I felt a kind of shock, like the past six years had vanished and I said to myself, "Oh my GOD, what am I doing with a kid? Two kids?!" I felt completely inadequate to the task of being a mother. I felt like I could hardly take care of myself, let alone raise two other human beings. The bright colors of the happy creations of the children that littered the walls blurred. I managed to make it out of the building without bawling.
Once in the safety of my car, I felt the safe, familiar, hardness of the steering wheel against my forehead and sobbed until I honked the horn by accident. For the record, Chic-fil-A napkins are not good tissues. They leave white lint all over your face. Starbucks napkins are much better. My plan for the day was to run an errand to Target and then do my Whole Foods grocery shopping (meat and a few vegetables and roasted unsalted cashews for my husband). I pulled out of the parking lot. I can't even remember if I had the radio on. Probably it was on NPR. I had to keep wiping the tears out of my eyes before they blurred the road too badly to be able to be sure where my lane was. I came a little too close to clipping a big truck, but otherwise made it fine. The habitual bad thoughts that always come into my head when I'm upset raised their voices with the usual accusations, "What a horrible mother you are. What a horrible role model for the kids. Who are you to have children anyway? Your poor husband works all day and then comes home and does your work because you don't do what you are supposed to do. How can you be this lazy?" The only "I" thought is "I wish I was dead." I do usually quickly counter this, because it's not true. I don't wish to be dead, I just don't want to live like this, I want to actually live, not just survive each day. And no, the "I" thought does not use the subjunctive properly, which, if you knew me, you would think it would, but it doesn't.
The sun was shining brightly overhead. That was the only thing in the moment that gave any relief to my pain. Then the radio, yes, I guess it was NPR, said that tomorrow it would be gray and rainy. And I, seriously, I was like, "Oh NO! It's going to rain! What am I going to do?! Oh God, it's going to rain!" and then uncontrollable sobbing, well, as much as you can have while driving without needing to pull over. When that happened, the little observer part of me was like, "whoa... I don't remember us weeping over weather before... this is a new low." I made it to the parking lot of the drive-thru Starbucks, which was my destination. I was not going to get chai, as I was still shunning caffeine, but I thought I would get an oatmeal and ice water. But by the time that I got there I just pulled into a far far parking space and parked the car. I hooked my iPad up to the radio and played some nap music that is supposed to be super soothing by messing with your brain waves via sound or whatever. Probably a bunch of hooey, but it has a white noise quality to it that I actually do find very soothing. I put my seat back, locked my doors, and listened to that music in the fetal position for about three hours, until I only had time to grab some fries from Chic-fil-A and eat them before going off to get my daughter from school.
I was more pulled together the rest of the day, but still felt terrible. Then I fell asleep at home while my daughter watched cartoons and was late picking up my son from daycare. At that point I was so low I was really beyond the crisis mode of getting upset. At least until I had him in the car. Then I broke down a little, but not enough that the kids caught on. Though the daycare owner I think did see me wiping my eyes before I drove off after sitting an unusually long time in her parking lot. Oh well. Whatever.
Today was better. Much less sobbing. However my son watched like five hours of TV while I did some laundry and alternately cuddled him and closed my eyes against what a horrible mother I was being, again. I've had people try to cut me some slack by saying that sometimes you have a season when you're not well and the kids watch too much TV but it's just until you get well. But for how long do you get to cut yourself slack? At some point you're supposed to just suck it up and do what needs to be done whether you're bleeding out inside or not, right? Only what happens when you don't make yourself do that for whatever reason? Am I sick enough to justify my behavior or should I be used to life sucking this much by now and just get on with it? I don't know.
I did have a little insight today on dealing with the house. It seems that if I pretend it's not my house or that I'm doing this job of housekeeping for a friend, that I am able to make myself do more work. I'm not sure what that means.
Anyway, sorry to whine. That's just what's been going on the past couple of days. That and I am fighting wtih my computer, which is very frustrating. So I haven't been online as much as in weeks past. Hopefully things will improve, though I have the whole family going in for dentist appointments tomorrow, which I usually really hate. At least it isn't supposed to rain.