I wake from a deep sleep from a dream that seems so real. I can feel all of the emotions, the intensity, and I miss it. I want to go back. I look at my clock. 5:30 am, and immediately the dread sets in. My alarm will go off at 6:15, but I know that before it does, my day will already begin.
And before the sun is up, before the alarm sings, I want to hide. I want to run away. I want to disappear.
Because I know what’s coming. My day.
It starts with my bedroom door crashing open and banging against the wall.
“Mooommmy,” she says entering my room.
I take a deep breath and roll my eyes in the dark. I know she needs something. My poor sweet little girl has been sick and incredibly clingy to mommy this week, and I am at the point to where I want to change my name.
She makes it to my bed, and I feel her tiny hand on my stomach.
“Mommy, is it morning yet?” She asks and then starts coughing. I reach over and pull her into my bed and snuggle against her back.
“No, baby. It’s not morning until the sun is out. Come lie with me and rest.”
And we lie there together. I won’t fall back asleep. I will put my nose in her hair and smell her and hold her next to me and try to make myself believe that I am enough for her, that she doesn’t deserve someone better, that I shouldn’t just disappear.
The alarm sings, and we get up. She follows me to the bathroom and stands at my elbow as I brush my teeth and wash my face. I walk into my closet to get dressed, and she’s right there, and I don’t want to be annoyed by it. I don’t want to be aggravated that she needs me, but I am, and I hate it, and it makes me want to cry because I want to hide. I want to run away. I want to disappear.
I dress and then walk upstairs to wake my son. I crawl into his bed and kiss his head and tell him it’s time to start the day. He is warm and sweet, and I could stay here all day, but he has tutoring, and school, and an entire day awaiting him, so I shake his shoulder and tell him to get up. I pull out some clothes and tell him to jump in the shower. He argues with me for twenty minutes. I stay calm, try not to yell, but the pressure is building as each minute passes, and I know that he will be late for school if he doesn’t get moving. I can’t send him to school without a shower. I start the water, get him a towel, and leave him to take care of everything else. I go to the kitchen to make his lunch, get his bag packed, and feed the little girl who is attached to my hip. When I walk back into the bathroom to check on him, he still hasn’t washed his hair. I lose it, and yell at him that he needs to hurry, that he’s going to be late, and I immediately hate myself for losing my temper. I don’t want his day to start off this way, and now he’s as frustrated as I.
I manage to get him to school, three minutes late, his first tardy in three years of school, and as soon as he passes through the double doors, I turn around and all I can think is: I want to hide. I want to run away. I want to disappear.
I spend the morning cleaning up messes, playing barbies, doing laundry, doctoring my sick little girl. Time flies by, and it’s already time for lunch. I made a big dinner last night and decide left overs will make lunch simple. I heat everything up, plate the food, and call my husband in from his office.
“I’ll be right there,” he says.
“I’m hungry, mommy,” my daughter whines.
“Wait for daddy, baby,” I tell her as we sit together around our table.
She starts picking at her food, and I ignore it. He’s taking forever. What’s going on in his office is more important than lunch. I get that, but it still seems disrespectful, and I can’t help that it bugs me.
He finally sits down, takes a bite of his food and says, “It’s cold,” and immediately gets up to reheat it. No big deal.
Under my breath, I say, “Of course it’s cold. It’s been sitting here for twenty fucking minutes.” But I won’t say that out loud. He isn’t trying to be a jerk. He has no idea that he’s taken so long to get to the table. His job is demanding, phone call after phone call. Some days he can’t even eat lunch. He doesn’t know it bothers me. I won’t say anything, but the entire time we eat, those two words, “It’s cold” will echo in my mind, and as I clean our dishes, I want to hide. I want to run away. I want to disappear.
And the rest of the day is the same. I will hide myself in my closet at least a dozen times. I will chat with friends on the phone, online and via text message, and they will have no idea the state of my mind. They will make me feel less alone, more human, and they will talk me from the ledge where I clumsily stand.
I don’t want to feel this way. I know it will pass. It’s one day, just one bad day. My children are funny, talented, and wonderful. I love them and know how fortunate I am to have them, but sometimes I just can’t help it.
I want to hide. I want to run away. I want to disappear.