I sincerely hope that was rock bottom.

Yesterday sucked.

We had two long driving days in a row followed by setting up camp on the second of the days. I’m not feeling in perfect health. My body hates what I’m doing. I’m not sure what piece is the hardest.

I’m making a lot of suboptimal choices as we travel. Things like choosing to drink soda even though I know corn syrup rips up my inside. Things like having carbonation even though it causes intense abdominal pain. Things like too much fast food because I can’t deal with preparing better foods. My body is not doing well at all. I keep spiking fevers and having tremors.

My intestinal health has been all over the map on this trip. I have alternated between some of the most excellent poop of my life (I am really impressed with the size and form of a few of these days. Whoa. I don’t know what the hell I did) alternating with burning awful. I’m not even sure how it maps onto drinking soda.

Mostly I’m drinking soda for the caffeine. I should take the caffeine tablets out of my bathroom bag and put them near where I drive and switch to juice. My body would be so much happier.

My weight is slingshotting up and down. I judge this based on how my clothes fit. I can’t tell if I’m gaining muscle or what.

Last night after I had spent the day being a really terrible mother the kids and I laid down in the tent and I said, “Aunt Sarah suggested that we check in. How was today for you?”

“TERRIBLE”

“Ok. Did you feel like it was ok to tell me to stop yelling or did you feel like maybe you deserved it?”

“Well, I knew I didn’t deserve it and I knew you were being inappropriate… but it’s kinda hard to tell you to stop when you are that fierce. I just kind of wait for it to end.”

“I’m really sorry. I was pretty awful and mean today. It isn’t your fault when I lose control. Me getting so upset is about me and not about you and I’m really sorry that I am doing such a poor job of controlling myself.”

“Mom… you’ve done well for a long time. This stress is really getting to you.”

“Yeah, you see that’s the part that scares the crap out of me. You should not justify people treating you badly. Don’t let people think that is ok. You don’t deserve it and me being under stress does not justify taking it out on you.”

“I think it is going to take more practice before I can stand up to you on those days.”

“Well, we aren’t dead yet. We have more time to practice before I send you off into the world to deal with bigger bullies than me.”

Younger Child wasn’t very verbal during this conversation. I get the impression that Eldest Child just has… an awareness of self that isn’t quite there yet for Younger Child. It’s complicated. EC can cut me off saying, “I think you are being harsher than you mean.” YC just starts screaming, “Stop being mean to me!!!!”

We are working on nuance. It’s coming.

I don’t even know why I crashed so hard. We got to New Orleans and I stopped to get directions to a grocery store. (I know I was kind of freaking out about being out of food. I’m really wacky about it.) I had a hard time because with the trailer a lot of the roads around here are hard. Lots of narrow streets and quick crossings.

The traffic around here is… I don’t know. I don’t like it. Tons of tail gaiting.

It is fascinating to me how different parts of the country treat the speed limit. In some places, no one speeds. In other places if you go the speed limit people try to run you off the road. I can’t figure out the pattern. I think it would take a lot more experience than I’ve gotten on this trip.

The streets around here are narrow, crowded, and everyone speeds. That’s enough to set off my anxiety.

I’m being forgetful about meds. I’m not taking them as consistently as I should be. That isn’t helping my self-regulation.

I feel super guilty about the fact that the single thing that is getting to me the most is… I need to have a good hour every single day where no one is talking to me so I can just think my thoughts. My kids are literally incapable of shutting the fuck up. I love that about them and I feel like I am going to lose my mind at the same time. We are on day 127. I have had childcare help on approximately 12? 14? days out of this trip. I’m really really low on time to myself and the strain is showing. I need to stop taking it out on the kids.

I’m also flipping out because after New Orleans we head to Texas and holy shit on toast I am not in the god damn mood to be nice to Noah’s fucking parents. They haven’t ever been nice to me. That’s a problem. I’m looking forward to the Great Grandmother. She has put a lot of effort into getting to know me through letters. I feel like she has sincerely tried to adopt me and I appreciate that. It isn’t a strain to be nice to her.

I’m feeling this increasing paranoia that I’m just a fucking asshole all the time and that’s all I am and that feeling makes it so much harder to be nice or patient.

39 days to go. 6 more days in New Orleans. (We had beignets today. Eldest child adored the traditional cafe au lait. How in the hell did that kid come out of my body?!) Then 11 days in Texas. Then 15 days of travel/camping to get from Texas to the Grand Canyon and then on to Anaheim. 5 days at Disneyland with Sarah. That’s going to be so nice.

