I’m not doing particularly well. I know it probably doesn’t show on the outside. When there is something to be done or people around I am ok. I can talk and joke and function just like I used to. But even when I am with a group of people, in the gaps between laughter and conversation I feel like I am suffocating.
When I am home alone with Jocelyn it is worse. The stillness crushes me and I feel trapped. Trapped by baby gates and wooden puzzles. Today I sat in silence watching Jocelyn eat her graham crackers. I started to tremble and I felt like I was going crazy, I held my head in my hands as if I could physically hold myself together. I feel trapped. Trapped by this house, trapped by this room, trapped by my own body.
I can think to myself and tell others that I am pregnant, but the idea that I am having another baby makes me feel like hyperventilating. Jocelyn is such a good and easy baby but I don’t know how I am going to handle two by myself, especially when one of them will be physically dependent on me for the good part of a year. If I feel trapped now, with one sweet, well-behaved toddler, how am I going feel when I have two?
I need to go do something that makes me feel alive again. I want to go do something adventurous. I want to hike a mountain, go ride roller coasters or explore a new country, but I am stuck being mommy. I am going to be stuck here for a long time. There is no escaping it.
I know in the logical part of my brain that this is just a chapter in my story, but it has been very difficult for that truth to sink into my heart. I try to remember the things God has spoken over my life, but it’s so hard to embrace the identity of a strong warrior like Eowyn when I feel so pathetic and weak. When I was thinking of Eowyn I was reminded of the scene in the Two Towers where one of the villains whispers to her,”Oh, but you are alone. Who knows what you have spoken to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all your life seems to shrink, the walls of your bower closing in about you, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in?” These words make me shudder because it feels like they are being whispered to me.
It’s so weird because sometimes I feel so strong, but there are many days like today when I feel like I am crumbling. Sometimes I wonder if I am strong enough to make it through this season and sometimes I don’t want to be strong at all. Sometimes I wish I could break down like everyone else who deals with this level of pain and stress and go get drunk and find someone to hold onto. Not that it would be beneficial in the long run but at least for a moment there might be some sort of respite. I know this is just my emotions talking and they will eventually fade. I’m pushing through, but right now I am struggling to breathe.
Oh Erica your words cut through my heart and I wish I could be closer to out my arms around you and cry with you. Your honesty is almost unbearable. You are so loved.
I miss you Paula.
I keep trying to reach out to you. Something is pulling me towards you. Hope something I say at some point helps. https://halfgoodmom.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/dear-erica-this-too-shall-pass/
I’m glad you have these pages to write this out on…when I found myself suddenly a single mom of my difficult baby girl I felt a little bit like I was going crazy with the constant mothering role,… I was starved for hitchhiking, mountaintop camping and exploring new towns and places…the few short trips to visit family across the state, or even occasional out of state travel did/does me good…but doesn’t satisfy. yes it is a season. It is good to repeat that like a mantra. But even tho everybody says this time goes by so fast, for much of the time it will seem to go by sooooo slowly. And with such a recent and terrible loss it is ok, if I can say so, to feel exactly what you are feeling. In the end you will know you did your best to stay strong, but nobody is there measuring you in your difficulties and pointing out how you could do better. I think I held myself against tough self judgement as a mother , and expected perfection of myself. And that wasn’t possible especially when a big portion of your normalcy has fallen apart. Perfection isn’t possible yet the love you can give the kids will be perfect anyways.