My hands twitch. They yearn for release.
“But I’m broken. I can’t.”
I’m doing dishes and my eyes glance again and again over to my laptop, turning in circles, tracing the edges of the keyboard.
The warm glow of the screen calls for me.
“But it’s not just about me. I can’t.”
My body aches. It demands the kneading of emotions. It must disperse the tension from my shoulders out my fingertips to function. My neck suffers from holding in the words.
“But it’s not pretty. I can’t.”
And then my husband looks at the twisted, uncomfortable figure I’ve become and gently says, “Write, Meri. Don’t write for them. Write for you.”
“But. I hate myself. I hate who I am right now. I can’t.”
But somewhere deeper inside myself is a whisper that I can’t ignore. Over and over it begs me to let it out. “You can, Meri. You must.”
I tossed in my bed this morning. Listening to the whisper grow more resolute. And finally, my stubborn, stronger self knew that it had to be listened to for me to move on.
More than anything…I want to move on from this. It’s very clear that nothing can change if I don’t look at this in the disgusting, snot nosed face that it has.
So Hello. I am here.
Messy, broken, ashamed.
A shadow of the Meri I was only a year ago.
This year I’ve gained 15 pounds. I marvel at the notion, as I’m sure I’ve excreted a good 1 million pounds in tears and mucus. Hard as my life has been, this past year has been the hardest.
When Ryan passed, yes that was hard, almost unbearable…but I was carried. I was assured. I had control over where my life was going to go. But now, it seems that nothing is in my hands.
Digression: I’ve now watched the curser blink at the end of the last sentence for 10 minutes. Is that true? Do I not have control over anything anymore? That can’t be true. But I’ve been telling myself this for the past 10 months now. I’ve been telling myself this as though it is gospel.
Redirection: I have a problem. When I lost Ryan, I became obsessive about some things. Subconsciously I realized that things happen…life changing, terrible, catastrophic things happen and there is nothing I can do about them. So the things I can control? I’m going to control the hell out of those.
My house? Spotless.
My schooling? Straight A’s only. Perfection, always.
My relationship? Gorgeous. Honest. Unconditional.
And then I married Doug. I moved to Indiana. And I was ready to be the happiest I ever had. I was ready to take this blended family and make us an oasis of comfort and joy.
But creating an oasis for 6 teenagers and 3 young adults is impossible. They don’t need me, or at the very least they would never admit so. Drama. Sadness. Depression. Worry. They don’t experience things logically, and they were floundering through their own hell…some suffering from an unamicable divorce, and some from the surprise death of their father…and disease…
I couldn’t fix those things.
And I felt like a failure.
I’m a mother, I’m supposed to make things better.
Control my surroundings.
Everything seemed out of my hands.
But the house. The house was in my hands.
So I cleaned. I mopped, sometimes two or three times a day. Loads of laundry every day. I made dinners, and cried when they weren’t hungry to eat them. Do they not know that this is the only way left for me to show them love? Hours of cooking only for them to shrug and say, “I’m good.”
I didn’t want to feel anymore. I remember saying that over and over to Doug, “I just don’t want to care.”
I was completely helpless living in a body that demanded perfection of me.
It was unbearable.
So I went to the doctor and did what I swore I’d never do: I asked for help in the form of a pill.
“I just want to stop caring.”
And the pills helped a little bit. They took the edge off my failure. But the failure remained nonetheless.
As did the chaos of Doug’s ex-wife.
The tornados of her wrath came with no warning, and left me suffering from severe anxiety, terrified of the next weather pattern, angry for not being stronger, and most importantly…the feeling of failure.
I tortured myself because I couldn’t fix problems that I didn’t create in the first place.
To be honest, I still do.
And I know that isn’t logical. I know that if I do my best it is enough.
I know these things.
I just don’t feel them anymore.
I’ve trained my body to listen to the worry, to the failure. It’s second nature for me to be angry now.
Who am I?
I’ve never thought of myself as an angry person.
But I’m angry now. Angry that I have turned into who I am. Angry that hope has gone to the wayside. Angry that all it seems I can do is endure.
Enduring is a prison. I don’t want to endure. I want to LIVE!
I want to live.
I want to live.
I am pounding at the walls of my prison. I am finally fighting back. I’ve stopped taking those pills, the withdrawal has been brutal. But, I need to feel. I need to feel to fight.
I need to accept that my best is good enough.
I need to stop beating myself up. My incessant punching has swollen my eyes shut and distorted my view of the world.
I used to walk out of the house and cry at the beauty of what God has created for us.
I want that Meri back.
I’m standing up and fighting for her again. It hurts to get up though. I’ve been punching myself for so long, I fear I’ve made permanent scars. Hopefully therapy will fade them a bit.
This blog is my first real step to healing. I need my friends, I need my family. I need my community.
I need to get better.
I deserve better than this prison.
My husband deserves a wife that doesn’t bow to the PTSD of past catastrophes.
My children deserve a mother or a step-mother who instead of tears in her eyes, has hope.
It’s been so long.
“Hope, my old friend. There you are.”
“Come lay with me."
"We need to talk.”