I don't know how it happens. Or maybe I do. My childhood. My early training in dysfunctional stress management. The subsequent addictive behaviors and their inevitable withdrawal symptoms. The melt-downs upon which this blog is named after.
My whole life has been punctuated and punctured with spectacular displays of grueling self-hatred that sometimes I share with you, like now, since I've been blind-sided again, and feel desperate for the reassurance that I am not alone, desperate to make something productive of my pain.
Hope has given way to hopelessness. Happy delusion has disintegrated into what? Panic. A yearning to check out, to hide under the covers for the rest of winter until I feel safe to show my face again.
I wondered when I renamed my blog if I'd be doing myself a disservice, egging my mind on to fulfill its disorderly prophecy. But if there's anything that has come to define me it's being real about my state of mind, and I am working like crazy to claim ownership of the parts of me I make a habit of disdaining, hating, wishing to God would go away, hence the bold red title.
I don't see the point in blogging about how sweet and funny my kids are when I've spent the day screaming at them and then wishing I could die for the guilt. It shores me up to hear from some of you privately that children are an assault, a road block, a constant test and trigger that tears us inside out. Not that we don't love them. But.
Stella calls to me from the living room. My four and half year old daughter wants to know if I'm in a good mood now. The writing helps, I want to tell her, but she's ensconced in Pokemon and pistachios. Instead I tell her, no.
This morning found me waking in a panic that after forty-one years I've still got it all wrong. I know when I'm happy and productive it's a dream of sorts and I know when I'm suffering it's a dream, but the sobbing tells a different, visceral story. My swollen morning-after eyes advertise the wrongness.
I hope I have the endurance to finish the latest novel I've started, framed in the context of suburban angst and middle-aged, explosive desire. One hundred pages in, I'm terrified of letting myself down, of getting swept downstream and drowning in the depression that accompanies exposing myself on the page. It's a risk worth taking if I can just make it to the end. I'm feeling pretty sure of that.
In the meantime though, it's hell. At least I have the experience to know it would be a darker, bound and gagged hell if I didn't write it down.
I think what I'm saying is, I could use your encouragement. (I got a lump in my throat just asking you for it. Why does reaching out create a fresh wave of tears?)
And so, really. Just. Thank you.