Kids Are Energy Vampires

Every afternoon there comes a time when I am positive I will not make it through the night. The time the realization hits varies, but not the feeling. I know I’m mentally ill (and the fact that I know that might make me less so) but surely I am not the only parent, barricaded in my domicile, that feels so overwhelmed by this collection of tasks that seem so deceptively simple – after school activities, dinner, homework, shower, wash hair, story, bed. It’s not rocket science for fuck’s sake (and lucky it isn’t because I would suck even worse at it.)

I like penises as much as the next girl. Probably more. But I’m so sick of elementary school penis jokes. The nine-year old is in a phase, and I know I should be more patient, but the eight-year old giggles and eggs him on and eventually I start to feel like I’m on the set of the Benny Hill Show. I’m grateful that my kids are funny, they both have great senses of humor, but I constantly have to stop them from pole-vaulting over the line of taste, decency and respect. There’s only so many times you can hear the popular trope “Yo Momma” before you start to wonder where you went wrong as a parent.

Who’s raising these kids? I fume. And then I remember, Oh yeah, it’s me.

I want so badly to escape. But to where? It’s not like there’s anything else so special I could be doing right now, I’d probably just be watching Netflix and wondering why I’m so lonely. Is this all this is? A desire to escape? From what? Perhaps from screaming, taunting, whining, fighting, complaining then the next moment cracking up, laughing and playing; children are like un-medicated schizophrenics, and yet for some reason I’m not legally allowed to restrain them.

I want so badly to enjoy how much they need me right now, but it’s hard to enjoy having your blood sucked from your veins.

I hear my heartbeat.

I love my children.

There is nothing missing.

Repeat ‘til you believe.


  1. I’ve just googled you after hearing you speak with Paul Gilmartin. I don’t know that you can be absorbed with a simple search and quick read. Life and experiences seem to mean so much to you. That’s what I’m seeing at first glance anyway. You seem remarkable. You’re beautiful, deep, and well spoken. You seem to be in touch with yourself. I think you’re winning at life!!! Keep it up. Thanks for being an inspiration.

  2. Oh my goodness gracious! I just had to find you and let you know that I listened to your interview on Mental Illness Happy Hour today and I was so taken with you. I’ve been listening to this podcast for a good while now–it’s a great companion to the mindless book-stacking I do at the research library I work in while putting myself through grad school. The podcast makes me emote and feel feelings and all that, but I’ve never felt compelled to seek out any of the speakers before, but I was just so completely refreshed by you.

    I won’t bore you with the details of my own mental health stuff, bizarre idiosyncratic behavior or dysfunctional family, but hearing you describe your experiences was not only a mind-fuck, but a breath of fresh air. I’m standing in the stacks, putting my library of congress decimals in order in the gynecological deformities section, and I’m listening to you and I am going back and forth between guffawing and sobbing, while all these asshole med students trying to study keep looking up from their macbooks to judge me.

    I’m at an age where I am consistently being pressured to exile my vagina into monogamous pursuits, to have all the babies, to stop “being selfish” and every well-meaning but misdirected piece of advice makes my eyes roll out of my head and I am constantly shutting it out. Hearing you speak about your children (and I have no doubt that you love with with every ounce of your being) in this raw, honest and unapologetic way is so fucking brave and I just wanted to applaud you for that. How many women feel this way and never say shit about it? How many women feel trapped and angry and resentful of all of it but let it continue to fester and eat them without having a true and meaningful outlet to express themselves? I just think it’s truly wonderful that not only are you so open and forthcoming with these challenges, but that you approach them in this fantastically human way that is funny as hell. I so related to everything you said, and even more so when you described your methods of “self-harm” and I just wanted to reach out to you and say thanks. You have definitely earned yourself a fan, and I can’t wait to read your book.

    • Thank you so much for reaching out! I love the visual image of laughing and crying while the med students judge you. Obviously you are very brave as well, otherwise you wouldn’t see that quality reflected in me. We must all huddle together (at least electronically) and collectively learn new and empowering ways to deal with our demons. Virtual community is everything.

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