“She’s standing on a line between giving up and seeing how much more she can take.”
I’ve been standing on that line for the past 4 years…well really the past 7 since my Dad died, but who’s counting?!
My worst fear living 1,100 miles from home is losing people I love without being able to say goodbye. My Dad may not have been perfect, but he was my hero. A month after he died (suddenly with no warning), I was having a “cry at the drop of a hat” day. I needed to grieve, really grieve. I needed to fall apart, but I had three young children ages 4, 2 and 3 months. I was breastfeeding, so I didn’t even get the luxury of sleeping. My then husband looked at me on this day when for whatever reason I could not control my emotions and said “It’s been a month. You need to get over this and move on.” (And yes, those were his exact words…those are not words I will ever forget!)
There is was…proof that I couldn’t allow myself to fall apart over losing my father. Proof that the person who was supposed to pick me up and tell me it was going to get better was in fact not going to support me at all.
So I kept going…
3 years later when I got divorced, I didn’t have a best friend that lived closer than 1,100 miles away. I now was alone with three small children, ages 3, 5 & 7, and I couldn’t pay the bills, let alone take time out to have a nervous breakdown.
So I kept going…
7 years later…8 months without a driver’s license is what I’m facing. I still can’t afford to pay all of my bills and now I have fines and lawyers fees on top of that – oh and don’t forget cab fare! Yes, many people have offered to give me rides. Yes that is a wonderful thing!
But here’s what will happen, there will be a morning when I really need a ride somewhere and the person who agreed to give me one will wake up to a puking child and back out. That will be the morning that I am overdrawn on my checking account and couldn’t take a cab even if my life depended on it. And I will get angry. Not at that person, but at the level of stress that has become my life, at myself for making a mistake and at the universe for keeping me stuck in this place that I don’t want to be.
People should be concerned with themselves and their families first (the oxygen mask on the airplane). And my 8 months of dependence will create tension with friends which will end up in even higher levels of stress. And at that point I can guarantee that I will no longer be able to handle the shit-ton of stress the universe seems to delight in throwing my way.
So this time I’m not going to keep going….it’s time to move home.
It’s time for me to crawl back to my family and let go of the edge of the cliff and allow myself to have that nervous breakdown I’ve been so desperately fighting for the past 7 years.
My family may get sick of hauling me around, but they’re still gonna love me because that’s what our family does. I will still be bogged down by the stress of leaving my children and worse I will have to live with the judgement from everyone who will look at me as a bad Mother. Because that’s what I’ll be, right?! A horrible, awful, no good, very bad Mother who chose her own mental health over her children. The worst of the worst, the Mom who walks away. (Trust me friends, those of you who have said you support me but are holding that judgement behind the words…I hear you loud and clear. You are not hiding your disdain for my choice no matter how good of a friend you think you are.)
Of course there are friends who may not understand but do in fact support my decision, those whom I appreciate more than words could ever express. But right now, I need my Mom. I need my brothers. I need my 94 year old Grandma. I need more than anything to be allowed to breakdown versus holding it together for everyone around me.
I’m going home….