They’re gone! The house is quiet. I can actually hear birds singing outside. And I’m trying to decide whether I should have a twix day, or clean up this sad looking house.
Today is the first day in two weeks that I have been alone, without a sick child. The virus that swept through this house was scary. One urgent care visit, two ER visits, and one child admitted to the hospital for a day and a half.
This single mom gig is hard. I can’t lie. But when you are unable to leave the house to even get bread or milk or bring the well kids to school because the sick kids are so sick, well, it becomes impossible. I have no idea what would have happened if I would have had a job. Rushing people to the ER, carrying them around, and cleaning up vomit and diarrhea for So.Many.Days. The worry alone is enough to drain you and drive you to lunacy. Desperation is a six year old making your coffee, trust me.
Anyway, I won’t dwell on it. It’s done and I survived. I’m so used to doing everything by myself now (Goddess of Everything, ya hurd me!) that I don’t even think much about resenting Dave. I just do it. I guess I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful that our new normal is actually normal for me now, even though it blows at times. Thankful that people helped me, too. Because this is further proof that raising children is seriously a two person job, and most people will never know how utterly impossible it can be.
You know, I certainly never imagined that my life would serve as inspiration to people, or that so many strangers would relate to me like they do. But here I am. And last week I received this letter:
“I found your blog today, while voting on a friend’s blog. I don't know what made me click on your blog, I didn't check anyone else's out. I read the entire blog from the start to present through tears. I just want to say thank you for sharing your story and your journey. My husband is addicted to pain pills, we barely speak. Our life is a routine. We pass each other in the hallway and mutter grocery lists to each other or sports schedules for the kids. We are not happy but I grew accustomed to this way of life. I have seen him slipping away for a long time and have not done enough about it, frankly because I'm PISSED that he's so fucking weak. But I know he's sick. I know he comes from a long line of sickness. His father commited suicide, his grandmother, and his aunt. I have chosen to ignore all of it and convince myself that he wouldn't leave the kids. Well reading your blog changed that... For the both of us. I was able to make an appointment with his doctor for tomorrow and we dropped the kids off at a friends and talked for two hours. I know you never planned your life to be an inspiration to others, I know you didn't want to be the cautionary tale. But you helped more then I can explain and for that I thank you. God bless you and your children. And Dave smiling down on you.”
I can’t possibly explain the impact this letter had on me. So often, people find my blog too late. They relate to me because they are survivors. I mean, yes, I do get that the largest percentage of you relate to me because I’m slightly insane and it’s rather amusing to watch a person actually magnetize shit.
But I question WHY I do this at times. It’s becoming apparent that this is why. I clicked on this woman’s profile and through my tears I gazed at her, sitting on her sofa, with a gaggle of kids surrounding her. Children who will get their daddy back, for no other reason than because my own children lost theirs. Muthas, we have spun it.
I’m not really the inspiration here. This woman is. Her husband is. Because they are about to do what I couldn’t do. What Dave couldn’t do. And I’m incredibly inspired by them. I’m inspired to keep telling the truth. I’m inspired to keep communicating in the only way I know how. I’m inspired to keep doing it, no matter how uncomfortable some are with the words.
I understand that my style ruffles a few feathers. Believe me, it gets me into trouble in my real life as well. Because I don’t know how not to be real. I don’t know how to hold my tongue. I don’t know how to keep the emotion in. I don’t know how to say it with someone else’s words. And I don’t know why anyone would want to, either.
I had this page torn out of the Velveteen Rabbit on my fridge for years many moons ago:
“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
Truth teller. Evil slayer.
The Diary is being featured on the very popular Canadian website “SheKnows.” Thanks to the writers and editors for the honor and the kind words.