I’ve been hiding in my hole.
Do you have a hole? Please tell me that you have a hole. In my hole, I play All For Leyna by Billy Joel over and over again.
WTF, right? Unrequited love is not what ails me, but whatever.
Sometimes, I have to get in the hole because it seems like the only safe place. I’ve never been great at protecting myself from the slings and arrows of ordinary life. I run around the world all exposed until I’m saturated, then run away and hide.
With Billy Joel. Because that makes sense.
I don’t love it in the hole, but it’s a trap as much as a refuge. I can’t leave until it’s ready to release me.
Inside the hole (and outside of it, too), I think too much.
All the people who know me even a little bit are now screaming DUH!!! into their computers. Ignore them.
Because I think too much to the eleventy-hundredth power, plus some more.
This is (finally!) my 100th blog post. It took me a year and change to get here. I’ve been thinking for two weeks about what I wanted to write for my 100th post, about how to sum up this past year of blogging, what I’ve learned, how the blog has changed and how the blog has changed me.
Blah blah blah. I have no fucking idea. I have more questions now than I did when I started.
I feel pulled, stretched, yanked. I love the blog; it gives me a place to make sense of things, to force my very unorderly life into orderly lines of words.
Who the hell am I? Why do I do this? Any of it?
I’ve recently tried to expand my blog-reading repertoire and when I read blogs by other parents who are raising kids with special needs, I feel almost hopelessly ashamed of myself.
Where did I ever get the idea that it’s OK to be so damn negative? Why do I think that I have it worse than anyone else? Why don’t I take it all in stride? Why don’t I write more often that I’m grateful, happy, filled with joy? That I wouldn’t change a thing?
Because that wouldn’t be true.
Turns out? Blogs are not magical identity-generating (or altering) machines.
If I pull back and take a look, I know that I am juggling too many balls. I keep dropping one, or 3, or a dozen. I am too many different kinds of mom (step; non-custodial; regular); I have too few resources, both external and internal; I put too much energy into some things and not enough into others; I abandon things that nourish me in favor of things that nourish others; I abandon things that nourish others in favor self-indulgence; I never get enough sleep; I always eat too much; I pay too much attention to my pain and not enough attention to joy; I am always out of balance somewhere, somehow.
Always. Never. Never say never. Never say always.
This symbol means many things to many people, but it means one thing for me: you can’t pull on one of the three spirals without changing the other two. The three spirals represent body, mind, and spirit, the three facets of the whole.
The whole me.
The triple-spiral that is me? Not nearly this tidy and even.
I try to ignore the people on the periphery who are clamoring for more, more, more, the people who are on the outside of the inside, the people who do not know and will not try to understand.
They find their way in, though. I give them space in my brain and they yammer yammer yammer on about how I need to do more of this, be more of that. They are so noisy sometimes that I begin to hate them because hate and anger build walls. I want higher walls, more ways to protect myself from all those slings and arrows.
I want to do and be all the things they want me to do and be.
There is too much, too many, too deep, too broad, too wide. I eat more, sleep less, try harder.
And it all unravels some more.
My house makes me ashamed, and I write about it, hoping that I am not alone, but it is so far beyond a frustration with the act of cleaning that I don’t know how to express it.
Brian deserves more of me.
As do Jacob and Abbie.
As does Spencer.
As does my grandma.
As do my friends.
As do my parents, my in-laws, my extended family and beyond and beyond and beyond.
I miss my church. I don’t know if they miss me. I’m glad they don’t pull at me, but I wonder.
Carter is a bottomless well of need. How deep and wide is the anger in all of us about that? And how much do we hate ourselves for that anger?
In and out, in and out, it weaves, then tangles, then makes knots so complicated and strong, we will never find our way out.
And I want to scream blood from a stone! You’re trying to get blood from a stone!
My parents struggled. There were issues. Like every person caught up in the self-help movement of the late 80s and early 90s, I thought I would do things different. Better.
God forgive me, I didn’t know.
God forgive me.
I steal these hours at the computer, turn up the music, and use letters to make words, lay the words down in lines, try to untangle some of the knots.
They are unyielding.
I know that I deserve as much as anyone else; I know that I have to put on my own oxygen mask first; I know I know I know.
And I come face to face with my wanting, my desire for Something to Call My Own.
Something that says, definitively and loudly, that I matter. I was not born for these people, am not a sacrifice on the alter of Carter’s illness, am not the servant of other’s people’s expectations and anger. I am not a player in other people’s stories but the author of my own.
Author of my own story, and also author of many stories: big and small, funny and sad, light and serious.
Because there are other voices, too, the ones that say, if you want to Matter, if you want to be One of the Important Ones, you must amuse and delight. Be positive! Make them laugh!
You are not enough, were never enough, can never be enough.
And the not enough is also a being too much. My body speaks my truth: there is too much of me. I do not want so much as yearn; am not angry so much as enraged; am not sad so much as despondent; am not joyful so much as euphoric; am not hungry so much as famished, voracious, ravenous.
In 100 posts, I have committed again and again to tell my truth.
But often I get lost on my way to my truth. Is the truth in the not enoughness? Is it in the too muchness? Will I see it? Will I find it? When I get there, will I believe that I matter?
Maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe.
Do I dare?
Do I dare disturb the universe?*