A few nights ago I could barely hang on…
And as I reflected on the experience while journaling the next morning, I tried to pinpoint the trigger that set me off and I decided that there were a number of things that caused me to fall apart.
Let me set the stage for you…
The morning before I had had the opportunity to connect with some fabulous women (some of which may be reading this post right now) where I felt safe to be myself and share of myself. I also got to buy myself a few lovely things which just added to the warmth of the experience.
I left there and then spent a wonderful afternoon with my girls watching them giggle with pure childhood excitement as they ran around our local splash pad…glorious Mom moment. While I was there I tried to work a bit on my phone and found the small screen frustrating so I gave up and chose to simply enjoy the positive energy of all the happy people.
We stayed for a few hours although I am pretty sure they would have stayed all day. I wanted to get home…was feeling pressure to get some shit done so I took bribed the girls with DQ…
Here is where I think things started to turn left…
The girls had asked to stay and eat their sundaes…I thought sure this won’t take long…I mean it’s ice cream and they’re kids sooooo. I finished mine before them and as soon as I was done inhaling my hot fudge, caramel, pecan sundae, I started to feel uneasy…not in the digestive sense but in an anxious sense. I wanted to get home, the day was running away from me… I had work to do and I needed to get home and back on my computer (since the phone at the park thing didn’t pan out).
I started to rush them “Come on hurry up. Eat. Only 4 more bites. Eat. Eat. Eat” … really…? I was rushing ice cream. Anyway my little empath, who is totally in tune with me, said “why don’t we take these home mommy and we can finish them later”…(insert picture of me feeling sad and shameful for my icky behaviour).
Once at home they went outside and I cleaned up the kitchen (a must before I can work…issues). While they were out there being children I could sense my anxiety escalating. Every squeal was like “nails on chalkboard”.
I went out and yelled at them to stop yelling (yes I get the irony).
At one point my eldest was playing with something and all of a sudden began to shriek in pain. Like a dutiful mother, I ran out to see what was wrong and there was a very large ant stuck in her foot…guessing she pissed it off somehow and it had decided to bite her…It all happened in a flash but I pulled it out and she stood there crying.
While standing there beside the kiddie pool on the cement patio, I noticed that it smelled like pee…so instead of consoling my precious bite-victim I began to forcefully question both her and her sister “Who peed right here? Who peed on the pavement? It stinks! It’s awful! Who did it?” Once Addie admitted it was her I then started to question what she was doing to the ant that prompted it to bite her…like the ant needed a fucking reason?!? She became so upset, as a people-pleaser in training, that she wasn’t sure how to answer…not wanting me to get “madder”.
Turns out she was just trying to step on it (just like mommy does) and as a curious kid she also wanted to watch what happened when she did. So she stepped fairly slowly, which clearly gave the ant the opportunity to stick its little fangs (or whatever they have) into her tiny (beautiful, wonderful and cute) foot.
Now you may be wondering how I could have been so awful, heartless and mean and I’ll tell you I am not really sure…I just couldn’t seem to help myself. My anxiety had risen to such a level that all I could do was express anger and frustration. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.
I left her to soak her sorrows in the kiddie pool and I returned to my computer to upload new pictures to my Happy Handlettering shop…because it’s Sunday and they are supposed to go up on Sunday. To write my newsletter because its Sunday and it is supposed to be done on Sunday. To create graphics for the woman’s group I volunteer in. To schedule posts so that I can be available to my family when they need me (without anyone in the digital world noticing that I am “not” there). Because it’s Sunday and I am supposed to do shit on Sunday.
What I finally did was break down. While working I started to notice I couldn’t type, I couldn’t do things I had done hundreds of times. I couldn’t contain my rage and then a huge thought literally burst into my mind as I was listening to my children joyfully (yes Addie recovered) scream in back yard…
“STOP ASKING THINGS OF ME!“
At first I thought that my mind was screaming this at the girls and then I realized it was me yelling at me to STOP IT. Stop pushing and “shoulding” all over myself. Stop making demands of my time when all I really wanted to do was hug my children and listen to them laugh. Looking back I think the reason I started to get angry at DQ was that I had taken myself away from what I really wanted to do, to do things I that I thought I was supposed to want to do.
The anger and resentment towards myself escalated and finally ended when I stopped typing mid-sentence and lied down. There is a couch in my home that faces the kitchen and when I am lying on it I can see directly into our back yard. I opened the back door and closed my eyes. My body instantly went limp. I could hear the girls. I had a sense that I was awake and my body was gone.
Within minutes they came in and began playing right beside me. I lied there for an entire hour. Eyes closed body completely checked out. I heard them laugh and I felt myself healing. When I got up I felt lighter and full at the same time. I closed my computer, made dinner and the 3 of us went and cuddled up for movie night.
I want you all to know that shit will continue to come up and test you…regularly. And sometimes you will get through quickly and sometimes you won’t… the truth you will always get through. I highly recommend that you don’t do what I did…
Don’t sit inside yourself and watch as you behave like an asshole and when you do…
Stop, breathe and do whatever you can to re-align and centre yourself. For me in that moment I needed to listen to my body and let it do what it needed to do.