This is the last full day, before my sons start school. We've designated it as a Do Whatever You Want Day, which means lots of video game time for them, and resultant free time for me. Free time to, I dunno, maybe catch up on my poor, neglected blog or something?
I don't really have any new art to show. I've been a little blocked, and not just in art, but in general. I am finding it hard to reach out to friends, to write, to dream, to think, to share.
What has been coming easy? Entertainment and distraction. True Blood, Mad Men, movies, books (currently Catch 22), my Sims legacy (generation 9!), cooking, food blogs, wasting way too much time researching things like which stick blender to buy, obsessing over details, and following shiny objects. My boys, always my boys. Getting ready for the school year is a legitimate purpose, but the busy allows me to remain distracted...not to talk or even think too much about what is really on my mind this summer.
Even writing this now is hard. But I can't stay so far away from the now much longer. I have to be present to be creative...to feel like myself.
Anxiety is hunting me again. It is hard on my heels, and I am failing in the chase.
There's a lot of worries I feel like I can handle...the boys' health (anaphylaxis and severe environmental allergies) and well being (AS, ADHD, GAD, OCD...these are the letters of our lives), a thousand doctors, therapists, social workers to juggle, concerns about money, a leaking window, a seemingly contagious rash of appliance breakdowns, an error in taxes, my own health concerns...etc. These I manage, sometimes well, and sometimes like Lucy in the candy factory, I struggle to keep up, have to stuff a few down my dress and in my hat, and life gets pretty frantic, but it's OK. I do OK.
But then there are those things that suddenly tip me right over the edge...into the abyss, into fear's waiting grip. I don't even have a chance to try to cope and juggle. I am simply overcome. Distraction is my mechanism for such things and such times. I can pretend that I am not a rabbit in a trap, with Anxiety approaching...I am Sookie or Samwise or Anthony Bourdain. Or better yet, I am Scarlett O'Hara, refusing to think about that today or I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow.
When my husband fell and broke his foot at the beginning of summer, it was the cause of the fall that was the most troubling part. He passed out for no reason. And then it happened again...and again. Many doctor's appointments, tests etc. over the past 2 months, but still no answers. They think it's his heart.
It's not surprising that the thought of the loss of him, would be one of those precipice falling things, but I seem to not be able to keep myself from taking it even further. I get disproportionately worried about him. I swear, he sneezes and my heart jumps into my throat. His flight is a little late and I can hardly breathe until I hear his key in the door. So to have a legitimate worry about his health and well being, brings me swiftly past the brink.
The first morning of our honeymoon, I woke up in fear. An ominous feeling I just couldn't shake. It took me a while to put my finger on what it was. For the first time in my life, I had something to lose, something that actually belonged to me but was outside of myself. It was with him, that for the first time I experienced "home", that magical word, that thing I had wanted more than anything in the world...someone there, who was waiting and wanted you, safety and peace and most of all love. Love that was alive itself, ever-changing, supple and vital, always growing from roots twined right into who we were and would become. It was a thing beyond what I had dared to hope for, all mine and his, that no one could take away or fuck up, except for ourselves...and death.
*Suddenly the reckless young girl was full of fear. She grew cautious and oh, so protective.*
We took vitamins and drank green tea and quit smoking. I got angry about drunk driving, and companies who dumped toxic crap in the water. Didn't they know how fragile and short and precious life is? Of course, having children widened that circle of love and responsibility, and exponentially heightened the sense of risk. Every parent knows that blissful and crushing moment when you hold that impossibly frail little life you have helped to create in your own insubstantial arms. But the children will (God willing) grow up and away, with lives and loves of their own. In the end it will be just me (that is simply the way it is). But if I am lucky, very, very lucky, it will be him and I for a long time first.
But how many years would ever be enough?
And how will I find the strength to let go when I finally, inevitably have to either leave or be left?
I have often wondered if one can love too much. *I flinch and quail and look fearfully at the sky, waiting for the harsh stroke from the jealous gods* But I can't do this in proportion. I am crazy about him.
Perhaps it is better just not to think of these things. There are no answers that aren't trite or unsatisfactory or just too hard. But I can at least unblock myself by admitting the fear that has hunted me this summer. I just want him to be well. I want tests that show something conclusively, and Dr.s who can fix it with a flick of their prescription pads, a cessation of suspense and worry, and while we're at it, a holiday, a new fridge, a makeover and a pony. For now, I guess I will just settle for the unblocking, so that I am not too busy distracting myself to appreciate this one particular day...which is...after all...as we all know...all we really have.
I hesitate to post this...not because I mind baring what is true, or admitting fear. I know I am in good company with other strong women, who can talk unhappiness, fear, and neurosis and draw new strength from the sharing. (my gerds come to mind, and the stirringly beautiful honesty of Maggie May at Flux Capacitor) But I hesitate to post, because I don't particularly want sympathy. I don't want to feel like I am fishing for condolence and comfort. Everyone has fears and troubles as profound (if they care to admit it). I am not unique in this. I don't need to feel unique in this, by accepting sympathy for the common human condition...mortality and the fear thereof. And I don't need the well meant platitudes of "he'll be OK", "I am sure it's nothing" etc. I already tell myself all this every day.
I just wanted to say what scares me...what scares me bad, thereby draining it of a little of its power for a bit, because I needed to go deeper than distraction today. I needed to lift up the bedskirt and take a look at the monster hiding there, maybe even invite him out for a cup of tea and make some art with him, before sweeping him back under there to haunt my dreams another day. But please, no sympathy. I'd rather hear what scares you? What are you afraid to lose? Which is the fear that tips you over the brink of handling-ablity?
11 hours ago