Thursday, November 18, 2004

My Bright Sharp Jungle

Can’t work. Must journal. Too many things going on in my head to be comfortable with anything right now. Amazing how things can change overnight.

Feelings resulting from eating Taco Bell late last night (yummy but probably not good for the psyche), going to bed with a scary book, waking up cold and alone to the sound of my daughter crying, no more zoloft to shelter me from sadness, and the necessity of having to write an ad for a roommate. Today wasn’t a terribly good morning anyway – the stuffed animals lying on the floor looked like little limp dead things, dark thoughts already from that damned book. If you ever get a chance to read it, I highly recommend it – Cast a Cold Eye. But don’t read it before you go to bed. I’m going to hide it so I don’t touch it after 7 PM.

*deep breath*

Surprised at my own emotional reaction this morning to husband’s pointing out the place he wants to rent. Weepy – last week’s weepiness is nothing compared to this. I got a holiday catalog from Abbey Press in my box this morning full of advertisements for homey little gifts - an angel keychain, memorial Christmas gifts for the grief-stricken survivors, purple fuzzy slippers for mothers with "Maker of Miracles" embroidered on the toes, sweatshirts and coffee cups saying "I never knew how much my heart could hold 'til someone called be Mommy," etc. etc. I can’t even look through it without wanting to bawl. My poor officemate is torn – I know she wants to find a way to comfort me but I think we’re about to get comforted by our ham dinner here in a few minutes.

Did I mention I didn’t eat breakfast this morning?

It’s strange because I wasn’t sure I could live with husband right now anyway. So it shouldn’t bother me that he doesn’t want to move back in. And I suppose the smart-ass, mean-spirited response to my reaction would be that two weeks ago I was ready to abandon both husband and daughter entirely, so why should it matter now if he doesn’t want to be in my life?

But it does bother me. It bothers me a lot.

Oh damn, here come the waterworks.

And we still haven’t had the Conversation. It’s becoming increasingly important to me that we do – that I get the opportunity to tell him what went on my head that night, what led up to it. Because if I don’t, there will be a large part of me that will be forever hidden from him. And despite how things are with us now, I don’t want there to be more distance, more coldness.

I don’t know if he needs to know, but I need to tell him. Probably writing it down would be a good way to do that. That way he could take it to therapy and Dick could help him dissect it, or at least he could choose a safe place to read it. I don’t think I can do it here. I’m not ready to expose myself quite that much to the world, even though I know most of the people who read this are my friends and people who love me.

So many things going on in my head. PPD has been described as maternal instinct gone haywire – the concern for the child triggers its own set of neuroses that culminate in low self-esteem (OMG what an awful mother I am), a sense of overwhelming and unmanageable responsibility (she depends on me for everything!), scary, intrusive thoughts (what if I…? what if some stranger … ? what if she… ?) that just won’t go away.

Last night I had an unfortunate knee-jerk maternal response. You’ll probably laugh when you read how basic this is. I was woken out of some uncomfortable dream by the sound of my daughter crying. Through the fog of sleep my first instinct was to go to her. I had forgotten that husband was in there with her and was perfectly capable of soothing her back to sleep. I sat down on the bed with her and when husband returned with the magical soothing sippy cup, I reached my hand up for it and said, “I’ll take her. You can have the bed.”

What a freaking dingbat. The first opportunity I have to roll over and go back to sleep in my own bed – my daughter is being taken care of by her beloved father – and I blow it by repeating the same damn pattern I’ve been quilting for the last 14 months. No, I’ll deal with it, husband. You go back to sleep.

What else is floating around in the bright sharp jungle of my mind? Oh yes – I had sent the link to this journal to the hosts of the babycenter PPD board thinking that it might help some other ladies who are going through hard times now, too. (That was yesterday when things were all pink and positive.) Diane, one of the hosts of the board, showed much wisdom and tact when she essentially said, “Maybe later.” She thought two weeks out was a little fresh. She was right.

Why is it, I wonder, that I get so insanely creative during these times of huge transition? Is it that I have room to think, now that I’m not so obsessed with trying to make husband happy? Is it that the meds are making their last good-byes and my imagination and basic creative urges have been let out to play? They’re wide-open now, too – imagine a football-field-sized sandbox full of three-year-olds with finger paint, glue guns, sequins, and chocolate cake. That’s about the right level of activity.



Amazing how one’s outlook can be changed by the influx of calories, especially when they are in the form of seven-layer salad, slices of ripe tomatoes, green beans, creamed corn, homemade macaroni & cheese, perfectly lumpy mashed red-skinned potatoes with garlic, parsley and parmesan cheese, broccoli, rice & cheese casserole, sweet potato casserole, biscuits & yeast rolls, and the requisite honey-baked ham. Follow that up with made-from-scratch carrot cake and Dutch crumb top apple pie. Wow. Red state or not, I love living in the south.

Speaking of red and blue states, here's a great link for those of you who are (like me) mourning the unfortunate results of the election. Sent to me by one of my Whiskey Sisters.

I’m still sad, still weepy because of impending separations (husband, as well as a dear co-worker who will be leaving our work family soon *sniffle* for a better opportunity). But I think I can handle tonight. Especially because Joey’s on at 8 (mindless heart-of-gold bo-hunk anyone?), dinner is already made (see menu above), and I will be able to hold my daughter and love on her as much as she wants me to. Or as much as she’ll stand, whichever comes first.

peace, love and green beans.


Anonymous said...

great apple pie (got to love the honeycrisps) keep up the good work. I am 25 steps, at work, and 10 min, at home, away. need i am there. t's ok with it. love the pie my friend.

love always


Anonymous said...

I wish I had dinner with you tonight! WOW

Please also remember that letting dad handle it means a bunch to him. I know it was a knee-jerk reaction, but his time with her may be suffering from the troubles between you two.

Dad who misses his daughter
your friend

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