Anyone who knew me before the babies might be surprised to know that I have an anxiety disorder. Anyone who knew me during or after my pregnancies probably aren't that surprised. I am just really coming to terms with the anxiety and finding new pathways. In the past, before babies, I just told anxiety to fuck off and kept on going. I didn't let it stop me from going to concerts, movies, traveling, often alone. I actually think my anxiety made me do more things because I was like, I am afraid, therefore I shall conquer! I climbed to the top of Angel's Landing and sat over the edge because I was afraid. I went to Europe alone and wouldn't let my boyfriend come with me, because I was afraid. I got married and divorced, because I was afraid. I moved across country with nothing to my name and lived as a squatter because I was afraid. My fear kept me moving. Kept me trying new and good and bad things.
And then the babies came. There is too much with them. There was too much with one and way, way, way too much with two. I fear every second of every day and I am exhausted. I am broken. I can't tell anxiety to fuck off because I don't have the breath to utter the words. I don't have the energy to face down my fears. I don't have the will to do anything but the very minimum that life with 2 toddlers requires. But my soul is restless.
I want to do more. I want to stretch myself and be all that I can be. I want to travel. I want to go to festivals and concerts and movies and dinners and babyshowers and parties and random drop bys at my friend's houses. I want to answer the door when someone knocks unexpectedly instead of hiding in the basement hoping the doors are locked and they don't try and come in. I want to stay at my BFF's crowded cabin with all our best friends and family and laugh and not have an anxiety attack. I want to collect a magnet from every state. I want to swim naked in every ocean and I want to ride a hot air balloon, I want to para-glide, I wan to waterskii, I want to eat all types of food. I want to take my babies to a parade, to the Arts Festival, to the school carnival. But I can't. I don't. The anxiety stops me from doing any of it.
I am caught between my need for adventure and my need to be a hermit.
I also feel it is important to stress here, but my inhibitors are not just anxiety. I have an as yet unlabeled auto-immune disorder and arthritis which mix with my anxiety to make not only the idea, but the physical act of getting up, walking, and standing anywhere very difficult. If I could download myself into a robot body, maybe I would be cooking with bacon...
I am never really sure how honest or how edited I should be in these posts. I mean, the point is for me to get my thoughts and feelings out there, but who reads it? In my brain, I had safely assumed nobody. But the past couple of weeks have taught me that that is not true. So now, do I continue to rant and rave or do I edit in fear of what might be thought of me? I guess it really isn't about their impression of me at all. I am not really ran by that type of fear anymore. But about how much I expose and how much people know about me that I wasn't really aware that they knew? I mean, it is stupid stuff that I would probably tell you if we were sitting down talking. But it is different if you get it from here and I didn't tell you and didn't see your reaction or hear your response to my psychosis. Anyway... welcome to that and here is your fair warning, this post may be too real. Too real for you and too real for me to know you read it and I will write it anyway and this might be the one thing that I would never actually tell you...
There are a few highways of things that brought all this up... First, one of my bestest friends in the whole world just had a baby. A baby that she tried really hard to have and I had both of my babies in the time she was figuring out what was going on. I can't speak for her, but I think the 2nd baby was hard on her because she had been trying and we didn't really try at all and she is healthy and beautiful and skinny and should have gotten pg right away and I am fat and unhealthy and old and shouldn't have. Anyway, she would never say that, but I said it to myself a lot. So she had this little miracle baby and I know she will be the best mom ever, but it makes me wonder if she will see my vision of motherhood and will be be brought closer by it? Or will she be the real mother and not struggle with the things I do and I will feel even more isolated and wrong than I already do? Second, I read this article on motherhood depression. Not just postpartum depression, but motherhood depression and I wanted to share it and find some foot hold of others like me. But I am too scared for that...It just got me thinking.
Everyday is a struggle. Everyday I wonder what would happen if I just packed up and moved away. Everyday I wonder how much better my family might be with someone else as their mother. I do love my kids. But I do not love being a mom. I do not love giving the whole of myself for no gratitude and pain. I do not think the smiles on their cherubic faces makes up for everything they put me through. I do not think those moments when my boy hugs me and tells me I am beautiful are worth all the poop and pee and popcorn and disasters I pick up three times everyday. I do not think that all the pain and suffering I have endured after they ravaged my body is something I would sacrifice three times over. I love my children. They are sweet and adorable and did nothing to have such a selfish mom but lose the gene war. I love going to work. I love having an escape. I love that I have a wonderful mom that loves the babies unconditionally and completely that I can pay to love them the way that I can't. I love them but I did not have that moment when placed in my arms that I knew they were the true reason I had existed to this point. I never thought automatically that they were perfect and my only reason for living from here on out. I hear so many moms profess this, and it is just wasn't how I felt. I didn't want to get pregnant again. I had my tubes clipped after number two because I couldn't imagine going through any of that again. I love my kids, but. That is the constant thing. I love them but. But. But. It is a cold hard truth that I had to face. I am not the ideal mom. I am probably not even a good mom. The meth heads are probably better moms than me because they have that innate love that I just don't. I love my kids but it is probably conditional. I love my kids, but I still recent the life I used to have compared to the life I have right now, just a little bit. I love my kids but I miss being the apple of my husbit's eye. I love my kids, but I wish I could go eat Indian and go to a movie without having to pay $30 for a sitter. I love my kids but I wish I were a millionaire and could love my kids as a nanny raised them. I love my kids... But. Always that but.
I am horrified at the depth of my psychosis. I am not going to lie. But just because I know it isn't right, doesn't mean I have any way to fix it. It is literally just how I feel. So what do I do? I love them when I can. I sit in a pile of babies and watch Curious George for the millionth time and count down the seconds until their dad comes and takes them or they go to bed. I clean up their poop and pee and clean their rooms and make them food and try and teach them to be a better person than me. To be a better person than the genes I gave them to be. I try and tell them that I love them all the time so that even if they can't remember feeling it, that warm, embracing, all encompassing love that their father gives them, that they can remember that I said it.
I have a toddler and an infant and I may be going crazy...