Last night I had a really bad panic attack. The situation that triggered it is a complicated one that has me feeling rather torn in half. As I have probably mentioned before, my husband is a special education teacher. He is extremely devoted to his work and his students and loves what he does. This past Monday, he found out that one of his prior students, a girl who is now 19, needs a place to stay. My husband would like for us to take her in. I am really conflicted about it.
My husband and I used to do foster care, so I’m not unfamiliar with taking in strangers and looking after them, but the reason we had to quit foster care was my deteriorating health. That worries me about taking in a new, adult person who has both emotional and developmental issues. It also worries me because we recently downsized into a much, much smaller house and the autistic side of me is deeply worried about having no privacy or time alone which is essential to my well-being. Plus, I don’t know where we will move all the stuff that is now in the extra room.
On the other hand, I do feel deeply for this girl who has been through A LOT. My heart aches for anyone who already struggles with physical or mental disabilities and then has to add the weight of being abandoned or alone. She is living my worst nightmare in many ways and I can’t help but feel compassion for her. However, having never met her myself, I also worry about whether we would be a good fit or not. Often, that is something you just can’t tell until you live together, and if we do take her in, there is a good chance we would need to keep her at least a couple years until she graduates school and is moved into some form of independent living housing.
I feel so conflicted and anxious.
I’d show you my soul,
open it up before you
and hold it to the light,
but I worry you’d laugh
shredding any self-confidence
that has snuck through
my long line of offenses
Lately I’ve hit the worst and longest lasting reading slump I can remember. For at least a couple months now I have struggled with picking up a book (any book) and reading it. I’ve tried a multitude of genres and subject matter, so I don’t think that is the issue. I’ve tried books of different lengths and even graphic novels and books with lots of pictures and still find myself throwing most of them to the side relatively quickly and just losing interest. I’m starting to worry this may be my new normal.
But WHO AM I if I no longer like to read? Reading and being a devoted reader has been such a huge part of my identity for so long that I feel lost without the passion for books I’ve always had. If you aren’t a reader, I know you will probably think this is a stupid post, but if you are like me and love to live in other worlds through print, you probably get my sense of despair and existential angst over this matter.
Do any other authors out there struggle to believe that what you write is actually worth writing? For the past few months I’ve been able to make a fairly successful living off of my copywriting and ghostwriting clients, plus I have had publishers show real interest in my creative writing, however, I still doubt every day that I will be able to write anything other than a page full of nonsense.
It’s almost like I fear that talent is like an ancient muse who will simply show up and leave whenever he wants to. I don’t trust myself to succeed. Every day I take at least two assignments from clients, and with each one I doubt that I will be able to complete the work to their satisfaction. This fear makes no sense, after all, I have never had a client reject my work or rate it poorly, and many of these clients are returning customers who have purposefully sought me out because they like my style.
Is doubt something that accompanies creativity? Do artists and musicians experience the same kind of distrust? I sincerely hope that I’m not alone. I worry sometimes that I am just some neurotic soul with an inferiority complex. Maybe the fact that I actually worry about being neurotic makes me even more so…