Then all hell broke loose and Charlotte just lost it. Completely and utterly lost it.
And to be honest, so did I.
She was still crying when I pulled up to her school, and she wouldn't leave the van. She kept saying she would miss me and she wanted to stay home. Charlotte adores school. The only reason for her outburst was that I had yelled at her this morning.
Like I said, we had a really bad morning, one where because Charlotte wouldn't get dressed, we were running late. Not that this excuses my yelling, but I've seriously been at my wits' end with Tommy. I have no extra patience left over for anything the other two might throw at me.
So, I left Charlotte at school crying and wailing that she wanted to stay with me.
And I cried the whole way to the gas station.
As I drove, I spotted two women walking together, obviously enjoying the beautiful weather and the chance to socialize while exercising.
A wave of envy washed over me, and it was so powerful it almost morphed into hatred. At that moment, I would have given almost anything to be so unencumbered by kids as these two women. And to see others enjoy a privilege that I so desperately longed for made me very angry at the women, though strangers to me.
My feelings shocked me. I try very hard not to entertain feelings of envy or jealousy. Why allow myself to long for things others have? That just leaves me feeling bitter and angry. And I hate that victim mentality. It does nothing but alienate others and leave you miserable.
Besides, I have plenty of wonderful things in my life, things to be grateful for.
Still, this morning as I drove around, I was overcome with feelings of envy and anger towards so many nameless, faceless people. I hated those who had easy kids, kids who had no problems in school or in socializing, kids who didn't melt down because I made them change clothes into something more appropriate for the weather. I hated people who got time off from their kids every single day. The parents who are wealthy enough to employ a nanny even though the mom stays home? Yeah, I hated them.
People who regularly get breaks because they have family or friends nearby who watch their kids? Yep, angry at them.
Those who have so much money they don't know what to do with it when I am worried about how to pay for important therapy for the kids? So resentful of them.
Families who have never even heard the words "autism" or "Sensory Processing Disorder" uttered except maybe on a public service announcement? Can't stand them.
I know my anger is misplaced. And I really feel uncomfortable with these feelings. Because if the truth be told, I'm not really angry at all those people in the world who supposedly have things easier than me.
No, I'm angry at myself. I hate that I yelled at Charlotte and upset her so much this morning. I hate that I spanked Tommy yesterday because I just couldn't stand the screaming one more minute. I hate that I just can't seem to handle anything anymore.
It frustrates me that I never have anything left over for Bil by the end of the day, and I feel terrible that I have become so resentful of adults who want or need anything from me. I have nothing left to give anyone, not even myself.
I never wanted to become one of those bitter women who spend all their time wishing their lives were different, all the while missing the blessings staring them in the face.
But it looks like I'm starting to become that very woman.