Posted by Anonymous.
Please stop asking me how I am. I know this is a nice thing to do, and I appreciate that you are just being polite, but my supply of "Fine, thanks. How are you?"'s is expired, and I don't want to have to tell you the truth. I don't think you are really interested in how overwhelmed I am and the vile ways my body is revolting against me. You don't want to hear about the clumps of hair that I watch go down the drain every morning and the bald spots that I'm left with, or the heavy pressure in my chest that makes it hard to breathe. You can't handle the fact that my eyes well up with tears 25 times per day for no apparent reason and even I don't understand my shocking mood swings. I can't bear to tell you how my joints ache or that I've been getting unexplainable nosebleeds. You don't even want to know the disgusting, frightening dreams I have at night, or how I wake up sweating and panting and screaming. How it takes me thirty minutes to get out bed every morning and I often find myself crawling back under my twisted sheets just moments after I've finally found the energy to leave them. How I can sleep for eight hours in a night, then take a three hour nap in the afternoon, and slumber for ten hours the next night and still wake up utterly exhausted. I don't want you to know that I fall asleep mid-sentence while reading to my daughter every single night, or that my short fuse has caused me to yell at her for no reason more than once in recent weeks. I don't have the words to explain how it feels to be failing at the one thing you are good at-mothering. I am ashamed to admit how lonesome I've become. How much I need a kindred spirit. And how sorry I am that I can hardly bring myself to be happy for the people I love and admire with out feeling sorry for myself.
If I told you the truth, you would not sympathize. You would chuckle, uncomfortably probably, and avert your eyes. But you have a good life! you would say. And you would be so right. My daughter is amazing, joyful. Perfect. My fiance loves us both boundlessly, even though she held my heart long before he came along to make our family complete.
Everyone hates their jobs! you would explain, It's the American way! And maybe you are right. But it is not my way. It is not the life I want. To send my daughter to spend her days with someone else, while I toil away at a desk, wasted, wasting....it is unbearable. To brush my lips against the cheek of the man I love in the morning and not see him again until the next because my eyes started drooping before he could even get home from work at night...it is miserable.
You're so young, you might reason, it'll get better. To that I say--too young. I am twenty three. I am too young. These are the feelings of a very old woman, wise and wrinkled, who has suffered her whole life. And--will it? When? How? At what cost?
I don't expect you to have the answers. I don't expect you to understand. I don't want to burden you with the truth. So if you see me, just smile and nod. Or give me a thumbs up, a high five. Or, if it's easier, cross to the other side of the street and bury your face in the newspaper.
Just, please, don't ask me how I am.