Sunday, September 5, 2010

The edge of panic

I couldn't sleep tonight. My thoughts swallowed me whole as I lay next to M. She coughed a bit. I'd turn her over onto her back, only to watch her roll back to her stomach. Back, stomach. Back, stomach. The longer I was awake, the more consumed I became by thoughts of how inadequate I am as a mother.

Someone else should step in and take over my life. I'm sure there are many women who are much more qualified than I am to be a mom to M and a wife to my husband. One of these superwomen should take over. I imagined my daughter with another mom, someone who always smiles and cooks and keeps the house immaculately clean. I imagined my husband with another wife, someone who could have sex any time he was ready, someone who wasn't shackled by the emotional scars of her past. Sleep would not come.

I got out of bed and went to the living room to find my husband sleeping with the television off. He wanted to sleep alone tonight. I asked him to get the luggage out of our car. I forgot to take my medicine. I needed it, especially the Trazadone to help me sleep. I told him I knew he didn't want to come to bed in the guest room. He said he would come in. No, I told him angrily. You didn't want to before. You don't want to now. Don't give me your pity.

I returned to the guest room, sat on the edge of the bed and cried. My husband followed in with the suitcase. I sat still. My mind raced.

I pictured myself screaming on the lawn, pounding the grass with my fists until I passed out in a heap of tears. Jogging circles around the cul-de-sac until I collapsed. Vomiting. Driving away in our car and off a bridge. Dying.

All these scenarios flashed by in loud spurts while I sat perfectly still, tearing falling onto my bare feet.

My family deserves better than this.

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