Tag Archives: single mom

Wait, Am I Supposed to Miss Him — Already?

Animal House

I finally got my oldest child off to college.   He lives hours away from home now.  It’s been a process.   Depending on how you I calculate it the process began 18 years ago when I started talking to my growing belly, taking prenatal vitamins and playing music for my unborn child, reading and talking incessantly to him as a baby,  or the process can be measured in the last year of making college visits, college choices, buying dormitory bedding or the untold joy of filling out financial aid forms. My particular journey was salted by the sudden yet not completely unexpected visual appearance of my ex-husband —  just in time for the graduation celebration and going off to college festivities.  See The Unspoken Pain  of Sharing Celebrations. Despite the extra anxiety, the kid is safely enrolled on a residential college campus.  He won’t be home until Thanksgiving.  Going Away To School — And Staying There.

Now that he’s gone I am often asked, “Don’t you miss him?”

And sometimes, I  say, “Oh yes, yes, I do.”   But I’m faking it.

Really, I’m thinking, “Oh crap. Wait!  I’m supposed to miss him?  Already?

He’s only been gone a couple of weeks.  I’ve been so focused on getting him ready for college and out of our suffocating suburb and the stupid visitation schedule — I had not counted on the expectation that I should miss him — so soon.   I mean I cried the traditional tears when I said goodbye and left my boy to live elsewhere, with people I don’t know.  I’m sure I sported the vacant, almost Zombie-like  look that the freshman parents had wandering around campus and in the bookstore having been separated from their precious babies.  I did all of that.

But then I came home

—  and rearranged his room.

Apparently many other parents and loved ones are really grieving about the absence of their college freshman.  People are asking me how I’m holding up.  And how the siblings are doing.  And I am reminded of the episode of Sex and The City when Miranda, who is pregnant, finds out the gender of the baby and everyone expects her show excitement at the fact that she now knows she’s having a boy.  After a while she just feigns a show of excitement to satisfy the general public.  “I faked a sonogram,”  she admits.   Sex and the City, Season Four, Episode 15 “Change of a Dress” 

Miranda faking her sonogram.

Miranda faking her sonogram.

And then there’s me.   I love my son. I am so ridiculously proud of him.  And his absence is felt, that is true.  It was kind of weird on the first day of school when there was one less child I had to beg to allow me to take a picture of.  But I admit, I am not the face of  mother grieving over temporary absence of her son, though I sometimes play the part.

My son, who I sometimes refer to as The Arrogant One, has always been fiercely independent, while simultaneously relying on me to support his endeavors, get things taken care of, and sit in the audience and bleachers and watch him do what he does.   He’s been away from home before — going on an annual week-long vacation with a friend’s family and traveling  to Europe for eleven days.  I remember preparing for the Europe trip, going to a meeting where many parents were asking how they would be able to contact their children while they were away.  Other than in the event of an  emergency, I hadn’t considered needing to talk to my son during his eleven day trip.  It was only eleven days!  But back then I started to panic — Was I supposed to be in contact with my kid all the time?  Was I missing some sort of mom gene?  I had, with the other parents, helped raise the money so they could go on this wonderful tour. Now weren’t we  supposed to let them go and have fun without us?  Why did I never even consider needing to call him while he was out of the country for less two weeks?

I figured that I’d hear about it when he got home.  Turns out I was wrong about that . . . but I digress.

Me:   “How was the trip?”

Him:  “Good, really good.”

And that was that.  Oh I probed him for some additional details, but  . . . it was his experience, not mine.

