Pregnancy is a crazy thing.
It has the capacity to completely take over your entire existence.... even if you already have a lot of other stuff going on. For me there is an undeniable connection to not only myself but also to everything and everyone around me. I feel super sensitive in not only the cliched emotional ways, but also to the working of our universe.
We are all interconnected, and I feel much more aware of these connections while I am carrying a child. The most interesting thing about doing this for the fourth time around has been the ability to separate what is my stuff from what is pregnancy stuff. What I mean by that is that is that some of the inevitable hormonal crazy is easier for me to see IS hormonal crazy... as opposed to me losing my mind or being a horrible person. I am a different person when I am pregnant and although I like my non-pregnant person a little better I am trying to appreciate some of my pregnant person attributes as well.
My goal this time around has been to try and fully take advantage of this connection that I feel that is so different than my "normal" way of interacting and reacting to things, situations, and other people. I am hoping that I can come out of this with not only an amazing little human to watch and love and learn from, but a better sense of who I am and where I am headed.
My husband and I are both very much in love with each other but we have our struggles and frustrations with each other as well. I think that my husband's best quality is what an amazing father he is. I wish he was as committed to being as good of a husband. I happen to think that I am a pretty good mother as well, and I try to be a good wife, but the inequality of our marriage has reached a point that I am not as doting as I used to be. I sometimes worry about the ultimate future of our lives together and nothing makes me sadder than these thoughts.
We have been in counseling for a little while together but with all the holiday madness we had to take a small hiatus. During this time I went and sought out a counselor for myself to try and work on some of my own issues that have nothing (or little) to do with my husband, but are buried in my somewhat dark and mucky past. I shared in my last post that he is now going to start seeing our marriage counselor on his own. We will still go together occasionally, but I am hoping that without the distraction of "our stuff" he can work on some of his own. It gives me hope anyway, which is never a bad thing! I only hope he will be able to reach down deep to do the work he needs to, he had never been in therapy before me and I'm not sure he really knows what he is getting into. All I can do is hope that he will do the best he can, and him agreeing to go in the first place is a pretty big step for him!
I am so glad that I took that step for myself and I am working really hard. It amazes me how much things from my past can effect the way that I interact with people and situations today. It's not as though I haven't dug through all of these things before. I have been through a few incredibly dark periods of time. I have told the story of how I eventually became pregnant with my oldest daughter, Emily in previous posts (part I & II). I have also alluded to some some fairly heavy darkness in my high school days, which I might touch on more at some point but for now I can sum up by saying that during my four years of high school I missed about half of my first two and a half years, by being institutionalized. The first time I tried to kill myself I was only 12 years old. It obviously could be a long story, but it wasn't for attention or because I was trying to call out for help, it was honestly that I didn't think that my life was worth the pain of living every day anymore and I just wanted to give up. I was in rehab for several months the first time. In the next couple of years I was sent back twice. My second time I woke up in rehab after having fallen into an alcohol induced coma from drinking too much after about a week of binging on Crystal Meth. Everyone thought I was trying to kill myself, but I was just too messed up to know how bad off I was. I talked myself out of that jaunt within only a few weeks. I had learned what needed to be said and when, but it didn't really help me at all. I was back to drinking and doing drugs, literally the day I got home. I don't remember how long it took before I was sent back but but it wasn't long. And this time my mom sent me to a bigger city with different people and no one bought my bullshit there. I spent several months there again this time. I spent A LOT of time in therapy. Personal therapy, group therapy, family therapy, group family therapy(that was a super weird one!!) you name it I did it...
The point of putting all of that out there is that I have had a lot of time to air my dark places. They have had a lot of light shined on them and yet they are still there. The interesting thing that I am finding now... readdressing some of that same stuff is how much it STILL messes with me. I have to admit that it annoys the hell out of me. In some ways I feel like there is only so many times you can go over the same crap before you have to put on your big girl panties and fricking deal with it, but at the same time I am desperately trying to be kind to myself and let myself feel the sadness and pain of these things... let myself acknowledge their power over me, because only then can I truly GET OVER IT.
I am working with an amazing woman who I have developed a growing respect for. She has helped me to connect with things that I really thought I was over... but I am obviously not. She has been kind and patient and with her guidance I have made connections that I have never made before. It has been a long time since I dug this deep into a lot of this crap and I am A LOT older now and have a lot more life experience behind the eyes that are looking back. I really think that I am making progress with this stuff and that makes me feel truly hopeful that even if these things are not vanished forever.... at least for right now I am beginning to feel my heart and soul have a little less weight on them.
One of the hardest things for me to do is to sit with my own sorrow or pain. I always want to push it away. Even if the way that I usually push it away is generally a good thing, by looking at the lessons I have learned or see how I am a better person for having gone through these experiences... sometimes I just have to stop and sit with the pain. Allow myself to grieve for the loss of innocence or the pain of loneliness and neglect. I struggle doing this because it feels like self pity to me, which I can't stand, but one of the things that I am discovering is how not giving myself permission to feel the things that I DO feel is a large part of what is hurting me the most.
I think it is funny that I am so harsh, judgemental, and uncompassionate (and yes according to dictionary.com that really is a word, I wasn't sure so I went ahead and looked... OCD anyone? : P ) with myself because I think that if you asked most people who know me, and know me well, those words would probably come up as the complete opposite of some of my most positive attributes. Isn't it funny how easy it is for me to give to others what I find it nearly impossible to give to myself? That is another way I hide from my pain btw, which I honestly didn't see the depth of until recently. I laugh when I want to cry. I have been doing it for so long that I truly didn't even notice how often I do it. Now that I see it a little more clearly, I have been amazed at how often I laugh at things that really aren't funny at all. And again I don't do it with other people's pain, just my own. It is astounding to me how easy it can be to just not see these things about yourself when you do them everyday, for years, maybe a lifetime even. Yet another reason that I am so glad that I made that call and found this woman to help me. My days after a session can be hard because it is so very draining, but I am finding that the next few days are beginning to feel better and better. I hadn't realized how heavy my heart had slowly become over the last good amount of years, it feels nice to air things out and let a little more sunshine in!
Sadly, it's not helping things with the hubby because some of what is happening is that I want to change some of my more destructive behavior patterns... which of course he has become quite accustomed to, but if we are meant to be together forever like we both hope that we are, then we will be able to let each other grow in the ways that will make us happier, healthier people on our own AND together as a unit. I don't for a second think that things are going to be easy for us. They never have been for us. We have always had a relationship full of extremes both good and bad, but I have faith and hope (I know that word has been a little overused this post) that we will make through this together. Together as partners, lovers, and friends building our relationship and our family in the healthiest, happiest way that we can.
Today I am grateful that I becoming more comfortable letting myself feel what I need to feel, with a little less judgement.
I am grateful that my husband has taken a step to be a healthier person.
I am thankful to have more hope than I have felt for awhile. I have missed my natural optimism greatly! : ) I plan to enjoy it while it lasts... even if it only visits, I think it will be visiting more often!