Friday, January 25, 2013

Things I Know


I think one of the worst things in the world is knowing things when people don’t think you know them.  It’s part of the reason I’m as open and honest as I am; I feel worse when I find out later and then I feel like everyone was getting one over on me.  But that’s when I genuinely don’t know something.  When I do, and have to pretend I don’t…well, it’s difficult to say the least.

I don’t know why humans do this to one another.  I want to say to my husband, “Hey, I know about X, Y and Z, and while I’m at it, let me tell everyone you trash-talked me to certain people, oh, and there are things I know about you, and then we can see where we’re at.”  It’s hard…I’ve never defended myself whenever anyone confronted me because I don’t believe I should’ve had to; my marriage is just that, a union between TWO people, and the fact that so many people became so intimately involved with what they think happened within it is just sick. 

I want this to be over.  I want to feel better.  I want to move on.  Certain things are a matter of respect.  Certain things.  Certain things I know of but am not supposed to know of, so I feel foolish. 

I hope that one day, when something real happens, he will finally understand what he did to me this year.

Also, when is it appropriate for me to delete half of my Facebook friends so that I don’t have to see any ridiculous updates on his life?  (And so that I feel less like I need to censor myself?)

So, sometimes I become completely overwhelmed with what happened, and then other times I’ll think of such random things that put it into perspective; like, that I’m going to die one day.  That Brandon was born PERFECT.  He is a big, strong, healthy baby, and that is a fucking miracle.  My biggest hope is that I never know a day without him.  That he grows up, gets old, and lives a good life for years after I’m gone.

Sometimes I think of how big the world is.  How there are feet on every corner of it and we are all sort of the same.  Sometimes I think of certain moments, like getting lost, or highway driving, conversations, and not the big ones, but random ones, sometimes with random people, that I might never see again.  Looking out a window.  Taking a breath.  Thinking a thought.  Everything still happens.  Still continues.  Whether or not life is how I planned it, it is how it should be.

It is very hard to do this alone though.  Especially with a newborn.  I mean, every night, all night.  All day.  I don’t have another person to pass him off to so that I can even run to the bathroom.  It gets to be a lot.  I get tired.  Emotionally and physically.  I get frustrated.  I get scared.  And Brandon is getting more and more attached to me because I’m the only consistent person caring for him. 

Overnight, on the nights he won’t sleep, I literally feel like my body is going to fall apart.  I came out of the hospital in terrible pain, and had to go it alone from the beginning.  I never had a chance to catch my breath.

I just want to catch my breath.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Blackened


This past year has been an ordeal and half, to say the least.  It’s strange though; one aspect of it has officially come to a close.  My baby is here, I’ve packed away all my maternity clothes, and I just went for my postpartum checkup yesterday; all was well and I got the, “See you in a year for your yearly checkup.”  It’s just…done.  My pregnancy.  Over.  Sometimes when I’m just sitting, I think about when I was still in the hospital and how oddly magical it was; you go in alone and leave forever changed.

I’m am still distraught by the fact that I didn’t even get so much as a smile from my husband after everything I went through.  The fact that, as far as I can tell, at the time of the birth he already moved on without telling me so.  That our child seemed to hold no weight in regard to “us.”

I feel at moments like this can’t be real.  Tonight for instance.  I can’t get anything done.  I understand this.  But some things I need to do.  And so when I get Brandon to sleep for a bit, I have to do those things first: preparing bottles for him, laundry, cleaning…and things like writing get pushed to the wayside.

(I am typing this with one hand while I hold Brandon.)

He is starting to sleep longer at night, which is amazing.  But I never get deep, restful sleep.  I am always slightly awake, listening for his every movement and sound.  My sister spent the night last Saturday into Sunday, and I went out with a friend for the first time since the baby came home.  She let me sleep alone in my room and she stayed with the baby downstairs.  Afterwards she talked about how difficult it was to be the only one to be up and down caring for him.  And it is.  I am already burnt. 

I’m kind of tired of saying it, but it seems to need repeating.  The whole “I’m better off this way” might be true and I might even believe it myself.  But that doesn’t mean I’m happy, that this is anywhere near what I imagined for my life, and that I’m not still completely distraught over the series of events that happened this past year.

