Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stuck: The Long Venting

I don't mean to be such a roller coaster. It's just that I'm trying very hard. So that is clear. The more I try, the more each moment of rage and grief and yes, self pity, becomes a tsunami. As if all the other 23 hours of the day I was holding back the water with sheer force of will. So that when I hit a weak moment I literally bust the seam. I picture a huge boil and the smallest of lances. The tiny hole made and the entire thing erupting all inflammatory and ugly. I work all day on how I'm 'framing' what is happening right now, like my therapist long ago taught me. I work all day on redirecting my thoughts as if they are unruly toddlers. I work at breathing. I work at not panicking or over inflating the problems. I work at accepting my part in everything. I smile and laugh at work and I feel a relative calm and peace. And then I can come home and the stomach ache starts. I can't eat at home. The entire last two weeks. I eat all day, then I come home, and despite my best efforts I feel a cramping sick in my low low gut, and my stomach feels hard and high and gross, and the thought of eating dinner makes me want to puke. The stomach ache is some kind of physical trigger for my thoughts, which immediately turn to resentful anger that I feel this way. I have two more goddamn months left of this pregnancy, I think, I just want to breathe. Then I tell myself I'm the only one responsible for breathing. For managing my emotions. GROW UP, I tell myself, and get to doing what needs to be done. And I do, and still, at some point every night the emotions are lanced and I literally cannot hold back the tears, and my chest feels so full of pain and sadness you would think I just experienced something much worse than broken hopes and hard times.

The whole pregnancy I managed to avoid feeling this way. Even when the anxiety was kicking my ass I still felt a nice, clean lack of self pity. I hate self pity. I lose respect for people who have too much of it in certain forms, myself included. I have no measure for what is normal grief over this situation and what is veering on self pity. At night the house is quiet and still and dark and my body is so deeply sad. I read the article in Time on how mental health of your baby can be partly determined in utero by the amount of stress the mother experiences and I felt FURIOUS. I am angry at my family for not protecting this baby better. I am angry at myself for not handling my anger better, for having to cry every night. I don't know how to let go of what I wanted this to be like in comparison to what it is. I never had a traditional family unit during pregnancy before. I might never be pregnant again...let's face it, I probably won't. Unless the financial fairy blesses us we are done having babies. I wanted this one to be different, I wanted to experience the kind of pregnancy I know is not a pipe dream, it's perfectly possible and I read stories here in blogland all the time about women who are having them. How do I work around this, how do I let go and stop feeling so angry? I cannot remember the lessons of my old therapist or the wise words of authors I have read. All I can seem to do is what I am doing. I'm stuck.

The baby shower is this weekend and all I can feel is exhausted to think about it. A day of slogging through everyone's happy faces and asking ' how are you? ' while I have to lie and say how great everything is at home, how happy everyone is, when no one outside of Lola can spare the emotional focus to ask how Ever is every day, to check on her movements, to ask what needs to be done every day or to take some of the planning and thinking off of me, to see if I've eaten my vegetables or taken my vitamins, to talk to Ever in there, to talk and plan for the stresses and the blocks we are encountering right now, to make lists or read or plan for the labor. Mr. Curry is not available for any of this right now, too overwhelmed from the last month of stress with D, burnt out.*** It is important for my own clarity to note that this is only true for the last couple of weeks. The entire pregnancy has certainly NOT been like this. The last couple of weeks have felt like an eternity, as you can tell by this post. *** The look on his face when I start talking about anything with Dakota or worry about the baby or ask for the 100th time if he's yet read the book I asked him to is so tight and closed off I feel worse than if I just say nothing, so I'm saying nothing now. Not fighting is better and more mature than repeating the same patterns that end with us raising our voices. The kids peace must come first and noisy battles between their parents will only make them stressed, when we are both doing a good job at least of being kind and available and sweet to our children. I am trying as hard as I can not to be enraged at him for this but often failing. My close girlfriends all live far away and my girlfriends here are all going through their own hell in different ways. I feel lonely and emotionally exhausted. My work is exhausting. My mom wants to go to dinner with our relatives flying in on Friday and I just want to stay home and lock myself in my room. How can I say no without being rude? Everyone is coming to see me when I don't want to be seen. And this is making me too sad to know what to do with. I just want so much that I can't have right now. I have no pithy line to end this with. The End.

