Saturday morning I had a breakdown. The crying hysterically, completely losing my mind kind of breakdown. It was bound to happen. I was holding on to sanity by a single thread and it was going to break eventually.
It was a combination of things. The neighbors had a all-night, very loud party. So when the alarm went off at 5:00am, I was overly tired. We were going to the temple with our ward for the 7:30am session. I love going to the temple, but this time - I was crazy anxious about it. The language barrier was my biggest fear. How was I going to find my way around? How would I know what to say and how to say what needed to be said?
The feelings of isolation came flooding in. I honestly feel like I've been dropped into some alternate universe. Things look the same, mostly. The people seem the same, but I am completely lost. I don't understand written words. I don't understand spoken words. I can't leave my house. I don't have a car. Even if I did have a car, where would I go? I can't talk to the grocery store teller, so I can't even run to the store for milk. I can't call the locksmith about getting our locks changed. I can't call about buying a car. I can't buy ink for my printer or ask where I go to buy ink. I can't order a burger at Burger King. I can't order pizza to be delivered. I can't go to the park in front of our house and visit with the neighbors.
You've read it all. You get the idea. On Saturday morning it all came crashing down around me. The isolation and pressure was more than I could take. Hysterics only begins to describe it. Poor Greg... He couldn't do anything. I wanted him to hold me and get the hell away from me all at the same time. It wasn't pretty.
I eventually pulled myself together, took a hot shower and we headed to the temple. I wish I could say that the minute we walked in the door my attitude changed, but it didn't. First, they don't rent clothing and we didn't know that. So we had to meet with the temple president to get permission to use the sets that they have on hand for missionaries to use. (When you've recently had a breakdown, things like this push you further over the edge. It was all I could do to hold it together.) It was no big deal really. They cheerfully got us clothing and we went to change.
Not a soul in that woman's dressing room spoke English. I managed to stumble my way into the different areas (which were all in spanish). Greg asked for earphones to allow me to listen to the session in English. Thank goodness. They also arranged for an English speaker to be there at the end of the session to help me. Thank heavens. That was my biggest fear. I can not speak Spanish and I had no idea how I would make it through.
I have to say that I was barely holding it together the whole time. But it did put things into perspective for me. I realized that no matter who or where you are, we are all God's children and we are all struggling with something. Every single one of us has challenges. Mine right now isn't so bad in the scheme of things. We pray every day and in every one of our prayers we thank our Heavenly Father for this opportunity. We are blessed to be here. But we tend to think that blessings are all butterflies and roses, but sometimes in order to get to those blessings, we have to climb over obstacles that will better us in the long run.
I will be better knowing the Spanish language. I will be better after having experienced life here. I do not doubt that. But sometimes, I just need a minute to cry through the struggles. It doesn't mean that I doubt or regret. It just means that it's hard.
When we got home, Greg rounded us all up and we headed with the dog to the park. Just what I needed. Fresh air. It ended up being an amazing day.
BICENTENARIO PARK, VITACURA NEIGHBORHOOD IN SANTIAGO, CHILE
The dog LOVED the dog park! He was so tired when we got home he slept for hours. It cracked the kids up!
We were freezing once the clouds rolled in. I thought my sweater would be enough - nope - so I stole Greg's jacket.
The building (that is being squashed) is under construction and will be the tallest building in South America once complete.
After spending the afternoon at the park, we got our grocery shopping done, bought cell phones and ordered Pizza Hut for dinner.
That man of mine knows how to cheer me up. :) Thank goodness I have him to be my rock through all this!