Heaven Can Wait
A lot on my mind and heart so let’s get to it.On Tuesday, I contemplated suicide. I mean, really struggled with it. I left my crying baby at home with his dad (who was on a conference call) and just walked out of the apartment. I walked around the block thinking, No one really needs me. I don’t matter. I thought several times about jumping into oncoming traffic on the main road but then I thought, Gee, I can’t do that to the person who will forever live with the guilt of thinking they killed me.
So I went home.
I sat on the couch alone (by this point both father and son were sleeping) and decided that I needed to end it. My 4-month-old son had been crying on and off all day and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt as though Tuesday was a test of my mothering skills and that I failed miserably. So I crept into the bedroom, snatched a belt, and wrapped it around my neck. I searched high and low for a place to hang myself. I had the belt tight enough. But then I looked up the steps to the loft and decided I couldn’t allow my husband to find me like that. That 11 years of memories wouldn’t matter—his main thoughts of me would always be my body dangling from a ceiling.
So I went to the stairway outside of our apartment and futzed around on my phone thinking that I’d grown soft. Fifteen years ago, I had the nerve to overdose on pills, jump out of moving cars, and attempt to crash a speeding car into a divider. I didn’t care about how other people would think or react. I just wanted to end my life.
Now, I’m cowardly. I think about other people, care too much what they think of me. How they’ll think of me after I’m gone. So I’m still here. Struggling but alive.
I feel as though I can’t be the mother that my son needs me to be. My husband even used the word “frazzled” to describe me when he saw me after the baby cried in the car for a half-hour. I called the doctor’s office. The nurse said, “I don’t know what to do for you.” I fed him and then he just started crying. And crying. And crying. He would not stop. I was near tears myself. I’m his mother; I’m supposed to comfort him and soothe him. But no, what am I thinking? I can’t stay in this unfamiliar place in a running car with unlocked doors to calm you down, kid. We’ve gotta go. So I strap him into the car seat and through his tears, he just gives me this look that says, Save me, mommy. I’m in pain. And I think to myself, I wish I could, kid. I wish I knew exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it. I could swear that he probably had a tummy ache after downing 4 ounces of formula in 10 minutes, but I can’t cure it. I don’t have gas drops with me so my best bet is to let him “cry it out.”
Now, I won’t judge other moms who can let their kids “cry it out,” but I can tell you that after 30 minutes of hearing my child scream, it’s not for me. My son wailed for 10 minutes before I strapped him into the car seat and for another 15 minutes before I reached a halfway spot close to home (the area where my husband works). I just knew that if I were a good mother, he wouldn’t have been crying for so long. I would have been able to calm him down. Lo, and behold, my husband steps into the car, pulls our son out of the car seat, gets another burp out of him, and he begins to calm down. My husband decides to work from home for the rest of the day so I drive the rest of the way home and our son is still whimpering but mostly falling asleep now. And it’s then that I realize that my mothering skills leave something to be desired. The morning had gone so well and then I just lost my shit for the afternoon.
My mother’s eyesight is getting worse. She can see enough to drive… for now. But she’s apprehensive about traveling on highways and roads that she is not familiar with. All right, sure, she’s 70, but her constant phrase of “You know I don’t see that well” worries me. I just know that in the next 5 years, I will need to take care of her. Drive her around. Maybe even help her move from New York to Pennsylvania. But for now, she is still living in New York, working, and taking care of her 103-year-old mother. Is it normal to worry about your parents so much when 70 really seems so young to me?