Last night my partner asked me if I knew what it felt like to feel like you are never enough. I thought, looked down and said “Yes.” Yes, I do know what that feels like. It is the worst most infuriating feeling I have ever felt.
What was he getting at?
Then he told me that he feels like he is not good enough. My heart sank. WHAT! How? He said this in relation to my happiness. Why don’t I see how great our life is? Why am I still so unhappy?
But I am not unhappy. The worry should be less ‘why am I unhappy’ and more ‘why am I so overwhelmed’. I am so overwhelmed. Just thinking about it makes my breath change. I have a full-time job, a child (is he happy, feel loved, healthy?), a dog (why does she want to run away?), a partner (is he happy, feel loved, healthy?), friends (are they happy, feel loved, healthy?), a mom who needs me more right now due to a recent heart attack, art to make, writing to do, grants and fellowships to apply for, A WEDDING TO PLAN, I forgot to mention that I am buying a house next month, helping with a Go-Fund-Me page, making my first ever trade edition book before October, a garden to plant, a birth certificate that needs to be found, a son that is going to kindergarten in the Fall, a house to always clean, emails to write, piles of books to read, food to cook, exercise that is just waiting for me, projects to plan, a basement drain that needs to be fixed, a gas line to the stove that needs a shut-off valve, so many thank you cards to write (going back to my son’s birth almost six years ago), worry about my mom’s health and money situation, sicknesses that comes and goes through our home too often, final reports to send, taxes that need to be amended, websites that need updating, so many bills to pay, artist panels to be a part of, students to advise, summer ideas for my son, AND SO MUCH MORE.
Today I sent my partner a message, “I am worried you think I am always unhappy.”
He responded, “I worry about that too. But you told me that is not how you feel and I feel better about it.”
I wish I could also feel better about it. Right now I just want to runaway to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. I want to feel the way I felt when I was my only responsibility. That is a terrible thing to write and feel, but some days it is the most desired feeling.
Later that night I was on my way home and my mom called. She called when I was thinking that the best thing in the world would be a quiet place to sit and think. One hour later I was in the opposite of that desired quiet place, I was with my five-year-old and my mom waiting for a doctor at the ER. My mom’s hands were so cramped she was unable to move them.
Now you see why it is not unhappiness, right? I am just so overwhelmed?
There is something so terrible about the emergency room. The feeling I get is that at any moment things could change drastically and most often it is for the worst. As an old man yells at his daughter so badly she storms off holding her baby and leaving the old man alone in the waiting room, the fear gets stronger. Is he really alone now? Does he need his oxygen that is sitting next to him unused? Then the man behind me starts coughing so hard I worry he might puke. He is wearing a mask. I hope that helps keeps the germs away from my five-year-old. As the old man is being moved another man is rolled into the waiting room. He is not okay at all. His eyes are rolling into the back of his head and he is puking into a green hospital issued puke bag. He gets up to toss out the puke and barely makes it back to his wheelchair. He too is alone. The woman directly in front of me looks okay. I wonder why she is at the emergency room? Everyone else that is here looks so terrible, but she is calm. Over the five hours we were there things changed, but it was all the same. Everyone needed help and no one was getting it quickly.
This shit is real life. Everyday this is happening all over the world. It is just not what I want to be a part of unless I really have to.
When I finally got home and got into bed, IT FELT SO GOOD. Holding my partner’s hand and listening to him sleep made it all better. The overwhelming feeling drifted for a bit. He is more than enough. I hope to show him that more and more each day.
This morning this photo of my partner and me popped up on Facebook. I hate the newish memory future on Facebook, but this memory made me happy and warm.