Monday, November 12, 2012

Melancholy

I'm sitting in the rocking chair in Em's dark bedroom, waiting for the little lady to settle into a peaceful sleep.
I think she had a bad dream tonight, because she woke up crying a bit ago and couldn't settle back down.
I wonder if she senses that her daddy is gone - he will be gone all week, and Emily is never quite as content when he's gone.

It seems that my life is one never-ending routine:  morning spent at home with Emily, afternoon spent at work with Emily, evening spent at home with Emily, and then start over again the next day, with very little variance.

I'm extremely conflicted between feeling peace and feeling loneliness like I've never felt in my life.

I truly don't think that I take my life with Emily for granted.
I know that every day I have her is a gift, and I do everything in my power to make sure that I make the most of every minute.
Emily and I spend a lot of time playing, and singing, and cuddling, and taking naps together.
We laugh together and she knows that when she's hurt her mommy's arms will sooth her.
And I know that no role in my life will be greater than that of being Emily's mommy.

Even with knowing that, I'm still lonely - lonely to the point where I spend nights crying myself to sleep.
And so far I can't quite figure out how to combat that loneliness.

Poor Jason.
I probably tell him at least once a week that I'm dying of loneliness, and he simply doesn't know what to do or say.
One night when we were talking about it he said that he didn't think he could ever be the one to fix that part of my heart.
And he's probably right, but that doesn't stop me from getting frustrated at him, and I know that's not fair.

I've spent hours and hours analyzing my feelings - trying to get to the core of where they are coming from.
And the only thing I can come up with is that change, no matter the form, is hard for me, and in the last three years my life has changed more than it has in perhaps my entire life.

I went from being a very happy and content single woman to being a wife and a mother of a child with special needs in a matter of what seems like seconds, and although I love both Jason and Emily, and I wouldn't trade where I am for anything in the world, I still feel like I'm reeling.

In three short years I somehow lost a major portion of who I was before, and although most people would probably agree that I'm a better person now than I was then, I still miss that part of me - that part of my life, and I simply don't know what to do to balance that life with the life I have now.

I've wondered if I should write this - if I should admit any of this out loud - I would never want you to think that I'm not grateful for the life I have.
I am beyond grateful.
And I think that's why I feel so conflicted by the loneliness I feel so acutely.
How can someone who has been blessed with as much as I have still have these feelings?

* * * * *

Here, look at these cute pictures of our girl.
I'm going to wipe my eyes and blow my nose and go and do the dishes.

Thanks for letting me have this moment.
If you know me in real life, I'll be back to my slightly sarcastic self tomorrow.

She falls asleep in the strangest places.  Never fear, I moved her out from underneath the futon before she sat up and smacked her head.



11 comments:

Allison said...

For what it's worth, I mourned my former self after my daughter was born too. I can remember laying in the hospital bed happy, but then overcome by the thought "I can never just run to Target without a big production EVER AGAIN". A little dramatic but still, it was that "everything has changed". The difference is I had the opportunity to do it immediately after birth. You were a bit preoccupied what with the whole broken heart. I also believe that sometimes if we don't allow ourselves to really feel those feelings that when they do start to come out it's all sorts of drawn out more so than if we just acknowledged them. Not that you did anything wrong, just that you had other things going on and now it's slowly seeping. I'm rambling. My point is that I think it's normal. Of course, that doesn't make it any less painful but it also doesn't mean you don't love your life and family. It's just....different. And different takes some getting used to. Thank you for sharing :)

Hilary and Eric said...

If anyone leaves you negative comments about this, let me at 'em!!! It is so natural what you're going through. Marriage itself is a huge adjustment and you didn't even get to settle in with that before you were thrown a massive curve ball. I think you've been in survival mode for the last year+ and you're just barely able to slow down and analyze things.

Personally I think your social life could use some oomph ;) I'd be happy to help!!! Good to see you yesterday. Lindon isn't that bad of a drive - I'm telling you, commuting is FUN!!!

Anonymous said...

I believe that everything you've written is "normal," whether one is parenting a typically developing child or one with special needs. You have been through so much more than most mothers have, and from what I see in your heartfelt entries, is that you have waded through the difficulties and trials with grace and humor.

Is there any sort of family support resources through your early intervention services? I know I've mentioned that I am director of a state and federally funded family resource center serving families with children birth to 36 months who have special needs. We have weekly parent/child playgroups with time for parents to connect and share their experiences. Also a monthly therapeutic support group with a licensed marriage and family therapist - free childcare provided on-site.

You have so much to offer other parents, as well as the benefit of a safe and supportive environment for you ... I think being able to have that outlet might help.

You are such a loving and diligent mother, Emily couldn't have found a better advocate ... But I think you deserve some support, too.

Leslie in CA

Dazee Dreamer said...

You have every right to feel lonely. I think every woman, and man, once they become a couple and then a parent, feel like they have lost their self. You need to still take the time to do things that you want to do. And not feel guilty when you go off by yourself. You are allowed.

Sandra said...

I cried huge crocodile tears the day they sent me home from the hospital with each of my children. I always thought it was just hormones until the day we were going to bring Brandi home. I went into the bathroom and wept. It was then that I realized it was the whole "things are different" thing.

I am now doing the same thing. I don't want my former life, but I am in mourning for it nonetheless. Grieving the could have/ should have beens, you know. Feeling all the things I kept stuffed while I was dealing with the hard things.

And I think it is probably the same for you. Normal and grieving all the could have/should haves and feeling what you didn't feel when you were busy healing from pregnancy, a hard birth and a sick baby and learning how to do all the things a special girl needs. Going here, going there, doing this, doing that, taking care of the needs to be done in normal life while nothing about life was normal anymore. And now you have a routine, are comfortable with the new normal and the wall around your heart and feelings is crumbling and you are feeling again.

And all of that is my way of saying

Do you need a hug?

walden said...

Makes sense to me...:) Love you guys.

Elizabeth said...

I have no words of wisdom, but I know where you're coming from.

Having dealt with "hard with no end in sight" for years, I often wonder why I'm not better for it already and why I still struggle. Part of it is my own selfish desire to not be the one who has to change for once. When I look around me and see the hard things that other people have to deal with, it makes me feel bad that I'm such a complainer because there are people who have it a lot harder than me.

I know it's not quite the same as how you're feeling, but I understand feeling conflicted and not really knowing why or how to overcome it.

Also, does Emily have narcolepsy? Because she really does fall asleep in funny places. Love that cute, funny, sweet little girl. Thanks for sharing her.

xo -E

Lalis said...

This doesn't sound strange to me at all. I've been there. Feeling-wise, not motherly/wife-wise because I'm not a mom or a wife...

You can be surrounded by a million people and still feel completely alone.

To be honest? The times I haven't been able to get a hold of myself I've gone into clinical depression. It may sound like the easy way out but finding a professional to talk to and small dose of happy pills helped.

I know you don't have very much time but find something new to do. Even it is small. For me, it was belly dancing. Something completely new, distracting, and rewarding that helped me embrace the new-me that came about through life changes.

Finally, priesthood blessings galore and prayer... Never be without us.

I'm glad you're writing and sharing how you really feel. It is cathartic and empowering, so don't ever apologize.

decnic said...

Thank you for sharing that!

decnic said...

Thank you for sharing that!

Shan said...

A conversation similar to the one you've been having has come up a few times recently in various parts of my mommy groups. I think it comes with the territory. You certainly have had some extra loops and wrenches, but even if you hadn't, you are quite normal. Hugs.