I don't know how to write love letters, anymore. I don't know how to write stories. I'm feeling a little bit like I don't know why I keep doing this.
When I sit down to write, I feel like I've got a plastic film all over me. Like I'm squeaking obscenely against my words. Like I have nothing to say.
I haven't been alone in a really long time.
You know how awesome it is when you get a babysitter and you and your husband go out on a date; how everything sucked an hour ago, but for the rest of the evening, you'll smile and say funny things and feel like the world is a wide open place, all because you got to be alone together?
I need that with myself, too, or else I start to hate myself.
I haven't been reading. I haven't been walking. I haven't been writing. I haven't been fun to be around.
I have been: moody, depressive, unfocused, unproductive, boring, disengaged and unenthusiastic.
I alerted Kurt the other day that I was going to take an evening for myself sometime this week. He chose today and shooed me out of the door. I almost had an anxiety attack over the guilt and stood in the kitchen with my shoes on and my purse on my shoulder, defiantly cutting strawberries for the girls. Because Kurt couldn't do that, you know? And then I decided that I would leave the house through the basement so that I could put a load of laundry in the dryer, but I got yelled at.
All of this is how I know that it's my fault that everybody's feeling shitty. (And by everybody, I must mean Kurt. I have no idea how anybody else is feeling because I never leave my house.)
It doesn't seem like it would be true, but Kurt is happier when I leave, in the evenings. Not because he gets a reprieve from me, which is certainly a bonus, but because he's happier when I am not moody, depressive, unfocused, et al.
You all had some wonderful advice about Operation Happy Daddy, and if you didn't have advice, you commiserated, which meant more to me than you could ever know. Somebody suggested that cosmetic fixes wouldn't help, and I think they were right, in a sense. Massaging my husband isn't going to make his life stop sucking. It's just going to be weird and require that he take a shower. Making sure that I'm not hovering around while he's playing with and feeding the girls, busting into tears because I step on a lego and deciding to throw AWAY ALL THE LEGOS, will make his life suck less.
I hope that you can see the theme running through my life, lately. The theme is that I suck, and when I suck, everything sucks for everybody(Kurt). I've always been a dominant gene in any group of people. When mama ain't happy, and all that. It's why I've always been such a good scapegoat. I'm obnoxious, demonstrative and emotive about the way I feel. ALL the ways I feel. On top of that, I talk too much. It's why my dad took me aside when I was a teenager and told me that I was the reason his marriage was failing. (I wasn't the reason. I wasn't even CLOSE to being the reason, but I can't quite blame anybody for wanting to assign blame to me. When I suck, I really super suck and everybody knows it.)
So! It might seem counter intuitive that, in order to try make my husband happier, I'm going to leave the house in the evenings, every chance I can get. I'm going to let him feed the girls dinner, read them books and give them baths, without lurking around in the corners trying to engage him in an argument about why Nirvana isn't that good, or something. I'm not going to cut strawberries when he could cut them himself. I'm not going to mope around the pile of laundry, muttering under my breath about how approximately 82% of my life is spent doing laundry. I'm not going to take on a bunch of extra responsibilities in an effort to lighten his burden, so that I can crack on Friday night and lock myself, sobbing, in the bathroom with a tub of Oxyclean and an old toothbrush, because I JUST CAN'T TAKE THE DIRTY GROUT ANYMORE AND I'M ABOUT TO LOSE IT .
He needs space to be daddy and to do all of the wonderful, helpful things he does for us. He needs space to feel good about doing those things. He also needs for his wife to not be existing on the very edge of agoraphobia, only leaving the house for playdates and to go to the grocery store for Oxyclean. He needs and deserves a wife who is interesting and interested, who doesn't suck, who remembers how to be funny and engaging and focused and happy, who reads and writes and laughs at something other than when somebody trips and falls down on the uneven pavement outside of our house. Not that I would be watching everybody's every movement through a crack in the curtains, anyway, WHAT AM I, MY HOUSEBOUND GRANDMOTHER?
I've figured it all out. (If you need clarification, please refer back to the part where I explained that I suck.) It all boils down to... am I more likely to help Kurt out of his funk by keeping the girls out until seven, in which case they're tired and starving and grumpy, snapping at them while trying to feed them and bathe them at the same time and snapping at him when he says that he'd like to handle bathtime, doing the dishes until 11 at night, at which point I bust into tears about how everything I spend my life doing is immediately undone and how the dishes will never REALLY be done and then ordering him to go lie down on the living room floor so that I can rub his back while he stares an empty stare at the television that I couldn't quite bring myself to put sports on while I yawn and say things like, "Oh shit! I forgot to change out the laundry..."
Or, I more likely to make him happy by NOT doing all of those things and taking care of myself, leaving the house alone like a normal, adult person, letting him parent in his way, acknowledging how capable he is of handling the strawberries, and coming home in a good mood so that we can eat snacks and watch tv in our underwear, like we love to do so much?