I’ve been feeling that same kind of panic lately when people ask me how I’m “holding up” since my son’s departure.  (Wait, I’m supposed to be falling apart?)   And when my daughter, the one I refer to as The Quirky One, the one who is very sensitive — almost a Star Trek level Empath, burst into tears saying she missed her brother, I was taken off guard.  I consoled her.  I told her I knew it was weird not having him here and that it’s okay to miss him and he’ll be home before we know it, but I thought to myself — “He’s really not that nice to you, he told you that you were worthless.  Why are you crying for him?”  He’s not very nice to his sisters.  That’s a fact, and an issue I’ve tried to address.  So to the people who feel sorry for him for being the only boy, well, I’m not feeling that. He has stated out loud  that he’s more important and smarter and a better person than his sisters, who, in his mind, do not deserve any attention.  And sometimes, him being a teen person, he wasn’t very nice to me either.  (I’m the safe parent, you see, the one who gets the crap because the child is comfortable that I’ll be here regardless.  Sigh.) So there are things — like his assertions of superiority —  that I definitely will not miss.  Now he’s dealing with the fish/pond thing — everyone on his campus is a high achiever like him and he won’t have his little sisters to belittle to make himself seem more important.  And I think it’ll be good for him.  Nay, necessary for him.

And my failure to pine after my college dwelling son might also be a big family thing — one less kid to feed, or who needs to be picked up or dropped off somewhere, or requires  some sort of supplies, etc.   One less kid to start an argument with the remaining kids.   And to me, someone who is the only adult living in a little house full of teens, having one less home means having one less person to ridicule and/or ignore me, and one less person who has no problem vocalizing the assumption that I know absolutely nothing.

So, do I miss him?  

I know I’m supposed to say, “Yes, God yes.”  I know I’m supposed to well up and tell you exactly how many days it will be until I see him, and the last time I talked to him, but . . . as my own mother used to say when we went away,

“Yeah, I miss them, but it’s a good miss.”

The last thing I said to my son  when I left him on campus, when I said goodbye to my baby through tearing eyes was, “I am so so proud of you.  I love you. And you know I’ll  always have your back.  Have fun and learn.”

And,  upon my return, one of my daughters asked the definitively more important question,

“Do we still have to wear pants in the house now that the boy is gone?”

“Yes, yes, you do,” I answered.

But it’s  not because of him.  It’s not about him anymore.

In Sex and The City Miranda did have a quiet moment when she first felt her unborn son move — it brought her to her knees, and that was her first moment of connection.  Quiet,  and unexpected and not when people thought she should have it.  I assume at some point there will be something that triggers me — something that makes it painfully clear to me that my first-born will never really live under my roof in the same way again — if things go well. Then  I’ll acknowledge the reality — that this first step into  pseudo-adulthood  is actually a natural progression to full adulthood, that one day  I’ll  end up being the mom to call from time to time with news, for advice,  and someone to visit on the holidays — maybe someday with his own family.   And I suspect, that like with Miranda, it’ll be a private moment of reflection when I’ll truly feel my son’s — move.

But in the meantime, as I sit in his room writing behind what used to be his closed door –with my pants on while relishing in the fact that in my now all girl household  we could go pants-less any time we damn well please  —

Do I miss him?

Not yet, but . . . it’s early.   Give it time.

 

Just Me With . . . One less child under my roof — until Thanksgiving, anyway. 

Postscript:  My son has matured immensely. Graduated college, lives on his own in a different city now. He’s a nicer guy. And in his own way, he shows his appreciation for me, my struggles.

See also:

Advice for My College Boy On Campus Sexual Assaults On Women

It Was Never A Nest

What Have I Done?

 

Misplaced Praise of a Father

I think I’m done.  I’m done agreeing with the generalized small talk and factually inaccurate praise of  the mere suggestion of  the presence of my Ex-husband in our children’s lives — like he’s some kind of magic man.

People who know, know better.

An ex-neighbor dropped by yesterday.  I hadn’t seen her in over a year.  We don’t have much in common and she does not read people well.   She’s had four husbands, yet when my husband up left me and the children and I was visibly devastated, dehydrated and malnourished,  she went on and on about how we should stay together and that maybe there’s hope.

I wish I’d tried harder.  Don’t give up. Maybe he’ll come back.  I hope you can work it out.

That’s  what she said to me.  She said this to me, though she knew that my husband had, suddenly, cruelly, left me.  Now that I’m thinking back, it is quite possible that this woman is a nut job.

She was one of the people I avoided back then.  Some people say the wrong things.  They can’t help it, they won’t change.

