I woke up this morning feeling raw. I suppose I went to bed feeling raw, too. I got some news last night that’s been very confusing for my state of mind and heart. I keep thinking I feel this way, then that way, but the fact of the matter is that I’m really not sure what I’m feeling. It’s the type of news that’s caused me to take a look back at the past, revisit it in another light so that I can find some reason why I feel and act the way I’ve been feeling and acting lately.
I had a nice long chat with one of my dearest sister friends this morning, she is a part of that past so the fact that we finally had opportunity to chat was, in a way, providential. When I feel I need to talk about it. I need to vent to a person or to my journal. I don’t think compartmentalizing is healthy and talking through my feelings helps me untangle them and find the source so that I can say “oh, okay, that’s why, now I know and I can move on.” This friend is the only one I feel -safe- to talk about these feelings with because she’s the only person I know who can truly understand and relate on some level.
Anyway, we finished chatting and I finally got out of bed to go make my morning yerba mate tea. My cat was super affectionate and needy, even though he had his food and water, so I scooped him up and gave him extensive cuddles and kisses. After I put him down he continued to be needy but I proceeded to ignore him so I could finish my task of tea making. He didn’t like that and did his -super obnoxious- thing of running toward me then leaping up and slapping my leg with his claws then continuing his run. I really, really hate this, but this time it triggered something I’ve felt repressed the past 24 hours. I ended up sobbing in a ball on the floor. Now I’m hiding back in my room in my bed with my tea and this laptop not wanting to face this day at all. Not wanting to face the living room that is covered in soot and wood chips and muddy footprints and dirty dishes even tho I cleaned all of that on Thursday. Because Thursday was definitely the last day of being able to physically clean because yesterday my body was in so much pain I vomited and cried at work. Because now I have to depend on Jonathan to do all the cleaning and he doesn’t notice the mess like I do or see the need to clean it in order to be able to relax, like I do. So, I’m hiding in the bedroom afraid that this is what the rest of my pregnancy is going to look like because I don’t like living in dirt and I’m home 50% more often than Jonathan is. And because I’m having to finally admit defeat and that is not a happy feeling.
Everyone tells me to just enjoy this time, this excuse to relax and spoil myself, and be taken care of. Because after I have my baby I won’t have this time again, not easily and not often. But what everyone doesn’t realize is that what makes ME happy, what is relaxing and zen for me is cleaning, is making things, is cooking, is buying groceries, is being busy. And now my body literally won’t let me do the things that make me happiest and the most relaxed. I can’t even start a fire to keep warm anymore. I can’t even go for a walk to get fresh air and clear my head. The best and happiest days for me are the ones where I feel I was the most productive I could be. Where I can go over my list at the end of the day and see I did it all. And why do so, so many people try to make that seem like a bad thing? So many people, these days, talk about how important it is to pause and pamper oneself as if being busy and productive can’t also be a form of self-love and therapy and meditation.
Then there’s this other side of my brain that’s trying to rationalize and justify everything. It’s a defense mechanism I have to try to convince myself to feel better and sometimes it works for an hour or a day. I tell myself it’s only 11 more weeks + 8 weeks to heal postpartum. I tell myself there are women in Thailand working the rice fields in as much pain as I am in but don’t complain once. I remind myself of Hlien, the Thai woman I worked with in the produce dept. at Whole Foods who was pregnant with her first, never complained once, did all the heavy lifting all the way up until the day her water broke and labor started. I always remember her because I told myself I would be strong like Hlien whenever I got pregnant. And then I’m reminded that bodies are different and mine is put together with bird bones and a narrow frame. My hips and muscles struggle to hold my growing uterus. My rib cage is set low and narrow and there’s no room for my growing uterus and shifting organs so it has to expand – a lot – to fit this pregnancy. On top of that I have a preexisting herniated disc in my back, only one kidney, and a chronically sick gallbladder. So while my baby is healthy and my pregnancy is going well medically my body is in constant hell and has left me useless and incapable of doing anything that brings me peace and joy. So I’m left in bed or on the couch in throbbing pain I can’t do anything about except feel and cry and vomit. And additionally, I feel like I’m lost without any sort of grounding as Jonathan and I discuss our future and where we will live and how we will live in the very near and very, very uncertain future. I feel like I have nothing to hold on to and I’m plummeting down a hole in the dark and I have no idea if there’s a net at the bottom or rocks or if there even is a bottom at all.