I’ve been having panic attacks recently. Full-on vomiting, hyper ventilating, wailing in the street panic attacks. The acute trigger most recently has been school uncertainty. My town, which I love, cannot get its act together to decide if and when my kids can go to school. And it’s like I’m stuck on this horrible roller-coaster ride that I can’t get off of. They made a decision and then they talked about reversing the decision and then they voted not to reverse it but now they’ve started a petition to re-vote to see if people changed their minds. Meanwhile school is supposed to start in 2 weeks, I have no alternative child-care lined up because I have no idea what our schedule is going to be, my kids are becoming more and more wild as we head into fall, and both my husband and I are supposed be working full time through all of this.
And I’m just left thinking, how is it that we’ve made it to September and we still don’t have a plan? What were the schools doing all summer? They knew this was coming. But even that, I could get past with some deep breathing. It’s a really hard and volatile situation. The schools are doing the best they can. What I can’t get past is how ugly the question of school opening, and whether parents should select remote or hybrid, has made my town. People are vicious and judgmental and preachy and it’s like I can’t escape the vitriol. It’s on the street and all over my social media feed and at the hair salon. And it’s too much. I feel like everyone is telling me what I should and shouldn’t do with my family and judging what decisions I do and don’t make. But even more than that I feel like they’re trying to take away my choice. My ability to have a voice and to say, this is what my family needs right now.
And last Friday I just lost my shit. And I haven’t really pulled it back together yet. I feel like my crazy has been pent up for so long. Like I’ve been running a marathon since March with no end in sight and I’m tired and dehydrated to the point of delirium. I can’t make myself work. I snap at my kids and my husband. I’ve been crying for a week straight. I’m crying right now as I sit here writing this blog. Apparently, that’s what I do right now. I feel like my life is on hold and the waiting room I’m stuck in is just really gross and depressing and stifling.
And it’s not just me, I feel like everyone I know is just at their breaking point. My husband got sick of the kids not turning out the bathroom light a few days ago so his solution was to take out the lightbulbs in the bathroom. So now, on top of everything else, I have to pee in the dark. And I always forget to take my phone light in with me so I get in there and I’m faced with having to either go back out to get my phone, or pee with the door open and hope the neighbors aren’t looking out their window. I almost always choose the lazy way (sorry neighbors). I was sitting in there earlier tonight, in the dark, with a sliver of light and hopefully no prying eyes coming through the partially open door, and somehow it just seemed fitting. And it made me laugh and laugh for the first time in days. Because I know that having to pee in the dark is a story that I will tell my grandkids later in life and laugh about. It’s one of the only things that has happened to me since March that has been ridiculous and horrible at the time but that I know 100% I will love talking about and laughing about for years to come. Most of the rest of my 2020 may always make me want to vomit and hyperventilate when I think about it. It’s good to have a nugget to of laughter to take with me too. So carry on husband of mine, taking lightbulbs out and doing your thing. I’ll be watching you fondly from under my weighted blanket. Where I intend to hide until at least January.