ps
I'm OK though. Really. I know part of the reason the last two weeks have felt so very long and awful is because I am not on the zoloft, and partly because of the enormous hopes I had for this pregnancy, and partly because when your husband and you have as intimate, close and supportive relationship as Mr. Curry and I do, and then things fall apart for a time, it feels much more dramatic in the meanwhile. The worry about a major Bipolar episode is very hard too, for both of us. I am afraid of it and I know he is too. I need him tremendously right now and part of what this is is me trying to understand how to cope with this disease stealing my husband away when I need him most. Sorting out my emotions and my right to them and what to do with them...while very pregnant, while having a very troubled teen..is kind of really shitty. I mean, it is. But it's not the worst. It's not. We aren't easy people, either of us, with our mental floss all fudgy.
yolanda said...

i quit my job in the museum, everybody said it was not stressing but boring, well, i was stressed, i didn´t want to be seen.

sometimes i go through this hell too. sometimes? oh, god!! i wish i weren´t me, myself, this body and personality to be seen...

believe me, i see a mirror in this.

just shout!!!!

love and peace!!
yolanda

Katy said...

Ultimately Ever will always know that you adored her before she existed. It is okay to be upset, to scream, cry. I can't speak for everyone else but I am pretty sure even the perfect pregnancy pictures in blogland have some behind the scenes destruction. Remember we are all here for you too (and we can't actually see you so we aren't too in your face) xxxx

Brynne said...

Hunh. :o\

I don't know you, but I'd like to extend a big, invisible internetty hand to squeeze.

I have no wise words, no solutions... just a black and white comment to tell you that you're not alone and probably more people than you'd think are thinking good thoughts for you.

Maggie May said...

Katy you gave me some wise words and then made me laugh. Quietly, because it's late, but still. Thank you for that. Both of that's. :)

Yolanda you always, always understand. BESOS

Maggie May said...

Brynne you are a friendly face out of the woodwork, so kind. Thank you.

Freida Bee, MD said...

Maggie- Vent on, lady. I wish you wonderfulness and am glad you have this nook of support. I know how valuable it is and you deserve healing and support. 'Tis wise to diversify to meet your needs in my view. Many hugs.

Leslie said...

What Katy said. There's definitely behind-the-scenes destruction in my pregnancy. It's been very stressful. A few examples, to perhaps help you feel as though you're not alone in your struggles: My husband and I are still dealing with processing the trauma from our son's birth 16 months ago, we were both diagnosed with depression at the beginning of this pregnancy, we have severe financial issues, we each have family members who are significantly ill. All of these things have brought us closer together. I think you'll get there, too. In fact, I know you will. As weird and stalkerish as it sounds, I'm thinking of you.

Home Girl said...

oh honey that worry for your son that dosen't go away must be unbearable. i imagine it must feel so difficult to be the only one willing to 'do something'. sounds like such a big heavy burden when u r so emotionally raw and encumbered with pregnancy. all i can offer is the thought of how fantastic it feels to GET THE BABY OUT!!! its such a relief to be mobile and physically able once more. its a start, you can make things happen easily again - the strain eases. hopefully things will shift and become lighter. nothing stays the same, hang in there mummy, lots of love xxxx

Libertine said...

Hello, Big hugs are coming for you from here. I imagine it is scary and it is overwhelming, but you are making good steps. You write about what you feel and I think when you read it later, it might be easier to understand and analise again how it really is. I've never worn your shoes, so I'll never really know the full intensity of your experience, but you have here lots of good people who will listen and try to understand. All the best.

Mwa said...

Please don't beat yourself up about the stress. All these people who go blaming the mother for all kinds of shit are just being idiots. I don't know ANYONE who didn't have a bit of a breakdown while pregnant. Tears just come with the territory. Especially if you're sensitive to depression (I am - I know all about wanting to stay in bed and not see anyone). Your baby will be fine, and will be your baby, and this stress is just part of what her mother is just now, and no one can say what she would have been like without. Maybe stressy mothers have stressy babies but then that could well be genetic, instead of environmental, right? By the way - my baby from my most stressed/depressed pregnancy was the least stressed/most happy baby. Go figure.

