Friday, June 11, 2010

getting my voice

We’ve moved. Our stuff is in the new house…..but the house isn’t finished. The shower doesn’t work and two of the rooms remain incomplete. Although the garbage and previous tenants belongings have finally been removed, we haven’t been able to unpack our stuff and claim the house as ours. We have been staying with friends until it is safe and comfortable to stay here with the kids.

I’ve felt angry, frustrated and without ‘roots‘. Unsure what to do and how to express my disappointment, I remained quiet initially. This was Jeff’s department. He was the vocal advocate for our family.

One of the lessons that I’m trying to teach myself in the wake of Jeff’s death is the ability to voice my concerns and to act as the proponent for our family. It’s hard. I feel like a ‘bitch’ if I express my displeasure. I also agonize over the thought that they may not take me seriously. (Jeff used to say I was about as terrifying as a ‘hissing kitten’ when I got angry.) I worry that others are hurt or angered by the voicing of our family’s needs or expectations….but there is no one else to do it. No one else to turn to. If I expect to have my concerns heard, I need to say them out loud to someone who can make a difference.

So although I felt like vomiting at the thought of possibly causing discord, I spoke to the landlord. I expressed my worries and the concerns for my children’s safety amidst the broken glass that littered the property. I spoke about the need to have a working bath for the cleanliness of my kiddos. I told them that I hoped I would not be charged the full amount of our rent for this month…..and I didn’t cry. They didn’t cry. No one got angry or yelled. It was amazing! I stood up for us and I did it without Jeff. I know he’s looking down at me and smiling. “That’s my girl!!”


Pete, Alison and Charlie said...

Well done you. I hate kicking up a stink about anything - even if it really needs to be done... I guess it's part of the
'needing everybody to like me' thing that we women have going on! You did great - especially not crying! Hoping
the landlord gets it all sorted asap, so you and the kids can
start making your new house into your home. With love x

Pamela said...

Very good! Moving is hard enough but what you are having to face is harder. Pat yourself on the back.

darcie said...

Sweetie - the worst thing anyone will ever say to you is NO - but who would say that to YOU?
Stand up for yourself, for those kiddos...
Make it a statement, not a question.
Tell them what they are going to fix - and keep your chin up...
You are strong. You are beautiful. People will stand at attention when you beckon them to!

Ashleigh said...

Great job Jackie! I think its true that women are conditioned from a young age to be agreeable and not kick up a fuss. Sounds like you did a great job standing up for your family's needs.

Love your blog. All the best in your new digs.

Bonnie said...

Good for you!
Moving was (is) such a big deal for you, and I'm sorry the new home wasn't in better shape. What a pain in the ass on top of everything else you're dealing with.
Awesome that you didn't cry. And I hope it all gets worked out quickly.

Jen said...

Wonderful! It's so hard to do, and goodness knows I'm not good at it either (my husband had the skin of rhino, and great tact too, so he always handled that sort of thing). But I do think it gets better with practice. I hope the issues are resolved quickly and you're able to start settling in soon.

J-in-Wales said...

Oh well done you.
I hate having to be the nasty cop too - I am a person who normally runs away, tail between legs, from confrontation. But I find if I wind myself up enough and give R a good talking-to first, I can usually somehow find the strength to do this sort of crap.
But it is still crap you shouldn't have to be dealing with.
I hope the next week is much better for you.

Mama_Bear_Sarah said...

proud of you Jackie! we'll celebrate in San Diego :) :) :)