The evening starts with the best of intentions. I have bought snacks and the wine is cooling in the fridge. Candle light flickers across the dining room ceiling. I pray that my restless 18 month old son will go to sleep soon. This evening is important. I need to make it work.
Conversation between me and my husband starts to flow instead of falter. The wine is relaxing my nervous brain. It literally feels like a flipped switch. Icy cold insides, followed by warmth and comfort. Thank you to the god of alcohol.
And then suddenly he says something. Something about how I’m handling our hyperactive son. I take it the wrong way. He says.
He says he didn’t mean it to sound quite as harsh. He says it’s the alcohol clouding my judgement.
…and ….we’re off!
Accusations flying. Bitter words. Angry, resentful words. Blame, disappointment, disillusionment with how ours lives have turned out.
His hands are in the air and he says he’s going to bed. Because this argument is pointless. We are going around and around in circles.
He turns his back on me.
The snake is there. Just like that. Inside my mind. I’m not thinking anymore. I grab the pills from the cupboard where I’ve stored them. Grab two bottles of wine from the fridge. I’m in the car. I know I’m driving too fast. I don’t care. I can’t anymore. There is no way out. I can’t be a mother. I don’t want to be a wife. My son deserves so much more. I need to leave so he can get to that good place where someone capable will take care of him.
I’m on the dirt road. There’s a shed in the distance. I turn the steering wheel sharply towards it, landing in the veld. I flatten the accelerator , my only aim to reach the small building.
When the car stops, I open the first bottle of wine. Drink from the bottle. Open the pills and start swallowing them in handfuls. They stick to the corners of my mouth. Swallow, swallow. More wine, more pills. Until there’s nothing left.
I’m on the floor in the shed.
God. I can’t. Forgive me.
I say these words as I fall asleep.