I spent most of yesterday crying and I cried when I got home at 8:30, got out of the car, sent Elizabeth into the house to eat and do her homework and started shoveling the driveway in my skirt and boots. Elizabeth came back out 5 minutes later because her computer was dead and her dad needed to drive her power cord over. She came out in boots and her coat with a shovel and started working next to me. I hadn’t had time to shovel enough after the last storm to do much more than ram my way in and out of the driveway and nobody with anything short of decent clearance and four wheel drive was going to make it past the first 8 feet and even that was questionable. I was starting to get stuck because what started out as 6 to 10 inches of brick was turning to crud. I hear another foot is on its way and I’ll be leaving before I can clear it. I have a flat but long driveway. I’ve already told Cletus to stay home until spring and I mean it too. If she’s not inclined to shovel (and she’s not) then she’s not going to have a parking space. Momma is out of bandwidth. Has been out of bandwidth.
We moved the crud for 30 minutes until Dad showed up. 9 PM is Elizabeth’s bedtime. This sucks. She went inside to start on what turned out to be 90 minutes of homework. She was damn tired this morning but I’ll get to that. Dad grabbed her shovel and went to work next to me. I’d forgotten how damn strong he is. Of my three he was and still is the real workhorse. Might not be good mechanically and a screwdriver might look dangerous in his hands but give him a shovel and point him and he turns into John Henry except we’re going to hope he doesn’t drop dead of it. We didn’t get anywhere near pavement but we got down to maybe 3 inches of hard pack. It will be ok for a while.
I went inside and sat with Elizabeth. I got her into bed at 10:30 and then just sat there and sobbed until I managed to stop finally. I can compartmentalize for a while and then one of two things happen; I either break open or I get terribly numb and I’m not sure which is better some days. After that I stared at the wall for some time. The blankest wall I could find. I don’t actually have any blank walls and the walls in my living room are painted sage green and in 8 and a half years I haven’t managed to get around to painting them the warmest shade of not exactly white I can find. I keep meaning to. The sage is not my fault. At least the deep purple velvet drapes and dripping crystals from the chandelier are gone. The chandelier is gone too. Both of them. I’ll stop now. Anyway. I stared at an imaginary blank wall for some time. I don’t know how much time. Periodically I looked at facebook on my phone. I do that neurotically. I don’t even want to get into why. I should drop that phone in water someday.
Eventually I got up and went down the hall. Elizabeth carried my things from the car to my bedroom. I looked for my pillow. Northampton. Don’t cry. NM will have it. That’s nice. I looked for my sweatshirt. This is more of a security blanket and it’s more important than my pillow. It’s probably the most important piece of clothing I own and maybe if I felt better it wouldn’t be such a big deal. On the floor of the bedroom in Northampton. Tears. Sweats, t-shirt, conversation: ALECTO! You have more than enough warm things, find one and put it the fuck on and get into your bed because it’s god damn LATE and you had maybe 4 hours of sleep last night and you can’t even see straight so just do it and GO!
I’m probably struggling more at the moment than I have in the last six years to keep my head above water. Things are slipping through my fingers that should not and there’s more white noise in my head more often than there ought to be and the other day, twice now, I’ve caught myself digging my nails into my skin to create enough discomfort to keep the emotional overwhelm down to a dull roar. The other day I noticed when I broke a nail. I haven’t broken skin but I did cause some level of bruising although it was gone in a day. I don’t want to hurt myself. I can look at six years ago and I can look at today and if I did a side by side comparison I wouldn’t come up anywhere close but I still know what out of control looks like and this isn’t working.
I am not just struggling; I am suffering. It is not just one part of my life; it is all parts of my life. It is never, by the way, don’t EVER fool yourself, it is never one part of your life. If something shows up somewhere you can pretty much guarantee one way or another, in one form or another that it is everywhere. The trick is isolating the little bastard and taming it. I’d say wipe it out, stamp it under your foot and grind it into oblivion but that’s a little harsh, don’t you think? I mean, I’m talking about a piece of myself here, not a cockroach scuttling across my kitchen floor.
Thanks for this CG.