Today's prompt is " living and dying with the choices you make"
Well. If there were a more fitting prompt I'm not sure what it would be.
I actually laughed out loud when I saw it. I mean, really. Lately my life has been all about reflection on my choices, how I got here and what kind of choices I have to make to get out alive (and hopefully not ruined for anyone else who may want to befriend me)
I had dreams. (I notice my font changing, what the hell? But I'm going with it)
I used to be a psychologist in training. I wanted to help other people with their problems. This makes me laugh, now, although I'm sure a good deal of psychologists are as fucked up as their clients. They're just better at solving other people's problems than their own, which also would not surprise me. Maybe it makes them feel better. Either they're so glad someone else is more fucked up than they are, or they're just glad they can help someone, even if it isn't themselves.
So I met my husband online, and everything changed. It was one of those quick, all-consuming, can't live without you attractions, even though it was online. Our phone calls were stereotypical for teenagers in love. All night long, sometimes pouring our hearts out, sometimes not saying anything. I was the needy one, but I think he needed me too.
We met. We got along famously for a while, I saw his temper right away, but he never hit me, and was it too much to ask for someone who never got angry? I thought it was. We started rubbing each other the wrong way. We tried to break up. Despite our best intentions we always ended up back together. Through the hurt, the misunderstandings, the things that maybe we should have broken up for...we didn't. We thought (I thought?) love was about working things out. For better or for worse, except we weren't married, yet, and probably shouldn't have been. More mistakes were made, irreparable hurts without apologies, and yet they never seemed grievous enough to throw away the good things we did have.
Shit piled up, and we plugged away. Our baby was born, we struggled through a lot of things there too and yet we stayed together. I was constantly weighing the pros versus cons, stopping just short of making a chart. Last time I made one of those, it was between two guys, and I ended up picking my husband, which now seemed to be a mistake, so I did not trust pro/con charts anymore.
So now the responsibilities add up and I am still weighing them. There is more at stake now-our son's well being, my well being. So we stay together although he's got to be a brick to think that I'm at all happy. But he never really asks, he says "What can we do today to make you happy?" and I say "It's going to take more than a day" and he laughs it off. He doesn't understand depression. It's not just "I'm a little bummed today, I think I'll go get a mani/pedi and things will be alright." It's too much work to explain it when he won't get it anyway. Words are wasted.
I want to end this by saying I'm not trying to whine. I'm not looking for pity or advice (although you are free to give it and I will take it wholeheartedly. And I'm sorry my font was all weird (if it even stays that way after I post it). I'm using these writing prompts as opportunities to speak more about what's going on, to think things out and to also go outside my comfort zone. Often I write things like this and erase them. I'm tempted to right now. But it needs to be out there so someday when I'm happy, I can look back and wonder what took me so long. I'm afraid I'll live and die with the choices I made, but maybe not. Maybe one day I'll wake up and do something about it.
Today's writing prompt is "sleep deprivation."
I usually sleep well. In fact since my son was born I've always slept like a rock. I guess it was all that discomfort during the pregnancy, I'm making up for lost sleep. Now that he's 6 I don't have to worry about middle of the night feedings, or the other reasons for waking up that babies have. I usually toss and turn in the same pattern. (back, side, on stomach, arms tucked under, one leg bent up, rinse, repeat)
The last few nights though, all the sounds, the stirrings, seemed to blend together. The cat using the litter box. The dog's tags jingling as he gets comfortable. My son, or was it my husband? getting up to urinate. Getting lost on the way back to the bedroom.
After I got my son to school I decided to try to take a nap. I crawled into bed and even though I could fall asleep at any moment I do my little dance.
(back, side, on stomach, arms tucked under, one leg bent up, rinse, repeat)
I woke up. Was I even asleep? I thought I heard my son. But he was at school.
I went downstairs. Maybe I was just hungry. Before I knew it I devoured a bowl of cereal. I looked at the clock. 1 p.m. That can't be right...
I felt like I was having one of those reoccurring and you feel a weird sense of deja vu. Dream deja vu...I wonder if there's a real term for that?
I thought I heard the doorbell ring. Was I dreaming again? I went to the door and got the mail. Got some more to eat. It was getting dark. I hate how it gets dark so early in the winter time. My son should be home soon. I started to worry. I picked up the phone and dialed. No answer. The bus must be running late.
I'm waiting for him now. He should be home soon. I'm still so tired. Maybe a catnap before he gets home...
I thought I heard a baby crying...but that can't be. My son is 6 and he's at school.
(back, side, on stomach, arms tucked under, one leg bent up, rinse, repeat)
I try to go back to sleep.
Today's prompt is "hope amid disaster".
I guess it started back when I was young. My life has always been a bit tumultuous. In and out of hospitals since birth, a big move when I was in elementary school, another school switch in the summer between 9th and 10th grade. Maybe it shouldn't be a mystery why I never put down roots anywhere. Why at age 33 I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
I thought I'd be happy, pouring my efforts into the lives around me. I got married, had a kid. I got involved with church and playgroups for my son and was content with giving to others, until I realized I didn't know where my life began. When I couldn't hold a conversation about anything except what my son was up to these days or shitty small talk like the weather I knew I was losing it. I felt like a shell of myself. Where was that girl who once went to college for psychology? She used to be so daring. She used to meet people from online in random places, some public, some not. Sure it was dangerous, but it was FUN. It was exciting. Hopping on a Greyhound to Washington DC for the weekend, I could have been one of those faces on the news-a good girl who took off for the weekend and never came back. Not that I wished to end up like that, but hell, just the possibility of an adventure was awesome. Now, nothing seems fun. Attempts to turn up the music and unwind only end in a sense of guilt and resignation to the next day when life returned to normal.
As I look around me, things appear to be pretty good. I've got a roof over my head (even if it needs some work). My son is excelling at school. My husband has a good job. He has no parenting skills, but who am I to judge? There have been times when I was even worse than he can be. I just don't want him growing up remembering angry faces, requests to "be quiet" or "leave me alone for just a minute, would you?"
It's hard to explain to someone else just why you are so darn depressed. Because to them, your life would look pretty good too. They wouldn't see the tiny remarks your husband makes or the constant wearing away that your son is so good at. The daily battles would be so simple if people would just listen and do it. You start to wonder if you're crazy, how other parents manage to do this and get through it with a shred of sanity intact when you're finally waving them goodbye and you get that little pang of sadness and you think "That wasn't so hard...was it?" and the best thing someone can do for you is look at you and say "Yes. Yes it was hard. It might have been worth it but you do not want to do again. Remember?"
Yet this is a part of parenthood, of marriage, of life. To have hope amid disaster. To remember your mantra, This too shall pass. And to make the most of everything, because while you're waiting for that day when everything changes, your life is still going on.