Saturday, May 30, 2015
Oddly enough, this dip in physical health has made me refocus on my mental well being. I haven't been taking good enough care of myself and the last several days have made that quite evident. In addition to stoking my self care fire this bump in the road has made my worries about my sister and frustrations with my mother reawaken-for a few weeks they had subsided, or perhaps just gone underground.
Anyways, I thought it might be a good exercise to write down some of my feelings and get them out instead of continuing to sit on them like a hen with a rotten egg snuggled up under her butt. I will do so in the form of a letter.
I know you have told me not to worry about my sister, I know you've told me that you and Dad will take care of her and the baby if things don't work out well, but I'm still concerned.
My concerns mainly focus on her mental health. She's said herself that she believes she has bipolar disorder, a disorder that is known to run in families and I, for one, am known to have it. To me those seem like two very good reasons to get checked out (not to mention the other countless reasons including improving relationships and providing a better life for her unborn child) and yet you both avoid directly confronting the issue.*
I know it's a scary prospect, the idea of such an illness, but I find the prospect of entering motherhood with an untreated mental illness such as bipolar more frightening. Being a mother with bipolar I know how the illness presents challenges, challenges that are difficult for me even while I acknowledge and treat my disease, I can't imagine how upsetting and dangerous those challenges would be for someone who isn't treating their illness or even acknowledging it.
Not dealing with these issues isn't just bad for our family, for my sister, for her child, it's directly invalidating to me, someone with the disease you refuse to acknowledge. Being afraid to confront the possibility of bipolar in my sister paints the disease as too terrible to consider, how do you think that makes me feel? I've experienced myself our family's aversion to discussing mental health issues and still feel the pain it causes, but this is a more direct insult that ever before.
I don't really believe that clarifying my concerns will help things but I needed to write this out to prove to myself that 'm not off-base, to prove that my thoughts are valid, to validate myself in spite of the rejection I feel. It's not bad to be concerned for my family though I am made to feel like a traitor for voicing my feelings. That's not fair, so I write this.
Concerned daughter and sister,
*We also have a known family member with schizophrenia, another potential familial disease worth investigating
So there we are. Hubby agrees that my mental health may have gotten covered up lately, between Baby and the walking make me feel better I got off the self care wagon and wasn't sussing out my feelings. Oh well. Dealing with my mental health is a series of fresh starts, over and over, here we go again!
Back to deboilification...
Just when I think I'm bottomed out life spits out another unpleasant twist...
This afternoon my emotional dam burst.
After a walk with the hubs, babe, and dog I took a shower. What was supposed to be an elongated, relaxing shower became an abbreviated cherry on top of my misery sundae... I found a boil flaring up.
If you've read my blog for long enough you may know that I had a brush with a carbuncle not too long ago, well a couple years maybe. Located on my inner thigh, right on the panty line it was a horrible experience. Walking became nearly impossible and very awkward and I soaked in epsom salt baths at least once a day getting the thing to burst.
Not fun then and definitely not what I need now. It took a while for the feelings to breech my inner walls but once they did I succumbed to the emotions. So overwhelmed and discouraged I cried and snorted and blew my nose all over the apartment.
I was already wishing for a body transplant and this just seals the deal.
The hubster is convinced all my issues are stress related due to our impending move. I dont think my boob and tooth are but the boil may be since stress can weaken immune systems and my emotional state definitely.
Ive been having quite a few troubling thoughts regarding Baby, thinking of shoving him in his diaper pail and shutting the lid or pouring hot soup on him, no intention of doing such terrible things just the horrible thoughts... Some self harm impulses but not much, mostly just moping and feeling overwhelmed and useless lately. If I dont stop the bleeding it could get far worse rather quickly though.
So. Here I am. Going into my weekend in a shit state with the goal of bursting a stupid carbuncle. How lovely. Not exactly the fun, rejuvenating weekend we were hoping for....