This also doesn’t mean I’m weak, pathetic, or anything of the sort.  It means I have a fucking heart.  I’m sorry that the ideal situation would have been a partnership with my husband, the father of my child.  Shame on me for thinking so I guess.

You learn things about your child everyday.  I’m still trying to calm his fussiness; it seems to be getting better, but he still has his moments.  “New Slang” by The Shins calms him down almost immediately.  I basically put it on repeat if I’m trying to get something done.  Right now, for instance.  I keep replaying it and I was able to calm him enough for him to lie in my lap as I write this.  I have to be quick though.  If I let too much dead air go by after the song ends, he wakes and starts crying again.

The writing thing I knew would kind of fall to the side.  But, well, it’s important to me for a variety of reasons.  I’m starting to finally send out my work, and this is important to me because I was never able to do that while with my husband.  Everything else always came first.  And there would be no greater kick in the face than to actually accomplish what I was never able to try for before.

This is why I’m so obsessed with the fact that I’m already back in my pre-pregnancy clothes.  Not because I’m vain; I just had a baby and I would personally be fine if my body was permanently changed.  But my husband, before we split, made a very sarcastic comment to me about me getting my body back, and I was beyond hurt by it.  Honestly, I don’t even know where it came from, because I’m extremely petite, I am active and eat healthy, and just by my build it was safe to assume I would get my body back.  But 3 ½ weeks after the birth of my son, I was back in my old clothes, and it thrilled me to pieces, because, well, he doesn’t get to enjoy my body anymore (and it is pretty damn enjoyable).

Also, he was so strange with work/career, and when I return from my leave I’m getting a promotion and a raise.  My boss even called me directly to ask in desperation when I was returning.

The point being, he always seemed to paint me as pathetic, and now some people I know continue to do so, because I’m sad at the way things turned out.  But the only thing my feelings should tell you is that I had a heart in the first place that could be broken.  Pathetic I am not.  This was the biggest struggle of my life and I still managed to excel at work, have a beautiful son that gives me the biggest smile and most adoring look every morning, and I look extremely hot while doing it all.

I don’t know exactly what I want right now, beyond immediate things: I want sleep, I want Brandon to stop fussing, I want to get my own place.

Anyway, despite the struggle with Brandon today, I managed to write this blog entry, and also this poem.  Enjoy:

bricks

i ate your skin with a side of bone; you know i am beyond hope, beyond repair.  it never went all the way down: i choked on your hair; your hair looks darker in photographs.  remember how the brick looked in the background?   i used to pour my tea from the cup into the saucer and drink it down; i used to sink into pools of your tears and drink them; i would keep bottles of air beside my bed and breathe them like smoke.  you know how i would cough,

my lungs turned black black black;

still, there is something very real about this
kind of sex; i like to take and be taken.

you are supposed to know when to do which.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The "D" Word


I think I’m going through post-traumatic stress from the delivery of my son.  I randomly throughout the day will have flashbacks of the pain and the helplessness and I become overwhelmed.  And the inadequacy I feel from having had a c-section after all of it…it’s difficult for me to bear.  I do feel like I failed in some essential way.

That then leads off into me feeling immense guilt for not breastfeeding my son.  I had my reasons not to.  Including the fact that I was prescribed (and am supposed to be taking) Zoloft, but…I haven’t taken it.  I was taking it before I was pregnant and had to come off of it right away once I found out I was, but I could’ve come off it long before that.  My sadness now I think is just that…sadness.  And my OCD hasn’t reemerged despite the sadness, nor has the anxiety.

My biggest fear right now is that my son will hate me and blame me for the fact that myself and his father aren’t together.  (My husband – “J” as I call him in most poems – has officially told me, among other things, that he has a lawyer and so us divorcing is definite at this point.)

After my experience with him at the birth of our son, I couldn’t see us reconciling anyway.

But does anyone, anywhere, understand that we have only been apart since the end of June?  And that I can’t help but remember things with him that happened before…before I even knew most of the people currently in my life?