Yesterday, she dropped by unannounced to invite me to her mother’s memorial service.  She arrived just as the kids were preparing to go on a dinner visit with their dad.  Like before, she went on and on about how that’s so good that he sees them, that –the alternative in her mind — total abandonment —  is so bad, and told me a story about how her daughter-in-law’s absentee father showed up on her wedding day and practically ruined it.   So she reasoned that my situation is so much betterblah blah blah

I don’t recall asking her opinion at all.

I did not enjoy our one-sided conversation.   There are always stories of the most horrendous parents, male and female, but if you set the bar at those folks, hey, everybody   looks good. I have one  good father and know many more.  The fatherhood  bar is high in my world, or actually, it’s where it needs to be, but I digress . . .    Not only did this woman irk me, but she  went on and on while  there was a child within earshot.   I wonder how it  makes kids feel to hear an adult praise their father for  merely seeing them?    Completely clueless,  the ex-neighbor didn’t notice when I tried to change the subject by talking about the children themselves, their accomplishments.   I was being polite.   Perhaps too polite.

Bitch, you don’t know my life.”  Is what I wanted to say.

I’m sorry folks, I don’t usually talk like that, but sometimes people piss me off.

In fact, I’m a polite sort –to a fault, really, I can make small talk and seem to agree to the most ridiculous statements for the sake of decent society.  But sometimes, it seems, this gives a pass and an exaggerated sense of importance to people who don’t deserve it, as well as an acceptance of past, current and likely future bad behavior.  And sometimes, it just makes me mad.

As we sat in my tiny living room, on a house on a busy street, in the neighborhood of “The Help”  that I had to work my butt off to get the Hoarders smell out of ,  it seems that no matter what transpired and how well the children have adapted to and excelled in  a difficult situation, the most important thing for her to discuss was the seemingly magical appearance of their father.

I call bullsh*t.

Maybe if he looked like this his appearance would be, indeed, magical.

So now, instead of nodding politely, I’m going to try to opt out  of the small talk that makes me blinding mad.  I think it’s better that way, don’t you?

And before I get the “What about the kids?” speech, I’m talking about conversations between grown folks.   Children are not invited.

From now on every time some  random acquaintance inquires about the time my kids spend with their dad and says,

Oh that’s good, he still sees them.

My new response will be,

Yeah,  I hear there’s gonna be a parade.

And then I will launch on full-out campaign, an attack,  if you will, describing the awesomeness of my children in excruciating detail.  And I will note that my elderly parents, even at their advanced age, rarely miss a concert and get to many sporting events each season —  because they enjoy it and they are so proud . . . and the kids are . . . wait for it . . . AWESOME!

And then I will turn and leave, because, you know, I’ve got things to do.   I will not talk about or allow discussion of  the perceived  importance of  the (magical) father’s (mythical) encouragement of said real accomplishments by these awesome kids.  His is not my banner to wave, or shoot at.  As I said, I’ve got other things to do.

My point is this: It is presumptuous to make sweeping  statements about the perceived importance of an absent party, without any knowledge of or inquiries into the actual situation, and expect me, the one clearly in the trenches,  to agree.

And frankly, it’s rude.

Just Me With . . . good manners.

The general public’s  persistent blanket praise of fathers who may neither  be good men  nor good  fathers  is a disservice to men who  are both.  It’s a disservice to the mothers who are doing the best they can with or without (or in spite of)  the existence of “the father.”   It’s a disservice to the brothers, cousins, friends, sisters, uncles, aunts, neighbors, teachers, grandparents and whole loads of people who provide support and encouragement and  love even though they have no parental ties nor court ordered obligation to do so.  It’s a disservice to the kids, the children who should expect parents to do for them, without kudos.

So I’m opting out.

I have other things to do.

For other misinformed comments, see: Weekends Off .

For other misplaced praise, see: The Unspoken Pain of  Sharing Celebrations

Still Sleeping On “My Side Of The Bed”

fbc377a5be369c911cf03c3803b69e3f.jpeg

Okay, it’s been years now since he moved out. It’s a different bed.  Hell, it’s a different house. And he’s married now, for goodness sake.

So why am I still sleeping on  my side of the bed?

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It’s amazing how old movies take on such different meanings after that stuff happens to you!

