Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Weight of the World

Shit.  I'm feeling very eloquent tonight.  That's right, more doom and gloom over here.  If this is what "holding it together" looks like, the entire world is in trouble.  I am so frantic to get things done that I can't move.  There's an episode of Nip/Tuck where this 600 lb woman has been sitting on her couch for so long that it has fused with her skin.  While she is being operated on, she is asked why she never tried to get up.  She replies that she would compile a list in her head of all the things she needed to get done, but she would get so overwhelmed that she couldn't move.  So she would say to herself, "Tomorrow.  Tomorrow I'm going to get up and get things done."  Well, she never got up and I haven't been getting up either.  I don't weigh 600 lbs and the sheets haven't fused to my skin yet, but I'm sure that'll come.  

At the risk of alienating my audience, I have a confession to make.  When I found out I was pregnant with my son, I was terrified.  Actually, terrified doesn't even begin to describe it.  I was 22 years old, and not what they call "Mom material." Due to some bizarre doctor's appointment the year I turned 18, I was fairly sure I couldn't get pregnant.  With the astonishing array of medical knowledge I have now, I can interpret that the doctor was simply saying I was underweight and probably didn't ovulate. Weirdo.  Why would you tell an 18 year old girl she can't get pregnant?  It's like giving her a free pass to be careless. So if you figure that I was generally sexually active from 18 to 22 with little use of anti-pregnancy measures and zero pregnancies, the pregnancy was certainly a surprise.   I had absolutely no faith in my ability to be a decent parent.  I don't mean not knowing how to breastfeed or change a diaper.  I mean not knowing how to nurture another human being, raise another living soul that can function in this very difficult world.  The day he was born premature, I started living one day at a time and never stopped.  After he died, I would lay in bed for days at a time trying to hold my breath for as long as I possibly could.  Just waiting.  I still do it. 

My daughter came along and guess what?  I still don't have any idea what I'm doing.  I'm pretty sure my little depressive episodes are not a great example, though.  I wake up every morning since he died and there's a moment before I open my eyes when I don't feel that weight on my chest.  I try to hang onto that lightness, but by the time I come to consciousness the weight has settled and I get to spend another day with it.  Every night I close my eyes and hope it won't be there in the morning, but it always is.  Some days I can handle the weight.  Some days, like today, I just can't.

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