Identity and unconditional love – 2

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.

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12 thoughts on “Identity and unconditional love – 2

  1. Its funny — I read this last night and wanted to comment — thought and thought about it, thought about it this morning and woke to your comment and thought — that’s exactly what I was going to say about this post: I so get it.

    I get it. I see you.

    Exercise, errands or sleep and the heart of a fighter…yes, and yes.

    I love hearing about the journey between you and Precious — I know how hard it is to stay present — I see that in G when he comes home and settles in with that damned phone in his hand — checking out.

    I love too that you are making time for yourself. I have to follow your lead there…and I’m glad too that you’re trying to be gentle with yourself.

    Thank you, by the way, for your whole-hearted and clear-headed support over the last month. I truly, truly appreciate it — and you.

    Hey — and I bought Sorel’s for myself for Christmas! Big and black and sort of fashionable and yet sturdy enough to brave the arctic…

    XO

    Love,

    Pam

    • Thank you, P and also thanks for the kind words. I had written those post a while ago, and meant to hit publish, but never did cause I’m always being interrupted. I ramble on but you managed to understand anyway. Grateful that you did.

  2. there are so many ways in which our lives could be easier, more carefree. but alas, here we are. I think the thing about adolescence is having that freedom to explore, with your whole life ahead of you, the freedom and opportunity to just be yourself, and selfish too. most of us don’t get that now, not as adults or parents with responsibility, with partners and commitments. life gets in the way.

    there is nothing wrong with longing for some freedom and ensuring that you get some, sometimes. it’s impossibly difficult to live every moment tethered to our obligations, and yes, to these little people we are trying to guide through the world. it is exhausting!

    the other day I put the baby down for a nap and I just wanted — no, I needed — a few minutes of quiet, to sip some tea, check email, to just sit and breathe. J of course wanted none of it and just wanted to play. that’s HER special time, after all, when the baby naps. she wanted to play outside, so I just sat. did some breathing. thought about all the things I needed to do. then let them all go. after a few minutes, I went outside to check on her. I gave her a big smile and she looked up with delight to ask “can you PLAY with me, mama?!” and damn, I nearly broke into tears at that moment. *how long I had waited to hear those words?* so, rather than telling her all the things I needed to do instead of play, I said “of course!” and she was just ecstatic. we played ball for about 30 mins and she was SO happy. I got over feeling like an ass and realized I just needed those few minutes to myself first, before I could give myself to her. it was that simple.

    anyway. rambling now. this just rings true for me.
    be gentle with yourself.
    xo

    • It’s nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with that need to nurture my precious darling vs. leave me the hell alone feeling. Daddy had to go and rake leaves in the dark (cause it was leaf pickup the next morning) after he came home from work and I was dying for off duty time and Precious says ” I don’t have any friends to play with!”. So I put down my laptop and he hauled his car track over to me and we played cars. He was so happy and pretty soon I’m gonna be the last person he wants to play with.

  3. hey there again. Yes, cognitive therapy, currently reading the book The Gifts of Imperfection, and celexa took the edge off while I work thru all the crap.

    Anyway, it has been quite a bit better as of late. Don’t feel so overwhelmed and anxious.

  4. i so get it. All of it. The lack of time for chanting is getting to me. I want to go back to being the master of my mind. Sending Daimuku your way.

  5. ps: just wanted to add tht Danny has now developed an interest in chanting since i started taking him to meetings with me. He now sits with for sometime while i chant, imitating me…

  6. I really get this. I’m so glad you visited my blog and I found yours. Our lives look different but I get what you’re saying. Although having a kid is all i wanted for a long time, I don’t know how I’d have time for one….that was a joke. haha. seriously though, being present is tough. fighting depression or something that feels like it just makes everything tougher. I too found that celexa took the edge off (depression and anxiety) while I’m working through stuff…there’s a light at the end of tunnel…it comes and goes but it *is* there. i loved the image of you rubbing your little one’s feet til he slept. sweet moment.
    peace
    shlomit

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