The Laundry Room
Today is my mother’s birthday. It hit me really hard yesterday. The children were all playing and I was doing dishes. I don’t even know what made me think about it. I could tell that this wasn’t going to be just a few tears that silently fell while I continued to do what I was doing. I could feel the great, huge sobs demanding to be set free. I quickly dried my hands and headed to the laundry room.
My laundry room affords me some privacy from small eyes. With the washer and dryer both running I could cry without risking being heard. Normally, I don’t mind my kids seeing me cry. But I hide when I know it is going to be a Soul Cry. My heart was breaking all over again. I miss my mom – the person I thought she was – really badly right now. Maybe it was the fact that her birthday was rolling around that’s had me missing her the past couple of weeks. Maybe it’s been the terrible time I’ve been having getting Shane help for his issues. Whatever the reason, I miss her terribly right now.
I think I was out in the laundry room for a good 20 minutes. I didn’t feel any better after; I just felt drained. I finished my dishes and decided to make some soup. I usually bake when I’m stressed but I was really in the mood for chicken soup, so I cooked instead.
As I was cleaning up, Sean, Andy, and Serenity came in the house. Sean brought over Cats for us to watch. I’d just finished up the soup and needed it to simmer for awhile, so we all sat on the couch to watch the movie. It was a nice evening but we had to stop with about an hour left in the movie because it was Shane’s bedtime.
Only Shane decided he didn’t want to go to bed. After Sean and Andy said good-night and left, Shane was still fighting with me about going to bed. He ran outside and refused to come back in. Andy and Serenity were kicking the soccer ball around in the front yard. Andy told Shane that if he didn’t listen to me, he wouldn’t play with him again. Shane came in the house but he wasn’t happy about it and decided to scream at me. Among the things he screamed was, “I wish you were dead!!!” and “I want to live with dad!!!!” Usually, I can brush off the things that Shane screams at me. Usually, I can remain calm and not let it touch my heart. Last night, hearing him wishing me dead ripped my heart to shreds.
I told Shane that I would not talk to someone who was treating me as he was treating me now, that his behavior was unacceptable, and that you didn’t treat the people you love like he was treating me. I got onto my computer and let him run around the house. Within five minutes, he came over and apologized for what he’d said. We had a nice talk about it and I told him how his words made me feel. We talked about his motivation for saying what he had. I told him I loved him and I told him that it was time for bed. He went right to bed and fell asleep by himself.
I could feel the tears coming again. I was chatting with Endellion online and told her I was sick of crying alone. I really wanted to call Sean to come over and just sit with me but I couldn’t make myself pick up the phone. She offered to call him for me but I just got off the computer and went to the laundry room. About five minutes later, I texted her his phone number. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t imagine being alone for one more minute yet I still couldn’t pick up the phone to ask for help.
A few minutes later, I heard Sean outside, quietly calling for me. I answered and he asked if he could come in. He sat with me and just listened to me sob and try to tell him what was going on. We sat on the hard, cold floor for about an hour. When he first came in, he sat down across from me, being very careful not to touch me. He was very respectful of the huge body boundaries I have in place.
After a bit of time, I just couldn’t resist the need to be held anymore. I leaned across the space and put my head on his shoulder. He put one hand on my head and the other on my back. We stayed like that for a couple of minutes. Then I pulled back and we started talking again.
He made me laugh, he listened to my struggles, and most importantly, he told me that he thinks I’m the best mother he’s ever seen. He told me about other single moms he knows and what they are dealing with and how they don’t deal with it nearly as well as I do. It still seems so weird to hear someone tell me that they think I’m a good mother. It means so much to me to hear that. It was something I never heard from Bubba and it was certainly something I never heard from anyone in my Family of Origin (FOO).
When I was feeling better and thinking it was time to head into the house, I leaned in for another hug. It felt so good to just be held that I didn’t want to let him go. I felt safe and cared for. Hugging the kids doesn’t help fill that need. I didn’t realize how very much I missed having a big, strong man to hold me sometimes.
I went to bed feeling much better than I would have had Endellion not called Sean to come over to talk to me.