Archive for the ‘Bad Mommy’ Category

Wow, hey, it’s been over a month since I last poured out my soul and neuroses here, eh?  I’d love to say that it’s because I’ve been sailing smoothly through life but alas, it’s mostly that I’ve grown weary of always having shit to bitch about and/or analyze.  Well, that and my brain and expository writing have not so much been friends recently.

So, Jen, what’s been going on?

I am 8 days from the end of the semester.  I have drafted 4 of my5 papers (thus far 29 pages of writing with another 7 to go…), shuddered at the sight of one of my two exams, and started reviewing for the second.  I have one paper due Sunday, one Monday, an exam Monday, an exam due Wednesday, two papers due next Friday and one due next Saturday.  I have completed my board postings and readings, and have had anxiety attacks from noon to 3 pm every day for close to a month.  I no longer get any sense of accomplishment at finishing tasks because there is always.something.else.  It’s sort of sucky.

In addition to the massive school thread, I decided back in October to do some editing of old poems.  So I messed around, rewrote, condensed, and then this past week I sent some out to various poetry contests on the theory that they aren’t doing me any good sitting on my hard drive and if nothing else, I really like having people read my writing, even if I have to pay them to do it.  I’m not all ‘I’m gonna WIN!’ or anything but I have at least gotten back to the point where I feel like I can write poetry that doesn’t suck.  That feels nice, honestly–it’s been a long time since I’ve tried to write creatively and I was starting to feel like maybe I’d been kidding myself that I could do it.

I have also been doing the visual arts thing from time to time, or at least playing around with it.  It turns out that, like my poetry, I like the pictures I draw.  Who knew?  And I like to paint, and I like to have ideas, and it’s pretty cool.

I have not played my dholak at all though.  I will.  Just not yet.

Otherwise, I am trying to keep my head from flying off of my body, trying to deal with the daily anxiety, trying to remember that I am really going to finish all of my work for the semester and am going to do it well, and trying to remember that my head *cannot actually* go flying off of my body even if it *feels like* I can’t keep it on.

And I’m excited about the holidays even though we don’t have a tree yet and the Halloween decorations are still up and I haven’t a clue when, how, or what I’m going to do about gifting this year.  I still can’t believe it’s December already.  I do think that we’re doing a Solstice something this year, Lucy and I.  I’ll come up with something.

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I am a little on the manic-obsessive side this morning.  I’ve been up for around four hours, three of which have been spent thinking about, looking at, and engaging in writing.  Part of me feels like a floodgate has opened, where I am able to get stuff out of my head that has been festering.  Another part of me feels like it’ll never stop coming and I’ll be stuck with all-new festering headstuff.  [I’m wondering if I should mention to my psychiatrist this week that the meds don’t seem to be taking the edge off of this stuff anymore…]

I have been looking through old journals, editing old poems.  And I am horrified to read how depressed I was.  I am even more horrified to read how many of my insecurities I expected to be cured by no longer being lonely, and how many of them I am still shadowboxing with.

How hard it is for me to see my self as worthwhile, talented, lovable.

The up-side is that I now have 18 poems to work with, from 1994 to this morning.

The down-side is that I now have 18 poems to work with, from 1994 to this morning and I have no idea what to do with them.

The in-between-side is that if you had asked me last night, I would never have guessed that I had so many poems at all, much less ones I think are salvageable.  Hell, a couple of ’em I think are good, and that’s in the midst of feeling this insecure.

The tough thing is that it’s hard to be depressed, it’s hard to do the work that goes along with trying to get better, and it’s really tough to feel like you’re backsliding.  It’s hard to admit that those years you’ve sort of reduced to a series of stories were filled with honest-to-goddess pain and it’s hard to admit that I spent a lot of time in my early twenties writing about wanting to die because I don’t remember being that suicidal.

On one hand, I can see how far I’ve come in the past 12 or so years.  On the other, I hope it doesn’t take me another 12 to overcome the insecurities I’ve been carrying for most of my life.

It’s a sobering thing to realize that I’ve spent my entire adult life suffering from depression and I only just started being treated for it.  I’m glad I went through this stuff this morning but I now understand why I couldn’t stand reading it before–all of the Confessions of Misery seem melodramatic and overblown until you realize it’s a disease, not a personality weakness.

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6 Days

I am hesitant to write anything about our pre-admissions visit yesterday.  On one hand, it’s a little “look at me, feel sorry for me” even for my attention-grubbing self.  On the other, kids have surgery every day and when it’s your kid who is having surgery, there’s little more comforting that remembering that fact.  And so the latter wins out.  I will most likely be doing a lot of “we”-ing in this because I’m not entirely sure that I’m ready to address how I am feeling or what I am thinking.

We like the surgeon.  This is so critically important it sort of surprised me.  Not that he has experience or credentials, but that he sat with us for half an hour and explained first why we were doing the surgery, and then how it would be done, and after going over the risks, he explained the many fail-safes they have in place to do their best to keep any of the risks coming to pass.  We toured the Pediatric ICU where Lucy will be for the first day after her surgery, got our time, and then were seen out to the lobby to reel a little bit before we were picked up.

And so now we have a plan.  We know who is getting us to the hospital, who is watching the baby while we are there, when it will start and when it should end, and where we will go to see her when it is all over.  The PICU is not nearly as bad as the Neonatal ICU was when she was born, although I did well up with tears when we left–it isn’t fun and games there but at least the patients are larger.  We know we like the hospital, the nurses, the doctors.  We know where the cafeteria is, and where to go to get non-hospital coffee.

There’s still a lot we don’t know, of course.  And the list of risks involves some pretty heinous stuff, although mortality is at the very lowest point of riskiness.  We have to have a lot of trust.  Thankfully, we do.