Like the scene in When Harry Met Sally when they discuss their post break up sleeping habits. It went right over my head for years – when I was married.  Until my unfortunate (or fortunate) events brought it to the forefront and made it exceedingly relevant.

when-harry-met-sally-1

 

Harry:  Ok, fine.  Do you still sleep on the same side of the bed?

Sally: I did for a while but now I’m pretty much using the whole bed.

Harry:  God, that’s great.  I feel weird when just my leg wanders over.  I miss her.

I actually enjoy sleeping alone; I don’t miss sleeping with him.  But unlike Sally, I don’t use the whole bed, either.  What is it?  There’s the practical considerations, namely that my phone and alarm clock are on one side.  But really that would explain why I get up on that side not my entire sleeping geography.

My ambien is on  that side too.   Now I’m talking.  Once ingested I tend to sleep in whatever position I was in when I took a sleep aid.  I realized this fact when I woke up very sore two weeks ago, in the same position I lay my head down in.

But I don’t take a sleep aid every night.

So why stay on one side of the bed?

It’s like I’m saving a place for someone.

huh.

Am I waiting for Prince Charming?

Or am I still programmed to be part of a couple?

Or is it just a force of habit?

Like Harry, I was married a long time, longer than I’ve been separated or divorced.   And though I’ve had visitors to my bed on occasion, I’ve never had anyone stay more than one night  (and, honestly, those single  nights were too damn long).  Harry stayed on his side of the bed.  Was it the marriage thing? Does my body still think it’s a marital bed?

huh.

Maybe being curled up on my side of the bed is  just my way of snuggling — with myself.

I remember when just days after my then husband moved out one of my daughters asked me,

“Who’s going to sleep with you now?”

Damn, still waiting for an answer to that.

In the meantime, here is a product I accidentally  found online.  I swear I wasn’t looking for this.

The Companion Pillow.

This is the pillow that holds you when your partner cannot. Shaped like a man’s torso, the pillow has a flexible arm that wraps around you as you lie on its burly, comforting chest. Made from fiber-fill, the pillow contours to your body and provides a soft sleeping surface that’s both physically and emotionally supportive. The pillow is dressed in a soft polyester button-down dress shirt, and unlike the real thing, the pillow won’t keep you awake with incessant snoring. Cover is removable and machine-washable. 24″ L x 17″ W x 7″ H. (2 lbs.)

http://www.hammacher.com/Product/79559

 

Just Me With . . . no one on his side of the bed.

Update: The Companion Pillow is apparently no longer available at Hammacher. If you are interested, there are other retailers offering the same or similar products.

If you are interested. I, however, am not.

See posts about visitors to the other side of the bed:

“We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy” — Almost F**ked to Death

Facebook Mutual Friend with the Ex’s Girlfriend? – Part One

If I’d Married My Stalker

 

 

Weekends Off Fallacy

The Judgmental Moms on The New Adventures of Old Christine

I was at a school function.  It was already obvious to me that although I was acquainted with most of the parents there, I had no real friends.  People said hi but no one stayed to talk to me,  I changed locations three times to try to either strike up a conversation or make it less obvious that I had no one to talk to. Then when I finally settled on a spot, I overheard a mother talking  really loudly, stating,

 “It is so much harder  to be a  married mother than a single mother.  I don’t get three nights off a week.   I have to run the kids around by myself every day!  He’s never around!”   

 Two other women nodded in agreement, a little uncomfortably.

Ouch.

One kind mother who also overheard this statement and who obviously knows my marital status,  turned to me and said quietly,

“Do you find it easier to be a single mom?”

“No.”

Gotta love her for recognizing my discomfort among the Stepford Wives in my community. (I’m not suggesting that all married women are Stepford Wives, this is a description of the particular women who offended me ).   The kind soul who recognized my discomfort  is a psychiatrist and  one of the moms in an interracial lesbian relationship. So she has  probably  felt like she doesn’t fit in either.  But at least she had her partner with her.  I was alone.   It was so insensitive for that other mouthy mother (fucker) to be talking like that,  that loudly.  Didn’t she think that one of those supposedly breezy single mothers might be in her midst?   She’s entitled to her opinion, but geesh.  It hurt a little;  it hurt  a lot.  It felt like hearing a religious or  racial slur from a person you wouldn’t expect it from.

