I have this thing my son calls the “Angry Stress Monster," an apt description, as it will suddenly rear its nasty head without warning, much like I imagined the monsters under my bed would when I was young.
Usually, the symptoms have been festering below the surface long before they're noticed by the droves of screaming and fighting children running about the house, but they all notice when the switch flips--a maternal Jekyll and Hyde with a messy top knot, yesterday's sweatpants, and crazy eyes. Or maybe it's more like mommy Frankenstein, who, after having all her brains removed by a litter of children, can only scream, growl, and try to kill things. Little things. More specifically, little people.
Some days, I don't do a very good job of containing the monster.
The offenses against sanity begin to stack up the moment we walk in the door after school. It’s the pent-up cackling crazy they’ve had to control all day. It’s the running and fighting and making each other cry. It’s the deafening noise level composed of mommy look at this and mommy we did this and mommy sign that and mommy I want a snack and mommy I need help….all at once.
I’m on the edge. On the verge of losing it. Lately, I’ve gotten to the point where I recognize this edge, the ledge from which I plunge head first into the oblivion of rage and overwhelm. The fall is incredibly hard to recover from.
I know what it feels like, the tightness in my chest. The mental jitters that make it impossible to think. The overloaded circuit of my faculties, sparks flying, fires starting, the whole thing burning down.
I can feel it begin, and I try to breathe deep. To take a step back, calm down. But sometimes life keeps assaulting me, and I can’t keep it at bay. The Angry Stress Monster emerges from the flames of spontaneous combustion, and everyone nearby gets burned.
Sometimes I don’t recognize this woman, this angry monster in the mirror. I hope to find the calmer, more patient person I once knew, I really do.
But I guess until then, I’m sorry.
This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October called, Walking in Humility: Learning to Abide with God in the Everyday. If you’re interested in the reading the rest of the series, you can find it here. Enjoy!