Tonight, as I was choosing a lotion to use in hopes of moisturizing my terribly dry skin, a little thing stopped me. By habit, I picked up the lotion, paused, put it down, and went to take off my wedding ring that wasn’t there. It was this odd little moment that made me realize how many little things are changing.
I haven’t worn my ring in months; before we decided on a divorce, I had been very pregnant, then very newly postpartum, and I had barely begun to wear my ring again before we called it quits. After saying the words out loud, it felt weird to wear the ring. It felt off and wrong. Wearing a ring felt like playing a role, pretending to still be a loving wife. It was almost a relief to take it off; a sign that I wasn’t clinging to hope that things would magically change, a sign that shit had gotten real.
At the most random times, I find myself using my thumb to rub against where the band used to lay; an old habit to straighten the ring so that the stone was centered on my finger. I’ve noticed that I also do this when talking about Lee. What do I call him? It feels disingenuous to call him my ex-husband; technically, we are still married. Ironically, it also feels deceitful to call him my husband. It is a word used to describe a man who is still 100% married, not in this limbo of separation and divorce. If I use it, it feels like I’m glossing over the elephant in the room and omitting the real truth. Yes, legally we are married. Truthfully, we have never been further from being married emotionally.
June was a trying month. I’ve alternated between pissed and exhausted. My anxiety kicked in some days and I found myself letting it take the lead. I did not take my children to a birthday party because I knew they would swim in a lake. They’ve went to this party for two? three? years in a row. This year I couldn’t. Earlier in the week, I had read the story about the Florida woman who was attacked, and eaten, by an alligator when walking her dogs. I was crippled with fear that an alligator would have somehow gotten into the lake and would attack my children. We stayed home instead.
Depression, which often goes hand-in-hand with my anxiety, has also reared its ugly head. I despise the fact that it can creep up on you, slowly winding its way through your brain, zapping your energy, and making you feel numb without you realizing it. My house is a mess. I can’t keep up with all the cleaning and maintenance four children, a bull mastiff, three cats, two hamsters, and a beta fish require. I’m pretty sure the laundry alone is a full time job that should include a 401k and benefits. Instead, I’ve been juggling all that, dance classes three times a week, two speech therapy sessions a week, and two therapy sessions a week, with a third being added for Violet. There was also a major dental appointment for Violet, an emergency one for Noah, and then a scheduled one for Ella next week. Thrown in there were also a 6 month check up for Penelope, a vaccine visit for Violet, and other things like Sadie’s annual vet visit, the annual HVAC tune up, and the multiple grocery pick-ups that three constantly eating children require. Every day is exhausting and I’ve found myself just wanting to sleep. 24 hours of sleep sounds deliriously delicious. There is major Sleeping Beauty envy going on right now. If you showed me a spinning wheel, I’d be very temped to prick my finger.
Currently, I’m trying to get in to see my doctor. I know my meds need adjusted; maybe they just need bumped up slightly. Maybe I need a script for when it’s 1am and my mind won’t shut up. Of course, I could also use some premium tequila, a nanny, housekeeper, and a vacation to somewhere that I don’t instantly begin sweating when the door opens. Such is life, am I right? I need to have time to curl up with my journal and pour my heart out. It just seems to impossible lately. If I do find a moment to myself, all I can think of is everything else that needs done. If I ignore the list of shit that needs done, I still avoid writing because I know it will trigger the inevitable ugly cry. I feel it building. It’s been building for so goddamn long. I’ve shed a few tears, but it’s just been letting the pressure off slightly. It’s still there; it’s still pounding. Once I start, I won’t be able to stop until the tears run out. With three kids who will be upset by a very ugly cry, I’ve been pushing it down, stamping on it, barricading it. A breakdown is coming, but I don’t want my kids to see it. I don’t want them to see me broken.