Thursday, March 6, 2014

love and hate

When they are gone, some say, they are not truly away from us.  I don't feel you so much.  I feel an incredible amount of weight, stress, responsibility, loneliness.  I now know what the phrase "administrative leave" means.  I know what it means to break down and reach for help, take ten minutes to be a mess, get yourself together and do a good job...only to be told, with all due respect, you are still in question.  You are still under surveillance.  Stop telling me you are worried about me...that I am screwing up.  Tell me the things I do well and that you know I can do more.  Tell me that I have done an amazing job and that a moment here and there when I lose it does not define me.  See the strength I put out every damn day, from morning till night, to the middle of the night.  Overlook the momentary breakdowns.

But that isn't how the world works.  In 9 months, you have seen my pain three times.  And you think I am not worthy.  I am not capable.  I must never show my true colors. I must be stronger than strong and never show fear or pain or anything real.  Hide.  Cover.  Act.  Pretend.  And work your ass off.  That is all you are.  You are not a person.  You have only the strength you profess, divided by the moments you are fine, subtract your breakdowns to the tenth power.  So move on.  Keep going...we will see you.  You will fail.

No one stands beside me.  I want to tell the world to fuck off.  I miss the days when I knew you stood beside me, John.  When I could tell you my problems and you would tighten your fists ready to beat down anyone who would disrespect me.

Today, for the first time, I had to wonder what would happen if someone said I was not doing my job.  Any of them.  And I felt in my gut what it might be like to, only for a brief moment, lose my kids.  Why is life making me think these things??  I am not perfect but I am doing okay!! I swear I am!!!!!!  And I am fighting to get better...so why is it that the people in charge are only seeing the things that are breaking??

It's quiet.  The dogs are sleeping at my feet.  I stare at the pink plastic wheels of the baby doll toy stroller and I feel my heart breaking all over.  I wasn't supposed to be a single mom.  I thought about doing that a long time ago.  I decided it was a bad idea.  I don't want to do this alone.  I would love to know what it was like to have someone like John beside me, forever, believing in me and my abilities.  Good lord that man loved me.  He sometimes sucked at telling me, but all he ever did was try to support and encourage me.  I cannot express in words how much I hate the fact that he is not here to influence our kids.  How much I hate that his family is not really a part of mine.  How much I hate that his friends are so far away, so distant, so disconnected.  How much I hate that I have no one there to let me have a night out now and then, to let off steam.  I can't even find time for my therapist, for any therapist.  I can't talk about what I can't do.  I am afraid someone will decide I'm not good enough.

I will screw up more than you ever imagined.  But I will love my babies.  I will fight to find a way to love myself, god help me, science help me.  I want to scream with every voice I never had.  I want to claw at mountain tops and dive deeper than I can hold my breath.  I hate my life.  I hate much of what I am right now.  I hate the journey I have to go on.  I hate the weakness that others see in me.  I hate the feeling of pity surrounding me.  I hate when my strength and trust are seen as intertwining disabilities.  I hate that my babies see this broken, sorrowful version of me...I hate how much I need others and how rarely they are there.

I know, I know...focus on what you love and what you are grateful for.  But if I hide my hate and stuff it away, I feel like pretending it isn't there is like spilling water on Gremlins...so, I will do both.  I will not pretend I do not hate.  That helps no one.  But I am grateful.  I am grateful for a job where I can show love to little ones.  I am grateful for my amazing babies.  I am grateful for the traveling I have been able to do.  I am grateful, so deeply grateful, for having had John's love to surround me for 12 years.  I hate that he is gone, but I am grateful I have pieces of him in many parts of my life.  I look forward to the days when I can examine and embrace those pieces more fully.

There is more I hate, and more I love.  But I need to think of other things, because I need to rest.  My sink is full of dirty dishes.  I have laundry in the washer that will need to be run through a third time this weekend.  For now, I do not care.  I need to let go of the fact that I just got paid five days ago and am already in the red, that no matter what I do I worry it won't be good enough for my boss, that we need cough drops and diapers and juice boxes...I will shower and lay down with my arms around my two youngest, holding in my heart the hug and snuggle I got from my oldest before he went to bed...holding close the back rub he always wants to give me...holding close the love they bring me direct from their hearts and the memory of their father.  And every one else can go screw off because if John loved me, I can do ANYTHING.

2002