Something that I’ve had difficulty with the majority of my adult life is accepting and not focussing on my inadequacies; functioning as a regular human being despite feeling like Heracles halfway to penance.
I’ve always been a strong advocate for mental health, despite never having seen any professionals myself (and being coaxed toward the idea several times) (I don’t like to talk about emotions. Vomit… But not really because obviously it’s a grossly unhealthy attitude).
But a few weeks ago things were getting hard. I wasn’t dressing the Leafy, or myself for that matter, zero housework was done. I was pulling her high chair into my bedroom and spending the day in bed, and I could not for the life of me pull myself out of this funk.
I started blaming it on leafs papa, or my not being able to get a job, not being able to study, dropping gym, dropping netball, getting a dog, being stuck in this good-for-nothing-God-forsaken-hole-of-a-town-where-dreams-come-to-die-or-be-crushed-by-the-weight-of-cumulative-ignorant-incompetence.
But the psychologist assigned to me through the magic and wonder of fate (read: the only one available) suggests I’m post natally depressed.
Yes folks, that’s right.
One year down the track. I think it’s bullshit, parenting is hard, relationships are hard, I feel about this place the way Joey does about Janice.
There’s a far more telling reason for it all but some things you don’t tell anyone. And I dont really like the Doc, he doesn’t exactly invite confidence when he watches me with cold skepticism and dismissive calculation. So what did I do? I be’d a grown up, and I got a new one. And, guys, she is COOL. Like, she may just be my (only) 72 year old best pal. She, too, disagrees with post natal, and got on board (sans prompting – I do actually want this shit to work out) with my ideas of long term anxiety. But I digress..
Despite its initial shortcomings – aka Dr Not-So-Clever – therapy has been good for introspection, and I’ve realised the work leafys papa and I need to put into our relationship. And just how great my daddy issues are. And how I pretty much let my mother convince me of anything and everything. And how much the endometriosis has affected me. And how much I actually planned to do with my life considering I never ever ever wanted children or marriage and now that’s what I’ve got and sometimes you just have to suck it up and put on your big girl pants (or any pants at all) and make do. And how I really, really don’t want to live here. But what choice do I have?
Well… Plenty. Obviously. But if I thought I had self awareness aplenty before, I’ve intensified it tenfold by getting all therapised, and now, with my baby now having spent over a year on this earth, the most consuming thought I’ve had is; What. Have. I. Done.
This poor innocent human is doomed.
It’s kind of impossible not to consider the negative facets of your own character that you’re likely to pass onto your firecracker offspring.
Despite my knowledge of my own shortcomings, leafys burgeoning personality only serves to further illuminate flaws I had previously determined irrelevent.
Things like terrible self esteem, social anxiety, depression, fear of commitment, inability to open up, emotional indecision, narcissism, poor temperament, laziness, terrible habit of starting things with excessive fervour but never finishing them, lack of drive or determination..
All these things combine and split like the proverbial custard of life and I’m left thinking,
‘… How in the ever loving name of fuck am I supposed to raise a self sufficient, well adjusted, independent human being when I’m such a hot mess of eggs and cream and emotional distress?’
(I may have mixed my metaphors.)
(I’ve never made custard.)
(But I don’t care because humor.).
Plus apart from not wanting her to be unwittingly afflicted with the crap soup that is her genetically predetermined destiny, sometimes I’m just a shitty human. Sometimes I’m crocheting real hard, and I’ve just found a technique that gives one of my blisters/callous’ a break and for no reason at all she’s standing at the couch tugging on the ball of wool or chewing on my feet or just squealing and I’m all
‘Ohmygodpleaseshutupandleavemealoneforfivejollyminutes.’ Except I do not say jolly, and I hate myself as soon as her bottom lip drops and I inhale, trying to reabsorb the awfulness.
So you can understand how it can feel like fighting a losing battle when both my conscious and unconscious traits aren’t exactly chips for the cashing at the mother of the year casino.
I’m not sure how to resolve that. Except maybe try to do things that make me forget I’m shit, and involve E with people who aren’t.
Easier said than done.
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