I am both a wreck and completely handling this all Remarkably Well.  Simultaneously,even.  It’s the strangest feeling to have this pain bubbling under the surface while knowing that it’s not there because I’m not processing things.  I’ve been able to reduce the anxiety through exercise and distraction, the depression is mostly contained by the Welbutrin, and the lack of concentration/memory is just going to be there until this is over.

I am becoming less and less afraid that this will be The Thing That Drives Me Over The Edge.  That my lack of breakdown indicates that it will be coming later.  I have to keep reminding myself that I had my breakdown, I got help, I have people who know that I have Major Depression and am being treated for it, and that I will not just lose it and off myself.  It will be a long time before I get over the residuals of this fear, but it’s normal, I would imagine, for children of suicides.

I am trying to keep using words even though I feel sometimes as though half of my vocabulary has been sucked out through my ear.  Even when I stammer or use the wrong word or mangle the pronunciation, I’m trying to use them anyway.  I feel somehow like words will be my salvation through all of this.  Words and love.


I am switching to a paper journal to log the rest of this experience, I think.  It warrants a book of its own, and besides that, I feel the need to buy myself something special, to treat my feelings as important instead of as a burden, and to coax my words to stay with me.

As Steff would say, “[I] don’t know whether to shit or go sailing.

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9 days

It’s the anxiety that is the worst.  Not fear about the procedure, or about getting behind on my work–that I can deal with; it’s tangible.  The anxiety though–the waking up fine and being overwrought with dread halfway through my morning coffee, the need to move move move move to keep from becoming mired in terror–it’s starting to get to me.  One day of it was fine, but this second is really terrible.

I am happy to be seeing not only the therapist but the psychiatrist tomorrow because I need to hear that this is normal and that it isn’t going to swallow me up and never let me go.  I know these things, but hearing them from People Who Know Such Things is kind of critical at this point.

Friday we have the pre-admissions testing, the weekend is her last of soccer for the season, and then it’s school school school clearance surgery.  Nine days left to wait, nine days to try not to panic, to try to keep it together, to find ways to fill nine days’ worth of hours.

One of the hardest things to deal with is my newfound inability to remember anything.  I go to run errands and skip a store.  Last night I forgot to pick up our CSA share.  I am editing my chemistry paper and do not remember writing an entire passage of it.  To be completely honest, I don’t even know if the paper is ok to turn in but I’m submitting it anyway because fuck it.  An item off of my to-do list is worth more than a grade right now.

I am trying.  I just don’t think there’s anything I can do but wait for this all to pass.

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  • My God, kids *need* all the time.  I think my head would explode if I got to change a diaper without the baby demanding to nurse while his sister calls me from the other room.
  • I currently have enough lettuce in my fridge to choke a rabbit and neither kid eats the stuff.  I’m going to overdose on salad.
  • Today I walked 2.3 miles and am more tired than I should be.  I need to start doing this more often before it gets stupid hot.
  • Strawberries!  One pint is already gone.  I’m going to have some more with the homemade flan once C gets home.
  • I think my new favorite thing is when people agree with me.  How sad is that?

That’s all I got, folks.  Pleas for attention, a fridge full of lettuce, sore calves and an inflated ego.  And flan.  Can’t forget the flan.

Oh also?  I have bok choy I need to prepare ASAP and no clue what to do with it.  Any ideas?

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The last week has been full of emotional ups and downs.  Maybe even the last month but definitely the last week.  I’m finding it hard to let go–I guess it’s a sort of wanting to go inward while taking everyone with me.  To be honest, it’s a return to feeling part of a community, which has been sorely missing in the past several years.  It’s going to take time to remember that the beauty of community is having people who are there when you come back out without having to drag them into your navel whilst you gaze.  And I do love me a good lintfest


I’m feeling a little like a belled cat because of all of this.  It’s  nice to not be sneaking around on the periphery all the time but it’s hard getting used to remembering to get out of my own head when I’m out and about.  I think this is a good thing, though.  I’ve spent a lot of years not being fully present and I think it’s kept me from feeling comfortable and happy.


Ok, if you got through all of that self-help crap, here’s your reward–the baby’s newest cuteness:

Every time he pees, he closes his eyes and yells out “HOAK!” (soak) as loud as he can. He also says “allo!” for hello and sings “bolo bolo bolo” when I play David Newman and likes to watch the Ankees pyay basheball on the tee with their hats and bats and guys.

As always, all pictures are on teh Facebook now, few that they are 🙂


Lucy finishes kindergarten in two weeks and I can’t even believe it.  Time with the flying and all.

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Ah Tuesday Thursday, duh…, pizza day.  I love pizza day, where I can look at the clock creeping up on 8 am and not yell “oh shit!” and run into the kitchen to throw some food in Lucy’s lunch box.

There is a list of things to do today but I am starting out slow this morning.  There will be plenty of time for rushing around tomorrow; for now, I want to have some chill time before the craziness (for those new to these parts, this is what I mean by craziness).  I’m trucking along with my to-do list, with my reading for my classes, with the apartment–everything but the actual preparation to head out of town.  This is mostly because I have to go buy new dress shoes today.  I’m not a fan of dress shoes.  I do have to keep reminding myself that my children are going to be so cute that nobody even notices me 😛

Ok, so the other reason for my sudden dress-angst is that I am keenly aware that there are stores full of the most beautiful saris a mere express subway stop away and they make my 50’s pink cocktail dress look really…plain.  I wouldn’t wear a sari, much as I’d love to, but after window-shopping last weekend, I have to say that Western evening wear is decidedly boring by comparison.

And this isn’t even covering how much I HAVE NO IDEA what to do with my three feet of hair.  Srsly.

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