i just want to be alone. by myself. the only people who ask me to come around are my immediate family (well, besides my kids and husband). i can't stand the thought of all the layers of formalities when getting together with others. the surface excited-to-see-you top layer, accompanied by kisses and hugs...the next few layers of how long it's been (months, days, hours, minutes) since we last saw each other.....the awkward pauses in between how excrutiatingly busy everyone's life is but mine....

what does it do? i mean,  what does this meeting of individuals do for you? for me, it gives me stress. from the minute i realize there is a holiday or birthday on the way, to at least 24 hours afterwards, i am stressed. what do i talk about? how do i present myself as a happy, well-adjusted mom and wife? how do i stay interested in everything without input overload? every single time i have to put myself out there, give a good impression, make it look like i'm all ok, so all involved are satisfied, and then i can go.

other people have different approaches. some get extremely agitated and look like a wound top when they appear, others fake a huge smile and laugh and act all in control of a hugely chaotic life, others are obviously barely making it through the ordeal. i have grown to detest the fake layers. but i also don't want to talk about my problems or anyone else's. there is no "happy" medium. i don't feel any better after spending time with people. i feel worse. i don't feel a loving support system, i feel nothing but stress. i don't like taking up other peoples' time and space and caring energy, i just want to run.

but i have to consider my kids. yes, i know. i am an example for them. i am supposed to be sharing this family time and showing them how to have relationships and how to be sociable people. i can't. i don't know how. nor do i care to learn myself. my kids seem to have a grasp of others and how to interact. they both have a good intuition and sense about others. i want them to continue learning for themselves, my input is only confusing and depressing.

so you ask me, why would i ever even consider leaving my family, my kids, going away and letting them fend for themselves. stupid question. if you are in a toxic relationship, your goal should be to get out. i am responsible for putting the best examples forward for my kids to be guided by, and i'm not a good example. repair or remove the source of toxicity. seems so simple and effective, yet feelings come in and complicate everyfuckingthing. every day i wonder how i got this far....

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