I am poisoned. Everything I touch, everywhere I go, I ruin things.
Marriages. Children. Schools. Relationships.
I was once called a “user,” and it shook it me to my core. I feel like a giver, to a fault. I picture myself as underwater diver with one breath between myself and my partner, and I know I’d give that last breath to him, to save him, to give him to a little more time to make it above the water.
Now, I know I’m wrong. I am not user. I’m also not the last-breath giver. I am poison.
Within me rages an ugliness I can’t even fathom. Call it Lyme. Call it bitterness. Call it a lack of hope after four years of this hell. Call it Satan. Call it expensive, life-wrecking, relationship-destroying poison.
I haven’t written in two months. Partially because for a while I was relatively well and busy volunteering in my daughters’ school. But largely because my heart just couldn’t bear to tell these stories over and over and over with no happy ending in sight. I teach my daughters about hope, yet my hope is nearly gone. What good is a hope that never comes to fruition? What good is a belief in miraculous healing when the best person I know is going to die anyway? Hope strangles me, and what little fight I had left is dying with her.
People say I’m strong, but I’m not. I’m just here. I’m just breathing. And every single day I am dreaming of Heaven, of a life without pain. That’s not strength; it’s just existing. I know this is my daughters’ biggest fear: a life without their momma. Not for the reasons you might think, but because the end of my life means the beginning of a surreal one for them. It means moving to a different county to be raised by a father with very different beliefs. It means switching from their beloved private school to a whole new public school without a single friend in the building. It means losing time with their brothers, their grandparents, their cousins, their niece, and, most of all, their stepdad.
So I have to live.
I have to live.
I have to live with this poison in my body, and I have to figure out a way not to let it out, to keep it inside of me, to keep those I love safe from it.
In the two months I haven’t written, the poison has gotten worse. It grew thicker, coiling its bitterness around every part of my insides. It takes my breath away. It increases my pain. It whispers into my brain, “You are not worthy. You are not enough. You are unloveable and untouchable. No one could possible love you the way you are. You are simply waiting to die. Alone. You have no friends. Your family doesn’t even come to your house. Your husband would give anything to be with a touchable woman. You are not enough……”
And I begin to believe the poison.
It was so much louder than anyone else. It is insistent. It never stops. I can’t sleep because of its murmuring.
I shuffle around my house at night and watch my family sleep. I wonder if they’d be better off without me. I’ve raised two boys, and they rarely text me, generally when they need something. They’re adults living their own lives and making their own mistakes, and with every mistake, I know I am at fault. I made the wrong parenting choices repeatedly, and they will suffer because of it.
So what makes me think these two perfect little girls are better off with me?
The poison screams. “They aren’t. They don’t need you. No one does. You are a burden on every member of your family, and if you were just gone, they could move on.”
I leave my children’s room, scared and shaken. Praying for God to quiet the poison.
My husband sleeps with complete abandon. Nothing bothers him. His sleep comes easily and he’s granted gentle dreams all night. The poison inside is jealous. What would we give for a good night’s sleep! Maybe sleep would muffle the poison. I touch the fine wisps of hair on my husband’s head, and he smiles in his peaceful slumber.
He deserves better. I know this. He deserves a woman who can at the very least stand to be touched; I cringe when his hands move toward me. Everything in my body hurts. Every nerve ending feels exposed. I can’t bear more contact. The poison whispers, “He has decades and decades of love to give. He is kind. He is good. He deserves a real woman. Why are you holding on to him? Let him go find true happiness. A woman who is reliable, touchable, lovable, beautiful. He is stuck because of you.”
I leave the bedroom in tears.
I find solace in my kitchen where bottles and bottles of prescription bottles sit innocently on the counter. I don’t know if it’s the poison or me at this point, but I calculate which ones, what concoction would do it. Nothing makes me sleep, but could a mixture make me sleep forever? Is it even doable?
And if so, who would find me?
What would that do to my children, my daughters especially, for the rest of their lives? Would they hate me? Would they understand that the pain and the poison were just too much? Would they forgive me? Would God?
You’d be doing everyone a favor. They’re tired of your sickness, of your need for attention, of your unreliability. Think of the money you’ve spent to get well, and you aren’t even close to it. You’ve created a mountain of debt for absolutely no reason. You are still sick.
There can’t be blood. There can’t be a mess. I can’t leave them that way. I won’t do that do them.
Everything is too much. The pain, the loss, the sadness, the unfairness –it’s all too much and it hurts to breathe. There were things I wanted to do with my life. Real and valuable accomplishments. Now I realize I have no dreams for myself. None.
There is nothing in this world I can effectively and consistently do. I am here only for my children, particularly my littles. I silence the poison. I have prayers that my children –all of them –will grow up to be good, productive members of society and, mostly, that they will be happy children of God. I want them to the be healthy and safe and to never know this anguish I feel daily, the feeling that I have no purpose on this earth anymore. I’m just waiting, and I cannot rush my trip Home.
If I take my life, then I will effectively transfer all of my pain to my children and husband. A different kind of pain, but one they could never truly get over. So I must endure.
Because unless God himself calls me home, the alternative isn’t worthy of my perfect babies who need their momma, broken or not. I hope one day they understand the sacrifice I made everyday to be their mom, and I pray they know with all their heart they are my reason for fighting, for breathing, for living with this poison.
I simply must.