I’ve been having a hard time on the inside lately.
All the different split up parts of me can’t agree.
Or maybe it has nothing to do with agreement, but if feels like everybody’s trying to talk it once and I don’t know which voice to listen to.
My life feels like one big sequence of conflicts.
Here's a conflict: I’m sick and tired of seeing FOB. I see him four or five times a week, text him every day, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. He feels like the only person I can really share all of Nugget with. You know, cuz he's the other half of her. He is also the last person I want to share anything with. It’s been about a year since he and I were dating and in love. Facebook likes to remind me of memories I’d rather forget, but can’t avoid. It’s a really weird feeling being so utterly heartbroken over the memory of an expectation. He never was what I imagined him to be and we never were exactly what I thought we were but yet sometime how feels like the whole world is wrong. I need space and time, but have to be around him.
Here's a conflict: His family is in town. All of them. His sisters, niece, nephew, Mother. I’ve been a really really good sport about exposing Nugget to this family. Encouraging it actually. They're very nice people, don't get me wrong. It's just that... I had to sit in his apartment yesterday for the first time since he dumped me. And yes, remember, he dumped me. And I haven’t sat in the apartment since the last time I was there when all I could do was sob and wail and question. When I was shattered and forced out. Not that long ago... when I was so pregnant and alone. I can't be in those rooms anymore. I don't know how not to be for Nugget's sake.
So to be sitting there with my four-month-old baby with the enemy and all of his support system... it hurt. I felt like I was being tested not just emotionally, but literally being tested. Every diaper I changed his sister and Mother watched like a hawk. Or at least I felt like they did... My fingers fumbled. I felt like I was cracking under weight of judgement and eyes.
These are just the feelings I have with others. They don’t even begin to touch the feelings I have myself about myself....about who I am now or who I am as a Mother... or who I was but I am now. There are so many voices shooting off inside me from different parts of me that I’d love to get control of.
Maiden to Mother to Crone. Alone.
Here's a conflict: maybe I need to pump up the Prozac dosage? Maybe I need more pill to feel more me? Maybe that would just be bottling everything up further? Can breastfeeding take more pill? Can Dotty? Will I ever create again on these drugs?
Here's a conflict: My Mother hates him. Can't stand him. Can't take what he's done to her daughter and granddaughter so we live in moments of utter secrecy and silence in regard to him. The air fills with tension. I censor what I say or what has happened. I am careful to emote. I think of her feelings before my own. I tip toe where I sleep.
Here's a conflict: still haven't spoken to my sister. Still abiding by her desire and proclamation to leave her and her family the fuck alone. Still don't feel guilty about it. Still totally happy with the decision--and when I talk about it with other people, they try to convince me otherwise.
Maybe that's the problem?
Thinking of Nugget's feelings before my own.... Nugget's and my Mom's and FOB's and who ever else I'm in the room with. All go before mine. As a courtesy, as a recovering Catholic, as a human. I've always jumbled up my feelings, my future, my worth, my goals, my heart, my brain... with whomever I'm entangled with--lover or friend. And here I've gone and made another human I'm so connected with for eternity... without backing up the structure of myself completely that I feel lost as her leader and protector.
Here's a conflict: Feeling lost while not going anywhere.
I just want to complain for a minute.
Most of the rumors are true.
Third trimester is filled with all the same yuck of the first, but with added shittiness for flavor.
You lose your lungs, you lose your vagina.
You can't tend to your feet so those turn into hideous, dead skin bird claws.
Your Nugget grows and pushes your ribs out and heat and ice soothe none.
It's exhausting just to masturbate so... yeah, no.
You pee on your hands every time you're asked for a urine sample, which is now weekly.
Your face swells and the glow you had turns into sweat. And more sweat.
Your gums NEVER STOP BLEEDING.
Sleep. Ha. That's a fucking joke.
You can't even bring yourself to leave the house to pickup more antidepressants.
Your joints weaken and every little thing is amplified into a world of discomfort and awkward.
