jodi -- Hugs to you!!

You have a gem of a man, there. How many guys would open their hearts and write something like that? I am so hoping it is not too late. So hoping. You guys are talking about the really difficult stuff. That is RARE.

I hate to say it, but maybe it's time to take a break from blogging and turn back in towards your nuclear family? Sometimes all this deafness/CI stuff starts to burn me out because of its repetitive nature. Answering questions on cicircle is more give than take, cheering others on, well, if you are sure there is more in it for you than for others, then do it, but think hard and make sure it doesn't chip away at you. What if you step back, unsubscribe from the lists and blog feeds and take 3 weeks off. Turn off your email. Then ask yourself, how do you feel? Do you want to come back to it or does it feel partly like a trap you don't want to fall back into? It might give you a fresh perspective.

- a CI Circle mom

Rachel said...

...Sunrise...Sunrise...Looks like morning in your eyes, but the clock's held nine fifteen for hours....

The song that you have playing on your blog now is one of my most favorite songs. Sooooo beautiful...

Because I'm only 21, still a student, have not been married yet, and have not yet fully entered the real world, I feel that it's best for me not to comment on this situation; however, I can listen and learn from them for my future like I have with my other friends who are in their 30's and up.

Divided said...

Jodi,
Marriage is like an old vespa or fiat where it needs to be tuned up constantly to keep it running. I've been married for 32 years and I love the man. He's from Germany and the way you described Luca...sounds just like my man. He leaves a lot of things for me to take care of when it comes to children, crisis, and other issues he'd rather not handle. You've nutured your family for many years, especially when it came to Jordan and dealing with his deafness.
I will tell you that the spark does go out for some but it is eventually replaced with mutual respect, friendship and eventually love. But it is not the same kind of love...it is a different kind of love. I like to call it mature love. You also need to develop the skill of compromising...like give up blogging or being dependent on your ci circle.
Luca sounds like a gem and one of a kind. He was capable of opening up on public blog and express his feelings & emotions...wow!! Don't know anyone else who would do that and it is obvious he is doing everything to save the marriage.
Jodi....take the advice given and give up blogging for now...for a while... and focus on yourself & your family. All the people you've met, other circles of friendship you've developed are wonderful but they won't be with you for the rest of your life. I feel like you've lost your reality and need to get back on it. Your family will always be there for the rest of your life.
I wish you both nothing but the best.

Christian's Mommy said...

Jodi,
I've been away, and have been wondering how you have been. As always, you are completely strong, even in that weakest times. I constantly learn from your experiences, as you are always the first to remind me to not lose myself. You are always the first to remind me to not forget ME. To drink my wine. To listen to MY MUSIC. And even if it's just for a couple of minutes a day, to be ME. Your advice has meant the world to me....and I will forever admire you.

I am sorry that you and your family have to go through this very real, very hard time. You are in my prayers.

xoxoxox

Dianrez said...

Sometimes a mom/plus other roles becomes burnt out, and one of the symptoms is loss of passion and loss of feelings. After that point it becomes day-to-day numbness, just carrying on following a script that one has predetermined in happier days.

Jodi, I am concerned for you because I heard some words that could have been written by me. When one burns out, the first person to become frustrated is the husband who does not understand and becomes more demanding and frightened that he is not measuring up enough or able to fix the problem.

I decided to divorce, but what you and your husband have said makes it seem that it may not be the answer for you. Give it time and plenty of optimism.

Life has phases, but it also eventually comes full circle.