The Sad Mommy
“Mommy, what will make you happy?” Asked my newly four-year old, only a day into his new age – not even a full twenty-four hours. I smiled, hoping he’d forget whatever sadness loomed on my face a moment before. I Accepted a hug from him and his giant Elmo Birthday balloon; to him, making it all better, much like mommy-kisses take the ouchies away. I was more than surprised to hear the question, being it was one of the rare times I felt plagued with sadness but found no tears to shed.
I’ve suffered silently and more often than not, I still do.
I’ve never been much for crying, I’ve always found it best done alone or better yet, not at all. For me, crying has always been a sign of weakness. From the time I was little, crying has meant whoever was hurting me, was winning and so I set out not to cry – at least not in front of others. I worked hard not to give anyone the satisfaction of seeing me ache – in such an extreme degree, I learned to laugh when receiving punishment by the name of belt or whatever sat near by.
I wish I could say I never cried but everyone has their moments where life is far too much to take and we break under the weight. In the past few years, it feels like the weight has become too much to bare. My shoulders ache from an invisible weight that decreases and increases as it pleases – no warning, no consideration for how I might feel about it.
I could handle the tears of a mother watching a sappy family movie. I could handle the tears in the face of true sadness; loss of a loved one; tragedies; your children growing way too fast. I could even handle the tears of happiness but it’s the in between I can’t stand. It’s the tears I can’t always explain because I don’t have an answer or the answer feels tired and used up from my point of view – beyond being worth crying over but still, the tears come.
If you asked me the last time I cried, I’d answer, when was the last time I didn’t – as those days far out weight the others. So much so, I can’t answer the question for myself. I’ve come to a point where I’d give anything not to cry in the face of life’s tiny humps and bumps. I’d rather wade through the depths of numb and feel nothing than to continue swimming through these tears of sadness which feel unending and suffocating.
There are times I look at those I feel I trust and the tears wale up. I want to bare my soul but I swallow hard and hope the imaginary dam will hold until I can find privacy. Unfortunately, the dam doesn’t always hold. Sometimes I’m caught in the act and my biggest fear is my kids will only remember, mommy cried a lot. Then I cry some more because no matter how hard I work to hide it or put on a happy face, sometimes the tears slip out and though they often don’t make note of it – it’s a sadness I never wanted them to know because kids don’t understand mommies brain doesn’t work quite the same. They don’t understand mental illness, they don’t understand the aspects of depression or anxiety – they just see a sad mommy.