Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fire

I am horrible. 

All weekend, I held on to the thought of Monday. Escaping back to work. I know, that alone makes me horrible. But I get worse. 

My city is on fire, and instead of spending more time contemplating what those fires have cost in terms of lives and homes, I thought, why me? Why is it my kids can never breathe well, sleep well, rest... why can't we go outside? Friggin fires. Why do we have to spend the weekend indoors with towels around the doors and the air purifier and the humidifier and hot showers running... All weekend, I thought, make it past this meltdown the kids are throwing, this tantrum, this fight, this mountain of chores, this endless To Do List, and please, please, please, please, let it be Monday soon. I need a break from my real life and I want to WORK, where things feel reasonable and sane. 

Not to excuse myself, but we have been sleeping on the floor for almost a week because the mattress that we ordered was toxic. Last weekend we spent all throwing up and worse. The weekend before I spent sick as a dog with fever and chills. This weekend my husband was out of the house a lot, so it was just the kids and me, locked in away from the smoky air, and I was counting down. Desperation. Facebook games alone got me through a rough evening patch, the way you hear someone stranded for days lived on Cliff Bars. 

Now, my daughter is really coughing, having trouble, in distress. When this happens I run to her, and my heart is full of concern, and my words to her full of love and reassurance, and I call the doc, and we get the meds, and I kiss her little face while we nebulize her with the machine that was a ritual for the rooster every day for over a year, and I can be in the moment, real, engaged, loving, ME, but then when I lay her back in her bed for the eleventh time, I am horrible again -- resenting that tomorrow I will not go to work, but spend yet another day with ... do I really say this with dread? -- my kids. 

People, all I ever wanted was my kids. I treasure them. 

But some days, I do decry, COME ON, one is autistic, one has the terrible twos, they have egregiously flawed immune systems, we have no family nearby, and I get a good night's sleep once every 14 to 21 days. Going on five sleepless years. COME ON. This is not family life. This is TORTURE. What am I doing? 

So yes I am horrible. But here is another horrible confession. Sometimes I worry when we finally come through this to any kind of "other side" -- like maybe when my two kids are old enough that they do not require heightened constant vigilance at every single solitary moment -- that I will be too old to enjoy any of it. I'll be like the bitter wife going through a divorce to the guy she put through med school screaming, "I gave you the best year's of my life!!! And now this!!!" 

These are my horrible, dark thoughts, that for some reason I feel compelled to spew in cyberspace. Guilt and insanity, I guess.

I am going to donate to the Red Cross, get the news update on the fires, and try to stop thinking like an asshole. Wish me luck. And wish me sleep. 

4 comments:

pixiemama said...

I hope you are sleeping RIGHT NOW - no really, it's the middle of the night there!

It's interesting. My youngest sister in law had a baby this summer. She was in town for a visit this past week, but called to tell us she was just too tired to pack up ONE BABY to come visit. This is the girl who, a year and a half ago, had boundless energy and a burning desire to have lots and lots of babies. And her baby is very good... it's just that soul-sucking at times to have a child.

If she is that tired, what does that say for us? Of course we're tired. Sometimes I just think that "tired" is not quite the right word. We need a whole phrase - "on the brink of destruction," perhaps?

phenry said...

Thank you for your candid honesty. You put in to words what so many of us are afraid to say. I think that every mother has days like this and given what you have on your plate, no one can or should blame you. On days like this, try to remember the great aspects of your kids -- the hugs, the kisses, the silly things they say. And, don't ever feel guilty for feeling what you're feeling. If not for the downs, how could we ever revel in the ups?

Niksmom said...

Your words paint the reality for many who don't have the courage to be so raw and honest. I applaud you for that.

I also hope that you get some sleep (LOTS and LOTS!) and a break from all the crappy air and illness problems SOON!

Toxic mattress? Yikes! Do you have any recourse in this case?

Sending love. xo

redheadmomma said...

When I think of who an asshole might be, you're the last person I'd think of. (#1 on my list would probably be the dickhead who let my husband's team dissolve, but I digress) I grew up in LA, and we had a fire come within a stone's throw of our home. And it is unbelievable stress - made worse due to the fact that no matter what you do, you cannot get a good deep gulp of fresh air. Put yourself on plan B, babe - just do what you can do get through, even if it means putting them in the car and driving an hour away, just to breathe again. For you all to be able to breathe. And I might not mean this literally.
XO R