Expat Magazine

How to Attempt to Handle Everything and Massively Fail in the Process

By Feistytapas @feistytapas
More and more often there are days when I wish I could pull a duvet over my head and forget that I am a translator, tax payer, bill payer, daughter, mother and wife and a long etcetera that comes hand-in-hand with the above roles.
Some days I wish I had the Sky remote control, a fridge full of comfort food, a cosy blanket and no other care in the world than to get up to go to the toilet every once in a while.
Some days I wish I could get off this merry go round that life has become and try to catch up with myself instead of running round and round in circles never catching up with anything or anyone and instead always running behind panting to get everything done.
This last wish had me feeling very anxious a few weeks ago, I seem to have overcome that anxiety for now, until the next bout kicks in I guess.
Most days I wish I had a friend to talk to.
The truth is that a few days before I gave birth to my daughter everything changed beyond recognition and, when I say everything, I include myself. I have changed, I just don't know where to find the rewind button to change back.
During labor my shoulders started getting tense, I remember a midwife kept on telling me to relax them and tried to massage them to get them to come down, the truth is two years later they haven't come down from my ears. I am permanently tense, which is doing wonders for my old injuries. I am now a nervous, tense, clumsy woman with hardly any self-confidence left.
Yes, I may seem confident on the outside but inside... Well, the truth is that inside I'm breaking. In fact, I am scared of digging deeper into my soul because I may come to the conclusion that I am already broken.
Right now, there is a lot to think about in my life, crap hitting me from all ends, the main poop, the one that my husband wants me to think about, I don't want to consider, I don't want to take any decisions and I so wish right now that Mr Tapas spoke perfect Spanish so that he could discuss the situation and, based on his findings, take control and look after me and LittleT. But, me being me, I can't bring myself to ask him to sort things out for me because I am the one who is supposed to, the one who is always strong and carries on regardless of how she is feeling but, this time, at this stage of my life, I am out of energy and, every time I think about this decision that needs to be made, all I can think of is the many scenarios where the shit can quite literally hit the fan that.
For once, I may just need someone else to organize the journey that life is about to take and tell me exactly what we are going to do and when, then hold my hand, accompany me and keep me strong all along. I just can't say it out loud so here it is in writing, please help me!
My feisty personality means that for almost 39 years now I have fought to be who I am at all costs, problem is I don't know who that person is anymore and instead I just struggle along, which is turning into a big mistake in my relationship and in my life.
I keep quiet, I take things in my stride and keep muddling along hoping that, if I don't say things out loud, they are just not happening and, because some of them are happening so far away, they're just not quite real. I am exhausted at the moment, I am in fact tired of answering every "How are you?" question with a "knackered" but, seriously, I am. Being me, I do of course follow it up with not opening up. The truth is that, the moment I open up to someone, I'm going to become weak so, for now, staying strong seems to be the best answer.
All these thoughts going through my head are indeed exhausting. So, please someone, take the decision for me, tell me what to do and sort it out so that I don't have to be in charge this once.
I speak to other mothers and so many of them seem to share this, to the point that one told me that fainting was the best thing that ever happened to her, as she had been carrying on doing everything, not being able to tell anyone how she was feeling (incapability that stems, in cases like mine and hers, from our own sturbbornness to get everything right like we did for the thirty odd years before we became mothers). Do you too ever feel like this?
As parents, we think we need to carry on, putting on a brave face but things build up inside and I owe my husband a huge apology for not making things easy but, because there is so much to talk about,  it's easier to just not talk about them, in exchange he feels like I am shutting him and everyone out and our relationship is under a lot of pressure. I spend my life walking on eggshells and I am becoming that woman with the sad glance, the one who you sometimes walk past in the street and, despite looking totally normal (despite the huge dark circles), you may spot a tear running down her cheek as you go past her.
However, it would seem that no one notices this because, what I am really wishing deep inside, is for someone to stop me on my tracks and tell me that it's in fact ok to crumble because they can pick up the pieces and, once the shit is being dealt with and that theoretical fan is spreading it around before things get better, they will stand by my side, no matter what, holding my hand and putting everyone else in their place.
We put so much pressure on ourselves to try to do everything right and hide the fact that we are not coping. Shouldn't there be an alarm button somewhere that we can hit to alert someone to our struggle?

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