Thursday, June 9, 2016

Paper tigers

I'm too overwhelmed to write here. I'm overwhelmed by a house overflowing with stuff that has nowhere to be put away. All the put away spaces are already jam packed. I'm overwhelmed by a looming work deadline, and by legal clusterfuckery with my mother's estate that my brother, currently visiting, is working with me to untangle. I'm overwhelmed by grown children navigating for autonomy in a tiny apartment with too many things inside it, and too many feelings colliding, swirling the weather inside me. I'm overwhelmed by overflowing laundry and a refrigerator so full I open it and close it again, not wanting to unpack everything to find what I want. I am overwhelmed by paper tigers ("The fears are paper tigers" Amelia Earhart said), by chaos, by the need to make travel arrangements for a reunion in Jamaica in July, by housecleaning and trying to marshal everyone's chores, by the effort to lose weight again, by summer, by the chronically unresolved. I'm overwhelmed by moods, mine and everyone else's, and by the silly desire for those I love to be happy all the time. I feel as my little world is teetering out of control, and I'm the only one who notices, the only one trying to keep the wagon upright. What am I saying? It's the hour before daybreak and I'm lying awake in the grey room, my thoughts churning. I'm roiling with uncertainties, my heart burdened inside my chest, my breaths tight and small. I turn slowly on the spit of my anxieties, unable to make the world predictable, watching those paper tigers catch fire, feeling them burn.


  1. Speaking as someone who goes completely insane if I get two visitors whom I know and love more than anyone in the world I'm not blood related to, who, when faced with the knowledge that I have to DO THINGS such as go to the grocery store or (God Forbid) go to a social gathering, feel as if my head will explode, I say to you- Woman! Too much going on! Of course you feel crazy and as if you can't breathe and are seeing more paper tigers than can be burned in one lifetime. I have no advice because you can't just kick everyone out and of course you wouldn't want to. And you can't just say you're not going to the reunion because of course you want to. And you can't just tell everyone to be happy because that's not reality. And as to the legal issue? Well, at least you have your brother but that is so stressful.
    Oh? And losing weight? Sure. Add that to the list.
    Can you maybe at least get out and take a walk every day? Half an hour? Something like that? Leave it all behind for a few minutes.
    Oh, sweetie. I am loving you. I know. I know. I know.

  2. Like Ms Moon, I know, too, and my heart aches for you. Unlike you and Ms Moon, I do not write so well of it, but I still know. I think Mary's suggestion is a good one. Even to go outside and sit - or to a cafe or library and sit. Just to get some space for yourself. Having adult children home after they've been away is not at all like having them home as youngsters, not at all like having them home on finite breaks where you can see the end of the tunnel. It doesn't mean you don't love them, it only means that you are in the midst of chaos and it's hard on the head. Hugs, my friend. (Family meeting, perhaps? to discuss the sharing of responsibilities that all adults, new or seasoned, must take on. Family meetings never worked for me, but just throwing it out there as I've heard it works for some.)

  3. I agree...take a walk or find a quiet spot outside and just breathe...Hugs!

  4. I can feel the frazzle and tension and stress through this post and I'm glad you were able to write out a little bit-I have no magic wand to wave but certainly relate and hope relief finds you soon. Deep breaths and kind thoughts-hugs!

  5. You know you are not alone, right?

    Tomorrow I have to go to my daughter's play. I was going to go last night but couldn't deal with getting dressed and sitting with hundreds of other people. Now I am stressed about having to go tomorrow. There I will be reminded that other people don't get stressed about stuff like this. They actually enjoy it! Don't get me started on her graduation at the end of the month.
    I do find sitting outside or having a hot bath or just going to bed early helps. And ativan.

  6. Well, you are writing quite powerfully and beautifully about feelings and realities that many of us share. I do hope things settle down for ya'll soon -- in fact, I'm sure that they will. I hate those dark hours before dawn. I'm at my most unreasonable, and I never seem to remember that.

  7. The hour before daybreak is probably the WORST to be awake and thinking about things. Right? That's always been my experience, anyway. Then the sun comes up and things feel more manageable. I certainly don't think it's silly to want the people you love to be happy -- that's the most natural desire in the world. I hope the matter of the estate gets settled soon, and it makes sense for the house to seem crowded now that four adults are living there. Just keep breathing! Everything changes every day! Time passes!

  8. Oh that witching hour before daybreak, it just puts everything way out of proportion. It's the loneliest hour of all.
    It will pass, you are surrounded by people who love you, who will hold you before you fall.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...