Monday, June 30, 2008

The Energizer bunny... or guinea pig?

There are a number of factors for my depletion of energy lately. A sturdy, salt-of-the-Earth toddler is just one reason.

Another, less obvious, reason is the misfiring that is occurring with my dearly beloved. My husband. The Rock of Gilbraltor moved his ordinates sometime after the LGBB arrived into our lives and I keep forgetting how to get to him where he is now. I'm also here to say that I know my own personal life map showing how I can be reached is pretty damn sketchy too - mine has coffee cup stains on it, crumpled from being thrown in the bin disgustedly (by me), an elusive arrow to a secret spot that you need a detailed password and perform various hoop-jumping acrobatics to get into. So I am not saying he is the only one whose life course has altered.

We moved the goal posts on each other. Would they have changed anyway, had Ella lived? Most definitely. We added a third person to our relationship. Therefore, it was a given. But when she was alive, and in the years after we were "parents without a child", we were still a team. We knew how to reach each other. And the path was a worn, familiar, comforting track. Something like having a secret passage leading to each others' rooms that nobody else in the house knew about.

Now? Well, now I've gone off in one direction and he's moving in his. We share this home, we share a roughly familiar landscape with each other. But it's not like before. The strain of bringing another - a fourth person, who is actually, physically only the third person - into the fold is showing. Mainly in me at the moment.

As time marches forward, I look at the sections in my story - what I have down on paper so far - and what we went through. And it is almost as if it was another person's life. It was another person's life. I am no longer that person. Not entirely. In essence I am, of course, but nobody is ever exactly the same as they were five years ago.

I feel very, VERY different, now though. My gloves have come off and whilst I would once avoid battle, I am actually simmering in this section of my life - my story - as if I have been on the boil too long. Would I have been this kind of mother had I not had the struggles laid before me before I got here? To this Holy Grail? Is it what I thought it would be? Mostly, yes. Can I deal with it? Mostly, fuck no.

I want him to perceive my world. I live in a home that is never ever clean entirely to my satisfaction anymore. Where my moments of sheer screaming banshee heights can be brought back to utter joy and love in a split second. Like this morning.

This morning, the LGBB was nagging. NAAAGGGGGINNNNNGGGGG for her lunch. "'unch? 'unch? 'UNNNCH???? MUMMEEEE? 'unch?" And I interspersed these whiney requests with "No", "No", "Not lunchtime yet" and "NOOOO!!!!!!!!!!"

As I bundled her bag - with the lunch in question tucked inside - into the car, she stood at the door and cried. Suddenly, the thought of going to play with her friends for a couple of hours* shattered her little world. All because I had not caved and given her the lasagne she so desired. And my guilt began piling on. For five minutes in the car, she continued to nag me. And after keeping my cool for only so long, I snapped and yelled at her. "There is NO food in this car." (Well, that was a lie - more guilt) "You will NOT ask for lunch." (How unreasonable am I sounding - more guilt) "No lunch for you." (It was funnier when The Soup Nazi said it - more guilt). We drove in silence. Lolly sulked for the 10km trip. I caught her eye in the mirror several times. She avoided me sullenly. How much more guilty could I feel? Answer: not much more.

When we pulled up in the carpark, I got a blank-faced stare when I asked her if she was ready to go - something I always say and which she usually always beams back with an excited, "Yeah!" Today, nothing. Oh dear. Just before I opened the door, she said cheerily (CHEEKILY), "Mummy? .........'unch?" I turned around to look at her and her eyes were twinkling. No, they were positively sparking. They were narrow slits and her grin was so wide it nearly fell off both sides of her impish little face. She turned her face almost sideways to me, holding my gaze, and started to nod suggestively. She knew exactly what she was doing, the monkey. And all my anxiety was immediately washed out with enormous love again. Love for her humour, her boldness, her brand of comedy. For it completely wipes the slate clean again. It has to, in order for me not to remain at my self-absorbed shit-fest for too long during any given day.

I was taking her to play for a couple of hours, because I felt like I could not have her at home with me this morning. It felt kinder on her (on me, too, but mostly on her) to not be around me today, not how I am feeling - like I am a pressure cooker needing my own time out mat after a three day weekend with all of us doing everything together - and all I feel is incredibly guilty.

This is not a dress rehearsal. This may be my only child. Often, I feel like I am so royally fucking up. And there are many people willing to stay at their lofty heights and console, without ever admitting the moments where they snap too. Over whatever, however pissy. It's like looking at "real parenthood stories"... through the eyes of Antonia Kidman (anyone catch her shows on Foxtel ever? I can't watch them). Gee, yep. Really real.... I want something that's not watered-down for tv masses and good marketing. I don't need "what sells well" as an informative program. I need more than that, sister. Sorry. Thanks for trying, though.

So here I am, in very uncertain waters. Without my anchor. My battery. My partner. Not as I knew him before, anyway. We haven't properly bedded down or knitted in our new story yet. We're making it up as we go along. We were doing that all the while. But now, it feels far more critical to get it "right". I'm trying to measure up but I don't quite know who to. I am the one who's lost and I am also the only one with the map.

Here's how I see it.
Steve has to share in this process of changing, growing, the transportation process of darkness (grief) energy. There is a lot of grief between us still. But it can be transmuted. It is being transmuted, ever so slowly. And he is the glue that binds. I go and find the solutions, I'm working hard - spiritually, mentally - and trying to keep my eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel. I always forget that bit.

We work together, our family. I know I do actually, literally "work" on a completely different level with both my daughters too. The energy of the three females in Steve's family works like this (from my perspective):
Ella is the shifter, lifter, cleanser. She "takes out the garbage". She is the most uplifting one of the lot of us.
I am the garbage can.
And Lolly? She sifts the garbage. She finds it. Where Ella had spiritual strength, Lolly has psychological mastery. Anyone held in her stare, when she's really on her game, knows there's very deep thinking and processing going on - people everywhere who meet her say it all the time.
All of us incredibly capable of doing our job, both as a team and individually, but I with my hang-ups feel like I keep dropping the ball. And Ella would roll her eyes and sigh, while I daresay the LGBB would ignore what I said (my fishing for a boost of confidence) and just stare me down with a cheeky, crack-up question totally unrelated to what I just said. How I love them both.

None of this probably makes any sense to anyone reading. But I have to put it here. To acknowledge it and remind myself to keep my ball up. And not balls it up....

* Occasional care: My version of sending her to Grandma's, because "Grandma" lives a self-imposed two hour return trip away and cannot be on hand to give Mummy a break without a lot of coordinating - which eventually ends up harder and not worth the arrangement

Archived Posts


Related Posts with Thumbnails