Some days I just want to rage scream. I want to clench my fists, lean forward, let my face get red and hot, my brow furrow in fury, and my eyes narrow like daggers. I want to sweat a little because I’m so mad, but mostly I just want to fucking scream.
My three year old did it last week and I gotta say, it looked kind of awesome.
Every day is one long blur of endless demand. Feed, clean, teach, entertain, work, in no particular order and with no priority available for any one task. There is no space for me in this . . . space. None. I have nowhere to retreat to, no pause, no break available to me to do anything except continue.
But to be clear, I’m still grateful. I am still employed and able to work from home. My spouse is also still employed and also still working from home. We still have two incomes coming in.
We have no childcare, all three of our children are at home with us, and our business — the second job we’ve gone to every single fucking day for the last four years — is just about all the way gone, but we are still working. We have a lovely home to live in. We have a car to get us to the store for supplies, we have money to pay our bills and utilities, we are in good health, we have enough food and entertainment, and access to connect digitally to our community and the word.
Am I allowed to be grateful but also angry?
I know this is grief. Intellectually, I understand that. I can see where I am in the process and I viscerally feel the toll on my body as I fight the acceptance of what is now. Emotionally though, I’m a stubborn child refusing to acknowledge what’s in front of me.
And fuck, I’m so tired. So, so, so tired. Almost as tired as I was with my newborns who woke up every 30–40 minutes round the clock, but mostly the kind of tired that makes it hard to get out of bed every day. The depressed kind. The defeated kind. The “why bother,” kind.
Maybe it’s in part, inertia. My normal speed is “go,” and go quickly. This sudden shift from physical to mental and emotional movement hurts. My body is shutting down in response. Fight, flight, or freeze? I’m emotionally frozen, and instead of in a delightfully animated way it’s more of a– long stares into the nothing and/or a total inability to complete a sentence or task sort of way.
When I do thaw, I seem to have a few key responses: control everything I can (the way my house looks, what we eat and drink, what we do, the tiniest of details in my current work project), avoid the pain (overcommit to work assignments or responsibilities, bury myself in my to-do list, online shopping, Pinterest boards, exercise, wine, binge watching tv at night), or obsessively gather data and consume information to prepare for “what’s next” (as though I could actually know that).
Plan and control- fight, control and avoid- flight, or confusion- freeze.
That’s it. That’s where I live, every day. Over, and over, and over. That, and the dishes.
I haven’t been able to get to a place of grounded acceptance. I haven’t been able to stay present for more than a few minutes. I haven’t been able to hold my shit together for so much as a half a day.
I’m working to be okay with that part first, before I move on to actually trying to be okay.
I’m so angry.
So. Fucking. Angry.
I’m angry our children are getting robbed of their childhoods, their firsts, their core memories, their connection points, their safe spaces, their cultural rites of passage. I’m angry about the future that creates for everyone. I’m angry I can’t do a better job protecting them, all of them, from the repercussions of the actions of their elders. I’m angry we’ve shown an entire generation they can’t trust us.
I’m so angry at the stark disparity of experiences in this storm.
Why do I have resources and others don’t? Why is my biggest problem trying to navigate my emotions and take care of my children and my job while others struggle to find food and shelter? Why, in a country dripping with taxpayer dollars, can we only care for the money and not the people who make it?
Highlighting only what has already been here all along, in this version of the apocalypse ignorant white conservatives get to bring guns to the streets to protest to staying at home. They can leave unharmed and unbothered by law enforcement, all the while spreading an invisible killer and imposing a burden of care on healthcare workers on the front lines, while that same virus girds the barrel of systemic racism, ripping through a series of vast, deep, and intentional entry points placed precisely by White America in black and brown bodies.
I’m angry this country elected an ignorant bubmblefuck for a president and I’m even angrier I didn’t work harder to ensure that didn’t happen. I’m angry that narcissistic dolt put us in such a vulnerable position. I’m enraged he continues to pander to the idiocracy, and that it still fucking works.
We are a stupid, stupid lot, us humans.
A selfish, stupid lot.
Can we do better?
Maybe we can course correct. Maybe we can create equitable, just, and fair societies full of well resourced and cared for community members. Maybe we can save our planet. Maybe we can replace capitalism as it was with capitalism. . . as it could be? Maybe we can stop trying to do, and just keep working to be.
But we have to own where we are first.
I’m angry, and I am ready for things to change. But, there is work yet to do.
On a personal level, before I move into action and planning that might generate any useful outcomes I get to work through where I am, and where we are, right now. Things are changing constantly, and the best thing I/you/we can do is catch up to this moment.
I want to know– how are you? What are you feeling? What’s coming up for you? Name it so you can process and discharge it, because the longer we hold it the bigger it gets, the longer the wait for reparation, and the greater the harm to the Whole.
Let’s be honest folks, we’re gonna be here awhile, we can at least get clear about that.
Let’s do some work while we’re here.