“Dancing on the Edge”

I am going crazy, I thought. I need to sleep, but I can’t. This is awful. This is the worst feeling in the world. Is that John? Did I just hear John? Hypersensitive to every sound in the house, I wasn’t sure if I was truly hearing John or simply hearing other noises. He had been crying for so long throughout the day, it was as if the memory of the cry were still ringing in my ears, even if he wasn’t crying at that moment. I didn’t want to hear any noises from within the house, the house that had begun to feel as small and constricting as a shoebox. I picked up a stuffed sheep that made soothing noises. It was supposed to simulate the sounds of a mother’s womb, and it was meant to calm newborns. However, I needed it to calm me at the moment, so I set it for forty minutes of crashing waves. I placed it on the side of my head, directly over my ears, and tried to find the steady, calm, and cleansing breath I had used during labor. How come I can’t relax? Wasn’t it merely nine days ago that I was on this bed in a very similar position, dealing with intense contractions? I would give anything to be back in that moment, rather than this one. I would trade physical discomfort, even excruciating pain, for relief from this mental anguish, this private little hell in which I am trapped.

 What am I so upset about? What am I worried about? John’s inconsolable crying? Chris’s cold behavior? My mother’s departure? Being alone with John? Or is it all that plus the smaller things? The dogs not getting enough attention? Not knowing how to use the breast pump? Carol drinking too much? The failing septic tank? Money issues? And what’s the big deal about being alone with John? Why am I so worried? Suddenly and without warning, an image of John wearing his sky-blue pajamas emerged in my mind. He looked content and peaceful, except he was underwater. He was underwater in our bathtub. I shuddered and blinked my eyes, trying to erase the image from my mind. What was that? Why did I see that? Is that what I want? Does this mean I want to harm John? No. Not at all! I got up and moved the pillows around. I pulled the sheets over my head, still listening to the sounds of waves crashing. I turned up the volume, hoping the soothing sounds coming from this stuffed animal could chase away the appalling thoughts that were stalking me. I never want to have that thought again. This is why I need sleep. I must sleep because I am losing my mind.

Purchase Dancing On the Edge of Sanity today through Amazon or CreateSpace



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