Friday, February 10, 2012

pssst

I promise you that I love my family. Love them. Would stop a bullet for them. Challenge trains to push them to safety. I wouldn't trade any of them for any amount of treasure.

But.

If I don't get some alone time soon everybody's gonna be visiting me in the loony bin.

For the last ten days to two weeks, everybody has been sniping at everybody else in every single combination you can think of. Constantly. Spouse has been on vacation so he's been helping out enormously (thank you spouse!) but the non-stop warfare has worn me thin. That last little nerve has been scraped raw and everyone has broken out the tap shoes to dance on it.

There isn't a single room in this house I can go into that doesn't already have somebody in it. Usually somebody who wants something, or two to three someones who need mediation. If there isn't someone in that room there will be soon, because I have to call them in to pick up the mess they've left behind. The mess they didn't think to pick up because they were "only leaving the room for a moment" three hours ago. And then they glare at me as if I did something wrong by insisting on a behavioral standard that has only been in place since the day they were hatched.

There isn't anything I can do without being interrupted constantly by a steady stream of people who need something from me. There isn't any time to recharge. There is only constant need from people who think that I never need down time, never need quiet, never need to be left alone, never need to be looked after, never have needs of my own. Ever.

Spouse thinks I should just ignore the smaller stuff. Everything would get better if I just didn't let it get to me. And he's probably right about some of the atmospherics. Unfortunately I have learned through bitter experience that if I don't stop some of the screeching at a lower level I will lose complete control of my sanity when it (inevitably) gets to the higher pitches. He can ignore it with equanimity. I cannot. Not fair, perhaps, but that's life. What it means in reality is that he emerges from his video game to find a smoldering wreck of a wife who's just been handling things as patiently as possible until she's ready to throw dishes through walls. Not that I ever have. Thrown dishes, I mean. I know who gets to clean that mess up.

There isn't any solution. There is no place in this house or on our property that I can go that has an explicit "Leave Me Alone" signal to it. If I try there's an inevitable parade of people who need reassurance that everything is all right, that everything is going to be okay, that the keep-away sign doesn't really apply to them, and that I really still love them, don't I? There isn't any money to go any place else for a day, or a weekend, or even a few hours and just forget that I have all of these responsibilities laid on my shoulders. There isn't any money for sheer wanton retail therapy. I've been staring at a new gardening toy (defined as a toy by its complete lack of necessity) for months now. I won't get it. It isn't as if it runs into hundreds of dollars. I could probably get it and all of its accessories for maybe $80, including shipping and handling. We just don't have it. If I really want to spend irresponsibly it has to be for something that the children need and there isn't any other way of getting it other than robbing Peter to pay Paul.

If I can't have the money we need to hold body and soul together, and I can't get the job we need to get that  money, then damn all, I need down time to make peace with what I lack.

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