I was telling a friend the other day that I feel like I’m going through adolescence again. Like I need another go at rambling around the house trying to get an adult to listen to what I have to say. The searching for identity, the not knowing of where I fit in, feeling misunderstood and ignored and put upon all at the same time. It’s weird. I want to be the old me, you know, the one before infertility and the world of adoption, back to where all was possible if only I worked hard enough and I could buy as many shoes as I wanted. And I thought I was beyond all that. Truth be known, when I was an adolescent, I wanted to anywhere but where I was. I could never get over the feeling that somehow my circumstances was a tragic mistake, my real parents would show up and bring me back to a world where your parents didn’t fight like mortal enemies, my sisters and I got along, and I had my own room with fantastic furnishings and my own phone. And present day? Now I wish my hubby would worship me as a goddess, my fantastic son would biologically be ours and didn’t have to be wondering how to handle the topic of adoption on multiple levels of our lives or feel guilty on Mother’s Day and Christmas, I’d be busy filming at least once or twice a month, leaving me both time and money for our family, and I’d have a healthy mother available for on demand babysitting. A smaller waistline and a better attitude goes without saying. Where is my deus ex machina?
Yet, I’m in the fight. To be present. For myself and most especially for my son. To find my voice. To be heard. To be accepted as I am and acceptable to myself. To communicate in a more effective way with my partner. I’m not willing to just go along with just what I’m told anymore. I keep looking to others to have my life validated, and justified and I am so done with having to apologize for needing what I need. I don’t want to hear “NO” anymore. Now I have a toddler – don’t think that’s a coincidence! It’s disappointing to realize that at this point in my life, I’m still not satisfied with what I have. Or what I don’t have. Like a walk in closet. For my neuroses that is. It used to piss me off to no end when I was a kid and I’d have to split a Twinkie package with my sister. Just once, just once, I wanted to have the whole fucking pack to myself. Could there be a shortage of unconditional love for myself here? Like I’m waiting for someone to give me the other half of the Twinkie? What if I were to give it to myself? And how in the hell do I do that?
So much of my Buddhist training has been about being the master of your own mind. And I certainly haven’t felt that way of late. Of late, my mind has been kicking ass all over the place. I have the heart of a fighter underneath all this existential angst. That’s why sometimes I don’t mind being angry. Being angry for me is almost the best place to be. My thoughts crystallize, I’m motivated to get off my ass, if no other reason than revenge. Unfortunately for me, I can only maintain that for so long before it moves into depression. I need to move my practice into a more consistent space. Not having a lot of alone time to chant and meditate is a problem I haven’t found a solution for yet. I keep having to choose between exercise, errands or sleep. I keep going to my meetings, however, and it never fails to inspire me.
I went back the doctor to clear up a few things. According to her, I scored fairly low (mild) on the depression scale and I felt I asked the right questions this time and I felt I was listened to and that I was listening to her. It’s funny though, she asked me about symptoms and taking medication, but doesn’t ask about causes. She asked me when was the last time I felt happy. I thought it was an odd question but I couldn’t really remember when. To her credit, she handed me a book about mood elevating without meds. I think it’s about cognitive therapy from the first few pages that I’ve read so far, but frankly, so is Buddhism. I also went to get a blood test. I found out later, the lab flagged my iron levels but the doctor’s office says the lab results are normal. Really. I feel like I’m running on vapours halfway through the day, , but according to them the results are normal. I have suffered low iron for most of my life, that’s why I can’t donate blood, so I’ll just go back to taking iron supplements like I used to. I also had my thyroid levels tested, that came back within the “normal” range, but my doctor didn’t ask me if I had any symptoms either. Well, what may be normal doesn’t feel so good these days. I know she wants to help out my biochemical imbalance in my brain, so I just told her I was going to hold out for a while. She was quick to write out a small prescription for Ativan,at my request, to take the edge off and to help me sleep.
Things have been going well between the Precious and I. I have put more effort into staying present for him and it’s paid off. He’s no longer peeing on the carpet to spite me or to get my attention. We’re not battling as much. I’m not running away from him to catch my breath. He’s still running around the damn car instead of getting into his car seat, but I’m working on that. We’re cuddling on the couch watching movies and sharing popcorn, and today he even fell asleep on the couch with me rubbing his feet for a blissful nap, no car needed. I tell him how much I love him and I kiss him up and he tells me he loves me too. I told him he was the best little boy in the world and he just says, “I know.” Of course, not much else is getting done and I’m too tired after 8pm to do anything but veg out. I haven’t seen my mum lately (when we went on the weekend, she was sleeping peacefully), and I’m trying desperately to not feel bad or guilty about that. I’m making time to go out with friends, see a play, talk with like-minded grownups, remind myself that I can still talk about things other than my kid.
The funny thing about this adolescence is that I’m a grownup now and I have the power to make my own decisions but I still have to be responsible to my family. I am aware that it isn’t entirely about me. So I’m digging deep, trying to figure out what those decisions are and how to bloom in muddy waters.