On Friday I think I pretty much hit one of my lowest points of motherhood/life. Looking back, I can’t even say that the kids were doing anything that crazy or out of the ordinary…. but something in me just snapped and it was like that moment where you go out onto the top of a mountain somewhere and scream like no one can hear you… except my audience was two sets of shocked little ears and probably the entire neighbourhood.
I guess you could say my emotional and physical energy was low, and that we had just experienced a long two week stint without any real family together time, and were just about to head into another weekend that promised to be massive – with big events hosted by our family on both Saturday and Sunday. Not to mention the fact that I had been having some tiring and daily battles with Eli as he either lost it over (what I saw as) a trivial issue or consistently ignored my attempts to communicate with him.
The constant realisations about my fallibility haven’t exactly made it easy either. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but discovering unpleasant facts about the way you process things and your shadow self is actually pretty exhausting. In some ways its like having everything bull dozed to make way for a new ‘building’, but in the phase before the new slab gets laid, it just looks like a heap of rubble.
After my screaming episode, it just seemed to unleash a torrent of uncontrollable tears. Eli sat on the bed beside me, stroking my hair and whispering reassuring things into my ear. It was very sweet. Hudson just sat on the floor of the bedroom wailing along with me. After a text to Dave that I was ‘one step away from the psych ward’, he responded by saying he had arranged for his mum to come over and pick up the pieces. Despite feeling very comfortable with my amazing mother-in-law, it took all my efforts not to immediately go and clean the bombshell that was my house, and dash to the bathroom to put on some concealer. While I resisted the efforts of concealment, it was revealing to realise how much I cared about how I was seen in the eyes of others. Even when having my biggest meltdown, I wanted to come across as normal, put together and not the half crazed lunatic that I felt like.
Pat was amazing. She took one look at me, ordered me into the shower and corralled the kids into the living room to watch Playschool. After the hot burst of water and getting out of my pajamas, I did feel as if I was more able to face the day. She drove us all back to her house and made us snacks and cups of tea, and then took Eli on an excursion to watch one of his cousins in a school race so that I could have a nap while Hudson was down.
I really hate ‘not coping’ but more than that, I probably hate being seen as someone who is ‘not coping’. Even after a relaxing weekend (following the cancelling of the Tribe Thanksgiving Feast) and start to the week (thanks to support and company from Mum and Pat), I still found myself struggling today. When other people aren’t around, I start to survey the ‘rubble’ of my life and it is pretty depressing. I have nothing anymore from which to draw artificial worth and it is bloody hard. I ended up waving the white flag of surrender/red flag of frustration and Dave decided to take the day off work to pick up the pieces. I hate being rescued, but it was comforting all the same. Pat met us at the library and took us to morning tea afterwards, and it was very reassuring having her to bounce things off with the way I’m feeling at the moment. Though it is a bit hard to stop the tears whenever I try and talk about anything remotely meaningful.
I do try to see the silver lining in whatever struggle I’m going through, but I’m finding this one a bit hard. It is hard for me at the best of times to look beyond the moment to the future, unless I’m catastrophising, and this is not exactly the best of times. What I do know to be true is this: I have an amazing husband, two spirited and incredible boys (and a girl less than two months away), a rich support structure of family and friends. I do need rescuing sometimes, and that is OK. I am not going to be able to be ‘the coper’ all the time, and that is also OK. My house is going to always have something else that needs to be done, and that is normal. My kids are going to fight and crack it over silly things and that is unavoidable. My energy (particularly at the moment) is limited and I need to spend it on things that matter- not picking up random things from the ground all the time and making sure all the toys are in their right box throughout the day. I’m a screwed up, irrational, emotional, tunnel-visioned and selfish human being… in desperate need of redemption and hope. Please help me? Amen.