Coming of Age Drama Sad

This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

Right after I pour myself a cup of hot coffee, I hear a knock on the front door from where I stand in the kitchen, and I immediately feel my whole body tense. 

I can’t move. 

I can hardly breathe. 

I can feel my heart beating rapidly in my chest. 

Overwhelming thoughts and emotions flood into me and unshed tears hide behind stormy eyes. 

The moments that now dwell in the past also dwell in the crevices of my heart, mind, and soul. 

Will I ever be rid of this? 

Will I ever be able to fully let it all go? 

Will I ever be able to hear someone knock on the front door and not go rigid? 

Still so many are ignorant of who they are below the surface, but I am unable to unsee it now. 

Showing up only when convenient for them, expecting to be let in whenever for whatever reason they wanted. No phone call or text message ahead of time. Never asking. Always expecting to control the narrative. Always needing to have it their way or to then have a “I’m gonna take my ball and go home,” kind of attitude. 

Never able to accept or take accountability for their actions or words… 

It’s always the other person’s fault…

They are always the victims in all of their stories.  

I see the smirk on her face as she sits on our couch and just the mere sight of it in my mind fills me with disgust all over again. The whole time she does that her daughter, who happens to be my mother-in-law, is standing up for her verbally while she also physically stands next to where her mother sits. 

Enabling her mother’s behavior, believing the lies that her mother has told, blindly trusting and taking her mother’s opinions as her own. Despite the fact that her mother broke our trust when it came to our child. She endangered our child and called it a joke

The mother-in-law saying, “After all the things we’ve done for you…” still echoes inside my head.

Anyone who thinks it’s okay to say those words never did those things for you. 

They do it for them. 

They do it to hold it over you.

They do it to feel superior.

They do it to fulfill their own insecurities. 

I’m back for a moment. 

I see the steam rising from my coffee cup that sits on the butcher block countertop. 

I try to slow down my breathing. 

I need to calm down. 

Inhale one, two, three, four…

Exhale four, three, two, one… 

And again. 

I hear another knock and I manage to take a single step towards the door before the racing thoughts pull me back under.

I see my husband briefly sitting on the floor with our 10 month old, the shame floods back into my mind of losing my cool in front of our child… 

The regret is hard to bear. 

I will never do that again. 

Never fucking again. 

He will grow up in a house without raging outbursts caused by those unable to moderate their own temperaments. 

He will not grow up in a house with slamming doors. 

I can still hear the mother in law slamming the door on her way out, the force of it vibrating the wall, and then hearing her slam her own house’s door once she gets across the street. 

Another reminder to myself and to anyone else who may need a reason to never live across the street from an in-law. 

Or at least the kind who have no sense or understanding of healthy boundaries.  

I find myself again, and I hear a thump of what sounds like a package at the front of the door and the sound of someone going down the three front steps. 

I count myself breathing in and out again, once again attempting to re-center myself. I can hear my therapist's voice in my head now telling me, “These kinds of relationships between in-laws are more common than what you would think.” 

I can hear her suggesting meditations like the one I’m trying to do now to bring myself back to the present. I can hear her saying, “It’s gonna be okay.” 

I manage to take a few more steps to the door and stand up on my tiptoes to look out the front door window to see the mail truck drive away down the street, only now able to hear its engine purring. 

I hear myself sigh with relief and hesitate for only a moment longer before slowly reaching for the door knob and unlocking the door and opening it to find a package on top of the Christmas themed doormat that says, “ ‘Tis The Season,” that I found at a clearance store. 

I can see that the package is a drawing monitor that comes with a pen and connects right into a computer and I feel myself smiling and thinking, 

“I probably was not supposed to see this yet…” 

I pick up the box and am surprised to feel that there is some weight to it as I bring it inside while closing the door and I make sure to put the lock back into place. 

My almost two year old son is on the other side of the baby gate, his hazel green eyes looking at me holding the package and asks, 

“What are you doing?” 

Though it comes out as “Water you doing?”

I smile at him and say, “Your Dad bought me a present, but I don’t think I was supposed to see it yet…” 

My son smiles back at me and raises his hands while saying, “Up, up…” 

Showing that he wanted to be picked up. 

So, I sit the box down on the hardwood floor in the hallway, open the baby gate, kneel down as he takes a few steps over to me and wraps his arms around me. 

I lift him up into the air and he giggles with delight as I pull him in close to hug him tight and plant a kiss on top of his head.

These are the moments I want to think about. 

These are the moments that I live for.  

December 25, 2023 21:08

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