Where is my Courage?

Deb from Home Life Simplified set another timely challenge for week 10 – How to Face your Fears

This week I did not have to go out in search of things to test my courage, they all came to me!

It has been a really trying week in our household.

We have taken in my 15-year-old niece, Jazz.

Jazz and I

Jazmine’s Mum, Tamina (my sister) sadly passed away from cancer when Jazz was only 2, and since then she has been raised by her Grandma, (my Mum).

The generation gap between Grandma and Grandaughter has been a challenge, and their relationship has hit rock bottom after some trying times.

We are opening our hearts and home to Jazmine, we want her to feel safe and secure and loved in her new home, and we just want her to grow into the best young adult she can be.

But that does not mean I am not silently packing myself in the meantime! I have no idea how to raise a teenager, and it is safe to say that Jazz has become a bit wild in recent times. I also have the interest of my children to keep, I want them to also feel safe and secure in their home, the change has already started to tug on everyone’s emotions.

I have found myself crying at the drop of a hat.

It should be my sister getting to raise her daughter, life just is not fair at times. I do feel for Jazz and all the changes she has had to have in her life as well.

I not only worry about how emotionally and physically draining it is going to be, but how financially draining it will be to have an extra person in our house, then I feel guilty for feeling these things! It is one giant emotional train ride.

We have had to enrol her into a new school for next term, try to work out how to get her to the current school for the remainder of the term, and many other little obstacles.

Jamie – my husband has spent his two days off in the week creating a space for Jazmine to call her own. Together we have spent hours sanding, fixing, painting, cleaning, scrubbing the room. In the end we looked at each other in complete exhaustion and said “We have given our all”. The room is not perfect, but at the moment it will just have to do.

My kids seem to be noticing the change in the house, and becoming a little more sensitive as well, so we all seem a tad “delicate” at the moment.

This week we have all  felt fear, and we have looked it in the eye.

If it was any other situation, perhaps I may have decided that I was not up the the challenge of fear just yet, and walk away.

In this situation I cannot walk away, we just have to get on with it, start learning the ropes along the way of raising a teenager. We have set some ground rules, and expectations, we have given boundaries and reminders that we will enforce them.

We aim to work together as a team to make this happen.

To start with, I felt weak when thinking of my behaviour this week, emotional, scared and confused, but then I gave myself some slack.

I am emotional, scared and confused, but despite that all, I am jumping in, even if I do feel like I am jumping in blind with no idea, I am jumping in anyhow.

Courage is not something that only I can take credit for this week, I have to say that I am so thankful for the kind, loving support from my friends, family and especially my lovely husband.

Everyone has been so supportive, and encouraging, and sometimes having a support team like that is just what you need to spur you on to do what needs to be done.

There have been many moments this week that I have not believed in myself, or my ability to make this new situation work correctly, but then I get the odd text or email from someone saying “I believe in you, you can do this”

Or my husband whispering to me at the end of the day:

“It will be ok, we will work it all out in the end”

And so I start believing too, no matter how scared I am of what lays ahead for us, it will work out in the end, we will make sure of it.


10 thoughts on “Where is my Courage?

  1. Wow Alicia…what a roller-coaster! I so admire the honesty in this post….the fact that whilst you want to do the best for your niece and your sister; it is a huge undertaking with a lot of negotiation and emotional trekking ahead!

    Wishing you so much luck and a gentle reminder that it’s ok to feel overwhelmed and unsure about it all. Be kind to yourself.

    For sure – it will work out in the end x

  2. I don’t know what to say. I am so sorry for your niece, that she has had to grow up without her mum. I can’t even begin to imagine what it is like for you, her, your family…my thoughts and prayers are with you, that you can make a smooth transition, and that you all have the love and support you need.

  3. oh goodness – i dont know where to start, or what to say! reading this made me teary – you and your husband sound like such a formidable strong team. How blessed your neice is to have you both standing there to support her and just love on her, regardless of how tough it feels, or how delicate it is making everyone! wishing you all the best as you set on your new adventure – it sounds like you will all rise to the challenge x

  4. There is sadness in her heart and sadness in your heart. Whatever stepping stones you take you will hold each other through it all. Go with what is coming your way, it isn’t worth the fight or battle. You have strength in your Jamie, yourself, your babies and your niece to go far. I couldn’t envisage the hardships but knowing you, you are a great mentor and can show her the path that she needs to get through her teens. I wish you every success and happiness for your entire family. You are that ray of sunshine and have a beautiful strong heart and that’s what I can only imagine Jazz needs to carry her up and be strong for her own future.
    Best wishes and mega hugs to your family 🙂

  5. Oh, Alicia ! Just reading this actually made me think how courageous you are ! And what a beautiful, selfless act you’re doing for your gorgeous niece ! And yes, if you can say at the end of the day, “It will all be okay…” that’s what your outcome will be. Wishing you all the best of luck and love through these times x

  6. Thank you all for taking the time to reply, I would love to reply to each of your comments individually, but am totally exhausted at the moment. I just want to say thanks for reading this post, and for kindness and encouragement. We will get there, one day at at time, thanks for the support of beautiful words of encouragement xx

  7. Your courage is in these actions you are taking, stepping into the unknown, each day at the moment. Although it’s scary, I think you know, as I am sure, you will all be OK. All the best through the days, weeks (& years) ahead.

  8. I really love your quote, about thinking of what could go right – i have printed it out and put it with my vision board. WOW you have had a really emotional week! It would be very hard afterall like you said, these are times that your sister should be here for! I think your Neice is one very special girl to have such great family support, many other people in her situation may not have such great support, so you are already doing a fantastic job for her!!! It will be ok, a long learning curve no doubt, but think of the love that could blossom for all of your family!!! Good luck!!!

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