She’s going to help drive home. That sounds so wonderful right now. I’m really glad that of the next 39 days I’m not actually alone with the kids for 18 days. Only 21 more days of being alone together and it’s broken up. Thank goodness.

I have already emailed our babysitter at home. I want to start right the freak back up again. She’s game. Yay!

Not writing increases my sense of being scattered and unfocused and confused and cranky. Dumping stuff here helps so much. So I sent the kids into the tent to play and I’m out here typing. This is the closest to alone time I get right now. I can hear them completely and totally but they aren’t screaming directly in my face.

The internet connection here sucks so I don’t know if this will post or not.

I pulled apart the back of the van and changed the organization a lot. I think this will work better on the last leg of the trip. At this point the sky box is full of presents and the tumbling mats.

This is going to be the Krissy Claus Christmas.

I haven’t slept well for the past few weeks.

My spoon drawer is empty. I think I have used all of Novembers spoons at this point and I’m borrowing into December. This is starting to seriously worry me. My arms are in so much pain.

I’m having very worried thoughts about this whole WWOOF year thing. If I don’t find a way to be in less pain… I should probably give up that dream.

I’m feeling really upset with myself for my weakness. It is hard to not be really nasty with myself because I am spending so much time sitting very still so I don’t cry from pain.

I am having increasing feelings of panic because I am going to have to find a way to make a transition when we come home. I am going to have to figure out how to deal with home school group stuff. That’s going to be so hard for me and every time even a whisper of a thought crosses my mind my stomach explodes with acid.

And Eldest Child has been talking a lot about how upset she is about the Godmamas not wanting to know us anymore.

I’m feeling grateful that they were only around for six years. There is a chance the kids won’t be damaged forever. It would have been worse if they had stuck around for eight or nine years before bailing. These memories will fade. I’m being asked to process a lot of stuff around that ending/break up. “Did Aunt ____ get much more strict in the last few months because she wasn’t liking me any more and that’s why she stopped wanting to see us?” Oh honey. I can’t know why people are behaving how they are behaving. I don’t truly understand the whole break up.

I know that they didn’t feel supported enough. Me offering repeatedly and being told no… well… I guess I should have shown up even when I was told no? I know they didn’t feel that they had as much influence over the children as they thought they would have. I’m not even sure what that means.

I don’t know.

It is really hard processing this stuff with the kids. I really don’t know what to say. They don’t want to be in our lives. I can’t control that.

It wasn’t a good enough deal for them.

I’m really having a hard time with both of them wanting to talk about it. I feel like it is picking at a scab. I’m not 100% sure what all I did wrong and I’m pretty sure this breakup is about stuff I did wrong. I don’t want to get into the nitty gritty of that with the kids though. It’s so complicated.

I wanted to be there to provide support after the accident. I was told that wasn’t ok.

It feels like I can’t do anything right.

If me speculating that I have to cover my ass because if I falter my kids are screwed isn’t being respectful enough… well. My kids are the only ones I have to consider here.

I’m feeling really bad all the way around.

We have had a good day today in terms of interactions, with the kids I mean.

I just… I’d really like to go find a nice bath tub and lock the door and spend a few hours cutting. I don’t like me very much right now and I can’t see anything about me that doesn’t deserve to be set on fire.

I haven’t been mean at all today. I’ve been quiet instead.

I’m glad that my kids know that when I lose control it is about me screwing up and not about them. But somehow that doesn’t seem like enough.

2 thoughts on “I sincerely hope that was rock bottom.

  1. Pam

    > I can’t figure out the pattern.

    I bet it has to do with local cops and ticketing practices. I was in Nashville and staying with drummer boy and he was scolding me for going 5 miles over in a school zone. He said if it had been school hours I’d have definitely been ticketed.

    > Great Grandmother

    I have no idea if this is an option for you, (I expect not bc you’ll want to be with the kids? among a myriad of other reasons,) but sometimes when my parents come to the Bay Area, Dad stays here at Grandma’s and Mom jets off to stay at her friends’ homes here.

    Love you tons. Thinking about you and your littles. You are worthy of all the love we have for you.

    D

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    Reading and re-reading this and earlier posts… there’s something in my brain about your response to being told you’re behaving in an unacceptable way having a lot of power, too. I’m not finding better words that won’t be me typing for an hour trying to explain, so I’m hoping you’ve tinkered around in my head enough to understand that. The gaslighting effect that either “What do you mean I shouldn’t ? Of course I didn’t .” or “You don’t get to tell me to stop ?” has is not negligible. Not excusing, just…. thinking about why it feels different to me from here. Don’t stop apologizing, don’t stop talking about it, don’t stop striving – but don’t lose faith in yourself, either.

    Reply

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