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
In the shower I was sudsing my pits and my breast began to hurt. I've been having ongoing issues with Righty and a plugged duct or cyst or whatever the hell I don't need right now... It's just gotten more tender since I've been actively trying to drain it. I've finally decided to get help from a lactation consultant and while that should be comforting it ended up making me feel like a failure for not getting help sooner.
That was frustrating and the heat in the apartment was frustrating and then Baby got frustrating... He was fussy all evening it seems, ate his fill but left me with milk, so I went to get my pump and found mold. Fucking mold in my breast pump that I had just cleaned.
It was the last straw. I wanted to punch walls, I wanted to cry but I could barely manage a few tears. I threw out weeks' worth of milk to be safe and the hubster sanitized and cleaned the pump for me and I'm waiting for it dry so I can finally get this milk out.
I'm so fed up with not feeling decent. My tooth is better but not totally and my boobs just can't get it together. I thought I was finished with the engorgement issues and then I woke up day before yesterday in pain. This plugged duct is so discouraging and I just want to feel normal instead of dysfunctional.
I'm not sure when I'll be able to see the lactation consultant, I'm going to call tomorrow morning for an appointment. I called into my ND to let her know that the home care she suggested isn't working and haven't heard back, not that it matters since she won't be in the office the rest of the week and I'm not convinced that she can help me much.
To top it off some fucking smoker flooded the living room with smoke just now so I had to close the door. It's fucking broiling in here and I have to shut the door. I want to bash this keyboard into tiny bits.
I know it's pretty impossible but I keep wanting to bash my breasts with a baseball bat. I'm so fed up I don't even care anymore. I know it's not uncommon to be discouraged when it comes to breastfeeding but right now I just want to say "fuck it" and quit. Deep down I know it's just the "now" talking.... but fuck it all for now. Just fuck it all.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
It was a little tough having Baby with me. He wasn't allowed in the interview room or the donation area but the ladies working the center helped me out and we all made it through relatively easy. He was a big hit with the canteen volunteer too!
I scheduled next time for an afternoon so Hubbo can watch Baby while I go-thought as I think of it now, a 3:00 PM appointment is cutting it a little close but I can always reschedule or he can come home a little early... I guess I wasn't thinking too clearly right after being drained ;)
In other news, I've been feeling better lately. I'm not sure that my thyroid could be realigning this quickly but just being aware that I was out of whack is helping me cope better and my anxiety seems to have calmed down a bit-though my heart was thumping earlier like crazy! Still need time to adjust. I'm still working on eating better, getting active, and resting more so I'm not feeling hunky dory by any means....
Ugh. Okay. I'm minimizing.
I'm glad my thyroid is getting resolved and my anxiety has gotten a little better but I'm tired and getting frustrated with Baby by the end of the day, my right breast still has a clogged duct or a cyst or whatever that's bothering me and I can't seem to fix it which means I may need to get an ultrasound or at least see a lactation consultant.
My tooth was bothering me after my filling and since it had been 2 weeks I finally owned up to it and called in. Thankfully the dentist was able to make some adjustments and thinks that everything will calm down. I really hope she's right because the idea of getting a root canal is awful!
Our family baseline has been off a bit since my hormones started to settle and my sex drive bottomed out. The first couple months wasn't so bad, those first 6 weeks was like we were newly in love again, but now I'm only interested in having the bed all to myself for sleeping!
I anticipated some issues like this since I figured out the hubster and I are "3-day types." If we aren't intimate about every 3 days we start getting snarly. I tried to work on alternative intimacy activities while I was pregnant but that didn't go over so well-tough to practice alternative forms of intimacy when you still have the "best" option available! I suppose we're just going to have to adjust as we go, more cuddling and talking and less "the whole shebang."
So... It ain't all roses but it ain't so bad lately. We're planning to move this time next month, so change is on the horizon. I'm excited but nervous, I want the change to invigorate me not lurch me into an episode. The hubbo and I are certainly aware of that possibility. We'll just have to prepare as best we can and see what happens!
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
He came home from work spent and frustrated but things weren't terrible right off. We had some spaghetti, able to laugh off a terrible moment when he spilled a good portion of his plate on our couch and two pillows, we watched some TV, did laundry, and relaxed with the baby.
