Who would have thought Taco Bell would be a place of solace? Well, if you go at the right time, it can be. I went and just sat by myself today, during that quiet hour between late lunch and early dinner, with a chicken chalupa and some nachos. It was nice and empty, not much noise save for some thumping dance music in the background and as I munched, I thought about upcoming changes, and pondered once again why I do it. Why do I stay?
I wish I could share some awesome epiphany that came to me, but none really did. I thought about the events of the past few days. Nothing major; just the same cycle. A good day, then a bad day; gotta watch what I say, or he gets moody and withdrawn. I’m treated pleasantly when something is desired; once it’s given, his mood shifts back inward, and I’m once again shoved to the back recesses of his mind while he dwells on how crappy his life is.
I keep reminding myself that this may not be the way it will always be. There is a possibility that I will someday get the real person who’s underneath back, the once who lives beneath this wretched illness, who can feel empathy and show affection even when nothing is wanted in return. That all I have done and given up will be acknowledged and genuine appreciation will be shown. That it won’t always be about him and his illness and his unfair life and his struggles. That he’ll show me some affection because he genuinely wants to show love not because there’s an ulterior motive, such as he’s feeling needy and is trying to manipulate me…
And then I say, ‘well, I need to plan for the worst’. And that would be no overall change for the rest of our life together. Can I walk through a life like that in a healthy way? The key is healthy…not to become bitter and resentful. How does one even DO that?? I kiss C’s head as we grocery shop together alone, knowing that these simple errands will be much fewer and far between, and it’s being taken away from me way too soon. Not because she’s getting older and going off to school, but because some stupid chronic illness has encroached on our little family and torn up every idea I had of what I wanted my adult life to be. Every revised idea, I might add. This was my plan B, to be a mother and stay home with the kids.
I had a dream when I was a little girl. It fed my imagination and my hopes and followed me all the way up to the end of high school. Even in college I chased it still, but it was not to be. It was an unfulfilled dream, and always will be. But then I had kids. And I was determined to forge a new plan, new goals, and do everything I felt I could to be the best mom I could be. I was willing to sacrifice anything to do what was best for them. Read to them as much as possible, love on them as much as possible, give them my time and energy and dedication. I know that sounds cliche, but I really had that desire in my heart. Quit my job? Yes! Live on a lot less? Yes! I wanted to be there for them as much as I could be. But I feel like that sacrifice has shifted to my spouse. At first it was subtle, and I thought temporary. But no, it is not temporary at all. It is constant, it is now, and it continues for what looks like indefinitely. What’s best for him vs. what’s best for the kids? Is it the same? If it wasn’t, could I really admit that and do what I needed to do?
I feel depression creeping up. Not the deep down ‘I want to drive my car into a bridge’ type, so no need to worry! It’s more of that ‘weary, not much seems interesting, I want to just sleep’ kind of depression. Those voices telling me that ‘things could be so much worse, you snotty ingrate, so get your act together an be thankful’ kind of depression. The ‘I know I need to get work done, but I just endlessly scour the internet to find any sort of distraction from my world’ kind of depression. Yeah. I was told I need to lose 20 lbs. today. With W in the room, no less. Good times. At least Taco Bell still treats me right. Screw you, 20 lbs, I’m still eating my chalupa.