Sometimes my home life feels like I am drowning. Like the water is coming in under the doors and windows and there is nothing I can do to stop it. I am being shrouded in responsibility and rendered powerless every single day to effectuate meaningful change. But instead of water, it is desperation. It is this feeling of being unable to do anything productive to assist someone I love. It is this feeling that no matter what I do, the situation gets worse, rarely better.
I write every day but rarely about that. It feels too intimate. It feels like a burden to tell others. It feels like a betrayal to share this with anyone. Yet, here I am living this life, trying to be authentic and it is painful to admit, I hide this aspect of my life more than any other. I am not really sure why I am sharing it now. I guess because this feeling that if I don’t share about it now, I am going to, in fact, drown. That is why I am giving up the struggle to keep up appearances. I can’t maintain the facade and save myself at the same time. My home life is awful and I am, in fact, drowning in a sea of silent desperation. Help is all around me but it is never really there. It is illusive and always with more hurdles than one person can ever get over.
So what do you do when there is no solution? When all of your best efforts leave you feeling more lost, more alone, more jaded?
I think, if I am honest, I don’t share about it because I sometimes feel like one of you will share something, some suggestion in a way or manner that implies that I should have done it differently. Someone will offer up to me a solution or suggestion in a manner that makes me feel like you are being helpful but I have already tried all of those things, some of them a million times. I have done it all. Really. Twice. I have had therapists tell me “your home life is untenable” and when I ask them what I should do, they say things like “I don’t know,” “that is really hard,” “I am sorry it is so hard for you.” I mean if they don’t fucking know, how am I supposed to?
So I am trying something different today. I am not being silent about my desperation. I am giving it voice. Vague voice but voice nonetheless. I am admitting that I am over here drowning, watching at least two others drown too and can’t really do anything to save any of us. All of my attempts thwarted, stopped, stalled, exploded.
Life feels overwhelming today. Like I don’t know if I am going to make it past the coffee and writing phase...but there is work to be done, parenting to be attempted and bills to be paid. So I rise, I rinse, I repeat. I pray that I will today find the faucet that is leaking desperation in my home and I will be able to turn if off, to stop the waterlike anguish seeping in from all sides. I pray that today, I will be able to get through another day without losing my shit. That I can go for the love instead of just feeling defeated. I am not actually drowning over here but I cannot escape the feeling that I am. It is pervasive. It does leave me panic stricken a great deal of the time. And I am trying desperately to not give up.
Today I am trying to not be silent about my desperation. I am admitting that I am feeling so defeated. So raw. So barren. I will get a reprieve today. I will escape into work and travel. But the homelife will remain unchanged in my absence. It might get worse, unlikely to get better. We will all tread water until we just can’t anymore. When might that be? I really don’t know. How much longer can we all exist mired in the problem, solution always and forever just out of reach. If I have $100k I could maybe do something different, I mean really different. But I don’t so moneyed solutions are out of my grasp even while I have more surrounding me than most.
I comfort myself with the knowledge and belief that money would likely not solve the problem, might even make it worse. But because it remains illusive, I will never know if I had money to throw at it, if it would ever change it.
My stomach is doing flip flops and I want to cry. So I will. Then I will get up and do all the things. I will show up for this life, even as I hate it. Even as I feel like it might kill me today. I will attempt to bring my best self, even though it feels like she left the building a decade ago.
I will honor the fact that parenting is hard and my situation is harder. I will not allow myself to give into self pity because there is nothing down that particular rabbit hole except a never ending story that only serves to hurt me more.
I will get up, shower, meditate, yoga and do all the things my life requires of me. And on days like today, I will honor that holding onto my toehold of sanity feels overwhelming. I will feel better, even if I have to fake it. I know the way of silent desperation, today I offer up a less silent version in the hope that sharing it, lessens it if only a little. Thank you for bearing witness and for allowing me to shed some of it onto you. I cannot stop the overflow today, try as I might. So I thank you for your absorption. It helps. Really.