Nothing stays clean after you clean it so you just keep cleaning things again and again.
You fret over every movement the Nugget makes.
You fret over every movement the Nugget doesn't make.
You're tired of belly touches and unsolicited advice.
Heartburn. All of the heartburn. Torches. wildfires, burning everywhere all the time.
You have no income and haven't had any for a long time which is ridiculous.
You've had no contact with FOB and haven't seen the man IN TWO MONTHS who so convincingly dumped you to be friends to be there every step of the way by your side through this pregnancy.
Your back hurts from building the high road, being uncomfortable, and sleeping akimbo.
Your arms hurt from holding you back from every run away thought you want to have, but shouldn't.
Your heart hurts cuz it still hasn't forgotten anything.
Your mind races after every weird dream you have, admiring all the things still undone.
And seven weeks left.
Until you become a Mom.
Whatever that is.
Aside from a big, dark unknown blank spot.
I shared a post to the facebooks the other day that went a little something like this:
”Got the guilts.
Haven’t been walking my miles like I had been.
Haven’t been doin my morning preggo yoga.
Been enjoying the sugar and the bread.
Haven’t gotten to the post office, the store, the consignment place, or the art shows.
Flaked on more plans than I’ve kept.
All I wanna do is sleep and vegetate and bathe and feel time pass so I can hang out with this tiny dictator, new bff, ball of leaking smoosh, and have this new mom job already.
Ambitious and restless meets ever expanding burning flesh body of winded catharsis means total body disconnect.
Thanks for being my friends still, friends.”
The overwhelming response was that of comfort in the shape of well wishes and “don’t be concerned’s” and alla that is just about being third trimester pregnant. A lot of “listen to your body” and such.
Good advice, love my friends, and yes.
....but.... but... how do I do that?
Except mixed signals. That’s the problem.
The Body is all:
...so it feels like one big organ-ized argument happening inside me all the time.
Anxiousness met with sedation,
heartburn met with spicy pickle cravings,
backaches met with desire to hike,
and nine weeks left to be amazed, befuddled, humbled, and confused. By the time I figure out which part of me I should listen to and when, Nugget is gonna be out and about, serving up cuteness and diapers the likes of which shall bring chaos to my household. I'll be battling hormone drop, baby blues, and bloody diapers of my own.
As for the past week and I'm sure the coming weeks... I don't wanna leave my house, I don't wanna go anywhere, I don't wanna do much, and I don't wanna see anyone. Other preggo mamas tell me (and sourced me) that's a sign of nesting.
"One of the few formal studies, conducted in 2013, found that pregnant women spend more time cleaning and organizing their home than women who aren't pregnant. They're also more selective about the company they keep and more likely to prefer sticking close to home." (link)
But with this internal cocktail of hormones and prozac, I have no idea how to find the root of anything happening inside me anymore.
I have a few theories though... mystical maybe's that might explain the why's.
Why don't I want to go for walks in the chilly sunshine?
(Maybe it's because I'm so over thinking about my life and my failed relationship that I literally can't take anymore so my bodily instinct of emotional self-preservation is taking over?)
But what about a short stroll with friends?
(Maybe because the Nugget Cave feels like a goddamn cannonball in my upper pussy area and every step I take is met by furious gravity?)
Why don't you want people over to comfort and celebrate and socialize?
(Maybe because the flu epidemic is insane and I can only apply hand sanitizer so many times before my flesh falls off)
What about yoga and practicing some of that hypnobirthing meditation?
(It makes me sleepy... and if I sleep in the day I can't sleep at night... and if I can't sleep at night all I do is toss and turn and get up to pee and binge watch Planet Earth II and Gilmore Girls)
I want this blog to thrive, this website to flourish, my mind and body to agree, my soul to be chill, my heart to heal--all these efforts PLUS growing a belly monster means...
It's a new year according to the calendar.
I feel like we do it wrong and we should really start New Year on the winter solstice so we could all revel in the fact that the days are getting longer and the light is returning to life.
