While I was making these plans I was wearing a stained pair of yoga pants and a fleece hoodie that smelled bad. I'd taken to wearing the same thing day after day. In a fit of self-loathing brought about by my bad decision to look up some people I'd known in high school on Facebook, I'd dyed my hair a dull brown color. Covering up the fading pink and purple I'd stopped maintaining. It hung lank around my face which was spotted with acne. I'd stopped washing my face or brushing my teeth unless it became absolutely necessary.
It wasn't like anyone cared what I looked like. I was just another housewife in the suburbs, picking up her kids from school or buying milk in the grocery store. It wasn't like I had anywhere exciting to go, even though we lived in a city that offered every kind of music you could want and some of the best restaurants in the country.
Scott was always playing games on his computer and babysitters were expensive. I didn't like to ask the neighbors because I felt guilty for taking advantage of their kindness. Even though I would take children for literally days, I didn't feel right asking anyone to watch mine so I could have a break.
A break from cleaning and cooking and child care. Laundry I could never catch up with and the constant battle to keep my son from hitting people. I tried to keep myself busy to distract myself from how horrible I felt, but the busier I became the more horrible I felt. The more I volunteered, the more I felt I was being exploited and taken advantage of.
Because I bought things to make myself feel better when I felt bad, our finances were a mess. I'd caused our credit card balance to soar. I'd overdrawn our checking account more than once. We had more than enough to live on, but my need to obtain stuff made our outgo more than our income.
I had been a stay-at-home mom for almost eight years. In those eight years we had moved five times. Only one of those had been a local move. The other seven were to other states and in one case, to another country. We had finally landed in Austin two years before. I'd hoped to make this move stick. I wanted to put down roots for my kids. I wanted them to be able to say they were FROM somewhere. But, Scott kept coming home to tell me stories of how badly things were going at his company. Between his complaining and the collapsing economy, I was scared to death.