Saturday, April 6, 2013

Paralyzing Regret

In just about two months, Kathy, Ben and I are going to be moving.  There are several reasons for our impending move, but they all basically boil down to my disability insurance ending, a lengthy call process in order to return to the parish, and poor job prospects in Rockford to keep us afloat in the meantime.  We will probably be moving in with my parents who live in Sedona, although there is a possibility of Kathy getting a chaplaincy internship in Washington, in which case we would live with some friends there temporarily.  Either way, we are heading west as soon as Ben finishes school in June.

My mood has been pretty good this past couple of weeks.  One way to get my mood to instantly drop, however, is to start focusing on this move.  Part of it is just the overwhelming amount of decisions that have to be made.  We are just not moving from one place to another; all of our stuff is either going to be sold or put in storage.  Along with getting all of the repairs done on the house in preparation to sell it, these are daunting tasks.

Paralyzing regret, however, is the main reason my mood drops.  Every box I pack, every room I clean and every repair I make, I fear will take me back to those feelings of regret that I still have about leaving the parish when I did.  I fear this will happen because just contemplating moving brings up these feelings.  The regret and guilt I feel about Ben having to give up his school, his scout troop, his room and his friends, stops me in my tracks.

Of course, I recognize that the regret and guilt are not rational.  At the time, I could not have continued in the pastoral role; depression is not something I did and I need not feel guilty about having it.  But all the same, I do feel regret and guilt, along with shame for my family having to live under the roof of another.  The problem is that all of this regret, guilt and shame do nothing to get boxes packed; and, as the date to move grows nearer, it just heaps stress onto the regret, guilt and shame.

Somehow it will all get done.  Dad is coming out in about ten days to lend a hand.  Although sad about the move, Ben is looking at it as a new adventure.  But the time between now and the move is still a bit of a mystery to me.  I really don't know how I am going to get through it.  By the grace of God, I will.  But how? That is still to be revealed.


Benny Bennight said...

Lee, I can appreciate your feelings about this move, but remember it isn't your choice. You didn't elect to be ill. Your illness and a very poor job market are forcing you to move. In the local paper I just read about a man and his family who had to move in with his parents, here in Sedona, because he lost his job. He isn't ill, just lost job and then everything, completely broke. Not exactally your situation but just know others are struggling, through no fault of their own.

You are worried about moving Ben. Again, it is not your doing. You didn't choose to be ill, and you do not contol the job market. I relate to your feelings, I had the same feelings every time I pulled
you away from your school and friends to take a new job and I had a choice.

Lee the move will be tough, a lot of work, a lot of emotions, but in the end it is just a move, nothing more. You, Kathy and Ben will regroup and go forward.

Love Dad

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Darren Erickson said...

I don't know if you're still monitoring this blog, but in the event you are... I saw that you're still on the roster at the moment, and don't know if you're still pursuing call or not. I know for me, though, the process of leaving Faith Lutheran and then the roster had great impact on me for years, and like any loss still reverberates today even though I'm pretty much over it now. And, knowing you, what you've written, and what ELCA leadership was like when I left, this whole thing is NOT. YOUR. FAULT. Hope you, Kathy, and Ben are doing well!

Robert Lee Bennight said...

Hello Darren. It is good to hear from you. If you are monitoring this post, please give me a call. I have lost your number and information when we moved. My number is 928-301-7408. My e-mail is