Day 12, Coming to the Surface

We bought luxury vinyl tile for our living room. Our installer began working today. This is the type of floating floor that locks together. I was downstairs with the boys for the first 3 hours just trying to keep them out of his hair. When I took Wayland up for a nap I inspected the work so far. It appeared to me that several of the seams were not locked tightly. This product is supposed to be water proof, due to the locking mechanism. We bought this particular flooring because of that particular characteristic, because we have toddlers and dogs. Needless to say I was obsessing over it. I tried to express my concern, and it’s not that he didn’t listen, but he kept asking me what I wanted to do. I have no fucking idea what to do. I wanted him to be the expert. We tried to fix it together. I have a 2 year old and a three year old demanding my attention at all times, and I’m trying to help you install this flooring, not part of my plan for the day. To increase my level of anxiety, this installer is a friend of ours so I don’t want to hurt his feelings, and I recently became a full time stay at home mom so my husband wants this to be “my project” and doesn’t want to be involved, save for hiring our friend, the installer. We also run a business and my husband works full time. I feel like hyperventilating just writing this.

Why am I sharing this? It is not a Monday night bitch session, or a cathartic venting even. Let me describe for you the process of attempting to make these planks fit together. I would spot a gap in a seam, a tiny gap. My friend would tap a block of wood against the tile with a hammer while I stood on it to weigh it down. We would feel the tiles lock into place and cheer, only to find we opened a gap a couple boards away. Find a gap, beat the hell out of the board to force it into a space that seems too small. Find a new gap, sound familiar?

I was freaking out at the situation, the metaphor, and the fact that my weight had to be utilized as a tool. I at once wanted to be heavier and to disappear simultaneously. I had a full fledged urge to binge. I started rifling through the refrigerator. I wanted to calm all of the voices in my head instantly. I ate a bowl of cereal and stopped. I managed to make it through the evening somehow without unraveling. I called our friend and asked him not to come tomorrow. I called the company we purchased the flooring from and scheduled a phone call with their installation manager. I did not binge. I did not purge.

I told my husband I felt guilty about the money when I’m not working, about incurring more cost with another install. He said something to the effect of “do you think your 2 days a week working was worth you being gone?” I asked him why he couldn’t say that what I do at home is so much more valuable than any other work right now, and he needs me. Why he had to make my prior work outside the home seem so small. I said all this and didn’t binge and didn’t purge.

And now I’m sitting. Sitting and writing. I’m feeling the bruises from all of the days and years and hours of battering my body. Beating it into submission, until it took up less space. Until it could hardly be noticed in a room at all. Just a shadow, an echo of the girl I was before I knew I was too much. I’m tired of being an echo. I think I have 10,000 unborn screams in my throat.

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