First, I cannot explain the magic that exists when so many folks come together for good. It is the fuel that fills me to spilling and carries me (though sometimes chugging) through the dark months…
The dark months are now. Times when raising money seems pedestrian. Illness is everywhere I turn. Germs are crawling on everything, children are dying of the flu, my floors are dirty, I am cold, and Poppy can’t play outside. Dark like I am depressed, angry, and severely damaged.
If you lack compassion, empathy, and understanding : stop reading now.
I need help. The very few people that are close to my family are worn out, too. And though their help and support is as big as the moon – the moon is not enough. It is the only thing keeping me afloat – this support – but it is not enough to sustain this mothers heartbeat. I feel like “the little mermaid.” I want out of this ocean. I want to walk on two feet, solid ground, hand in hand in hand in hand with my babies. I need to rest my heart and head somewhere that feels safe for me.
You do not know the weight of this. February marks 2 years without alone time. I have been to the store, I have been out once, and I have taken 3 baths with the door closed. I am losing it. I am angry. My temper is winning. My voice is getting louder. My heart beating faster beneath my neglected flesh.
I feel guilty for wanting to be alone, to be away, to work a job for a few hours, take a class at the community college, sit in a dark bar with a glass and a piece of paper and cry. Guilt that is eating away at my true self. I need support that is not run-down, overworked, overwhelmed, and too close to see the deterioration that is occurring in my home. I need for my people, Poppy’s people, Kieran’s people – to hear this the only way I am brave enough to say it. I AM GRATEFUL. I APPRECIATE YOU. My sadness, madness, and fury is beyond control right now. I am. b r o k e n down to nothing more than survival.
There are more appointments, phone calls, emails, faxes, meetings, letters, transfers, holds, and decisions than one can imagine possible.
They are life altering and I cannot ignore them, hand them off, or manipulate them. This alone is one of the scariest realities that I, an avoider by nature, have ever faced. The amount of stress that runs through my body is indubitably toxic.
My son, my sweet blonde baby boy, is slipping away from me. He is growing darker every day and I cannot hold him close enough. I cannot listen to him. I cannot focus on him. I cannot wake him. He needs his mama right now – and I am incapable of functioning at a level suitable to care for the emotional, social and physical needs of my world.
Lets not be crazy – my children are safe, fed, clothed, cared for, fought for, and loved beyond any definition in existence – but they deserve the mother that I am capable of being. And right now, without reprieve, I am not that woman.
I am ashamed of my struggle. Ashamed of my need. Ashamed that I have my hand out in this world for everyone to see and judge and whisper and point at and fill with coins. It hurts me so deeply, and so drastically, that I cannot begin to imagine speaking of it aloud.
I am good. And I am good enough. But I am not enough, alone.
I have skeletons in my closet just waiting for me to get a grip on this. To learn the ebb and flow and scent of this affair – so that they may rattle about my dreams again.
I long for those simple demons.
Instead, I fear sleep. Sleep for me, is a weakness that I give into. I am pulled from it by alarms, or screaming, or gasping, or choking. Never by the sunrise. Never by laughter. Never by a loving touch. I wake, every. Single. Time – afraid that my children are gone.
Much of this has been pulled to the surface by current illness. Poppy and I have both been sick – I haven’t rested in a week, my body is weak and tired and depleted. I found, by way of conversation, my attempts to “mother myself” are not always exact. I am glad that I have the skill set and strength to provide for my own while fighting illness, but it is not a comfort to know in the depth of it.
And, I’m 30. That was a hard pill to swallow. I feel, as always, eternally about 23. 23 was for certain a “prime” of sorts. I was FEARLESS. That is a feeling I crave like oxygen, like food. To be fearless for one day again…. unspeakable.
Poppy, amidst my breaking, is flourishing. Talking, walking, laughing, loving! She is (though constantly ill, it seems) on an upswing. Soon however, she will be healthy enough for an MRI, which will likely send is whirling down another “plan of action” with another diagnosis. This is not pessimism. This is acceptance. Her physical life has hurdles – this is not something that can be healed or changed or avoided – but there is power in the life that is lived between them.
I want terribly to write of light, easy, ordinary sadness.
What I have instead, is the tale of a poison more potent than simple strife. I swear, on every last freckle of faith – this really sucks big time. Perhaps after the plague has passed and I have slept, I will see the beauty in the breakdown (thank you Imogen Heap) again.
For the few of you who will read this as whining, and blubbering baby babble. I dare you to see what is inside of me and feel the love that is welled up in here. I am not just some tired lady with a couple of kids. I am changing the world right here.
But seriously, I dare you.
Postscript: I ABSOLUTELY signed up for single parenthood, for pretty-much-poor, for all-by-myself, for work-my-butt-off, for sole provider, for toddler meltdowns and pre-teen angst and ALL of that goodness.
It’s the pain, and sickness, and isolation, and fear that I am ticked off about.