Normally I'm stoic, but ever since the weekend when I stared at the pile of gifts Rooster gave me I've been attempting to actually feel them when they bubble to the surface. Gone are the days of stamping them down. I know both personally and professionally what a mistake it is to completely ignore pain.
I want Hawk to see me work through the spectrum; I want him to see the process and that I can survive it and that it's acceptable. I often feel like a lopsided adult with only half a round of emotional ammunition at my ready and I feel at a communicating disadvantage . Actually letting him see me hurt is almost as hard as it is to feel the hurt in the first place, but I'm determined.
When Hawk sees me cry, his questions about my sadness spurn me on to understand it myself. "Why you so sad, Mommy? Me make you sad??"
"No, baby. Mommy's just sad today. She had a conversation that made her sad. That happens to grownups sometimes. I'll be ok, though."
"Me make you happy??" he hugs me fiercely, holds my face in his hands and kisses it all over, just like I do to him, "You feel better now?"
I don't want him to feel responsible for my feelings so I tell him I like his loving attention, but that he doesn't have to make me happy. Then, I think, "Wait, people need to feel as thought they can make a difference to those they love and care about," and so I tell him it does make me feel better. And he gives me even more.
The reasons I'm crying are many fold and, I think, pretty obvious. Then this morning I read this blog post written by my friend, Brie:
I woke up tired on Sunday. My body was tired, but my spirit was tired too. Tired of everything. The constant going and moving and never stopping. The constant demands and pleas and negotiations. Tired of all of it. The constantness of motherhood.
And again, I started to cry.
I feel like it's all too much. The life upheaval, the constantness of motherhood, the pain of divorce.
One minute I'm one thing, another the next.
Hawk, being just barely 3, is all over my shit from the moment he wakes up till the moment he goes to bed if we're in the house (out of the house, and it's awesomeness). I don't have to tell any of you how exhausting that is. I can't make a phone call, write, do life-business things, look for a job, take a shower, or ever put my makeup on without him, literally, clamoring all over me, yelling at me, running into me, or damaging something to get my attention. The only relief is TV (le sigh).
Add two geriatric dogs I'm dog-sitting for 3 weeks who need in and out 100x a day, to be fed a special concoction, and whose water dish is never full enough, plus two cats who never know if they want in or out and never seem to have enough food or water themselves, and I feel as though I'm drowning. I'm surrounded by things that can't take care of themselves 24-freakin'-7.
I had The Family Guy on last night and on my way outside to enjoy the night air I caught this snippet between Lois and Stewie. Stewie had been having separation anxiety and wasn't giving Lois a moment of rest. Check it out. It's actually freaking hilarious.
It made me laugh and cry simultaneously.
Lucky for me I have pockets of relief scattered about and they are like so many blossoms in an otherwise dried up bouquet. I question everything I'm doing, but when I am able to wake up smiling I brush the doubt away and rise to the occasion and plan for more.
Keep striving. Keep digging. Keep working. It's all worthwhile. All of it. This is just part of the process and a year from now will be a whole different world. These feelings are temporary and necessary. I just have to keep pushing.
[I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who emails me and who leaves such tender, smart, supportive comments. I'm sorry I haven't responded to each of you like I normally do, but know that your words help me tremendously. This weird blogging world is so much more than just a hobby. It's a circle of friends. Thank you again.]