I gotta admit. I seriously did not want to blog today. Seriously. I tried to find great excuses for skipping it. I tried to tell myself I was too busy, it was too late in the day, I had nothing to say, anything to avoid blogging today. And then I realized something. If I am fighting that hard against doing it, I must need to. If there is something I should be writing about and I am trying so hard to avoid it, it must be something I need to get out. Yucky but true. So here it goes.
I am having a massively difficult time here. Kids are hard. Adulting is hard. Work and money and cooking and housework and interpersonal communication and relationships and cars and animals and dreams and wants and needs and and and….. Everything is really hard right now. I have been feeling on and off for several weeks some pretty heavy emotional stuff and maybe if I tell you about it, it’ll work as some sort of valve to let it out and I can maybe deal with it better. Maybe. I don’t know.
I have said several times in the past few weeks that I thought I was/was going to/may be/wondered if I was having a nervous breakdown. I don’t know if I did/will/am/have done so, but I hope not. I feel sometimes (ok, maybe so much as “fairly often?”) like my life is flying apart. Or breaking apart. Or like I don’t belong in it. My life I mean. I find that sometimes I am freaking out and mad and anxious and upset at everyone and I can’t stop. I feel sometimes like all I want to do is sleep or even just sit and stare. (I did that for most of an afternoon once a couple weeks ago. It felt great, which scared me a bit because the complete lack of motivation to do anything is pretty foreign to me.) I don’t really feel “actively tired” (if that term makes sense at all?) I feel like I could sleep but not like my attention or my mind is adversely affected by direct lack of sleep. I feel like everything is happening really really fast all the time and all I seem to do is react and then I find that my reactions are totally not ok. They are huge, and loud, and angry, and unexpected, and totally out of whack with whatever I am reacting to. Someone asks if I know where something is and I have a snide, rude, sarcastic remark and it’s like I’m punishing them for asking and I’m upset and freaked out because I don’t know the answer and then I’m appalled that I’ve suddenly made such a big deal about it.
And the tears. Holy crap do I seem to cry a lot. And loudly. Forever. About everything. And I don’t generally feel any better right after. I do often feel better a while after, but not right away. And the hurt feelings. Mine mostly, but I think I hurt other peoples’ feelings too. And the anger and the anxiety and the sad and all the feels all the time.
Let me give you an example. Last week (and I can’t for the life of me figure out what day it was but I think maybe Wednesday?) I took Monty to school. He didn’t want to go. And he didn’t want to get out of the car. And he didn’t want me to leave. And he didn’t want to get in line with his class. OK. Background. Monty’s school does free breakfast. I know that between him and me, we are unlikely to get up in time to eat breakfast at home, and if I can drop him off early for breakfast, I can maybe get to work a little earlier and not have to stay so late. So for the first week (which consisted of 2 days for kindergartners) I went with him and we went through the breakfast line and got his food and I waited while he ate it and then I walked him over to where he lines up for class. This went ok, although he is not a morning person and there was generally some amount of foot dragging and not wanting to go. But he did. Then Monday there was no school for Labor Day. Then Tuesday I was informed that that would be the last day that I could stay for breakfast as they want the kids to do it on their own. I thought that was rushing things a bit and I didn’t think it would go over well, but I said we’d try it the next day. So we did. And it was hell. I tried to work Monty up to, telling him that I couldn’t stay and that he was a big boy and could do it himself. And I also (stupidly) pointed out the man who said I couldn’t stay and said it was his fault. And then things started to break down. Monty wouldn’t get in line. He wouldn’t go inside. He wouldn’t let me leave. And I started getting anxious about him missing breakfast and about him not doing what he was supposed to and I didn’t know how to make him do it and please just go in and eat please. Finally, I guess it was obvious that it was not going to work and the guy (same one!) said that I could go ahead and go in with him this time. Of course, it was too late to be able to get the food and get him to eat it, and he wouldn’t go anyways. He doesn’t like being rushed at any time, and he definitely didn’t want to be rushed now. And breakfast time was over. So I was going to let his teacher know he missed breakfast as she said they can sometimes bring them breakfast in the classroom if they miss it. And I tried to make him go over to get in line for class. And he didn’t want to go. And there were kids everywhere and it was loud and I wanted him to come with me and get in line and he wouldn’t and I think he slapped my hand when I