Hiding in the Corner of the Library

Thank god for noise canceling headphones.

The girls wanted very badly to come to an event at the library today, so I dragged myself out of the house only to realize, to my dismay, that it’s a very big event that’s drawing quite a crowd.

Half the event is outside, where it’s warm and humid, so I cut the kids loose and am hiding out inside. Half of me worries I might be a shitty, neglectful parent for not escorting my kids around the event, and the other half is saying they don’t have behavioral issues and are old enough to benefit from a little contained independence. They won’t be sad about it. It’s only the potential opinions of other people that makes me worry.

In the meantime, not being a cute teenage dancer, I have put myself in the corner, with my laptop and headphones. Corners are nice, defensible positions when your brain is warily eyeing all the families and their swarms of children as possible existential threats. I’m only mildly uncomfortable though. No feeling that I need to run and hide, no trembling in my hands.

The anxiety hasn’t been as bad or putting in as many appearances in the last month, which is unexpected. Yesterday’s surprise emotional upset caused an anxious reaction after I shared what was happening with my sister J and a couple of close friends in a group chat. My chest started feeling tight and my brain tried to tell me exposing emotional vulnerability had left my friends embarrassed by me and for me, which I know is a lie, thankfully.

I felt a little tense and a little restless for the remainder of the day, but nothing that couldn’t be easily managed.

My husband is being put on edge by the fact that I’m on edge again, though, and this evening when we head out alone I’m going to have to talk to him and explain that he’s just going to have to try to be calm about the fact that I’m processing a lot of shit that can leave me tense and emotional, that isn’t specifically about him but that I don’t want to have to expose just to soothe his insecurities.

I won’t phrase it that way, of course. I don’t want things to escalate again, where he gets tense because I’m tense, and then my tension increases because he’s tense, and then his tension increases because mine has increased and we end up locked in another vicious cycle that ultimately devolves into fighting regularly.

We’ve got approximately two months left until our relocation. Then, in theory, I get my clean, uncluttered environment and new sleep arrangements. I sincerely hope that helps. I’m tired of feeling like I’m slogging through life and that everything is too much work. I want to feel rested again.

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