I’ve spent an enormous amount of mental energy forging routes around fear; taking the long way to avoid those scary woods. It’s an exhausting and isolated path, full of its own obstacles and lacking a GPS signal. My way was studded with compulsion and hidden distress, holding myself responsible for outcomes and creating imaginary control where I had none. I hid it well, which only served to make the road more desolate.
Kindergarten stresses me out. I don’t think it is supposed to do that. But as I pull paper after crumpled paper from Lorelei’s bookbag I can feel myself wanting to shove it all under the couch and run far, far away. 100 days projects. Boxtops. A million pieces of school work. Worksheets. Books for her to read. Newsletters. Fliers for programs and meetings and groups. Snack calendars. Fundraisers. -a-thons. Drives. As my brain is trying to prioritize this, it spirals into fear that I did not remember to do that thing. Some thing. I don’t know what thing. But there’s always a thing.
The line between quirky and weird seemed to be stuck between my fingers. That feeling when you eat a donut or an ice cream cone and the residue makes your fingers so sticky that you desperately want to find a sink? That’s how they felt. Licking them would help – for a few minutes. Little kids are sticky, and I spent a lot of time licking between my fingers for momentary relief. It drove my parents crazy – we’d be in a public place, and there I was licking my hands like a compulsive cat. And if that wasn’t enough to embarrass every adult responsible for me, sometimes I would get a similar feeling in the back of my throat – this annoying build up of faux pressure that had to be released, and the only way was to make squeaky sounds. Sometimes on inhale, sometimes on exhale, always until a magic point when everything felt better – until the next time. Seams of socks and waistbands constricted, so I turned my socks inside out, and wore my pants around my hips to free myself from their ever-present annoyance. Things just felt wrong and it was a puzzle to make them right again.
In the oft-complained about mommy wars, I am Switzerland. I have opinions, but they swing back and forth between crunchy and mainstream, landing somewhere outside of either.
I haven’t slept for more than three straight hours in eight months. I’m being held together through sheer force of will, caffeine, and napping in toilet stalls. Sometimes I forget what I’m doing – while I’m doing it. Why am I in the kitchen and why is the cat in the refrigerator? Did I say cat? I meant toothbrush. Sometimes I mix up words. I have a yoga mat in my office that is only used for corpse pose.
I’m mostly doing a decent job of being a person who is, you know… awake. But there are some things that I am just not capable of dealing with right now.
I’m a little reluctant to publish this. I fear you will think I am depressed. I’m not. Truly. Pinkie promise. I am many things, not all of them are good, but that sounds reminiscent of the situation itself.