That's not a hippie thing to say--it's science, man.
I've got a lot of shit left to do to get ready for this Kiddo:
Oh, 2018, you even numbered tease, you.
Oh, 2017, you 'practice makes pregnant' rollercoaster, you.
2017 was a jerk. As much as it feels like looking the gift horse in the mouth cuz shit could currently be a crap-ton worse, it’s difficult not to mourn my hopes, dreams, and expectations of 2017. The last few months have been gravely overshadowed by heartbreak and loss and have felt like a cruel time puzzle. I keep flashing to that one part of Labyrinth where Bowie has crappy Connelly babysitter trapped in one of his fancy clear balls in a big pink poofy dress and is tricking her into wasting Toby-saving hours. It’s as if I have been living the same day over and over with no control over it’s improvement or outcome, floating forward-ish-ly through a hazy gray procession further into the unknown and alone. Each holiday... from Halloween to now...to today... being a reminder of what isn’t, what wasn’t, and won’t be.
Happy pills are helping me.
Thank you, happy pills. MVP of 2017. They help my brain douse each thought with slightly less kerosene. They give me the ability to ride atop each thought like a calm cowboy and decide whether to buck the bronc home. They also make my legs twitch in bed.
They don't keep me from all the thoughts, from sadness or loss. They don't keep me from reflecting, on retrospect, on hindsight.
Again, just sliiiightly less kerosene.
I guess I'd like to scribble an ode to those thoughts. Allow them the space they're so feverishly and diligently still fighting for in new hopes that they disappear. They say labeling a feeling (without judgement) is a good way to be rid of a feeling--and by 'they' I mean the leaders of all the pregnant and depressed groups I've attended in the last two months as well as the self-help book authors... and pinterest.
I'm to FLOW
L--Label it (without judgement)
W--Window to let it go
So.... let's crack the back door, shall we?
I mourn the loss of a big love, the one I chose to start a family with.
I mourn the loss of his friendship, his strength, his companionship, and his commitment.
I mourn the loss of a partner to walk through this pregnancy with, to hold hands and cling onto, and to bounce fears off and from.
I mourn the dream of our family, the three of us and holiday blessings that were to come with our future.
I mourn my concepts of self worth and the ensuing battle of feeling not only knocked up and unworthy to wed, but knocked up and dumped, discarded at my most hopeful and vulnerable.
I mourn the lesser than experiences of my unborn child, how Nugget knows little music nor the sound of her fathers voice.
I mourn the death of my maiden self and the wild, untamed female I was forever committed to be.
I mourn the unknown transformation of my art and my ability to focus and pickup a paint brush for more than half a year.
I mourn the freedom of those around me who love me and the future cost of this love as a burden to their wellbeings and plans.
I mourn my physical self and the future scars of this physical upgrade as I battle tokophobia, body dysmorphia, insecurity, and every other self-hating statement rambling under my skin about my bones.
This is a really big year.
One I didn't see coming, one I never thought would happen, and one I can't control. My body is on autopilot, my future is multiplying, the '8' in 2018 reminds me of boobies, and I still wish I had a dog. Nothing will be the same ever again.
I mourn the illusion of control I once had.
I feel like I want to drive out to Pyramid Lake, light some shit on fire, and release the ashes.
That's some hippie witchy shit.
All the same,
May all these aspects, all these sides, all these part of me, all these thoughts of me, rest in calm peace and not stink up the future decomposing cuz I didn't dig a deep enough hole.
The anti-depressants I'm on have made an improvement in my mental health, but are doing weird things to my body. I've been on them near two weeks. Mind you, I've never taken any medication beyond the occasional pain killer for fun my entire life.
I've had morning nausea and bouts of vertigo and it's been really a battle to focus. My mouth tastes like metal and I've had to switch to taking pills at night to try to sleep through the feelings. Doesn't really help that my bladder and my brain wake me up at 3:30am with saturated fullness. I haven't painted at all, but I've managed to do these little blogs and doodles. That gives me some focus hope.
