Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Once upon a time

I had a meltdown. Once upon a time last week. And probably weekly or close enough to it before that.

The vicious circle of stress creating overactive adrenals, which triggers thyroid problems and oestrogen imbalances, which then plays havoc on your concentration, your mood, your stamina, your health, just finally got to Enough's Enough stage. My house was a constant mess, further feeding the feeling of claustrophobia, depression, the "I'm not good at this, everyone else surely does it better" attitude.

I knew before I sat on my bed crying uncontrollably, shamefully unable to stop and doing this in front of Steve and a very concerned but gorgeous LGBB, spurred me into action. I'm going to be on a naturopathically prescribed recipe of various Go Gettem's in under 48 hours, once my delivery arrives.

What caused the final crack in my latest facade, I hear you ask?

A ladybird.

One single, solitary ladybird. Sitting in our ensuite sink as Lolly brushed her teeth. She loves ladybirds. She saw it there. She was pointing and ooh-ing and ahh-ing. I had had enough, for reasons I cannot recall now, and wanted the day to end. Wanted her in bed, wanted to sit and stop. Wanted to not be needed anymore that day. I was desperate to escape my mind, but I couldn't. And all she wanted to do was see the ladybird.

Which would have been fine, had the bloody thing not crawled towards her. That's when all hell broke loose, she screamed loudly, so shrill anyway but intensified a bazillion decibels in an echoey bathroom, which caused the ladybird to do its Transformer moves with its wings, which of course made the LGBB hysterical. And I could not even console her. The sound and sight of her, of it, repelled me and I felt horribly ashamed that I, the mother and adult in the situation, did not have anything left in me to be rational and do something so simple - something I knew I ought to be more than capable of doing (and do do, the other forty-seven times a day that I need to be the nurse, the maid, the comforter).

I lost it. I completely came undone and backed out of the room, leaving Steve to placate our daughter.

I sat sobbing, unable to suck it up, not when he came to sit by me, clueless as to how to begin to offer a place for me to start. In that instant, I felt like I have seen one too many perky-boobed, cap-hatted mums strut past my fenceline with her designer pram, heard one too many "my kid is perfect in every way" anecdotes, been told to "think of it this way" in order to try and snap me out of "it".

This is the ugly side of child rearing. The one so often not acknowledged, not admitted to except between friends. To say it happens to you is certain to spell "failure" in some eyes, in some homes and belief systems. But if you seek comeradery and nods of recognition outside of those one or two people, you don't often hear mothers attest to their own moments, you don't see too many hands shoot up. Well, I don't anyway. There is an over abundance of people appearing to cope but not so many willing to say how shite it can be sometimes. How pushed to the brink you can become, creeping up on you so silently over weeks and incessant months that it suddenly causes you to snap and yell. Or snap and cry. Or snap and break/leave your husband/opt out of life/*insert chosen method of snapping here*

I suddenly felt like I was sick of feeling like nothing was funny anymore. Tired of feeling the pressure of people around me believing nothing was needing fixing. But in reality, nothing could be taken off me, for the pressure I felt was/is all placed on me by me, ultimately. I don't try to appear to be perfect, not by a long shot. But I live in a world where I am bombarded by it. From every magazine cover (urgh, I'm sorry Bec and Lleyton, but you're my object of spite this week) to people walking past, apparently. And really, when I stop and rationalise, a week out from my latest "I can't DO this" moment, I have no idea (nor right to judge) what that strutting mother is dealing with - God, for all I know, she may be out for a stroll because it's all she can do to stop climbing the walls with a baby who won't sleep, eat or shit "right"; she might have catastrophic relationships she has to deal with, she could have anything at all happening for her and it's not right of me, in my lowest moments (where self-esteem is in severe deficit), to project anything onto anyone. What if, what if, I engaged the next mum-with-stroller in a quick conversation next time I see one? *taps chin* Heaven forbid I meet someone I like. In my neighbourhood (for once - all my damn friends live too damn far away, damnit!)

Anyway, when the LGBB then came over and took my face in her hands and said "Happy mummy?" with the most tender of half-smiles across her concerned face.... well, gee, I felt a million miles high and 2cm tall at the same time. I was gutted that she had seen me do what I mostly leave for times when she is not here.

They know. They always know somehow. Children are incredible barometers of adult pressures. Fortunately and unfortunately.

At the time, I guessed that the trigger (the ladybird in the sink) was considerably significant. Since then, three people have mentioned seeing ladybirds/ladybugs to me. Three in under a week. That's significant, when it's not really something one says very often (not to me, anyway). I looked up Ladybird, but decided I ought to probably just put it here. Once again, in case it's of any use to anyone else (and here you are, K, this is mainly for you! xx):


When a Ladybird (Ladybug) alights upon you, it announces a time to check on your hopes, dreams and wishes. It is time to take responsibility for your future path and ask yourself about the how and the what you have asked to be brought into your life. Is life turning out in the manner you have hoped for? Are your wishes coming true?

As a child, I knew the nursery rhyme:

Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away home
Your house is on fire
Your children have gone

This little jingle may be seen as a call for you to go check on your inner home of hopes and wishes to see if they are not burning up from lack of attention. Have your children (that is, your ideas and plans for the future) gone up in smoke while you were not looking?

The presence of the Ladybird totem suggests that you take time in constructing your wishes. When a Ladybird lands upon you, think about what you want to ask for and see if it is what you truly need. Then release your wish to the Ladybird as it flies off. The caution here is to be careful what you wish for because you may just get something you don't need. Then, from hereon in, it is time to work toward what you wished for. The life of a Ladybird is between 9 and 18 months and this can indicate the period in which your wishes or gifts may unfold. You are also warned not to push too quickly in order to receive what you hoped for. Instead, let the fullness of time reveal your wishes taking shape and present you with the outcome. Pushing for quick results may prevent the realisation of your dreams.

Ladybird signals a time of abundance and good fortune. When Ladybirds breed, they may lay around 800 eggs which emerge in Spring - the time of new growth. When we wish correctly for our needs and not just our wants, there will be new abundance and rewards. Gentle Ladybird asks you to move about without pushing towards your goals, for too much deliberation may prevent things from happening. Make your wish and move on with what you intuitively know you need to do.

The colour of the Ladybird serves to warn off potential predators. This can indicate your need to check if someone or something is preventing your progress. Could it be that someone around you needs warning or advising of your intentions so that your progress and endeavours are protected?

Ladybirds, also known as Ladybugs, are friends in our gardens. They eat aphids which damage and destroy plants, an indication to you that you may need to look out for those pests and intrusions that may interrupt or damage your new plans and limit their growth for the future.

I think I know what my pressure may be now. It's something personal, for me to chip away at. And it was a timely reminder that I don't need to "push for quick results". It's coming. My time is coming. My soul's impatience is what is contributing to my feeling of coming undone. That's all.

What has your experience with Ladybug been recently, if any? Would love to hear what prompted its presence in your conscious awareness.

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