Today was awful. The Complex PTSD is back and with it Major Depression and they’re unrelenting. I wake up in fear – not mortal or physical fear – psychic fear. I drag myself out of bed and get the girls – 2 & 3 – up, get their oatmeal ready and go to collect the baby while it cools, Randy Newman already serenading all of us from the opening credits of ‘Toy Story”. The baby – 18 months – I go into his room – the nicest in the house – he is in his crib and smiles up at me, so happy always just to have someone making eye contact with him. I lift him from his crib and as I secure him to my right hip he wraps his little arms around me and his warm, happy little body brings me peace – I change him, take him downstairs, feed him, give the girls their oatmeal, Woody threatened by Andy’s new toy in the background.
Once I had them settled for the morning, I froze. Usually I work out, log in to the office and get some work done. Instead I felt physically drained and mentally paralyzed, as if I had just traversed a mountain range only to find my home, my town, everything familiar that you might expect to return to after a long, painful journey, gone. Except that my morning had consisted simply of feeding my kids breakfast.
I sat down and logged onto our health insurance carrier’s website, found a local psychologist, and left a message. The little one was the only child not going totally insane. I sat at my desk for an hour mostly staring at the computer, reading a blog here and there, watching the clock, putting the 2 year old in for a time out. She was hysterical in the port-a-crib we keep in the playroom for the entire time, calling my name, I went and got her and the tearful “Mommy” broke my heart for just a second, I liberated her & held her for a minute, told her to watch “Toy Story” – part 3 was on now – and that I’d make her a chocolate sandwich shortly, scratching her head before going to sit at my desk and stare at the computer, ignoring the files on my desk and the conference call I was supposed to be preparing for.
Just getting lunch together for them was agonizing – I had to lie down NOW – but they ate and went down for their naps early with no protest. I took my phone to bed with me at 2 o’clock and the psychologist called me back a few minutes after I climbed into bed, appointment scheduled for Friday – I couldn’t believe I actually got a call back that quickly.
I suck at describing the emptiness and paralysis associated with my conditions, there are so many blogs that nail it. I feel so empty I want to walk to the highway at 3am, when the truckers are out in force, and just step onto the freeway, like some giant, demented, hairless raccoon. Roadkill. But then I feel bad, I wouldn’t want to do that to an innocent long-haul driver.
The feeling of total freefall – there’s cleaning and laundry to be done, clothes to order for the kids, vet appointments to make for the cat, actual work to do, a mysterious tax bill from 2008 to figure out, the babes should have a bath, we moved into this place and January and none of the common rooms are done, I could be organizing and putting random boxes into closets or the basement, writing letters, probably 100 other practical things – but I can’t do anything except stare into the own emptiness of my mind and head down the familiar mental paths: what happens to me if i can’t function? do i kill myself? do i check in? do i become homeless, like my mom, and just wander and god knows what, numb to even the New England cold? why can’t i function? why has this come back?
Enter youtube, my least favorite Sesame Street muppet and the greatest actor of his generation. And watching this video and thinking about the process, the steps, the writing, the scene and direction and it cracks me the hell up.
I did not take the Adderall today, because it appears to have renewed my membership to mental hell without my permission (I read the side effects when I started the med 2 weeks ago – I did not read the warnings. As it turns out, a rare but severe reaction includes losing your fucking mind, if you are so prone), and writing this, I can detect that I am not as articulate without it. Apologies for the poor quality of the writing. But I do hope someone enjoys the video.