Ten Minutes of Terrible
It usually starts with
“I wish I was dead. That’s the only way I’m going to get a break.”
“I cannot do this. I don’t want to do this. Someone else needs to do this.”
Then I recognize the ridiculous self-pity and downgrade my fantasy to just being sick.
“I just want to be sick for a while, sick enough to be in the hospital a few days. I don’t want to be hurt; I don’t want any new scars or a cast that handicaps me for six weeks. I just want a forced hiatus from my life. I want to have to be gone.”
I draw it out, thinking about the right words to google: “household poisons trace amounts” and then I shake it off because I do not want that in my browsing history. And it’s all terrible and it’s all shit because I think this terrible thing but I want out so help me god I need a break so bad.
About a year ago I was in the thick of things with another sinus infection, urinary tract infection and Farrah not sleeping. Dropping Arlo off at school one morning I broke down in the classroom, overwhelmed by what I endured the night before and what lay in the day ahead. A fellow parent, a working mother whom I rarely saw, kindly offered to take Farrah for a couple of hours. I wiped my nose and thanked her, declining as Farrah would never tolerate it. She replied saying “Oh she’ll be fine. She’ll only cry for the first ten minutes.” And I thought, oh… you and I have different parenting styles. My style is to poison myself rather than allow my daughter to endure ten minutes of fear. It’s a beautiful thing to shield your child from even a moment of pain and it’s a terrible thing to hope the decision is made for you.
As Renegade Mama writes, “When I told my husband he didn’t understand. He looked at me helplessly and went back to work.”
I tell most things, event the terrible things to Kris because he should know the mental status of his children’s mother, but what can he do? Feel bad. The end.
This post is in answer to Renegade Mothering’s motherly request to “Talk to me and tell me all the dark shit in your brain.”:
“I’m done with it, people. I’m done with the bullshit.
I am asking you RIGHT NOW to talk about the darkness.
Talk about the moment you nearly couldn’t do it. Talk about the second you curled onto your bed and had the worst thought you’ve ever had pass the center of your mind.
Talk about the thing you hid.
Talk to the woman.
Talk to the human.
Talk to my friend.
Goddamnit, talk to me.”
I swore I read this when it was first posted but now I can’t find the passage – something about every relationship having its ups and downs and why isn’t that recognized in motherhood as well? Or did I make that up? If I did then I should write that shit down.
To do the same thing over and over and never take action to change is utter nonsense and by that measure my parenting choices are utter nonsense. I’m never going to wean my children but man some days I want some space. I’m never going to put them in the care of someone else against their will but I desperately want to know what it’s like, just for one day, to do all the things I have to do – alone. There are a million things I cannot change and so I do the same thing over and over and that utter nonsense has made my life richer than I ever imagined possible. But sometimes, sometimes I cry for the first ten minutes.