Asking for help doesn’t seem to be as effective as I advertise it to be. “Ask for help! Don’t go through it alone!” It seems that asking for help just makes people think you are crazy. And makes them think a) they are saviors to your cause, making it about them rather than about the hurting person, or b) they get angry because you’ve lost your marbles and the inconvenience of it pisses them off.
Either way, not what I was expecting. And I won’t ask for help again.
I could die in this closet tonight and no one would know until tomorrow around noon. Look right through me.
I won’t do it. It’s too mundane and makes too much sense right now. And I know that what makes sense now is crazy. So I won’t follow the crazy. But I am staying in my closet for now.
I’m in the hangers. I have too much. Stuff. Shame. Fear. Anger. Grief. Resentment. Fraudulence. I am never who I pretend to be.
But I do not know who I am, so the pretending is easy. Pens and poems and sadness do not a human make.
Right? Or am I wrong?
What was your mother like? she asked, with pad and expensive pen in hand.
Like any mother, maybe. Locked in the bathroom, in the tub crying. Taking litte blue pills when she thought I wasn’t looking.
Dad would come home and always pick the bathroom lock. Try to soothe her in his rough around the edges ways, sit on the floor at the edge of the tub until he could get her to crawl out, off balance and dripping wet and cold from the hours-old water.
Mostly what he did helped, but her cry eyes would swell for days, and she always tried to line them with wax pencil, thinking it hid her secrets behind what she called a smoky eye. She seemed to think a melancholy look was beautiful.
I thought sometimes she faked the crying in the bathroom thing for attention. But Dad said no, that if she didn’t hide in the bath, she’d have walked out into our Wyoming desert with the coyotes, lain down in the sagebrush, and we’d have never found her again.
I wondered why she didn’t just leave us if she was so unhappy. Go to California or something, someplace with sun and not so much snow and coal. But I knew in my heart she was too faithful and loving and afraid to know what real leaving was.
Dying, she could do, if she’d have loved us just a little less. But she loved us more than the sun, more than the God she wrestled with, more than the stones and bones and Bibles she kept in her special drawer, and mostly she loved us more than herself.
And that was maybe what saved us all.
I don’t enjoy feeling like someone is angry at me, and not knowing what I did. No one enjoys it, I’m sure. It does seem like some people deal with it a bit better than others, though. Water off a duck’s back and such. Wish I could be that way. But instead, I’m a dweller. An over-analyzer. And possibly somewhat paranoid.
Character flaw. Just adding it to the list now. Some days I feel there are just far too many flaws than time to fix them.
I’m tired today, and so grateful it’s Friday. My job is a heavy backpack that I like to sling onto the floor with a clunk once Friday at five rolls around. Then comes the disappointment over those all too high Friday night expectations. I’m not 25 any more. Hell, I don’t know if I was ever 25. I’ve been a mom since 18. On once you’re a mom, there seems to be no age but your child’s.
I’m out of energy, out of motivation, and running out of hope in this dead end high desert disaster. The barrenness sometimes seeps right into me, gets me to the core, and I have to do what I can with books and home facials and online shopping to get to another day.
My life is measured by the delivery of Amazon boxes.
At least it’s something.