It’s easy to chalk it up to the heat of summer, or to say I’m just letting off some steam after a killer work week. Excuses are always easy to invent, but unfortunately they do not remedy a dire situation.
The situation: I just escaped from a weekend spent at home because I felt the walls were closing in. Dramatics, huh? Instead of a relaxing time, my weekends are becoming more and more a battle zone. More often than not, I turn the gun on my own face, I get angry at things I can’t control. With two toddlers and two yayas under twenty, I only have myself to blame, I realize just now. After all, aren’t I the only responsible adult in this scenario?
My anger is eating me alive, I can feel my insides burning, ravaged by my temper flare ups. This is a burning that is getting harder and harder to manage. Once, I found myself stepping into the bathroom and dousing myself with water—while still fully clothed—just to try and dissolve the blistering rage that was threatening to explode.
I think it’s the unrelenting sense of responsibility that angers me, how unfair it is that I am saddled by all things domestic, inexorably tied down, my fists behind my back. The hits keep on coming, even as I rage against the inevitability of it all. My friend Snow, to whom I usually turn for a differing opinion, is actually battling with a similar problem. She feels the sharp sting of being the sole adult in charge as well.
It’s truly ironic how, in these supposedly enlightened times when women are said to have more opportunities or better prospects, I feel that I am curtailed by a life that tasks me without my total consent. I am required to be mother, breadwinner, workhorse, responsible, morally sensible adult. And I am expected to weather all this with good grace and a deferential smile, to boot. Everyone is quick to judge when I let things slide, everyone is a goddamn critic.
Sometimes it feels as though I just struggle constantly against my circumstances, and that I am never going to win. Is this is all there is to adulthood, the resigned acceptance of the struggle? Maybe it just means working your fingers to the bone, dropping exhausted into a cold bed at night, waking up to sameness in the morning, to do it all over again. A life of quiet desperation.
No wonder I am so angry. Nevertheless, I have this awful feeling that even the anger is actually the first step to giving in, the token bit of rage before the limp surrender. Or maybe, mercifully, the aneurysm will win, who knows.