In the bathroom with sound cancelling headphones with my daughter crying outside the door, that’s where I’m at now.
Crying and overwhelmed as she cries and screams on the floor feet from me, in my arms it makes no difference.
For months and months I went to her for every whimper and when I held her she was fine, but my arms are tired. I have shit to do. Like get a shower, put dishes in the dishwasher, so she screams. Nothing has changed for me since those early moments when my heart would quicken and a panic sets in, I have to fix it. But there’s nothing to fix when it’s attention they’re wanting and you just don’t have anymore to give. And I know now how he felt, feels sometimes. Someone always needing something from him. All I need is a break. I can get that, a little silence and a nap. A second to wrap my head around a single thought. Now I need the break and I can’t take it. I took advantage of it before. I no longer deserve a break from this or an afternoon to myself. I crush myself with these expectations and I remember what I felt like. Overwhelmed with my own failures and somehow neglected.
This is where we’re at now. She’s screaming all day long unless she’s in my arms and it’s just too much to take. I miss my son. I miss my husband, myself. Today I put on makeup and wore the headphones while I cleaned the house. When my head is out of order I have to be in order. One area of my life has to be under control at a time of it’s not I’m lost. A messy house and messy appearance is me being whole. It means I’m in order, that my mind is healthy. If my house and appearance are in order, my mind is a mess. Lorelai does the dishes I am a cleaning tornado.
Where do you go when you are the problem? There’s no escaping you. Hiding in the bathroom after my shower just so I can have some time without crying and repeating noises. Sometimes I think this is hell and I’ll never get out, but I told my friends the whole truth: every day is heaven and hell. With young kids if you don’t think “dear god what have I done?!” at least sometimes, you’re a fucking saint, pat your back and show yourself out. I’m looking for my hot mess moms who are barely hanging on sometimes. Because that’s where I’m at now. I don’t live here and I hate visiting, but for right now it’s home. Trust me, we’re looking for another place.
There’s so much work that goes into breathing sometimes. It’s hard to wrap my head around that. Lately I haven’t been the best friend, mother, partner. Friend. I don’t have the energy to give to them right now. My eyelids droop the second I sit in the car. Gotta caffeinate yourself before you can give someone else a buzz and I’m still breastfeeding, so I haven’t reached out in a long time. When we get together, I feel hollow. Can’t even pretend I’m doing better than I am. Mother. There’s just not time for my son. My daughter just needs so much that there really isn’t enough to go around and he’s growing so fast, I’m worried I’ll miss it. Partner. I need much more than I can give right now. That’s the way it is sometimes I know, but I already feel so much less than I feel like I can’t falter without falling hopelessly behind. I wish he was a mess once in a while. I don’t have the energy to keep up to perfect. I’m stalling at decent. Stuck in the mire of consuming thoughts of where I thought I’d be. Named tendrils winding around me: doubt, insufficiency, inferiority, anger, jealousy. I’m walking away from them but they follow me around like in their sun, wrap their tiny fingers around my limbs and suck energy from my soul. That’s where I’m stuck now. Rooted in place, but not settled; they’re hell bent on pulling down.
As I struggle to end this on some kind of positive note, an upturn to a seriously depressing thought, I stumble. There aren’t any right now. I’m in a library filled with books and shelves and aisles filled with words and the only ones I can read are hopeless. I reach out the fingers of my mind toward a novel that seems hopeful as the tendrils wrap around my wrist and pull it back. I could almost read the title. But this is where I’m at now. I’ll sit here with it a moment and stop adding to the judgmental conga line and let my mind be exactly where it wants to be. I’ll watch it. Observe as it works it’s way to a new place.
The pen gives me shove and I’m walking away.