By Natasha Coroluick
Today, I am not a pillar of strength. I am weak, fragile, and on the verge of giving up. Today, the tears flow like a monsoon down my cheeks and I can’t keep up with wiping them away so I stop trying. Today, my heart aches and my mind shakes and my body quivers as I let go of all I’ve been holding onto trying to be strong. Today, I feel angry, bitter, guilty, sad, alone, grief, no joy, no love, no understanding. Today, I don’t feel God. Today, I am not willing to be understanding of God’s path. Today, I am angry with God, because today He tests me – again! Today, I am tired spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Today, all that I am, down to my very core, is shaking under the pressure.
I want to give up today. I am tired of people telling me how strong I am. I want to be 5-years-old and have my mom or my grandma take me in their arms and hug me tight while I soak their shirt with uncontrollable tears. I want someone to hold me and stroke my hair and kiss the top of my head and tell me it’s okay to cry. Tell me it’s okay to be weak and to feel and to not be strong all the time. Today, I wish to be a child again and not carry so much weight. I long to throw on rubber boots and splash in the puddles and look up at the clouds and see images of bunnies, bicycles, candy, and whatever else my imagination allows. Today, I do not want to be the thirty-year-old single mother of four beautiful children and it shatters me with guilt to feel this way.
I want to be angry today. I am angry. I am angry for being alone, for being the strong one, for being the one who had to change for the better. Today, I curse and yell at God for choosing me as an example. I don’t wish to be His example today. I ask Him “why?”, “why me Lord?”, “why can’t someone else change for the better so I can live carefree and without responsibilities?” Why, is a common theme running through my scattered mind today? I am angry that I am the sole parent today. It’s too much pressure and it breaks me down a little every day, which, brings on more guilt and more resentment. If I fail, if I give up, I’m not just giving up on myself; I am giving up on these four beautiful children that God so generously gave to me. I love them but I am angry today. While others are falling in love and starting families and starting exciting chapters in their lives, I feel stuck and bitter. My life, it feels today, is on hold while I raise my children. There is no love interest for me, no new chapters today, just the daunting task of raising children that will go out into the world and, if I succeed, better it for their children.
I want love today. I know that my children love me, even when they fight against me and tell me they don’t. It’s not the same. It’s not the love I have longed for my entire life. I want a partner and today I am sad at the thought of how long I am to wait to receive the love I am so aching for. I want to feel a connection again, share my thoughts, share my soul, and share my love and my life with a partner. Today, I am regretful. Today, I wish that my marriage had worked out; that I had woken up beside my husband to the sound of our children running through the house. Today, while I folded the fourth basket of laundry, I fantasized about the father of my children. He was clean and sober and appreciative, full of love for his children and for me. He was in the kitchen making pancakes and letting the older kids flip them. There were smiles, laughter, a house filled with love and family. This is the love I never had, that I am dreaming of and sad for today.
I want to be greedy today. I want to give up and run away. Today, while I washed the dishes, I day dreamed of being the other parent and not the sole parent. I dreamed of what it would be like to go to work, to travel, to shop for clothes without thinking of bills and all the mouths I have to feed. I thought of what it would be like to be able to go out to the movies without finding a sitter. I thought about getting in my car and driving, not knowing where I was headed, looking for adventure. I imagined using my debit card to buy books, Slurpee’s, shoes, airline tickets, frivolous little items that I can’t even think of buying in my real life without feeling the fear of not being able to pay a bill or put food in our cupboards. I want to run away and live off the grid.
Today, I am a mother. Today, I am strong. Today, though my heart is filled with wishes and dreams and fantasies of what could be, I stay and fold the laundry and wash the dishes and put the roast in the crock pot. Today, I hold on just one more hour at a time. Today, I don’t quit, I fight. Today, God tests me and I pass. Today, despite the tears and anger and guilt and resentment, my strength prevails and I move forward. Today is not the hardest day I have lived through, in reality, it doesn’t even compare. Today, I remember there are more tests to come and I remember that even when I don’t feel him, God is present. Today, God reminds me that I can get through the hard times and He tells me I will come out alive and well though I may be bruised. Today, I am but one person fighting to do the best I can with what I have. Today, I wipe the tears and blow my nose and get dressed because I know I have eight big beautiful eyes watching me and four hearts ready to love me. Today, despite the fantasies, I am grateful to be the single mother I am, because without those blessings I call my own, I would have given up hours ago when the tears began to flow and my heart ached and my mind said to give up.
Today I am alive, grateful, and loved.