My story is already happening. I want this blog to be in real time. I wanted to be chronicling this from the very beginning, but I couldn't manage the implements of blogging.
So, readers, and I hope you are out there because I really want to talk to you, let me take your hand and lead you again to early January of this year, and a pertinent journal entry.
[twirly harp sounds and blurred vison]
I’m freaking out. Ever since Saturday, I’ve been crying, yelling, withdrawing to my bed. I am ill, sick to my stomach, like somebody died. What can I tell my husband? He is bewildered.
He is shouldering most of the parenting. I am good to no one right now.
He needs a break.
So, Sunday I took the kids to my mom’s, a two hour drive south on I-5 into logging country. It wasn't sunny, but it didn't rain. The fields are still brown there in the Shoestring Valley, nothing is growing. Still, there are wide-open spaces and tremendous ravens sitting on barbed-wire fences.
I had called that morning, asking if I could come. My mom sounded surprised and worried. "Of course," she said. "We'd love to see you and the babies."
I let the children be supervised by my mom and her new live-in boyfriend, my father. (More on that later.) I sat on Mom's Indian print couch couch and read her back issues of Martha Stewart. I barely spoke, and I know I never cracked a smile. I was just a warm body.
Finally, she put her hands on my shoulders and said, "Are you okay?"
"No, I'm not okay."
"What's going on?"
What could I say? "I'm depressed" sounded so pitiful. So I told her I just needed a break. I didn't want to get into a big list of my symptoms as we stood in the middle of the living room. Besides, I was afraid she'd give me some advice. I truly, truly, do not need advice.
Driving home in the dark, I believe I staved off about three panic attacks somehow, I guess so as not to veer off the road and kill my children in a wreck. I had brought the wrong pair of glasses, the ones that I can't see in at night. Plus, my senses were off. Sounds swirled around me. Cars menaced me with their headlights, chased me, intimidated me. I was totally losing sense of reality. I knew this was all crazy, but I couldn’t make it stop. So I cried and talked to myself and stayed in the right lane and prayed. I have never been so terrified, with my children sleeping in the back seat, depending on me not to screw up. Once I realized I shouldn't be driving, I was on the freeway. It was a half hour on a foggy country road to turn around and go back to my mom's. It was an hour and a half on a well-lit superhighway to get to Seattle. I decided to keep going until I couldn't, and then I would call M. No matter where I was.
I made it home.
Since then, I’ve been crying, and mostly unable to care for the children. Today M’s back at work, and the sitter is about to leave, and I am scared.
I need to get help.