Friday, July 15, 2011

I Can't IMAGINE Why My Blood Pressure Is Up, Can You?

*Warning: This post may be disturbing to some readers.

I didn't sleep well last night. I spent much of the time a.) lying in bed vividly imagining someone breaking into my house to murder me and then thinking that I watch too much "Law and Order" and "48 Hours Mystery"; b.) having a heart attack when my 7-year-old woke up screaming at 2 a.m. from a bad dream; and c.) having horrible dreams myself, related to the Brooklyn little boy murder, the parents who let their unsecured (the cage was NOT LOCKED, OMG), unfed, nine-foot-long python escape and strangle their baby in her crib and then told authorities they had no idea the snake was a danger to their child, and the Casey Anthony case.

[Side note: NO MORE WATCHING THE NEWS, EVER. I am not kidding. This kind of stuff will give you vicarious PTSD symptoms, people. I swear to God, I want to un-hear every single word of every one of those stories. The snake one, I heard right before bed and I swear to you, if I could take a pill to no longer know about that incident, I would.]

I know; such restful nights I have, don't I?

Truth be told, most nights I sleep just fine. This was a particularly bad week for sleep, and for safety. A bad week for faith that children can be safe in this world, and that evil isn't walking around personified and able to strike at any time.

The rest of the night -- when I wasn't engulfed in probably physically dangerous levels of anxiety -- was spent attempting to come to terms with two things (things that seem despicably inconsequential in light of the horrors above, I admit). One is that I'm clearly not going to be a runner this summer. My injury began ten weeks ago, and nothing's really changed. It's better at times, and I become hopeful; then it's as bad as before, and I realize that things aren't better. If you had told me ten weeks ago that I'd still be in this situation in mid-July, I would have been horrified at the thought but would have never believed you.

Running may not seem like that big of a deal, but think about whatever you have in your life that keeps you going no matter what, that gives you the most comfort out of anything else, that carries you through. Maybe that's going to church, for you, or a particular person, or travel. Maybe it's yoga or meditation or gardening. Or even something less noble but just as integral to coping at times for some people, like medication or alcohol or, I don't know, going out with your friends. Well, running is that to me. And the best part of all that is summer running on the trails and hilly roads near my house, at sunset, surrounded by wildflowers and trees and birds and sky. That is my going to church. I wait all year for it. It's passing by, right now, and I haven't even begun running, yet, this summer. I could cry.

The second thing is that the thought of sending my youngest daughter to school every day -- she starts kindergarten this year, even though grandmothers at the playground STILL mistake her for three years old, and gasp when I mention her being a kindergartner in less than two months -- fills me with dread. Or, maybe more of a crushing sadness rather than dread. Dread of the crushing sadness? I don't want her to go. Not even one part of me wants her to go. Summer is going by so fast, and then I have to send her. Every day. I can't stand it.

I don't expect non-runners to understand, and I don't expect non-mothers to understand. But this is the state of my head (and my heart) right now, and why I didn't sleep last night. I was far too busy worrying and crying.

I can't help feeling that, were I able to run, I'd be doing a lot less worrying and crying. Insert sad face here.

End of self-pitying rant.



Mnmom said...

I quit watching the news after 9-11, but the newspaper is always the best substitute.
I totally understand about the running. For me that would be walking and gardening.

Your anxiety over sending G to KG might be more about an ending; no more little ones at home. I know when I sent L, it felt like a really wonderful door closing on a beautiful, albeit exhausting, period of my life.

It also signaled to me that I could no longer justify being a full-time SAHM. If hubby made loads of money maybe, but that wasn't our case. And I LOVED being a full time housemom. Yes this card carrying feminist just loves to stay home and make the place cozy.

Shannon said...

Margaret, I think you are right. Because I will be working from home, revising and promoting my upcoming book and freelance-writing, I can still be a full-time SAHM, at least for now. But there is no denying that sending G. to K will be an ending. What you said about closing a door on a beautiful period of your life? That is exactly it. The past 7 years have been the hardest I've had, but the best by far, and even though she'll only be at school half-days, it is true that once both kids are in school, you're not at home full-time with babies anymore. I didn't think I'd feel that way until she starts first grade (i.e., the first time I'll have both girls in school all day), but even now it's a big milestone.

Daisy said...

No More News for you! At least no more late evening news. I wish you a full recovery from the running injury. I'm a walker, and I know what it feels like to lose that piece of yourself. Hugs to you - and your soon-to-be kindergartener!