I guess I shouldn't be surprised--it is Monday, after all--but today has been a bad day.
Actually, Saturday was the bad day. Today is the fall out day.
Long story short, I wanted to try Odyssey of the Mind with my kids and I've been working with the school since last autumn to get the program organized and rolling. I was hoping OM would be a good way to help my very (truly) creative kids apply their ideas and learn some life skills. I thought it would be a good way to make friends for them and begin to network with other parents. There was some good that came out of it, but mostly things have been slowly falling apart over the last month and then last Saturday (competition day) things blew up. I'm trying not to go into details because I know it's not Christlike and because I don't believe rehashing events is going to change how I feel about them. Some people did some things that really hurt me and hurt my kids because I made some mistakes that they felt jeopardized their chances of doing well in competition. One parent went so far as to grab me by a shoulder and question me as to why I would screw things up that way. Another parent left me a phone message with her yelling in to the phone. They also yelled at my children and said rude things to them.
It was humiliating. It was hurtful. And I can't shake it.
I'm really, really sad about it. I'm angry about it.
And, me being me, I turn it all on myself.
My kids have also been train wrecks today. Lots of tantrums, screaming, crying. A complete mess.
All day my mind has been endlessly questioning my existential value. I'm such a failure; why should anyone ever bother with me or listen to me or believe me? I'm obviously a failure as a mother, too, so why do I have children? I'm pretty much a screwed up human being with no economic value, no true skills, and am therefore of no value to society. The world be a better place if I wasn't in it. (It is embarrassing to be this pathetic. Suicidal over angry parents? Sheesh I'm a loser.) There's a part of my brain that keeps saying if only I had a job, all of this would be different; that people like to crap on stay-at-home moms because they are obviously less than regular people. After all, why would you stay home and be jobless unless you were incapable of contributing to the greater world. One parent over the weekend passive-aggressively said to me, "Isn't it nice that you have the luxury of being at home and volunteering. That's just so, well, so nice for you." It's only a good thing to be a stay-at-home mom if your kids are perfectly groomed socially savvy over-achievers. And, by the way, as the mom you should be those things too. My kids aren't those things. I'm not those things.
The urge to self-harm is big. My brain keeps mapping out spots to cut and telling me I deserve the pain, that I should be punished. Of course I haven't done any of that--that's a line I have yet to cross and firmly plan not to. But I am spending a lot of energy reminding myself that the crazy is doing a heckuva lot today and I need to not get sucked in.
I really have been trying to let it go. I've been trying to distract myself. I keep telling myself that if I can choose to not stew over it then my brain will eventually let it go. There has been some good exercise (which helped). There has been prayer (was also helpful). There has been meditation and napping (also helpful). I keep hoping the hurt feelings will dispel or their intensity will lessen. But it keeps coming back--like the tide rolling in and out every 30 or 40 minutes.
It's just that I don't have a good response to the existential questions. I mean, seriously, what is the point? What am I doing? Everywhere I look I see half-finished projects and good intentions, but very few results. I have no way of proving that I'm not a complete waste of space.
*As an aside, I think that one reason I'm having trouble letting it go is because I know that those other people are right in some ways. I did screw up a couple times and they had every right to be angry at me. People have rights to their feelings. I'm sure that in their hearts they feel their actions and words were perfectly justified. And I can't argue with that. They have every right to see the world the way they see it. But feeling that way makes it very hard to defend myself.