Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Turning my brown eyes blue

"Why so sad? It's the holidays! You can't be sad now! It's Christmas time!"

I hate to break it to you, but yes, I can be sad during the holidays.

Why? Lots of reasons. Some little, some big. Some stupid, some not so stupid. Ready?

It's stream-of-thought time!

Sad because of my dad, losing his memory. Mom has asked for pictures for a memory book. Which memories to choose? Happy. They have to be happy. Which ones? I have a good one. I should do a picture for each of us. What about the twins? Do I have a photo for each? Where are all of my friends? Why is everyone too busy to see me/visit me/call me/come play with me? Where are all of Caitlin's friends? Why do I have to yell at her every two hours? Why do I have to yell at her about the same things every damn day?! Brush your hair! Brush your teeth! Get dressed! Stop that! Listen to me! Put the book down! This is not very holiday-like behavior. Stop pouting! Quit throwing a fit! Write in your journal for school! You said you wanted to be in the spelling bee, why is it such a BIG DEAL to study? Why haven't I completed shopping yet? Where's the tree? Crap! I have to bake/cook/clean/wrap/shop/write/photograph/detail/explain/sleep/play/mother/sweep/wash. Cry. There's no END to all of the bloody dishes and dirt and laundry and dirty diapers. Oh god! I'm getting old. I'll be 40 in 3 months and 8 days. Fuck! Is that a wrinkle? Now I have wrinkles?! OK, it's no so bad, but goddamn! My hair is going more and more grey! I can't get rid of my squishy belly. I don't exercise, much less get "enough" exercise. It's cold outside and grey. There isn't any snow. Can't even go out and play. Cooped up with a 7 year old that whines all the fucking time. Jobless. Eric is depressed. Eric's depression is catching. Now I'm depressed. Days are formless. Not enough sleep. I know it's my fault, but it's more fun to blame him. The twins are cute. The twins are screamy. The twins are hungry. Now they're biting me! Nursing is still happening, that's good? Isn't it? Except for the biting. Why am I so lonely? I'm never alone. I wish I could be alone. Why do I never get to be by myself unless I'm working or shopping. I never go shopping. I'm not a window shopper. Go out get what you want and go home. I want to run away. What the fuck happened to my youth? I think I wasted it all working. No money. We're broke. Lots of different versions of broke in the world, we're not terribly badly off, but it's not much fun and we don't go out. We can't go out. Babysitters cost too much, family is too far away, friends are too busy. No one ever invites us out. Except that when they do we can't go because we can't afford/find a sitter. Obsessed with a video game. Escapism. Long nights. Too little sleep. More fun to pretend the dirty floor isn't as important as a new cloak on the computer. Can't write. Can't be funny. Can't take pictures. Can't edit pictures. Why can't I ever get a card out on time during the holidays? So glad I don't watch TV, no need to see all the ads pushing how happy I should be. I'm healthy, that's good. I'm cut off, that's bad. It's "just" cabin fever. Everything is all about the twins, all the time. Our whole lives circle around when they wake, when they nap, when they eat, when they poop, when they sleep. There's a small window to do anything on either side of naps, no time to go anywhere. No place to go. Stuck in the house. Why won't they leave me alone! Did I make her this bratty or is this something from his side of the family? That foot stompy thing makes me want to smack her! I don't, but I want to. I'm a bad mom. I can't stop feeling angry. I need more sleep. I wish I liked alcohol more. Maybe that's a bad idea. Could I addict myself? Nah. I think I'm too wound up to get addicted to alcohol. Don't have lots of cash for presents. Haven't mailed any to the family. Where have my friends gone? Holy crap! Facebook is kind of cool! Look there's my best friend from Junior High! There's the boy next door (but not the one I had the major crush on, can't find him)! My sister's getting married. I still don't talk to my brother. I make my mother sad. My father's Alzheimers makes me sad. I make Eric sad. Caitlin makes me crazy. I've lost all of my super powers to the Winter of my Discontent. Nothing is green and growing. I need warmth and light and where is the Sun? I can't even read a book anymore. It takes days and days to get through a single book instead of hours. All of my time is spoken for. If I'm home all day, why isn't the house cleaner? I don't want to clean the house. I don't want to bake. I know I'm sad when there's no baking. Wait! Suddenly it's Xmas and people are coming over! Hurry! Hurry! Wow! The food is great! I need attention. I need alone time. I need a shrink. Wintertime blues. I have them. I'm getting old. One day I'll be dead. I don't want my kids to die. If they died first I think I'd lose my mind. Why can't I remember my dreams? I have no one to talk to. No one understands me. Eric understands me, but doesn't want to hear it anymore. Why am I so alone?

