Written by Cassidy Dover
Ghostwriter for The Life of the Baseball Wife

There have been times in the past that our marraige was need of a therapist. Ray and I went, during the off season (obviously) to work on issues that came up over the years.

One time it had to do with our infertility struggles that were creeping into our marriage and causing us to stop communicating. Once it had to do with some inappropriate text messaging I had found on Ray’s phone. Another time it had to do with the fact I couldn’t forget the text messaging and so was having issues with trust and self esteem that were affecting our marriage.

Normal stuff.

Ray has seen a sports psychologist on and off over the years. Whenever he starts to struggle a bit he’ll seek out some support.

I’d recently started taking Sheridan to a sports therapist as well.

She’s been really excelling at her sport. She clearly takes after Ray in that aspect of her life. Well, in the last few months I had thought maybe she had OCD (which wouldn’t have been a huge surprise as this is something that I had been diagnosed with during college as a secondary diagnosis to another issue back then). I was seeing some of her behavior that was a bit concerning to me.

I listened to others telling me it was a stage she was going through and not to worry too much about it. Then it started to creep into her school, her daily life at home as well as life at her sport. It was time to step in and find her help.

I had gone online to find articles for parents to support their child athlete.

As my non baseball friends would say the stars aligned in the ways that they only do for a baseball family and one of the best sports psychologist in the sport that Sheridan is in lives here in our home city.

I emailed her with questions and she called me back. We talked and she said she’d like to see Sheridan to assess where she was and figure out the best way to help her.

I readily agreed.

See I am a bit overbearing. I am a bit emeshed in my daughter’s life and want the best for her. I struggle with finding the balance between raising a daughter who knows she is important and her friends, interests and schooling is paramount in her life and balancing that with a father who’s job is in the “spotlight” compared to many of her friends and keeps him from our family. Teaching her that family is important and being together is something special can be difficult when she is involved in activites that require her to stay home and home is away from where daddy plays baseball. Finding that balance that allows Sheridan to shine and be the best Sheridan that can be while showing her the importance of being together as a family and supporting daddy in his job that needs support is a constant struggle for me.

So when the sports psychologist said she’d meet with Sheridan, I was thrilled!

Sheridan went and this woman was one of the most dynamic people I had ever been around (and we all know that in 15 years of this baseball wife I’ve been around dynamic people!).

She was kind and caring. She connected with Sheridan in a way that I dreamed of being able to do.

Now I know the fact that I’m not competitive at all (and as dear friend said to me, “Were you always that way or were you just really bad at everything and never won so you decided competition wasn’t important."  And if I’m honest, it was probably the second situation) and so I had trouble connecting with Sheridan on that level of how important, even at her young age, the idea of being the best was a part of her self identity.

This woman said to me, “I’m not worried about Sheridan and her sport, I’m more worried about that voice in her head that tells her if she’s not exceptional, she’s not enough”.

That statement stopped me in my tracks.

First I thought, “Where in the world did she learn that so young?”. I’ve tried so hard to model and teach her that we all make mistakes, it’s ok. I celebrate her achievements and her works in progress. I’ve tried to make sure she’s balanced.

Yet...
How many times have I told myself this same thing?
If not exceptional, I’m not enough?
If I’m not a supportive wife, then I’ve failed my husband.
If I don’t put Sheridan first, then I’m a bad mom?
If I don’t make myself available to my family and friends, then I’m failing them?

The last person I worry about is myself.

I think it’s normal.

With Ray, if I don’t support him in baseball there’s more than enough to go around to tear him down. I need to find a way to let him know I’m there. I’m interested. I’m invested in his success and support his being gone and chasing the dream.

And leaving me and Sheridan behind. But that can’t be spoken about. That would take his focus off of the dream. That would seem unsupportive if I brought that up.

With Sheridan, I need to put her first. These are the years where she develops a sense of self. I need to help her to know how special she is. That she shouldn’t ever compromise herself for others. She needs to believe that putting herself first is ok. I need to help her to be driven, strong willed, and a bit intolerable so that when others try to tear her down her sense of self can’t be shaken and her will not pulled by negative peer talk or behavior.

But am I good example of that for her? I’ve put my career on hold. I’ve followed a man and his dreams while forgetting what my own once were.

I know in my heart this is my dream, to raise my daughter. But by raising her in this way and I’m letting my idea of marriage and family be altered and possibly hurt?

Being there for friends and family - that’s a tough one. With some of our financial fortune I feel guilty and obligated to jet around and be everywhere for everyone’s events, even if it makes me tired and feeling worn out. I find it hard to say, “No, I need to just stay home” when I have no real earth shattering reason to miss out on things.

Or since I stay home, I hate to tell friends I can’t take their child if they need to be somewhere else and their schedule is too busy. Who am I to say, “No” when really, I have all the free time in the world when Sheridan is at school or her activities?

So where in the world did Sheridan learn that if she’s not exceptional, she’s not enough?
So when this amazing woman asked me if we could talk for a few minutes and I cried, I realized I needed more than a few minutes.

See this sports psychologist, she’s a “life coach”.

I had heard about these “life coaches”, but thought it was a bit silly.

Until recently when my life seems a bit more than I can handle.

There are days I feel so overwhelmed I feel like I can’t do it anymore.

My life is in chaos, at least to me.

And so I need a coach to help guide me through.

I don’t have any “issues” per se. My issues are more in how to accept the life I lead , how to own it, and how to live in the moment rather than getting caught up all the things I can’t control.

And for a girl with OCD, that’s not easy to accept.

So now I’m seeing a therapist. Let me correct myself, a Life Coach. As the “manager” of this family, there’s no shame in seeking out a coach for myself. I’m just sorry it took me this long to put myself first for an hour a week.

Because you know what, I am exceptional. Any woman who is part of this crazy life is exceptional. We just need to learn how to own it.

Go face your day. Be bold, be beautful, be fantastic.

I guarantee you already are!

Thanks for reading,
Cassidy


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One Comment

  1. I just stumbled onto your Baseall Wife blog and really related to it. As a mom to a pro baseball guy who has struggled for over 10 years to stay in the game, as a mother-in-law to his wife who has supported him and truly been "present" for the ride, as a grandmother to their kids who sometimes really miss Daddy, I just want to applaud you for what you've written here. I also happen to be a family therapist and can tell you've really written from your heart here. Bravo! From the outside the pro baseball player's life looks "glamorous"..and sometimes it is, let's face it.....once you are to the level where you can stop riding buses..... while those who've experienced it from the inside know of the constant need to have a good game face, struggling just like the next guy, worrying about getting or keeping your position on the team, being frustrated by management decisions, and then managing all of your friend and family relationships despite the constant movements from place to place, being part of the traveling band of baseball brothers. Heartaches and disappointments, excitement and competition, it truly is a lifestyle that can exhaust the faint of heart. You are always having to respond to something from the outside and it can be lonely on the inside. Congrats on your attitude and learning how important it is to take care of yourself. Let's face it, you're a single parent when you're the spouse of a pro athlete with kids, and there are plenty of tough days. Then the athlete comes home during the off season and everything gets flipped up in the air again as you all re-adjust to living with each other. Keep going, Girl! Sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders! And a good heart as well. Blessings on your way.....Bub's Mom

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