Today I'm not strong enough, smart enough, or good enough. Today I am still staring blankly at the toilet paper in my hand at 10pm last night, bright pink with blood. I tiptoed in the room and woke Mr. Curry to tell him. He's very sick with the flu, he barely opened his eyes, didn't raise his arms toward me; he told me It's OK, go back to bed, lie down, be still. And I did. As I lay in bed, staring at my closet, I felt the closing in of walls we talk about, when things become to much, too overwhelming, and our physical bodies respond in distress, as if imminent danger is near; every single night I lay in bed as a child and adolescent, crying and furious and hurt at my parents for hurting each other, my sister, me- all of those nights curled like a black cat on my chest and lay there. The world outside, the sky, the swallowed sky...not comforting, but an empty heartbeat, an echo of life, what I was sure I would find in my uterus; the slippery leaves and cold dirt of Nature not comforting, but a silent and removed reminder, You are alone, You are alone, You are alone.
I was alone with whatever was happening inside of me, just like we are at the beginning of life, as if I were swallowing the tail of my child and lying connected in a great circle, we come and we go, alone. I could not think of one person to reach out to who would understand why a grown woman, married with a family of her own, would need to be calling at 11pm on a work night to explain that the world was overtaking me, that I could not keep up with what is expected of me, what I expect of myself, that I feel like a failure. My job, although loving and needed, is not providing for my family, I never finished my AA, my marriage is hard, hard, my close friends are not close enough, physically or emotionally or both, I am bankrupt, I am at a loss, I am on stage with my mouth open and the audience is silent and I am silent and I am alone. I don't know how to give myself what I need to be strong enough to do the things that need to be done. Everyone I know is overwhelmed. Losing their jobs, strained and frayed, with infants or problems, just like me. No one can fix me. What needs fixing? Where is the tock that meant to tick, what is the hole in the sky filling with? Why am I so lost?
The ultrasound wand wiggled inside me today and Mr. Curry and I watched as the baby wiggled, heartbeat at 185. The baby is very active, said the doctor, and you aren't bleeding anymore. For now, the baby is all right. Tonight I don't feel all right. Mr. Curry is too sick to do anything and my son is too upset about school to be kind about helping and my Mom might lose her job- again- because of this economy and could barely contain the frustration in her voice tonight when I asked if she might go by the store. She said yes, but you know that sinking feeling? When you've asked for help, which is embarrassing and awkward to a degree, and the person loves you but you know they really just would rather...not? Later she came back with a smile and the groceries. She loves me, of course, and no one is kind all the time, or friendly every time. It's not that. It's the all-ness. It feels like it's all hard. Too hard.
I have let one small stone become a landslide. Mr. Curry was sick and didn't respond the way I wanted or needed him to, and it has uncovered every pothole, every place to fall into and break a leg, every sore spot I was covering temporarily. I am angry and I am tired and I am angry that I am tired, because I am the adult, the Mom, and there is no room for running away here, no room for hiding, no room for welching on my promises to myself, to my children. I cannot need what I do need from Mr. Curry right now because he cannot give it. I cannot need what I need? I have to figure out how to give myself what I need. How do I do that. Where do I begin. I have worked so hard at the daily living of life the last 2 years that what I used to excel at- emotional workings, the inner life, stratigizing for survival for thriving- has become strange and confusing.
What I know from a long line of women in my family is that unmet needs that fold inward, still, unfold, wave, fold, repeat...become resentment, become physical ailments, become insanity, become a rigidity like Parkinson's, where the woman is frozen and yet still in a constant, shrill tremble.
I have changed so many things that came before me and settled on me like a predestined wave, and this too, must go. I am saying it out loud. Until I can hear the answers.