Warning: The following is not pretty, and contains strong language. Those with weak constitutions or a penchant for judgment might want to go outside and play instead.
As Sidalee’s mama said, I dropped my basket last night. Going on seventeen months of joblessness, like an overstretched rubber band, I snapped. As with most things dropped, it wasn’t pretty. There are shards of my self-respect and pride still scattered about, and I tiptoe around, carefully placing my feet as I look for splinters worth salvaging.
There was yelling. And crying. And lots of tears. And a lamp that might never work right again, since lamps aren’t really meant to be used for batting practice. It was a full-on fit. I’m glad my children were not awake to see mama lose her shit.
The odd thing is, there was really nothing in particular that caused me to break. It just… happened. After the kids were all bathed, jammied and tucked in, I fell into a heap on the bed, and I must have dozed off for a bit. David came in, and not realizing I was asleep, turned on the light and began to go through the mail. That was it. That was my scene of domestic terror. Bad, huh? Yup. The light was on. And evidently that light was a red matador’s cape to my sleep-addled and stressed-out brain.
I started crying and picked up the lamp and threw it at the wall. To turn it off. Go big or go home, isn’t that what the hip kids say?
My poor husband had no idea why his usually somewhat normal wife was suddenly throwing things and crying like a banshee. Honestly, neither did I, but I was suddenly filled, absolutely filled with anger, rage, sadness and fear. Like a firehose with the nozzle wide open, I couldn’t stop it, and it all just exploded.
My fears and frustrations roared out amid torrents of tears. What if this is the new normal? What if one of us gets sick, and we have no insurance? What if David never finds a job? What if I have to put my children in day-care and get a paying job myself? What will happen with Beanie’s therapy if that happens? What are we going to do now that our savings is completely, utterly gone? What can we sell? I am SO mad at you! How will we pay the mortgage in May? What else can we cut out? I am SO angry! What if I can’t hold all this together anymore? What if this hell never ends? What if I run away? What if we lose our home? What if… what if… what if…
Messy, powerful stuff, those emotions.
David and I spent the rest of the evening sorting through the emotional wreckage. Tears like that leave you spent and exhausted, tender and raw. Eventually I fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.
Today, I am spent. My eyes are swollen and my face is pale and tired. I hugged the kids tightly, kissed their fat pink cheeks and sent them on to their happy school days. David and I, both shell-shocked, are giving each other a lot of latitude and room today. The house is quiet, and except for a night-table lamp that may or may not work again, there is little visible collateral damage.
So, we pick up the pieces and carry on. Another day… and another and another… and someday, one way or another, this will all be over. I just wish I could tell if the light at the end of the tunnel is sunshine or an oncoming train.