hit really close to home.
With the lockdown, I've been maintaining 'the act' non-stop for months. I do it with the kids in order to be a parent, to make sure that they're getting their 'anything' time, that they're not getting too much 'anything' time, that they're not giving up on themselves or losing what they would normally get from school. I do it with Michelle in order to be there for her in what is already as stressful time for her (she's working full time doing physical labor with a broken knee.) I do it with friends when gaming in order to not come across as a complete asshole. And I think it is starting to slip. It isn't working anymore. For the last couple of months I have been failing to meet anyone's needs, my own included.
But there is no time and place that I can let down my guard and just be me. The only place I have is in a room full of people, full of noise, and full of light. There is no longer time and space for me to be me, and it has totally exhausted me. It's made me stressed, it's made me angry, it's made me frustrated, and it has made me snappy.
I need to be able to stop pretending to be a normal person and be able to be myself from time to time, and 'take 30 minutes here and there' doesn't work - that doesn't even give me time to get 'the act' taken down. I don't need a breather, I need to let go and be me. That takes isolation, and it takes time, and it needs to be in my own space. And that just isn't possible anymore, for which everyone is now paying the price.