A monster lives within me, one that feeds on the chaos of overstimulation. I feel it stirring when the noises have reverberated off the walls of my brain for so long that even the sound of someone biting into a chip in the next room feels like a little earthquake within my head. The slam, slam, SLAM, BANG of kids parading in and out of the house, or attempting again and again to close the bathroom door without the courtesy of turning the doorknob becomes the soundtrack of my life. And the questions, the endless questions, and the stories that go on and on but lead nowhere except for the interruptions from someone else chiming in with a different story or an URGENT NEED for a Band-aid or a piece of gum...until I think I might collapse from the weight of it. The worst is the sound of my own voice, repeating the same instructions and rules again and again..."Do you HEAR me??"
I ask for one moment of peace, some quiet in which to think (but in reality to silence the voices and thoughts bouncing around in there and just be still), only to be asked repeatedly, "Are you done yet?" as if my request had been an inconvenience instead of a necessity.
And the monster roars, ugly, mean, indignant, and leaves tears and shouting and fear in its wake, until I'm reduced to a nasty pile of regret and guilt and failure. It's out of control, and I wonder if I'll ever patch back together the broken pieces. I see the brokenness in their faces, hurt masked by defiance, angry words to match mine. I'm crushed by reprimands from tiny figures that seem to tower over me in my lowness. It takes tears and time and heartfelt apologizes to win them back, along with promises it won't happen again. And I pray, again and again, that I will be able to keep that promise.