Friday, May 19, 2006

Heaven and hell

Have I mentioned yet that Husband works nights? He leaves for work around one and gets home around midnight, provided he's not working overtime.

I mention it now because it's become a major issue in our house, and a *huge* contributing factor to my not-really-sure-that's-even-what-it-is depression.

I go to work around 6:30 or so, sneaking down the stairs like I've been shacking somewhere I'm not supposed to. I get off around three. I go to bed about ten. If you look closely at those schedules, you'll notice what I've been noticing. There is no point in time where we are both awake in the same place at the same time.

The upshot of this is that the girls get lots of single parenting - dad in the mornings, mom in the evenings. As soon as I get off work, which is about the time when I want to collapse in a heap on my floor, I am solely responsible for both girls all night. Night is the complicated time - end of the day, everyone is grouchy, dinner, bathtime, bedtime. Not to mention nearly constant nursing to compensate for the daily hunger strike.

I am stressed. I am tired. I don't particularly like either of my children at the moment.

They can be so sweet and happy and good sometimes. We go for walks everyday, and we eat at the table, and we don't watch tv. It's a nice orderly routine we have, for the most part.

But then there are times, like yesterday and today, where I can see the frayed end of my rope looming ever larger in front of me.

Yesterday, I got home from work, sat on the couch, and cried. The girls were fussy, and I just felt lost. I had no one to talk to. I just felt so all alone and totally incapable of tending to their needs. Who will tend to my needs? I just wanted to give up. In desperation, I called Husband at work, which I Never do. He came home and rescued me, by which I mean he gave the Bear her bath and put her to bed while I nursed Mouse. He tried to convince me that I should wean the Mouse, because I'm so tired and moody and hormonal. He badgered me to go "talk to someone" about my feelings, which I interpreted to mean that he wants me to avail myself of our insurance's mental health coverage so he doesn't have to be the one to listen to me cry anymore. I refused both. We fought. We fight a lot these days. I went to bed without saying goodnight. I left this morning without saying goodbye.

Tonight, Friday, was our weekly teacher relaxation session after school, held at our local watering hole. I always bail early to go be with the girls. Tonight, two friends came over to hang out afterward. They played with the girls. We talked. The girls were relatively sweet. I felt the crushing loneliness lifting a bit. It was a nice sensation. Then, after everyone had gone home to their husbands and I sat eating my tasteless frozen entree in front of the computer, holding a fussing Mouse in one arm, the Bear awoke screaming. Since she was wailing, and Mouse was only fussing, I went to check on her. As soon as I set Mouse down, she started screaming as though someone was skewering her. I went to the Bear. Wanted a teething ring. Couldn't find the teething ring anywhere in the house. Mouse still screaming, gasping, coughing in anger. Bear still wailing. Me, wandering frantically about the house, cursing everything I see. Just that quickly, the old feelings of helplessness and frustration came rolling back. I found the Bear's teething ring, put her back to bed, explaining why we couldn't rock in the chair. Came back to Mouse and sat down to feed her, taking a bite of my now-cold frozen entree.

There are days when I just want to quit. I don't feel like doing this anymore.

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