tried to grab his hand and then I picked him up and carried him. And that was a bad thing to do. See, this is one of the things that’s happening right now. I get worried and anxious and things escalate and then I do something in a rush when I shouldn’t and then everyone’s upset. So I carry him over to his line and he’s crying and screaming and I’m mortified with myself and then the teacher comes out and I tell her about breakfast but also that he’s upset and he’s hiding behind a pillar and punching the fence and crying and he won’t go in and he won’t get in line. So she goes to get someone to help. And guess who it is. The same guy who wanted me to leave and who I told Monty won’t let me stay and Monty on some level thinks is the bad guy. So he comes over and all the kids go to class and the three of us are standing there and the guy is trying to calm Monty down and Monty’s upset and I don’t know what to do and I’m trying to help and the guy stands up and turns away from Monty and tells me that I need to go. Now. Just turn and go. He’ll take care of Monty and he’ll be fine and I should go. And I did. And ultimately Monty was fine. Not so much me. I went home and switched cars and got my stuff and went to work. And on the way I called my mom and balled and cried because I realized that I can’t be a mom. Moms are good at everything. They get up early and can cook and can keep the house clean and never lose their tempers and never escalate their kids’ behavior issues. And they can make things work. And I can’t do any of those things. Part of the reason this day sucked was because we were in a rush because I overslept. And part of the problem is I can’t get up early enough to make breakfast. And part of it is I’m torn between wanting to do what the people in authority want me to do and what Monty needs and I don’t know what Monty needs and I’m pretty sure it’s not me and never can be me and what the hell was I thinking when I believed that my home was the best place for these kids? What the hell was I thinking? I can’t do this. I can’t do any of this and it’s not fair, it’s not right, it’s not kind, it’s borderline abusive to make these kids live with someone who flies off the handle because we’re running a few minutes late or because someone backtalked or because someone won’t stop doing something the instant I say they need to. And what child would ever want to do what I tell them to do when all I do is tell them to stop doing what they’re doing. All. The. Time. Stop doing this and that and don’t and quit and be quiet and sit down and listen to me and why don’t you listen and why are you defiant and why are you mad at me all the time and why……
So yeah. That was that day. Wednesday. I’m pretty sure. Most of the days have been slightly better since then, although Tuesday this week was almost as bad and I actually stayed home from work for an attempt at a mental health day. Carlos said HE thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown and I needed to sit and think about things and try to calm down. And I did. And it worked a little and I need to do it more but it helped some. And then I went and picked Monty up from school. And he was disappointed to see me. He threw his backpack at my feet. And his jacket in my face. And he threw a fit in the parking lot about holding my hand. And he called me an idiot and kicked the van. And I was upset. And then we went home and it was better. I think maybe (?) I’m figuring out very slowly how to deal? Or maybe not. I don’t know. And then yesterday we went to Monty’s counseling appointment and I spent almost the whole time telling his counselor about all this and I cried and we didn’t hardly work with Monty at all. And then we got in the van to go home and he kept kicking the back of my seat and he wouldn’t stop and I yelled and I called Carlos about how to put up the third row in the van so I could move his seat to where he couldn’t kick me and Carlos told me to just tell Monty that if he didn’t behave we wouldn’t leave and if he kicked me while we were driving I should pull over until he stopped. And Monty didn’t kick me at all and we got home fine. That advice seems so obvious, but I never would have thought of it in a million years as upset as I was. It’s like I get so carried away I can’t even think. And then when I do think I feel really really stupid because the answer seems so obvious and my reaction is so out of hand.
The last two mornings have gone pretty well with getting Monty to school. And today I feel less like I’m flying apart. In fact, I felt fairly normal until I started telling you about it all. Now I’m a bit upset again. But maybe now I’ve let it all out (again) and I can settle. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I am so sorry that this (again) turned into me rambling about my problems. I hope you will forgive me for making you all be my counselors again. I really think that maybe everything is really not as bad as I think it is. Carlos says we choose how we react to things and I need to slow down and choose different ways to react. I think he’s probably right. I know that I need to do at least the first part. Slow down. Slow. Down. I’m trying. I am not good at it, but I am trying.