And then we had a few injections of time with friends.

I'm depressing. I keep almost crying when people ask me the deadliest of questions, "What's wrong?"

Misty and I go to lunch. Two hours alone, without children. By ourselves.

A big heaping, steaming bowl of happiness.

A long exhale. Talking about being tired, depressed, mad, pissed off, lonely, married, mothering, relationships, what the hell did we ever used to do for fun? Oh, all those things that cost money....

Being alone, but with a friend. Not having to listen to whining, other than our own. Eating food slowly, with someone else to clean up the mess. Feeling listened to and empathised with. Friendship.

Oh yeah. I remember this part.

Feeling like a grown up.

Deep inhale.

OK. Maybe I can do this again.

The days are slowly getting longer. Some days aren't so cold. Still no snow. School starts up again, soon. Spring will cycle back again, as it always does. I'll be happy again. Playing in the dirt. Growing things. Super powers fully recharged by the sun.

Maybe I can take a few pictures after all.


filthEdesign said...

well said.
got teary reading it...winters getting long on me too...

Heather said...

Wow. I so know how you are feeling...time is not your own...ever!

Everyone wants something from you personally all the time. Kids, husband, in-laws, friends, employers...the only "you" time is spent eking out a few minutes to respond to messages or perhaps a few more to take a shower.

Spring is coming and so is CHANGE in so many, many ways! Hang in there super girl!

Missy said...

Yikes. This is hitting a little to close to home for me.

Know you are not alone in how you feel and I hope that things get better soon.

elisava said...

take the first step. get involved with something with boundries. volunteer. or, like me, get a shitty retail job. it sucks, but at least you feel like you are moving forward.

i hear you about the drudery btw. i'm been here for years now. the days blur.

badsara said...

okay, between you me and the trees, sell that fucking two seater car that gains you nothing. really, what the...? email me privtely if you like.

badsara said...

okay.. expanding, i know what it is like to have a stuck, depressed, no-job hubbby. it's hard, it's really REALLY hard. steve got laid off from sun a week before our wedding. we just figured, bump in the road, we've been here before, new fun on the horizon. we got married, pregnant, and hazel was born the next spring. steve had been laid off fifteen months then. we had good times playing video games and sleepin in during that time, i fully admidt. i was still working a couple days a week. after the babe came, and still no six-figure job looming, we had to face hard facts. steve took a crap night job in shipping up at the airport and kept hussling. after a few months, he got the job he has now. a dream job? no. but it pays the bills and we're happy he has it.

just a little tale. i know you think you have no power in this situation but you do.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I get it. I know it's hard, but scheduling time with friends really helps, and it's possible now that the twins are quite so dependent on you. You're pretty burned out (babies will do that, let alone multiples); make sure to do things for yourself, out of the house. Connect with other moms. It's really important.

And maybe I should take my own advice. I could really identify with a lot of that.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I'm sorry if I made you cry, Em!

Heather: COME OVER. Bring Tara. Or the hell with THEM, let's go out.

Sara: I know! I know! School starts tomorrow and I have a date out of the house, so those are a nice start. Then we'll see about an interview for Himself next week. Maybe things will get better sooner than I think.

I can always hope.

elisava said...

i can see you trying to put a brave face on this. i've seen you coloring this mask on in the past, too
you said noone understands. i do and can learn more. this shit sucks, they couldn't pay me enough. but that's all water in the bucket, we be where we at.

