I think today shall be a quieter day. Never in terms of what I need to do, but ultimately what I want to do. I don’t have time for a quiet day, and a relaxing, rejuvenating day is as rare as my being restful. Even in the middle of the quiet days, there is a sense of loss, of sadness, even of upset that prevents me from relaxing in the silence. And that doesn’t touch the amazing amount of guilt I feel for craving and needing the silence.
My life, like most people’s, is never silent. If my boss isn’t screaming, than one of my co-workers are complaining. If my husband isn’t bucking to tell me some long story, or my children aren’t needing another glass of juice or one more treat, than the television is spewing its normal filth, and the doors are slamming so hard I am not sure the paintings on my wall will remain there. Normally, it is just normal. It is just a part of the life that I lead, and I don’t necessarily have any trouble with it. But today, I fear is a day when all the music, all the sound, all the waves of emotion that come through the whining and opinions are not going to settle into me.
Instead, I am going to react in ways that are uncomfortable. And because I am going to have to deal with the noises from my co-workers when I just want to tell them something unkind, my children’s innocent play is going to suffer. And because I am going to have to listen to the absolute normality of people’s complaints, I won’t be able to listen to my husband as he deserves. Those who pay the price are never the ones who actually deserve the sentence.
This world, or at least my world, is set up so that my mood, my conscience, my actions, my feelings are constantly set up against one another. There are no places for me to hide, no days to call in sick, and no darkness sure enough to hide within. Instead I am forced to be who and what I must be, instead of who and what I am. And those who pay the price are never the ones who actually deserve the sentence.
My children deserve to have a mother who is there, listening, loving, being. My husband deserves a wife who can put away her own sorrow, her own bleakness and focus on him. But it doesn’t work that way. Instead, in order to keep my job I smile at the inane ridiculousness of those around me eight hours a day. In order to make due, I eat my lunch paying attention to stories that I could not care about if you put a gun to my head; and I get yelled out by customers who I literally can not help. Not will not, but cannot. And it is my children who will pay after this day. A day when the quiet is a figment of my imagination, and finding calm is like the proverbial needle.
I don’t ask for quiet often, despite the disease that I fight. The medication mostly allows me to fight these battles with an option of winning. For the most part, that desperation for peace is buried within my disease, so that I can function at a pace that others would see as normal. I don’t always need time, or darkness, or simple quiet. I can survive in the normalcy of other’s lives, and I can pretend. Most days I can pretend. And sometimes those moments of pretend are actually real.
But today, my heart isn’t in it. Today, I can’t fake it until I make it. Today, I can’t bury the bruises with laughter. Today, I can’t hide in the normal. My heart isn’t in it, and therefore, it is so front and center that all ability to be anything is as useless as a pink elephant. Instead, I am going to have to huddle within myself, and pretend that I don’t see the looks, that my husband doesn’t take an extra moment to hate the fact that once again it is all on his shoulders. I will have to bypass those chores that lie there reminding me of my laziness, and I will have to wait until those heavy covers can suffocate the light one more time.
I can’t get up, I cannot rise. I can’t dance in the rain with tears on my face. I can’t swing my children to the point that all I hear is their laughter. I can’t placate my husband, with the joy of doing so in my heart. Today, there are no inside jokes, or bursts of silliness. Instead there is only the truth of my internal desperation; silence, darkness and a little bit of death.