And for all the other stuff going on in your life, I send you a big hug.

starrlife said...

I HATE those perfect illusions of pregnancy that people reflect . They are much like the illusions of perfect families or perfect marriages- bah humbug! We all suffer from comparing and depression is the worst motivator to do so. This is a good time to slow down on the reflection and stay busy- it'll all bounce back. On the other hand- if you want to email me about the bipolar feel free- if I can help I will!
Oops- forgot the hug- HUG!

Julia said...

You have your thinking SO together in the middle of hell that whatever possibility (big, small, or who knows) there is of emerging on the other side sane and healthy is magnified a hundredfold.

Go ahead and keep your dreams for Ever. The truth is that she has a mom *who knows how to cope* and *who doesn't give up*, and that is going to serve her a whole lot better than some stupid article in TIME (that will probably be disproven in a year, and was written to sell magazines, not help people).

Ever is being well taken care of right now. She's safe, she's loved, she's fed. And she has many, many days and years ahead to bask in your love, and to be nourished by your courage and honesty. It's not all about now.

Wishing I could loan you my magic wand, but it's in the shop (again)...
Julia

Angella Lister said...

I am startled by how precisely this describes my own inner world. for me, it's so hard to hold that what feels real in this moment is only a passing thing, so much easier to believe that whatever is happening will be true henceforth, i have so little faith that the other reality, the close and loving marriage, is the real truth. But it is! I am glad you are able to write this out. Ironically, you minister to others (me) while trying to manage your own turmoil. I so admire and am so moved by your ability to name what you feel. It's a lot less scary when you can name it. Two more months. Your baby will be fine. Ever will be lovely. Remember her little spirit already knows and loves you, is drawn to you just as you are, has chosen you. I do believe that. I was in a desolate pit during my last two months of being pregnant with my daughter, and she came into my life like a fresh joyful breeze. In spite of me. As if her soul knew just what I needed. Breathe, dear Maggie. Just take it one minute at a time, one foot in front of the other. I wish I had the exact right words to make it better, but I don't. So I will just hold you in my thoughts with love.

jennifer said...

maggie, i thought we all felt this way at times. i think we do. maybe a drive, alone, listening to a long eyes of the world . . . that's what i used to do
:) hugs!

Ms. Moon said...

There is no perfect life, no perfect pregnancy, no perfect anything but moments here and there.
That's what I think.
I think we all just struggle though at periods in our lives and that is almost too much to ask and yet- we keep going, we get things done, we do what we don't think we can and somehow, sometimes, we find those moments of grace and you will too, Maggie. You will too.
And when Ever is born, it will all be, if not perfect, so grace-filled you will laugh and laugh with joy.

Wine and Words said...

Oh sweetie. All feelings are valid. I'm so glad you can release them here. Ever is going to be just fine. Meanwhile I hold your hand from afar, having been through this, having come through this, knowing how exhausting it is to hold back the tide.

((hugs))

Maggie May said...

Well. As soon as I get a printer I'm going to print this out and paste it inside my journal and read these comments. Your words are so wise- really- and so practical and so helpful to me. I think it was Libertine who said that at some point I will come back and read this and have better perspective and that is so true too- it's one of the best things writing has always done for me, to provide me that invaluable perspective on myself that I might not get any other way. It's very hard to 'see' ourselves, isn't it, and it's only when we read our words our see a videotape of ourselves speaking that we catch glimpses of the way we are perceived or the way we were perceiving life. It helps me to...self correct, to adjust the way I see things and feel in the future. It's especially helpful is you have any mental health issues, because when we are 'in it' it feels like Angela said, the only reality, engulfing, when it's not. Looking back at my own entries here over the last months proves that to me.

Thank you all so much. I'd hug you each if I could.

Head up, shoulders straight, breathe.

Allison the Meep said...