Later he was still feeling crappy, admitting that he wanted to her bad stuff like pizza and ice cream (exactly what we've been trying to get away from) but we resisted the easy trip to the store for the bad goodies. In a little while he decided on a different type of food therapy, going out to eat, but a crowd at the restaurant set that idea on its head. We ended up going to Trader Joe's and coming home.
I got frustrated, being hungry and having expected some hot food, backing out of the dining out option didn't go over well. So by evening time we both were chewing glass.
After some arguing and tension the hubbo ended up making waffles with strawberries (as I had offered to do earlier in the evening funnily enough) and we regained some sanity. The sanity was short lived though, and a simple act of moving his hand when I climbed into bed caused his mood to bottom out.
It was awful. He felt rejected and unloved and all his frustration at work created a sucking black hole of negativity. Being tired and a stranger to playing the sane one during an emotional storm, I could see that he was being a negative Nancy, his mind piling on bad things like a runaway snowball, but I couldn't figure out what to do. I was paralyzed.
Unfortunately, being paralyzed made it worse since all he wanted was a "there, there" and a hug and kiss. Thankfully, we've worked hard on our communication skills and he was able to say that's what he needed! It took some grinding gears and certainly felt awkward for me (I'm not a super affectionate type-notes and loving thoughts sure but expressing affection directly is tough) but we made it work. Somehow we ended up cuddled in bed and feeling somewhat better, after a long afternoon of simmering badness!
Overall the experience was uncomfortable, frustrating, and exhausting but at the same time it was a wonderful thing to see how resilient our relationship is and how we can work things out even when things get sad and ugly. Feeling bad sucks, but not pointless!
At the lowest point of our day I remember he said something generalizing my lack of affection-not offering hugs, kisses, or expressing gratitude, affection, desire etc. Oh boy, it felt terrible. Mostly because I felt it true and saw it as a real issue in our relationship. I'm not sure if it's my terrible self-esteem or what, but I almost always feels like he has a secret resentment or disappointment in me, and hearing him say those things seemed to validate my haunting suspicions. It was the first time I thought, "Oh God, maybe we're not going to work out." I remember looking at our desktop background on the computer and thinking, all these gorgeous pictures of a perfect family will just be bitter memories, pictures with "some guy" instead of my love.
While we worked through that moment, chalking it up to a lashing out, a kernel of truth wrapped up in a lot of raw emotion, it's still something we need to work on. I need to work on... I don't want to be a cold wife. Don't want that example to be set for our children. As affectionate and sweet as I may be in my head or on paper, I can be stoic and distant in real life. I have my moments, but they are rare.... I think it's because being expressive (physically or verbally) requires that one be comfortable with oneself, and that isn't a typical day for me!
Friday, May 15, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015
I have been insecure and unstable for several days now, fidgety and distracted, my brain constantly humming away with anxious thoughts. Last night the hubbo was cruising apartment options and shared one idea with me. The apartments were a good option and worth checking out but I think the discussion was too much for me in my fragile state.
It took a couple hours but I gradually slid into a frenzy. My vision got sketchy, my peripheral vision shut down, my focus became terrible, shadow and brightness became exaggerated and although I was indoors past dark it felt like I was outside on a sunny day, the indoor lighting overwhelming. It was heartbreaking looking at my son in my arms and feeling like I was looking through a warped window. I wasn't myself and I was keenly aware of it.
I know that right now he's too small to understand my episodes or to understand that I'm not myself during those times, but looking at him and feeling so fractured made me think about the future when he'll be blindsided by my mood dropping out and confused by my irrational comments or hurt by my withdrawal. It's scary. I know parents can't avoid messing up their children in one way or another, but I don't want him scarred for life by my disease.
Once I was able to calm down a bit the hubbo and I admitted our concerns about explaining my mental health to our children and how we'll work through episodes with them around. We don't have it all figured out but it's definitely on our radar, especially after last night. There was no self-harming but I was angry and yelling, definitely irrational and it would be confusing and troubling to a child.
