I’ve been having a really rough couple of days.
I’ve been thinking more and more about the fact that the only reason I’m still here is because of Noah. I realized that ever since Noah was born I have lamented over the fact that I can no longer just take off, leave, and do whatever I want. Maybe every new mother feels that way but it seems to cut a bit deeper for me.
My fight or flight instinct kicked in once we realized that Noah was in trouble. I stepped up to the plate because I had to….I had to make the calls to the social worker in Edmonton, had to coordinate where we were staying once we got there, had to track down my nurses to give me paperwork and get my doctor to come in to discharge me so that we could leave the hospital. Once we got to Edmonton, all of the other medical decisions we needed to make were presented to us…..more often than not, Caleb deferred to me. There tends to be an overwhelming belief that because the mother carries and births the child, she is the one to make the decisions.
Over the last two years I have had innumerable people tell me that I am strong, that I am a good mother, and so on. It makes me wonder if people ever say things like that to the fathers as well, or does that only apply to the mother because of societal norms – that it’s all on her. The thing is that I don’t feel like I am strong at all. I’m truly only here because I was pretty much forced into it…..over the last year or so, the only way I can really describe what I’m feeling is, “claustrophobic”. This has been especially true over the last 6 months in particular. Today I realized that that claustrophobic, wanting to “climb the walls”, feeling is actually my flight instinct kicking in. I’ve been fighting for so long…..more often than not I think about how on earth I am supposed to deal with all of this for years and years to come.
I want to leave, I want to run away. Those feelings were especially strong a few months ago when I was having some serious suicidal ideation…. but now that I’m finally in therapy and on medication, things are definitely better and I don’t feel quite as crazy. Over the last few days my shitty sleep patterns have returned and it brought back those desperate, trapped feelings. I don’t know where to put those feelings when I get like that. I post about them occasionally on a couple of FB groups I’m in, but it makes me feel like a drama queen….and I usually delete them in the cold light of day because I’m embarrassed.
I feel like I am expected to carry this ginormous weight and at the same time I need to organize and coordinate how to move my life forward. A friend of mine that I graduated with and started college at the same time as (before I left when I got pregnant at the end of my freshman year), FINISHED college this week. She is a TEACHER. That blows my mind…..how am I old enough to have peers who have actual careers? I’m a bum who stays at home all day while she is out being a contributing member of society and shaping young minds. That’s crazy to me!
This week I managed to completely forget about a biannual appointment with Noah’s physiatrist….and the hip x-ray that I was supposed to get him in for before that appointment. That probably doesn’t seem like a huge deal to anyone, but for me….it’s the first major appointment that I’ve completely and totally dropped the ball on. I have missed ONE other appointment, which was a PT/OT/ST visit when Noah was under a year old, which was rescheduled to the next week (so, no big deal). Now I’m embarrassed for missing that appointment, mostly because coordinating, making, and attending appointments is all on me and it’s just another mark of how much I fail at being a mother.
Most people say that their children are the best thing in the world, that they don’t regret them, etc. I feel like a horrible person because if I could go back and slap 19-year-old-Me upside the head, I would. This is terrible. That young, naive bitch had absolutely ZERO clue what she was getting herself into. I say it now to other people but I wish I would have known the truth myself….babies are NOT like in a Huggies commercial.
My sister is really making me angry because of her refusal to take responsibility for her own sexual health….and I think that a huge part of that is because I regret having a baby when I did, and perhaps at all. She is 19 herself now…..I know that she’s an adult and it’s her business and blah blah blah but honestly I really wish that she would look at my life and learn from my mistakes a little.
I worry about the future, Noah’s future, and what it looks like. Will it turn out that he outlives both Caleb and I? Will he pass away from a random illness next year? Will he ever walk, talk, feed himself?
My flight instinct is telling me to run….but every time I think about it, I also think about that little Noah face and it pulls me right back. I hate all of this so much that it’s beyond words, but I don’t want to leave Caleb or someone else with all of that burden either. So I have to keep pushing…and pushing….and pushing….
In so many ways, Noah saved my life and gave me something to live for……but in so many others, this whole experience is killing me.