Let the record reflect that I was once married.  And I was married with children for eight years. And  I’d like to say that I’ve known this woman since our oldest kids were in kindergarten.  She was married then and she’s still married now.  I was married then, I am not married now.   So out of the two of us, I  am infinitely more qualified to make the comparison between married with kids  and single with kids.  I’m the one who has been on both sides.

I say this because I know a married woman’s desire, the fantasy of a  having her husband say, “I’m taking the kids for the weekend.”    You do whatever you want, or “you go –I got this.”   And I recognize that most married women never get a weekend for themselves, unless it is some preplanned girls’ weekend that only happens very infrequently and she has to “pay back”  her  husband for the privilege somehow.   So I get it.     My husband never took the kids, I was never completely “off duty.”    I completely understand when I hear still married women envy single moms and their traditional every other weekend off. (Which, I might add is not a law, it doesn’t come with the divorce.)   I get it.    And I get that when my kids are on their  (half weekend) visitations,  I have absolutely no responsibility for them.   I can go out, I can entertain at home.  I can sleep in, I can walk around naked and listen to inappropriate music and watch R rated movies or porn  —-  in the family room!   I get it.    In its purist simplest sense visitation time  is guaranteed time away from the kids that married women do not get.   And I get that married women have  parental responsibilities that are not necessarily shared with their husband and plus, they are  maintaining a relationship.  I get it.  So I don’t take anything away from married women with children.  Did I say that I get it?  Because I do.  I’ve been there.

However, for many single women with children, the myth of the carefree weekends off is just that — a myth.

First of all, single mothers do not always have one whole weekend off every other week.  In my case it is not a whole weekend.  It is one night every two weeks. (And I’m not complaining about that, it’s just what it is.)   Second, my kids do not “summer” with anyone but me.  (And I’m not complaining about that either).   Some fathers don’t take their kids at all.  Some take them out of spite or to reduce child support payments.    Some parents  have the best intentions but the children are carted back and forth according to an elaborate schedule based on percentages and someone else’s norm — an attempt to literally “split the baby.”   Nothing breezy about it.

Second, and more, importantly, the time that the children  are away  is by court order.   So this is not time for me, on a day good for me and/or that fits  my friends’ schedules or the schedules of my favorite hobby.  It is not a time where someone who loves me  says that he will take care of everything that needs to be done in order for me to have some fun or relaxation in appreciation for all that I do. No, it is a time I am  required to present my children to someone who, in my case,  has shown complete disrespect for me.  It is HIS time with the kids during which he can do whatever he wants with whomever he wants.   It doesn’t matter whether I’d rather have the kids at home or whether I wanted to do something with them, I’m not allowed to have my kids home on designated days.  For me, the guaranteed time away from my children is not  a good feeling.   For me,  it often  involves tears, Xanax, excessive cleaning, excessive sleep or hardly any sleep at all.

I once explained it this way.

Imagine your child having a minor medical procedure which required a hospital stay.  It is something that needs to be done, but you’ve put off.  It is something that is not life-threatening and you know your child will not intentionally be harmed but he or she will experience some discomfort.    You spent all week preparing your child for this but really, you wish he/she didn’t have to go.   You are not permitted to stay in the hospital with your child, you are not permitted to call.  But in the long run, it has to be done.  Plus, you have no choice.

Now,  under this scenario you have a guaranteed free evening, right?  Child-free!!  Woo-Hoo!  Feel much like going out?      Would you arrange for a girls night out or a date with someone you met online for the very night  you knew your kid was going to be in the hospital, simply because you knew it was one night where  you wouldn’t have to get a sitter?   Really?

My point is, not every child-free night is a blessing  . . . or fun.

Here’s another example:

I remember after giving birth to my first.  They kept him in the hospital one day longer than me because they needed to monitor his heart as a precaution (he’d had a pre-natal heart murmur).   They told me to go home and get sleep and come back in the morning.  I went home.   I was up and standing by the bed fully dressed at 6am,  still dripping and stitched from giving birth.  My husband was fast asleep.  (I think it scared him a little when he awoke and I was standing over him.   bwahahaha. )  I don’t know how he could sleep.   I hadn’t even known this kid for more than two days.   I was physically more exhausted than I’d ever been in my life, but the idea of using my baby’s hospital stay to catch up on sleep  was completely ridiculous.