I know that prevention is key and maintaining my lifestyle can help avoid episodes but I'm also aware that I can't avoid every episode. We need some sort of framework for dealing with my flare ups, and while I'm confident we'll figure something out I worry about how our children may be affected.
Guess this is a great subject to discuss with my therapist, right!?
In the meantime, I'm trying to calm down and even out. The hubster and I have plans to go out Saturday for the first time without Baby. Seattle Rep sent us a convincing ad for a romantic play called "Outside Mullingar" and we're having my mom up to babysit while we go to an early showing. I'd really like to be in a better frame of mind by then so I can enjoy it instead of being a prickly pear!
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Today was another first, going for a visit at a friend's house with another new mother. It was awesome! We all were busy taking care of our respective babes but it was nice to nurse, burp, change diapers, do tummy time, and soothe babies all together and chat about our births and motherhood all at the same time. It was a great visit and a change of pace, I really hope we get to do it again.
One baby was almost 3 1/2 months, one nearly 3 months, and one 2 1/2 months-the other mom that I hadn't really met yet remarked how great it was to really process and talk about the birth with other moms and I totally agree. We all had different experiences, well they both had inductions that ended up as c-sections but for different reasons and in different journeys, but we all seemed to connect on a new motherhood level that was really great.
Otherwise I've been dealing with some anxiety and feeling insecure, I've been feeling bad about my weight and wanting to get in shape while also understanding the limitations of my energy and time... I still feel anxious about my mother and sister and the pregnancy but I'm starting to feel more resolved in distancing myself and feeling better about it all.
I guess all the particulars don't interest me as much as just being aware that I haven't been mindful and focused on my well being of late and the distractions and stress of life are wearing on me. It's temporary and I'll get back into my better habits and feel better soon, it just takes some time...
Thursday, May 7, 2015
I hate to be a burden but more than that I just don't want to feel like shit anytime a challenge comes along. It totally hijacks my day, affects the hubbo and Baby, it's just no fun.
In better news, Baby is sleeping a 6-hour block at night lately. It's crazy. I feel like he's already growing up too fast. It's worse than watching birthday flowers fade watching the newborn shine fade from him!
I've already pondered existence quite a bit thanks to my mental health issues but parenthood has definitely made death and life mean more, brought clarity to my ponderings and really grounded my beliefs. Like most people I've explored religion but the past few years I really settled into atheism and somehow having a baby solidified it for me. It's kinda funny considering how much faith having a baby takes, all that faith in a Faithless person-makes me smirk.
Big difference between lowercase faith and uppercase Faith. I think it's important to note that Faithless people can live with a lot of faith, in fact I think faith is essential to human life. Part of being human is the burden of these big ole brains making us aware of what could happen, without faith we'd be crippled by that awareness. So I have faith and despite not believing in any higher order I feel like a pretty spiritual person.
I think working on my faith will help with my resiliency.
Aahhh... Watching "Louie" and this episode had Robin Williams. *teary* I think it's lovely that just seeing him makes me sad but happy and grateful all at once. That's a worthy goal in life, to be a cherished memory, to be remembered well... Closest thing to "heaven" I think.
Holy crap. It's only 8 AM. I woke up at 6 AM thinking it was 10 AM. Boy howdy am I gonna crash hard later!
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The hubbo and I were talking about the lease being up next month and moving. Somewhere along the line the hubster mentioned maybe working a second job and we started talking about finances and I ended up feeling horrible. Worthless. Like it was my fault he doesn't make as much as he wants to at his current job, that if I worked somehow our lives would exponentially better.
We talked it out and while the hubbo was really rational and talking me down about how much daycare would cost and being a one-income family isn't a terrible thing and that I do worthwhile things taking care of Baby and all that but it didn't do much. I was spiraling already, logic wasn't happenin'!