The day I first met him, it was autumn; we had mutual friends.  I was 14.  What do you do at that age but hang around outside and act like a hooligan.  We were on my friend’s street.  I knew that J was going to be joining us.  I saw him as he emerged, rounding the corner in a kind of crazed dance-walk.  And he laid down on the sidewalk.  No one introduced him, or said anything to him, so I walked over and I told him my name.  And he told me that his dog Shadow had just died a few hours before.  I told him I was sorry, that I had a dog and I understood that it’s not “just a dog.”

And I went home that night and called my friend Iana (still one of my dearest friends).  And I told her I met someone and I thought I loved him.  And I explained our exchange and she told me I was crazy.  And I said I know it wasn’t much.  And I knew I had just met him.  But I felt something was there.  Something I didn’t know how to describe.  Like comfort.  Something that made me unafraid.

We dated for a little while.  It didn’t last.  We were very young and dealing with a lot of outside issues.  He 16 when I met him, just about to turn 17.  He was dealing with his coming high school graduation, and not knowing where he could go or what he could do.  So he joined the Army without talking to anyone.  He was going to be leaving after graduation.  We stayed together into January.  I didn’t really speak to him for the next few months because although I did love him, we just couldn’t be together based on a million other things at the time, and it was too difficult.

The following July, the week before he was going to be leaving for boot camp, he asked if he could see me before he left.  He took me to the city on a Saturday and we went to this little restaurant which, I don’t remember what it was called but I could paint it from memory.  We spent the day together.  On the ferry boat on the way home, he kissed me, and I kissed him back.  He told me no one would be around that coming Tuesday, the day his recruiter would be coming to pick him up to take him to the airport.  I’ll never forget the sound of his voice when he said, “Please don’t let me be alone that day.”

So I didn’t.  I spent the day with him.  Walked out of his house with him and watched him get into the car that was waiting for him.  Watched the car drive.  Do you know what I did then?  I ran.  (Bear in mind I was 15 at this point and not driving.)  But I ran.  I felt like the air was crushing me.  I ran to the train station, hopped on, and got off at my stop.  But I realized I couldn’t go home.  I felt destroyed in some way.  I called my mother from a payphone.  (Do you see how long ago this was?  A fucking payphone!)  I told her I would be getting dinner with friends.  Then I walked from the train station to the water, and sat on a bench and watched the boats moored in the harbor.  And I just stared and stared until the sun had almost set and I just started crying.  A man walked by and asked me if I was ok.  I remember smiling weakly at him.  He told me to go home; that it was getting dark and I shouldn’t be out there alone.

There are a million stories.  There are all the things I’ve done for him.  And all I ever wanted from the moment I first saw him round that corner was to marry him, have children with him, be with him forever.

Just having Brandon is in and of itself a miracle.  He is a healthy, strong, amazing baby.  And now I just feel anger when I see him hold our son, after having been so alone the past few months.  We both made some bad choices.  But nothing was ever perfect with us…but it was perfect in its imperfection, which is why I was so in love.  Why was I the only person in the entire universe not eligible for a second chance?  I’ve given him many.

I know he’s not the same person I fell in love with.  He doesn’t wear those ridiculous shirts that are 4 sizes too big.  He cares what people think.  He never wanted to just sit and listen to music with me anymore.

I couldn’t make him laugh anymore.

Anyway, part of what’s been upsetting me is the nonchalant way many people in my life expect me to move on.  I just mean, I’m not a flipping idiot.  I know it’s been bad.  But I should not be made to feel guilty/stupid/pathetic for actually having loved the person I married and for wanting to try to make it work with him.  I didn’t get married with the intention of getting divorced.  It’s not something I want[ed].  And now I’m going to be stuck with the stigma of being a divorcee, and I don’t want the judgment.  But what are you supposed to do when your husband leaves you?  It’s beyond my control.  You can’t make a person stay, and honestly, why would one want to?  I married him because I loved him.  But if he didn’t feel the same way about me, then why should I suffer the rest of my life with someone that loves me less than I deserve?

I’m sorry Brandon, that it didn’t work out the way I wanted.  I loved your dad.  And if nothing else, he gave me you.

P.S. – On an entirely different note, I have this strange problem that makes me want to forget everything/everyone I know and start over somewhere else entirely.

I wish this was a viable option.