Valerie said...

I'm sorry you've been so blue. I can definitely sympathize, I've felt so behind for so long. And a few hours of babysitting is barely a breath it seems. I could really use a week at least. You are closer to the edge though. Yay for friends and lunch....

alessa said...

Hey Hatchet,

I've been there off and on my entire teenage & adult life (depressed, I mean.) Complaining of fatigue, getting sick within 2-3 weeks if I started an exercise program, seeking professional help when it doesn't seem worth it and the alternative scared me. Cheated on my regular doctor and went to see an integrative doc, a woman who sent me to get a comprehensive blood test. When the results came back, she and I discovered I was so vitamin D deficient that I almost had rickets (where a lot of my muscle and joint pain comes from) and B12 deficient, to the point of weekly shots and may eventually downgrade to sublingual tabs.

You may want to talk with your doc to see if you or Himself may be D deficient. Esp if HImself doesn't get out in the sun a lot. AND, yes, it is hard to maintain your equilibrium when your partner can't get out of bed (being on the other side sucks now...) It took about a month for the supplements to kick in, but it's like I'm a new person. Up and out of bed and doing stuff before 8 am... Still packing and the second truck is sitting out in the driveway! AAAIIIEEE!

ellen said...

I wish I were in CO so I could go get a coffee with you. Running away from my kids from time to time helps them live longer lives! I do hear you... Stress builds up and over flows, doesn't it.

Can you get out for a walk during the day? Strap the kids in a stroller, go alone, just get outside... get some sun on your face and dream of what you'll do with your garden in the spring.

Misty is a great friend to have. She's kept me sane more than once.

elisava/badsara said...

looking over my comments from yesterday, i think i am out of line.
i am sorry.

Dawn said...

Hate winter! Hate winter! Hate winter! Too cold, grey, freezing, dark - always so dark in the morning - dark in the evening, and just generally sucks the life out of a body. Can't think, do or get anything accomplished cause all I want to do is sleep. Must have some bear genes - just want to sleep and be grumpy. Be very happy you don't watch TV or you'd be trapped like I am with the lure of reruns and food network programs.

Of course - you could always put some of those cooking skills to use and try to get in on some of the many cooking competitions there seem to be. Show off your mad skills and story telling talents - win some prize $.

Live in hope because spring, sunshine and warmth will return. Like you I just wish it would get here already.

Dawn said...

Oh and BTW...
YOU are NOT a bad mom!
and yes Caitlin's stubborn streak comes from our side of the family - both sides of our side.

Red Flashlight said...

I'm so impressed with all these comments! Looks like your readers needed a vent session.

I'm right there with you, Hatchet. Except in my case I have no kids (other than my inner child), and my husband isn't depressed.

I put on a cheerful face for people when necessary but it gets harder and harder as my inner resources get closer and closer to zero.

My wiser course is to accept it for now, see a therapist, and get selfish with my time and energy. It's a terrible two-edged sword though, because I hate to disappoint people! And I hate being disappointed with people who can't be compassionate. (Ok - it's a triple-edged sword.)

Plus, I hate winter.

Plus, don't bother cleaning the house before friends come over, Hatchet! Just getting some "grown-up" time is the most important thing. A true friend will eat her spaghetti on a stack of newspapers and art supplies with no complaint, just happy to be there with you.

Scylla said...

Lovey, let's do lunch again. You, me, and a steaming pile of happy.

How about Wednesday?

kristi said...

Girl. I feel your pain. I had a Horrible morning. I mean, I really wanted to leave and never come back. For reals.

I think anybody who is a Mom understands.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

Kristi: being a mom sucks. Not always, but when it feels like ALWAYS, it sucks baaaad.

I hope things are going better for you this evening or will tomorrow.

For myself, I've been making myself get out of the house for lunch and volunteering at the school. These small things have helped immensely. More sleep also helps.

Take care of YOURself.

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