I lost it yesterday - I went ballistic in the kitchen over the mess (Kailyn had made Cheese Zombies and a double batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies for her dad the night before, and cleaned up most of it . . . except for the COOKIES which I had already ate entirely too many of!) and the bags of junk food, and general chaos on the counters. I lost valuable "prep for work" time as I was suddenly a crazed hag yelling & swearing & screaming about how much I hated the disorder of the house, my body, myself, and life in general. It was a rampage of epic proportions and I scared myself half to death. I can't remember the last time something similar has happened, but it's been years. I was teetering on an emotional breakdown, and had 15 minutes to get to work and pretend I was sane and safe!
Of course, I woke Kailyn and she groggily came out asking what was wrong. By that time, I was mostly crying, but still raving a bit and she got the general idea. I sobbed that I was so sick of myself, but that I didn't have the guts to do myself in. I don't truly think I'm suicidal, but saying that out loud scared both of us. Our roles reversed and she held me and mothered me. I've been motherless for the second time, since 1996, originally in 1960. It's been a long time since someone has mothered me, although sometimes I've felt that from my sister, especially when my son died. This was the first time I was mothered by my daughter. I felt more shame, then gave in and allowed her to hold me as I cried. My daughter, my mother - somehow, I never expected that. I felt her love, her acceptance, and I felt myself healing a little as she comforted me.
I pulled away, and attempted to pull on my big girl panties and headed for work, still crying, still scared of myself, praying aloud, "Oh God, oh God, oh God" the entire drive and into the parking lot. (This isn't quite as dramatic as it seems, as I only live a mile from work, but still!)
My rational brain knows that this 'breakdown" was in response to an accumulation of stresses: not feeling good (having a head cold and sore throat the past few days), my knees not working very well, my weight (mad at myself for eating the cookies), Kailyn's angst about France (a whole other blog topic), my angst about Kailyn's angst, general fears, and the biggest one: my not picking up after myself - snowballing into no one picking up after themselves, avalanching into chaos everywhere you look!
When I got to my classroom I heard a familiar voice call out, "Babbitt!" in greeting, and I hollered back, "Davis!" then went searching for where a former teaching pal was subbing - gloriously right next door! We chatted awhile and I asked if he had a job the next day. He didn't and agreed to sub for me. I nearly sobbed in relief.
I got through the day, with Kailyn's welcome and knowledgeable assistance, born of hours hanging out in my classroom. She did the read aloud (one of her all-time favorites, A Long Way from Chicago) and mostly taught the math lesson, as I had a dry hacking cough that overcame me when I talked more than about two minutes straight. In between teaching and working with kids (keeping my distance, even though I probably got my sickness from one of them!) I also put sub plans together. Kailyn and I left just before four as I had physical therapy scheduled. She was going home.
I was five minutes late to PT (I'm usually early!) and Mindy could see in my eyes that I was under the weather, so she went easy on me. I hurt and she said that when my body is fighting infection it will affect my knee. I tried going up and down the stairs again, and I hurt both directions. But, we're zeroing in on the muscles I need to work on, so I think I may still see success. I was told not to overdo until I see her again on Monday, but to do what I can.
When I pulled into the garage and started into the house, I could hear the vacuum. Lo and behold, I opened the door and my house was miraculously restored to order. I don't know how Kailyn managed to do it, but in less than an hour she had picked up and cleaned the main rooms, something I would have thought would take me most of Saturday to accomplish. She had soup simmering on the stove, and we added left over Cheese Zombies, the ultimate comfort food. (not the best for weight loss, however!)
And so, I let myself sleep in this morning; sat and read the paper. I am moving slowly. My head is heavy, my throat still hurts but I haven't coughed much . . . although I haven't had to talk to anyone yet, either!
I lost "it" yesterday, yet, in the process, I found something else. I found that the world won't crash to the ground when I'm not in control. (Well, I kind of already knew that.) I found that I can let go of the control I think I have, and allow my daughter to comfort me, to mother me. And, I found that it is infinitely comforting to have someone mother me, to be held in love, and, that it's ok for me to not be the mother all the time.
Powerful lessons from losing it.