mean mama

and the ground split right in front of me
July 28, 2008, 1:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I wrote a post yesterday, and when I read it I realized that it showed two things:

1) My life with my new baby is settling down. It’s becoming more typical.

2) As is my pattern, I seem to be having a delayed reaction to trauma/difficulty and am only now beginning to show the results of stress (started last week: frequent bad dreams, stomach problems, burning shoulder pain, tingling in my back, unexplained nervousness, sadness, etc.).

Somehow, I don’t seem to process trauma until my life has settled down, after the difficult time has more or less passed. When MBB came home, I was still worrying about him and in the preemie caretaker mode; and then I also had the difficult search for a special ed program, which was hugely stressful, and I think that stood in the place of my former anxieties.  Now I have no placeholder, because things seem to be working out (knock on wood). I guess my mind and body feel that, now that there is not a fire to put out, it is a safe time to release all of the accumulating angst. This has happened to me before.

I can look at this in two ways: either I can be scared of this process and try to “fix” it somehow, or I can be nice to myself while it is occurring.  I tend to want to do the first, but this time I will try to do the latter instead. Being nice to oneself is hard work, though, in a way. You have to figure out what would be of comfort and healing to you, and then you actually have to be brave enough to grant yourself those things, and you have to muster up enough energy to go do, or to reach out, or to tolerate silence enough to sit in a state of prayer. To tear yourself away from your computer, which although it’s a safe place is also sometimes a time-filler, a place of avoidance.

I finally got up the guts to write my pPROM story on the main internet pPROM site.  It’s here under NYC Mom if anyone cares to read it. Today I went to check if it had been published yet, and I started reading some of the other stories, and I became overwhelmed, because a lot of stories did not end well or portray ongoing struggles. At best, many of them express uncertainty, relate stories of tests and surgeries that first year, beg the question of whether normal development will occur. I’ve been there with J, and it’s not where you want to be. My heart breaks for those parents. It bleeds for parents-to-be who lost their precious babies.

As for me, I am left with this feeling of lightening having struck the ground only a foot away from where I stand.  It is an “Oh my God,” an “I could have been standing only a few inches closer, and…” kind of impossible-to-shake feeling. It is profound sadness and divine ecstasy twisted up into one tight knot. It feels like I imagine insanity might, were I feel it strongly 24/7. It’s the hardest feeling to process. It’s the knot, as I said, and only time undoes it. It’s the feeling you have when someone you know dies in a car crash in an instant by no fault of their own, and you know that it could happen to you too, and you think about it for a while every time you drive, and then one day you don’t. Time and experience of life continuing on normally make that feeling fade.

So, in the meantime, like I said I will try to be kind to myself. I have been wanting to go into the City for a few weeks now, and the only time I actually did it was for a doctor’s appointment. I did do some birthday shopping for P afterward, but it was very rushed. Do I dare go today? What would I do? Perhaps the nicest thing I could do for myself would be to force myself to get ready and go, and have a good time damn it. Yes, I’m going to go and see how it feels.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.


3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thinking of you….

Comment by Jen (yup, another one)

wow, that sums up my own state right now exactly. thank you for sharing.

Comment by Susanna

it is awfully hard to be kind to ourselves… sending you hugs to remind you of the kindness you are going to gift to yourself :}


Comment by gypsygrrl

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