Love and a thousand kisses to you.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Maggie,
So sorry I am not close geographically, so I could get you out and away somewhere, for a time, to talk.

You are in my thoughts.

Love,

SB

controllingaspicyuniverse said...

Ah...
I wish you and I knew one another in person when I was pregnant with my son. We would have been maudlin pregnancy twins. I was SO blue my last trimester. I have no advice, just two ears, two shoulders, ten fingers to type with. If you're like me the big moments of peace will come once the baby is in your arms. I felt NO peace when I was pregnant - just annoying tenterhooks.

controllingaspicyuniverse said...

Oh! and this song always helps me when I'm anxious (which is too often): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zj9Y1VEGyqg&feature=related Dan Bern's lyrics are a dang old salve on my tired old soul.

deb said...

can I add something , and please don't take it the wrong way.. it's hard in comments sometimes,

but I learned , having come from a life of crappola, that the dream that kept me going .. the dream of all things finer and better and normal and easier , well, mostly it was an illusion. there have been darker nights and by the grace of God , I hope nothing darker. But I think we get it mixed up. The joy and light and wonder should be clung to and sung about and written on our souls in the very moment. Because mostly, life kind of sucks a lot.

and I'm not cynical. I just know that I tried so hard thinking I could get it right... and there is no right. but there can be love. that i know. and it is enough. It is everything.

Allegra Smith said...

Maggie dear, SAD is the most insidious of them all. It is never permanent enough to discover its secrets and every year there is a new trick when we have barely learned about the last one and how to cope with it.

Waves of anxiety are common as days of mental fog where stress rises like the temperature in the desert in a July afternoon. Let it be, let it be. When you see it coming think about the radiance of Ever's eyes, the softness of her little feet, all the joy of love consumed and existent that she represents.

Give yourself permission to feel what it may without guilt or trying to fix it. You didn't create it, how could you possibly take responsibility for it or trying to fix it. Get into a warm tub when things get ugly and cry away the anger and frustration. Tears are the way of the spirit to do house cleaning. Know that no matter what this is temporary and all you can do is to let it pass through you while you hold Ever inside safe. The rest is poppycock.

Please take care of yourself.

Annje said...

There have been so many wise words, but I just wanted to add my voice so that you feel the support. Though the sludge always seems to feel eternal, I think this will probably be a period you look back on and say what a lousy few months...but in the end it will feel not as significant as it feels now. As for the baby shower this weekend and the relatives etc... resign yourself to be present, but maybe allow yourself to feel whatever you feel... there is no crime in feeling crummy at the end of pregnancy--hormones and some crying are almost expected ;-) But give yourself some time to chill alone too, or with Mr. C if that is what you need.

I have had my own non-pregnancy related turmoil of late and have been an emotional mess... close your eyes and we can hold virtual hands and cry a little and dream of zoloft and the happier days that are sure to come

hang in there, you are almost there!

Annie said...

Dear Maggie,

I like Deb's comment- that no matter what, there can be love, and it is enough, and it is everything. I believe this. You and Mr. Curry have been through a lot, and you are trying very hard to keep hold of the larger picture, the overwhelming love, with the moments of withdrawal. We all withdraw sometimes; it can be viewed as a time to renew. Maybe Mr. Curry needs a little bit of space to renew. I'm sure you'd rather not feel the need, but crying is catharctic, and a release of the tension. Ever will be okay, and you will be okay. About dinner: if you do stay home, try to make it an evening for yourself to relax, or have them stop by just to say hello, letting them know in advance you are not going- because you're entitled to be tired. (My sister has been doing that more and more these days. She tells everyone when she just wants to stay home, and it's okay.)

Words, words and more words, from all of us- because we want you to know that we care, and we're sending words in place of hugs. It must be sweet for you to have Lola looking out for you and Ever. That's a wonderful thing. Sending hugs and love.

Phoenix said...

It's okay, some things fall apart, but it's to make room for other things. Life is a constant flow of things breaking and other things resolving themselves and you just gotta breathe through each moment. Ever knows how much she is loved. Mr. Curry knows how much he is loved. Dakota knows how much he is loved. It is not your job to fix everything.

