Sometimes I feel just like this tree. Seemingly healthy and strong on the outside, if you don’t look close enough. Inside, though, hollow and falling apart. And yet, it still stands tall, despite the ugliness and despair it feels deep down.
Diesel and I happened upon this tree on one of our many camping trips, before Choo-choo came along. I can tell you the tree really was strong as it stood on the path. Nothing on the outside was broken. The roots still held firm. And yet it was a disaster on the inside.
Of course, there are many days when I feel great. Days when I feel like I can conquer my fears, accomplish my goals, run the world.
Then there are those other days. I try to put on a good show. Pretend I am okay. But inside, I feel like I am crumbling. These last few days have turned me into the hollow tree. I have tried everything I can to hold in my emotions, to appear strong and in control, but I feel like falling apart. Bits of me are breaking inside.
For several weeks leading up to our wedding, both Diesel and I had body trembles, from the inside out. That’s how I feel now. My body shakes all the time. I am in a permanent state of stress.
Choo-choo has been arguing with me every day, having tantrums and fits at least twice an hour. He ignores whatever I say to him, and is insistent on having his way. I have been reading up on how to deal with all this, from books to articles to parenting worksheets and handouts found online. I have asked several others on advice of what to do and how to react. And it doesn’t make any difference if Choo-choo is watched by someone else for a while so I can have time to myself. He starts acting up as soon as he is home.
I know we will get through this. I know the tantrums and screaming won’t last forever. But right now, with the shaking and the nausea it brings, I am finding myself wishing we could skip ahead a few years. Just fast-forward out of the toddler years.
(Just out of curiosity, does anyone have a time machine???)