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It’s hard to be optimistic for so long. It’s hard to always try to look on the bright side. It can be rather tiring after so long to be the cheerleader. A couple of weeks ago one of our cars started bucking and the engine light went on. Since we can’t afford any big repairs, we just have been driving the other car. The other car can’t pass inspection, so it has been overdue since June. Every time I drive it, I’m scanning for cops who will pull me over and give me a fat ticket and a deadline to get it done. I know that when it happens, I’ll break down crying and I just hope they dont think that I’m being a manipulative jerk. Well, tonight it gave out. It was two hours past the kids bedtime and we were at my parents house 30 miles from home. Both cars gone. Both needing major repairs. Kids crying and whining to go home and go to bed. And we are supposed to be on the road at 7:00 the following morning to get to my nieces birthday party in New Hampshire. Sometimes it feels like every straw is the last straw.
You start to look around your house and see everything falling apart around you; doors falling of hinges, all the dinner plates are cracked, drinking out of mason jars because the glasses are broken, it gets harder to find clothes in the closet that aren’t stained and ripped. The little things keep getting bigger and pile on. There seems to be no end in sight. You wonder if you’re going to be Miss Haversham, or Norma Desmond living in your rotting castle dreaming of the past. Sometimes the pressure makes your eyes burn and when you look at your kids you panic. The future seems less bright every day that goes by, and you feel yourself giving up hope. You just feel it slipping away, and looking at what a studio apartment costs per month. If it wasn’t for the kids, this would be easy. If it wasnt for the birthday parties you are invited to and can’t afford to get presents for and hope no one notices. If it wasn’t for the weddings you have to go to two thousand miles away in 11 months, 9 months, 6 months….
You wish you could afford to be depressed. You start fantasizing about staying in bed all day and sleeping it off, taking so many Benadryl that you can just sleep and sleep until something good falls in your lap. Then, the overwhelming guilt washes through you, reminding you how horrible you are for complaining while you still have a home, and your kids still have food, and youre here complaining about not having a car when there are children in refugee camps in the Congo. How dare you, you self-indulgent jerk. You go to bed, and wake up and the cheerleader face goes right back on in the morning.