Please - know how much you are loved.

Sondra said...

Just believe that this will be over soon. Just a little while and Ever will be cooing and looking at you with those big eyes..
It's going to be OK...
We're here to lift you up.
Let us.

Bee said...

I hear you. I don't know how to reach out and touch you or help you, but I'm checking in here and listening with my whole heart.

Try to take some time for YOURSELF. Do some escapist reading or go to a funny movie. If you want to be alone, be alone. Just keep being brave and getting through every day . . . and some ranting and venting can't hurt either.

Brigindo said...

I agree about the illusion of perfect. Those of us from troubled upbringings assume everyone else is having a rosy time of it. Also we often read/hear about the highlights of people's lives and they filter out the lowlights. The truth is every life has both--sometimes in the same day, sometimes the same week, etc.

Many of your posts about your family and particularly yours and Mr. Curry's relationship could be read by someone else--someone without a family or without a significant other (or in a bad relationship)--as an ideal; a perfection that they don't have.

I love your blog because you put both out there and recognize that both are perfectly true. Your pregnancy and your relationship with Ever will be perfect in all of its imperfections.

CitricSugar said...

I am completely stressed out and burst into tears at the end of my mass-stupidity class this afternoon and I don't even have anyone living inside me. I'm medicating with candy. Lots of candy.

The wheel is always turning and you'll rise out of the mud puddle eventually but if venting is what keeps the dirt and muck out of your lungs while you're down there, keep spitting. :-)

Diana said...

This will all we be worth it. I hope you give yourself more credit because you deserve it.

melaenis said...

been reading here a while, i do know how you feel - not with being pregnant, but certainly about feeling badly about being depressed/stressed/anxious/having a bipolar moment.
(i am assuming it's you, not your husband who is biplar, do correct me if i'm wrong...)
being bipolar is a roller coaster, especially without meds.
you will make it through.
weird offer - hopefully not too weird - if you ever just need a place to vent, i do pen-pal letters all over this country, and i'm always looking for new people to add to my correspondence list.
sending positive vibes your way!!

justmakingourway said...

I hate that illusion of perfect. I always thought it didn't matter to me - but guess what? It does. Because it brings me down. We all suck at it sometimes, and that's okay.

You. Are doing some amazing things right now. Making a baby. Helping and loving Dakota through so much. Holding your family together as best you can. And here, is where you can get some of it out to hopefully ease the burden on your chest. We know. We care.

xo

Maggie May said...

malaenis thank you so much for your supportive words. it is my husband who has bipolar but understanding is always good!

again thank you all so much. it's hard to feel so sad when i feel i should be feeling happy. and coming here and reading your words makes everything better. it really does.

Claire Beynon said...

Standing alongside you despite distance, Maggie May. There is good reason why the heart is a multi-chambered organ? Love and courage to you in your wrestling. You are a beacon. xx

24 Corners said...

Dearest Maggie...sometimes we try so hard to pull up from the abyss of our souls the ability to go on...to handle *life*, to be who we want to be and act how we want to act, to have peace and some semblance of comfort amidst the raging storms (hormonal/chemical or otherwise) that we find ourselves surrounded by and immersed in...but it just isn't there, in our depths.
It's something that needs to come down to us from above, to descend upon us and bring the ability to find rest and comfort where there is only unrest and turmoil.
It's doesn't make the problems go away...but we are somehow, suprisingly a bit stronger for it. Frustration, anger, sadness are all still there, but they're just not eating us alive anymore...a certain, strange peace and strength takes over.
I'm praying that this special peace and strength, this light, will descend upon you from above Maggie...so that you and Ever may have not only rest, but also some joy (remember the Greek meaning for joy is "a calm delight"), you both deserve that.

Much love,
J~

anymommy said...

XO, Maggie May. And listen, girl, you provide your little Ever with plenty of love and peace and warmth and light, all she needs, I know you do. But, you know there's back up out here, right? I send her and you peace and love and warmth and light every single day. You're not an island.

Jason, as himself said...

Whew! You hang in there! It seems like everything is teetering, but really it isn't because you are so uncomparably dedicated.

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