So I feel like I'm just walking around my house like a zombie. Upstairs, downstairs, this room, that room, shower, makeup, couch, food--no real fire, no real feeling, just... existing.
I'll also take this combination of feeling and emotion over the manic panic ones before. At least my brain is somewhat docile and it's my body that doesn't know what to do. There's less fuel to the self and world anxiety, less fuel all around.
It's not even 11am and I'm about to turn in for my second nap of the day.
Oh yeah, I'm still building a human inside me so... there's that, too, i guess.
Onward and outward!
100 days left of pregnancy which means Nugget and I have survived 180 days inside the same roof without killing each other. We're off to a good start, but I wouldn't say the road hasn't been paved without difficulty.
The last 5-10 years of my unmedicated womanhood (I stopped taking the pill in my late twenties and it was the best thing I've ever done for my own mental health and body), I'd been blessed with a light period--barely there crampy-ness, little to no PMS, and the slightest bloating. If I was acting the twat around my menstrual cycle I would call myself out on it and not let it rain down and ruin me. The men I dated actually thanked me. It was something I learned to not brag about at an early age because the looks alone from women I would mention it to could kill. I knew pregnancy and it's hormonal effect on the body was gonna be tough... but nothing prepared me for the dark, crippling hole of depression, violent pendulum-esque mood swings, and multiple day panic attacks I would endure.
Panic attacks would induce an out of body and mind experience that I still couldn't describe accurately if I tried. They would start with an intrusive thought and snowball from there. FOB would go out for an evening of friends and I'd be home pacing, sobbing, screaming, counting, circling, panting, panicking.
I couldn't control my thoughts, my heart rate, my words, anything. Everything came barreling out of me angry and forceful.
I could not physically exhaust myself in any way to make the feelings stop.
I didn't play (and haven't played) guitar in months.
I couldn't focus to paint.
I wrote insane rants in my journal.
I cut off all my friends.
I didn't leave the house.
Nothing brought me joy.
Thoughts of doom and dread were all consuming.
I looked to my FOB, desperately clung to him, for any source of happiness because mine was completely... and utterly gone.
I reached out. Many times. I was often met with dead ends and misunderstanding. FOB froze... and eventually broke up with me (we'll get to this later) in my manic state, leaving me even more in the ground... except now I was shitting water from stress and sobbing uncontrollably most hours of the day from the simplest of triggers.
I kept reaching.
My insurance made it impossible to find a GOOD therapist (lord, that's another blog all together... ) I could afford in my new, unemployed, single, poor pregnant state so I joined three weekly pregnancy circles. One, hosted by a dear friend and donated out of charity... another hosted by a local motherhood business and group technically meant for mothers suffering from postpartum depression, and another freebie at the same business on Saturdays.
I moved back in with my mother.
And, through persistence, my doctor finally prescribed an anti-depressant which... as much as I've pill shamed myself, I am glad to be taking.
It's been about ten days on the meds and... I'm nauseous, dizzy, my jaw is tense, and still struggling to focus... but the intrusive thoughts have weakened and lessened and I actually have some hope for my life. It could be psychosomatic this early in the game, but I don't care. Hope is hope.
I've got 100 days left with this Kiddo inside me and I finally feel pregnant. I think I might even be happy about it? I jokingly refer to the Kiddo as Lemonade cuz... man oh man I'm trying to make it.
FOB and I are still broken up and, as much as that haunts me... and all my dreams... I'm healthier for it.
I didn't give up asking for help. I asked reddit, I asked facebook, I asked my insurance, I asked my friends, I asked family, I asked my Doc and finally, through cumulative effort, I'm on the road to somewhere better than where I was.
Here are a list of links that helped me:
The Nurturing Nest Reno--Circles and Support
Ashley Hanna Morgan--LCSW
Sacred Pregnancy--Sheila LeDrew
Mallory Kate is a blogger, artist, single mom and funny girl outta Nevada.
What She Said