Mr. Curry I believe tends to go the other way, when things become high pitched and unbearable he minimizes and withdraws in order to stay in control, while I catastrophize and catch each dirtball square in the gut, where it really blows the breath out of me. But I've caught it, I've seen and felt it, it's not getting past me to my family without my scrutiny and without my shaping. I will evolve that ball of dirt so hard it's little microscopic feces self will turn from a ball of shit into a goddamn garden of delights. I have a fear of not diving head first into everything but not quite the skill set for doing so in a composed manner. So I do all the footwork necessary during times like these, I get it all done- the paperwork, the phone call, the faxes, the emails, the research, the meetings, the confrontations- but I do it with a nightly bout of crying, with my teeth clenched, with a severe and uncomfortable expression I'm sure, with a strained tone of voice. If only, my Mother helpfully had mentioned, you could look more confident.
I am dealing with one, two three balls in the air, all of which are enormously important and serious and have an urgency to them. Sometimes you can't say ' this can wait ' because sometimes- not most of the time, but it does occur- you really have to just suck it up and do what needs to be done even when it's pretty much impossible to do it. I can't drop one of these three balls because they are my family, in one way or the other, flying through the air up there, and it's my heart's work to secure them. I spent three hours doing research at the bookstore today and every time Ever kicked me I thought, ' I'm sorry little girl. ' My pregnancy has taken such a back seat to everything, and that makes me very sad. Then I tell myself, no use in being very sad about what just is, but then I go ahead and feel that way anyhow. In waves. Large waves of sadness. That's when the anxiety raises it's rattled tail and starts shaking and hissing and leaves me in chills and Braxton Hicks late at night, because I'm afraid of anything in my life being not good enough, not healthy enough, because nothing about my childhood was good or healthy even close to enough, and I'm afraid of ever accepting the same. If the ideal is to have a pregnancy still worshipped by my husband and adored and doted on by myself and Mr. Curry and I falling asleep with What To Expect between us each night, we are failing. And that just kills me. Is what remains...enough? How the hell do I know. I really don't. My feelings are so tied up with anxious rattles that I can't hear the whispering voice of reason behind all the noise, whatever it's saying.
Our family could be viewed as champions with handicaps. Sometimes I can see us that way. Not thouroughbreds- our lineage would never allow that with it's mental illness and alcoholism woven so tightly into the DNA. Mr Curry and I both started out with the race fixed and blinders on, with our diagnosis and our childhoods and our 'learned behaviors' and spend our twenties climbing through those things, with medications and therapies and good ole fashioned love helping us along. And because we never give up I can feel a fierce and protective pride. But that same scrabble and grit can feel immensely depressing when the efforts feel inadequate. I have a quote up on our mirror right now from Helen Keller- it says ' We must not ask for tasks adequate for our abilities, but abilities adequate to our tasks. ' I love that. Because it's true, it's the only thing, just to attempt to be worthy of the shit life throws at you, to be a champion. To overcome the fixed race, the handicap.
No matter what your mother says.