Sharing a pint of Chubby Hubby and zoning out watching "Covert Affairs" together almost got things back on track but then bedtime rolled around. Lately I've been getting to bed first but tonight I was out of it in my mood and the hubster turned off the lights and took Baby from me and initiated bedtime procedures... it pushed me back over the edge somehow. I felt like I didn't exist. Went back to feeling worthless.
Throughout the course of the evening I had anger flares. I smacked the wall, punched pillows, groaned, plugged my ears and moaned, it was all unpleasant. The urge to self-harm was there but I avoided succumbing to it, I did admit to the hubbo, "I want to self-harm." As open as we are it's tough for me to say it outright...
He was really tired so I stayed up with the kiddo. The hubster asked me to wake him up if I wanted to self-harm again, I said that it wasn't worth waking him up, even if I did self-harm I never hurt myself "that much." He asked if I was wanting to hurt the baby and I said that I had had the impulse to throw him down but I wouldn't do that-EVER-and if I couldn't handle things I would set him down or get help. It was all kind of surreal. I had this, "this is our life" moment as we had the exchange and I wondered how many spouses talk about "if you are going to harm yourself wake me up" before going to bed? Thankfully not our daily routine, but felt sad that we've done this enough times to be familiar with the procedure.....
So. I'm not happy right now. Can't sleep. Feeling more stable but not quite over feeling so shitty about myself.... Baby steps. Things will change. Again.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Hanging out in Town Center with Baby today. It was one of those blue sky but with huge ominous clouds kinda days but I winged it and went without a jacket.
Turned out the cloudburst (now I'm thinking straight up storm) rolled up right when Baby got hungry. Thinking it would just be a quick sprinkle I sat down under a tin roof shaded bench area and whipped out Lefty.
The sprinkle turned into a rockin hail storm! I already have hearing loss but Im sure it's worse now. I covered Baby's ears as best I could but who knows.... What started out as a sweet outdoor nursing session with rain tinkling on the tin roof over us turned into a perfect storm, "OMG Im gonna deafen my child," mother vs. Mother Nature throwdown.
After the hail slowed then started up again after about 10 minutes I snuggled Baby in his protective stroller cocoon and ran myself jacketless through the resumed hail to the Starbucks down the block. Good riddance! The hail continued while the thunder and lightning kicked up!
What a day. Hope this mother-son adventure afternoon doesnt result in matching hearing aid souvenirs....
Monday, May 4, 2015
Sunday I had some anger flares. Smoker outside apartment was smoking where he wasnt supposed to and it pissed me off. Tried some loving-kindness/gratitude exercises but failed. Ya know yer gratitude exercise aint working when youre thankful for supposed precancerous cells in a smokers body...
Later that night I had a flare up after some logistic fumbles related to bottle feeding Baby some breastmilk. Lots of cursing and a seething, clenching physical reaction along with a wrist banging impulse. Took me by surprise. I think sleep deprivation had something to do with it!
Today was a boring therapy day. Ive been working on moving past the drama with my sister so there wasnt an elephant in the room to get things rolling. Still, it was nice just to chat. Reminded of my brothers' news and his plans to relocate to a different state if he doesnt find the work he needs. Im proud of him for taking charge of his and not being satisfied with possibly falling back on Mom and Dad, he really wants to make his own life happen now and its great for him.
After therapy I came home and chilled for a bit, watched some Louie and browsed the kitchen for food before meeting up with my ornaments boss for a walk. It was eerily similar to walking with my mom-a lot of listening while she talked about her perspectives and life but thats what I expected so it was okay. I didnt expect her to walk so freakin fast though. I was sweating! Kind of inconsiderate setting such a pace when Im 2 months postpartum but I dont hurt and it was good to work a bit harder.
The hubbo is fed up with his idiot boss. I hope he finds some place better and changes employers soon :'(
Iroh's hips are worse but he's still chuggin along...
Oh. My boobs are being a pain, oversupply sucks and hurts but hoping Im on the right path with block feeding and minor pumping.... TBD.
Now to try and sleep, I think I missed my opportunity to fall asleep easily and now Im paying for it!