martedì, gennaio 12, 2016


People who are smarter and more emotionally experienced than me have warned me that I need to be ready, after losing the baby, to pick up on signs of PTSD. I wanted to scoff, but choked back those scoffs, because of that whole "smarter and more emotionally experienced" thing, and decided - okay. Let's see how things go. Let's look for help if I need it.

I still don't think I need it - I think the points where I'm not doing okay are not running away with me. But the points where I'm not doing okay are surprising me a little. At first it was just a generalized anxiety - that something would happen to Godzilla, or me, or the F-word, or all sorts of other things, but that passed - partly from the distractions of going on holiday, and partly from coming to terms - to a point - with life being out of my fucking control.

Last night, I realized the point at which I had and have not accepted that.

During a side trip to Padova during the vacation, the boy's favourite stuffed animal got lost, which I internalized like assuming accountability was the fucking Olympic sport I was the fucking Serena Williams of. I'm still super-pissed at myself for it, and sorry for the boy, who still misses it. So that's one thing. And then getting back into the work world yesterday, the F-word had a meltdown over an appointment he'd forgotten and nearly missed, and then I heard David Bowie died, and then while I was parking the boy in front of the television, cooking and washing dishes in the afternoon, I glanced over at him, saw he'd got his little pocket flashlight open, was chewing on the pieces, and OH FUCK THE BATTERIES WEREN'T ANYWHERE.

Cue our first family trip to the emergency room - two of them, actually, as the first hospital we went to didn't handle children - and an X-ray that drove a hitherto unplussed but quite tired Godzilla into hysterics, and showed he had not swallowed any batteries. Okay. All so far so good. I think potential battery swallowing warrants the physical response we gave it. So far my actions are all making sense.

But my brain is fucking clobbering me, man.

There's the accountability for accidents thing, making me feel like a really shitty mother, and you know what, I think that might just be a sort of core condition of motherhood, particularly in its early years, so I'm not too worried about it; I'll just feel it and let it pass. But it's just shocking me the way the bad things that happen are stacking up like an almightily huge and sticky pile of ratshit that is blocking my view of the motherfucking sun.

Last night waiting in the first emergency room (no waiting at the second, thank goodness and thank Germany) I wasn't particularly worried - nobody dies or even gets particularly hurt from swallowing a battery as long as something is done about it in good time. But I just felt so fucking victimized. No - not even victimized. That would suggest that I felt like the universe had some sort of plan for me, and I didn't feel like that.

I just felt fucking clobbered. By my own incompetence as a caregiver, by human mortality, by the fucking inexorable and cruel logic of the miscarriage clobbering us as a family leading to me weaning Godzilla all of a sudden, leading to him re-entering an oral fixation that hadn't been active for the last two years, leading to us sitting in a fucking emergency room where the best-case scenario would be exposing my little boy to fucking radioactivity the day after the man who first made me interested in music and genitalia, two rather fucking important things, died of fucking cancer.

The past month just swept the fuck over me like a stinking tidal wave of sewage while I thought a bunch of other shitty things - big things like about how my parents are older than David Bowie was and I'm living so far away, and little things like some bills I'd meant to pay that evening - and fuck me. I felt old. And suddenly - after finding out there were no batteries in Godzilla and all my tension could shrivel up - I felt myself feeling old. And started questioning.

Why are bad things so accumulative? Why do they stack up like that? And in a life as full of blessings as mine is, why the fuck aren't the good things accumulative like that? Why aren't I occasionally overwhelmed with the feeling of "wow, I have a partner I love who I'm still sexually interested in, a wonderful son, a great kitchen, a loving and pretty healthy and reasonably happy extended family who I get to see a lot, a good job, enough money for sensible purposes - life is pretty fucking awesome"?

And I think it's back to those twin Buddhist bugbears of fear and hope. The fear, as I deal with one shitty thing after another, that more shitty things are coming. The fear all my blessings will be taken from me. And the hope that these blessings will last, and last, and last beyond a point where I intellectually know they can't last anymore - and that knowing breaks my heart and fills me with fear and makes the blessings taste bitter.

Fuck, that is a stupid way to live. I've been acutely conscious of it since the miscarriage. But not because the miscarriage did it to me - but because I've been living that way all my life.

I'm not sure what to do about this. I'm hoping realizing it is doing something about it, somehow. I guess we'll see. 

2 commenti:

Anonimo ha detto...

That's some sore stuff. Sad and sore. Reading like a cry or scream of pain.
It'll pass. It all does in the end. I've no great or good or wise words. I'm useless. Nae help.
You've articulated (too well and in a visceral way) my own raging angry despairing. My bewilderment. My disappointment in - and beating up on - ME.
Sometimes life is more of a total and complete sadistic bastard. At other times we're sailing along taking all the 'stuff' for granted as though it's our given right to be trouble-free.
I can - hand on heart - say I've felt that soul-piercing joy to be alive only a few times. Once looking out to sea from the Crail coastal walk on the most beautiful day to be alive - and the others when I had that burst of perfect love for whatever of my kids had been born (to be honest usually a few days later than the birth - because in the immediate aftermath I was usually just a daze of hormones and stuff).
You couldn't function on that joy. It's too much.
Just as sustained pain is too much.
From a personal perspective, I know (now) that the pain has been important. Though I'd have punched anyone who suggested that it'd be 'instructive' and a 'source of personal growth' at the time I was thrashing about.
What has caused me the biggest headache was a realisation (one of those long-distance solo car journey realisations) that life is an accretion of memories - and that when we're making those memories we're necessarily not thinking about what our future (or old) self will think about us.
As a result I've accumulated more than a wee drop of regret and shame - and long solo car journeys (I've discovered) are the perfect time for self-castigation...
Hey. It's all grist... You will persevere. You will survive. I know you will.

PS You're a great mother.

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

That PS helps - thank you!

It is passing. I just don't have the attention span anymore to stay depressed for long. Also, I can order my favourite liquor off Amazon.