Who are these people…

I cried myself to sleep last night.

It’s not the first time in the last month or so and it won’t be the last between now and March, when the clocks “spring forward”. It sucks. It makes for crappy sleep which makes for a long next day. It makes clawing my way through the days, when psych meds just aren’t enough to make my brain believe that quitting life isn’t an option, increasing difficult. It makes it harder to not let the miserable people, who want to make others miserable so they aren’t alone in their own misery, get to me. It makes getting through the “get to” list of tasks, that requires me to juggle multiple hats, really hard to concentrate on and check off, making the next day’s list longer and leave me feeling like I accomplished nothing and hence am worthless and letting the people I do life with down. It makes me feel weak and pathetic and like the person who will in fact be driven into the ground because I care entirely too much. It makes everything more difficult and ultimately makes me feel like the two things I have as non-negotiables each day, I can’t possibly succeed at: 1) Be the person I was on purpose made to be by a Creator who me as a Masterpiece in His image. 2) Be the wife to My Fave and Mama, I believe He wants me to be, to the greatest gifts He gave to me.

I hate Daylight Saving Time. I hate darkness, suggesting to my brain that it’s time to go to bed, descending at 5:30. I hate trying to recondition my body, that normally wakes around 4 a.m. no matter what time I go to bed, to now sleep beyond 3 a.m. I hate trying to manage my weight because 5 p.m. feels like dinner time, 7 p.m. feels like bedtime, my love/hate relationship with my body/food gets jacked up – either skip dinner (which also means skip the rare time the calendar allows for family time) and lose weight or eat dinner then head to bed (because I woke up at 3 a.m.) and gain weight.

So I cried myself to sleep completely exhausted, believing the lies that I suck and people suck and any effort to make me and my small corner of the world better is a total waste of time and energy. I woke up, after another night of little rest, to tremors and more of the same stuff I cried myself to sleep over just a handful of hours before.

Tomorrow is Election Day in my little corner of the world and this year it’s a bit of an important one – we have a much-needed, in my opinion, operating levy on the ballot for our school district, of which I, even as a Republican, am a member of the committee,  and a rare contested race for two school board seats. While the three board candidates and levy aren’t tied together, it’s hard to keep them separate. Two Republicans, one who is a friend of more than 30 years from our “not from here” side of town and who I would run through walls for, backed by some people who are quite vocally against the levy and the opposing school board candidate, and a Democrat, backed my some people who are quite vocally in favor of the levy and against the opposing candidates. The “some people” on each side have spent their time muddying the waters of the levy issue and the candidates – all three of which have come out in strong support of the levy and asked the people supporting them to vote in support of it as well. It’s made for an ugly and extremely nasty election season and exposed, locally and beyond our little corner of the world, a divisiveness that’s always present but not the daily norm, now broken wide open for all to see.

To say I am embarrassed and beyond disheartened by the “some people” on both sides is an overwhelming understatement. I’m “not from” the little corner of the world I occupy (and often reminded by those that are) and the behavior of “some people” makes me glad I’m not and the decision to move away from it, as soon as we’re able, a much easier one to make. When we chose this community to raise J and C in, we did so believing it gave our boys the chance to not feel like they had to walk in their Dad’s footsteps, offered public schools that provided the community feel my small school, Catholic education provided (without the Catholic education part), was just the right size community to “know everyone” without actually having to “know everyone” and was filled with people, proud to be “from here” but not so proud that they viewed not being “from here” as a true strike against you and not just one they teased you about.

In our 13 years of living here, I have become heavily immersed in our schools and community in multiple ways and fully invested in wanting to be a part of our community being what I believed we were getting when we picked it. In the last two or so years, my thoughts of feeling like we may not have made the smartest decision in picking a place for the boys to “be from” have become more frequent. This election season has me hoping May of 2023 gets here quickly so we can begin to seriously plan our escape from this chaos.

Maya-Angelou-Quote

Last night, my crying myself to sleep was due in part to a nasty, personal and immature attack from the “No to the levy” camp against someone who I might not always agree with but have a growing respect for and who I truly believe wants to do what is best for kids. This morning after another restless night, I sobbed for a very dear friend, who quite literally helped me survive high school following my first suicide attempt and also happens to be running for school board in our corner of the world, who had to defend his character against attacks from the “No Republicans on school board” camp.

I’d managed the day pretty well – no shower but did brush my teeth, curl my hair and freshened up the waterproof mascara from the day before – and was spending some quiet time with My Fave and an episode of The Crown tonight when my phone blew up – one text after another and another. The details shed a little more light on the morning’s events and a good man felt driven to publicly defend his character. It seems that once this election is over, the divisiveness that has grown more apparent these past few months won’t be quite as easy to repair as many of us had hoped.

I will be crying myself to sleep again tonight, embarrassed by the community we’ve allowed ourselves to become and exhausted from the chaos in and out of my brain. Tomorrow, I’ll be counting the hours until this election is behind us, the days until March 8, 2020 (aka “Spring Forward”) and the months until we can find a new “not from here” community to do life in.

There are two solid positives that have come from this mess: 1) The sweet friend, who I somehow lost touch with, “despise and will never forgive for dragging me into this hell” after I swore off ever running another campaign, was much more missed in my Tribe than I’d realized. I may “hate” her but I have missed her like crazy! She has been a rock and voice of calm  in a very stormy and dark season and I am grateful for her friendship. 2) Should anyone ever again say “Amy Miller, you should run for school board. I’d vote for you, put up yard signs, fill your campaign chest and all that!” but wonder why my reply is, “Are you joking? I haven’t worked this hard to stay alive to have these fools make me regret the effort.”, I will have the period of August 5 – November 5, 2019 as Exhibit A in making my case against a run. I don’t know the “some people” on either side well, many even not at all, but they are cruel and spiteful and could care less about humans – they simply see people who don’t fall in line with their thinking as an enemy and they have proven that nothing is off the table when it comes to their winning on Election Night. They wouldn’t see a Warr;or or Mama or Wife or Jesus freak – they’d see an enemy and I already fight one daily. So, thank you for your faith in me and my ability to serve our kids, schools and community by sitting in front of “the firing squad” but I’m not sure there exists enough psychiatric care to carry me through an election, much less a 4-year term.

Here’s to a levy passing, good friends, psychiatric care and every day being one day closer to March 8th. And Bourbon – I’ll be toasting all of that with Bourbon tomorrow night.

Oh, and to the word “never”…as in “Never again.” and “Never running.” – I really do mean it.

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