Fast forward.  Post divorce.

A friend of mine was hosting a school of rock type performance at her house.  Kids playing real instruments in a band.   I would have loved  to have taken my kids.   But, it wasn’t my day.   The event was at 4:00pm, I had presented the kids for visitation at 2:00pm.    I went anyway in support of other people’s kids.   I had to fight back tears.  My friend noticed my sadness.  She has four kids of her own, is married and a stay at home mom.  Probably never gets a real break.

She said, “It must be weird not to have your kids here.”

“Yeah, it is. ”  I quickly added,  “I don’t like it.”    She nodded in silence.

Back to the school function and the mouthy lady.

I didn’t say anything to the  lady.  I’m sick of my circumstance and marital status and don’t feel like defending, explaining or even addressing it.  I just wanted to see my kids’ event and possibly enjoy it with other parents.  Well, at least I saw my kids.   I enjoyed it alone, albeit a bit uncomfortably.  Regardless of her right to her opinion, that woman’s  behavior was rude, and without regard for the feelings of others.

For the record, I sometimes get sick of the single mom hype, too.  I tire of the label.    I don’t want to be put on a pedestal.   I hate that.   I don’t want pity. I hate that, too.  But envy?  Envy for a situation you know nothing about?   I hate that most of all.

The myth of the weekends off — well, it’s not what it’s cracked up to be, it’s not the same as a married woman’s  weekend off–  if she ever gets one, it’s not the same for every single mother.  My personal experience has been horrendous, despite my court-ordered night “off” and often because of it.

And that mouthy woman?   I doubt we’ll ever be friends.

Just Me With . . . my children . . .  at home tonight.   Thank God.

“We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy” — Almost F**ked to Death

I hadn’t been well.  I hadn’t been taking care of me.  I admit.  I was depressed.   I was underweight.   I hadn’t been sleeping, I hadn’t been eating.   This was mid-separation but before divorce proceedings had begun.  It was also before we had a visitation order and my then husband did not take the kids out much, instead he would visit our marital home.  I don’t remember why the kids weren’t there.  It may well have been the first time he did take them.  I honestly have no recollection of why the kids were not home — that never happened — so I had a visitor.  Our relationship is not relevant to this story, but he is a good guy and he spent the night.  It may have been the first time I’d had a visitor since my separation.  It had been a while.

We didn’t get much sleep.

I was in actual pain the next day.  Afraid I had contracted a horrible disease I called my  best friend, who happens to be a gynecologist.  She said it was probably just irritation.  Did I mention it had been a while?

It got worse.  I started spotting.  Damn, this can’t be good, I thought.  When I described the latest symptoms to my doctor friend, she said, I needed to be seen immediately.  (She’s never been my personal  gynecologist, that would just be too weird).

By this time, I had  frequent and painful urination, along with the bleeding.    I was so uncomfortable.  When I finally got to my gynecologist,  I was given a diagnosis of urinary tract infection and a prescription for antibiotics.  I’m a little prone to urinary tract and bladder infections.  I had them while pregnant and had them as a child. I knew the drill.  Since I  now had my antibiotics,  I’d assumed I’d get better.

I didn’t.

I started to have flu symptoms . . .  fever, chills.   After a couple of days, I’d become a little disoriented, had trouble driving , and was sensitive to light.   I felt like crap.

But mothers can’t get sick so I tried to play it off.  Plus I was taking antibiotics, I just needed, I thought, for  them to kick in.

They didn’t.

I got progressively worse.  I got more feverish and my head felt like it was splitting.  I couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink.  I hurt all over.  I’ve taken care of the kids before with the flu, but this was debilitating.

Finally I called my mother to help me with the children because I had trouble getting out of bed.   She took care of them during the day and I stayed in my room  — feverish.   She checked on me a bit but her attentions were with the kids.  Confined to my room,  I got progressively worse.

