Anxiety, guns, and motherhood

The muggy weather today is unbearable, I’m yawning, sitting outside with the babies, I feel disgusting after eating a diet of PB&J, mac and cheese, and Pirates booty. The morning was more stressful than usual, I didn’t make it to the gym for spin because Jacks nose is SUPER SNOTTY. I was going to drop Fiona off at Early Start but when I said  “you’re going to Early Start today to be with Linda, Jack will stay with Mommy” she looked at the diaper bag with  only her Hello Kitty lunch pail and started crying. She held my legs and whined. I don’t think she understood what I was saying, but she probably picked up on my anxiety. It was going to be the first time Jack and Fiona would be separated, one baby being left somewhere away from home. We brought Billy and as I drove down the street Alan called me, he said he thought Fiona was going to be too upset if I left her on her own, so I decided to go for a walk down by the bridge instead, another day missing Early Start, but today wasn’t easy. I was having a hard time keeping my cool, Billy went one way, Fiona sat and played with dirt, Jack went exploring between the plants and shrubs, where I noticed a large amount of dog poop all different sizes, colors, and shapes. On a good day these things amuse me, make me laugh, but today I felt myself  getting really stressed with the lack of control I had over the situation. The whole day followed suit, cussing way more than I should, feeling like I wasn’t going to make it through the day. I wasn’t my best self, or even close. This weeks shooting and constant talk about guns triggered my memory about the time I went to buy a gun. A time when my anxiety was constant and I didn’t know what it was like to feel safe. I was in a constant state of fight or flight.

I felt my heart beating fast, like I was going to stop breathing or pass out, but I was amped. My face white, pale, I’m wearing my miniskirt and tennis shoes, sexy but functional. I’m in the passenger’s seat, the other Jenny sits in the middle, she’s the shortest. Besides when we get to Daryl’s I’m just going to jump out, get the gun and we’ll leave, leave the car running. The driver hands me the necklace for the trade. I feel really stupid  now, I want to back out, it’s a stupid idea. But I’m too scared to say anything to Jenny and the guy driving the truck. We need a gun for our plan, to rob a convenience store. Then go live in the mountains at a vacant cabin in the woods. It got raided, the owners are in jail so we can squat there for a while. Maybe cook a small batch of meth. There’s some starving horses on the property, we’ll start feeding them, get them healthy and then we can ride them. As I’m walking into the kitchen I see that Daryl’s house is no longer a family home, it’s filled with people who look serious. What was I doing here? I knew we had made a terrible mistake right away. Daryl wasn’t the teenager anymore, he was a grown man who had just come out of prison. I had a run in with Daryl in the past, he tried to force me to have sex with him.  He had me pinned to the floor, my skirt hiked up. I pushed him away as hard as I could but he was strong. There was a sledge hammer propped up in the corner. My body stiff, angry, like I had nothing to lose, I had to fight back. I go to grab it. Daryl gets super pissed but lets me go. He throws me out of the apartment and says, “Get the fuck outta here bitch.”  Why do I think I can trust him this time? Am I here for the rush? A suicide mission?  This time he takes me outside to a motor home, as we walk inside I see my friends waiting in the truck. We make eye contact. There is a man across the street watering his green grass. I notice how much nicer this neighborhood looks. It used to be full of vacant houses we would party in, loose our virginities in. Daryl pulls out a gun, holds it to my head and tells me to give him a blow job. I say, “Fuck you, go ahead and shoot me” I say it loud knowing I can be heard. “Fuck you bitch, get the fuck outta here” He says, once again. I’m shaking, my adrenaline flowing, I jump into the truck and we head back to the beach. We are scared and my friends feel bad about putting me in that situation. I kinda like the rush. Word gets around and I hear that my ex-boyfriend told the school who told the cops, “Jenny’s gone to buy a gun, she’s coming to the school to shoot me.” I was so mad, that was a total lie. “Tell her not to come near the school, she’s kicked out, the cops are looking for her and so is her mom.”

My poor mom. I should have asked her for help but I just pushed her away. I  didn’t trust her or anyone else. I was living from one rush to the next and if I would have got a gun I may have shot someone and I wouldn’t be sitting here right now typing this story with two babies playing with Legos, who need their diapers changed, who need to be fed dinner and given a bath and loved. I’d just be another sad case, someone who got a gun who had no business having one. It’s crazy.


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Thoughts on Motherhood Through the Eyes of an Artist