I am super triggered. I hate feeling like this. Anxious, impatient, bossy, I end up ordering my kids around. Which triggers them, too. Hold on, let me give one of them a backrub and a reminder of proper bedtime behaviour, so I don’t just bark orders at him.
So I did my chores and found myself tired. Fifteen minutes until the kids had to get inside. I sat down at the picnic table in the complex with some of the other moms. Which I nearly never do. I don’t know how they have time to sit down there, I seem to always be cleaning while they are able to sit. I need to figure out how they get free time in the evenings.
I sat down and we started talking. I found out one of the moms, my neighbor, is working with a lot of the professionals who helped me get set up in this town. She works at the local DV shelter, and I was working with the advocates in the office when I arrived. I didn’t even think, I just told her I had a file there and what I was working on with who (address privacy issues, cultural integration for new clients). I never tell anyone. I suppose people might know, but I never really say it.
So I get the kids inside and start the bathtub parade and I hang up laundry on my new clothesline, which I have to have inside the house as they are not allowed outside in this complex. I used to hang up laundry twice a day in our old house, our abuser’s home. It cools off the rooms on hot days, I haven’t got an AC unit yet, and I thought today would be a good day for it.
It just brought me back. Too much, too far into the past. The coolness of the laundry, the pressure to hang before it wrinkles, the colder air next to the line. How many loads did I have, then? Two a day? Three? Small children have so much laundry.. I start worrying about telling my neighbors my big secret. Of course single mother neighbors are going to talk about each other. Why did I say anything? Why cannot I just be cool and play it off, I certainly know how to keep a poker face. But then. Why shouldn’t I say anything? Why don’t we talk about these things? How do we break the stigma or the cycles if we are not open about it?
When I was younger I was well known as a blurter. I said whatever I wanted to, to whomever I was with, as I thought it. Not always the best policy, but it was who I was. Now I am so closed up that I practically speak in riddles, like an international spy.
I don’t know if I have done right or wrong with this conversation. I know I have more questions, because it is such a tough job, I want to know how she balances it, how she keeps from burning out. I maybe should not hang the laundry, though. I can spare the money for the dryer, I just don’t want to.
I am going to prep the report on the address privacy issues right now and turn it in tomorrow. Whatever the state my PTSD is in, I am motivated enough to get it done.