During this time in the separation process, on some days the ex would drop by to see the kids  in the late afternoon.   He did so,  relieving my mom for a couple of hours, but I don’t think I got out of bed.  He  left by nighttime.

But it was Just Me With . . . my five kids.  I was the only adult in the house.  And I was very, very sick.

Taking Tylenol and forcing fluids did not bring down my fever and the antibiotics seemed to do nothing.   I still had painful frequent urination and was barely making it to the bathroom.  Laying down caused excruciating pain in my head.  Sitting up was still painful but not quite as bad.  So I sat,  without television,  reading material, or music.  I just sat on my bed in a darkened room, shivering.

My first set of twins told me they had checked on me that night.  They said when they peeked in my room I was sitting up with my eyes open and my arms flat and motionless at  my sides, palms up.   My eyes must have rolled back into my head because my children told me that  though my eyes were open,  they only saw the whites of my eyes, and I was not responsive.  They said I had no color in my face, that I looked completely white.

“We thought you were dead, mommy.”  They said.

Ugh.  My poor babies.  They thought they were in the house with their dead mother.

“So what did you do?‘ I asked later.

“We ran back into our room and got under our beds.” 

My poor babies.  I think they were maybe eight years old at the time.

Later,  “Baby B” twin  convinced “Baby A” twin  to go back and check on me again. (“Baby B” twin is always convincing the other kids to do things . . . there was an incident with an open window . . . but I digress . . .)  When “Baby A” twin looked in on me,  I was on my bed, but I had slumped over, with my arms still at my sides, and eyes still open.

So I hadn’t  laid down —- I had tipped over.   Yeah, I must have looked dead.  My poor babies.

Frightened even more, the girls reportedly  stayed up all night until they saw me get up to go to the bathroom early in the morning.  I do remember going to the bathroom.  I remember seeing them down the hall and not being able to speak.

When my mother came again later that day I told her I had to go to the doctor.  But my mother doesn’t drive.  My dad had dropped her off and left.   He didn’t answer his phone.   So . . . I drove myself.  Obviously,  I wasn’t thinking clearly.   I could have, should have, called a neighbor or friend, but I wasn’t thinking straight. My mother didn’t know how sick I was, since she had spent most of her time with the kids.  I think she was just relieved that I agreed to go back to the doctor.  Luckily, he doctor’s office was less than two miles away, though I distinctly remember considering pulling over to rest.

When I finally arrived, my doctor took one look at me and said,

“You’re sick.”

(ya think?)

“I think you need to be in the hospital.  How did you get here?”

He was horrified that I had driven myself .  They sat me in a wheelchair while the nurse got a hold of my dad who drove me to the hospital.   I stayed for four days.  I had  a kidney infection. I had never been that ill in my life.

If I hadn’t gotten to the doctor, I very well could have died right there in my house, alone with my kids down the hall.

My poor kids,  traumatized by spending a whole night thinking their mom had died in her bed. To this day, years later, they check on me at night.  If I am sick they check on me often.

“Mommy, are you okay?”

I eventually recovered, though I was weak for quite some time.  My body was run down by my depression, the physical problems that resulted from it and my complete lack of self-care.  I was a mess.

In a way, it was a learning experience.   I had to have the discussion with my children about where to go and what to do and who to call should they be worried that something has happened to me.  They should never have to suffer through the night thinking their mom is dead.  It still makes me shudder, my poor babies.    The whole experience forced me to  realize that I would indeed be the only adult in the house for an indefinite period of time and that the kids need to know what to do should something happen to me.

I’m all they have.   It’s a little scary.

Plus, I felt guilty.   My serious illness and the traumatic experience to my children were  triggered by my having a  “visitor” whose liveliness caused a urinary tract infection, which progressed to my kidneys, and landed me in the hospital.

I couldn’t catch a break.

So ends the tale of me almost getting f**ked to death.    And you wonder why I’m a little hesitant to get out there.

Just Me With . . . . a lover, a  kidney infection, and reports of my death slightly exaggerated.

I later told my visitor that he could claim bragging rights to almost f*cking a woman to death.  He was not amused.  He’s a good guy.