Posted on | January 30, 2013 | 15 Comments
Even now, almost two full years out from the horrible that is divorce, there are moments when the weight of my reality becomes too much to bear. There are moments when I stand at the perimeter of my life and wonder how in the hell I’m doing any of the things I’m doing, much less all of them. I wonder what’s been screwed up today, which ball has been dropped, which deadline missed… and I hope it’s not J… because everything else is just icing, no matter what anyone else says.
Today, I find myself sitting at my desk in my corner office, in my nice black dress, surrounded by box after box of clients who desperately need my full attention. I find myself sitting here, hair pulled down snug against my cheeks, wiping away tears that just won’t stop falling. I’m overwhelmed. I’m overworked. I’m so far overextended that I can’t even remember the last time I didn’t feel like I was about to snap at someone… anyone… everyone. My hair hides my face but not the quiver of my chin, not the drops of tears that pool just below the space bar as I try, desperately, to finish a brief that must be finished.
There’s always a deadline, right?
Lately the deadline seems to be creeping closer only I don’t know what it is or how to ensure that I meet the requirements, dot the “i’s” and cross the “t’s” that will keep me bound together in the silk suit of my life. Don’t look too closely, I want to whisper, to the people around me… to my co-workers, to my friends… to those who commend me with obligatory pats on the back and “Wow, you’re so strong” and other things people say when they don’t know what to say. Don’t examine the seams, please, because they’re so close to breaking, I’m so close to breaking.
And then I think that maybe, just maybe, it’s only me… it’s only that I can’t handle the pressures, the stresses, the overarching heaviness of being alone… with a child… and a career that demands oh-so-much more than I can give.
There are just times, like today, when it’s all too much, when it’s all too easy to throw in the towel on something… anything… maybe everything. Only you can’t, because the only person around to pick it all up when you’re through with your tantrum…
You work a long day for clients who don’t appreciate what you do and at the end of that day, all you want to do is wrap your arms around your son and have five minutes of peace where you remember what and who you’re doing all of this for. Only the moments never come because your child doesn’t want to be held, doesn’t want what you fixed for dinner, and can’t remember how to use the bathroom in the toilet without you standing there, watching. So you wipe noses, re-heat dinner, count to three entirely too many times while all the while, the tidal wave builds up again until you silence it, temporarily, with a quest for sleep, the only way you can even hope to find a moment of peace.
Being a single working mother isn’t glamorous. It isn’t strong or hopeful or empowering. It isn’t anything other than a constant struggle to stay one breath ahead of the tidal wave that’s always and only one faltering step away from sweeping you under.
And today? Today it has swept me under.