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Aug. 30th, 2010

My hair is falling out, I was warned that would happen when you/the baby starts to ween and my boobs are still leaking like yellowstone in random eruptions every hour or so. The way I'm feeling its a miracle that I haven't developed elephantiasis in my legs or a second head.

I think to may have been Tolstoy who said you must be wounded into writing (e.g. creating, in my case) but that you shouldn't write (create) until the wound has healed. But I just want to keep creating work from the middle of the frustration, although maybe it won't amount to anything. Lately, its been a lot of dead ends because taking care of the baby has been all consuming, as much as I want it not to be. I have so much rage and an intense pent up urge to output artistic expression, and can't. I am considering trying to go to bed at 8pm so I can get up at 2am and work until L wakes up at 7 or 8. I did this one morning on a fluke when I had terrible jet lag and I managed to get about 2 days worth of work done, or in baby-time, 2 weeks worth.

In a way, I feel like having a baby has completely ruined my life, because I just didn't used to care all that much about life. The memories are all still very clear of how lost and debauched my teens/twenties were. Its confusing when I find that I have started to care about the world more then I used to.

Then there is the whole male aspect. Part of me loves men so desperately, and part of me thinks of them as incompetent in life and love. You have to teach them so often the very basics of emotional literacy. You have to teach them how to treat you- which now that I think of it might of just been the problem all along. At some point in my early twenties, I settled for barely-ok to being treated in par with the dog, and got stuck there. I want to clean out some of those wounds so L doesn't get poisoned by all my fear and rage toward his species.

I'm also not sure having a spouse makes parenting any easier in the end, I just think it gives you someone to blame in your fits of sleep deprivation and rage. I'm just as lonely most days with a partner as I would be without. I am getting better at demanding help from him, but I still have a long way to go. He's not all that into parenting, or at least that's what he said yesterday- which is a shame when he convinced me this was all such a good experience to have. I assumed he meant to have together, not by myself.

I have never been all that big on reality to be honest. I want a little relief now and then, and at the moment, to not feel everything so intensely. I think I have so much cortisol running through my body I am constantly in survival mode.

As a result, I eat constantly just for the sake of eating. It is binge really. Often when I am really hungry, I don't get to eat. I just have to sit at the table watching everyone else until my meal is so cold its borderline tragic. And once everyone else has had their second or third servings- its my turn- if there is anything left. At some point I started to eat whenever I had the chance- hungry or not and no surprise I've gained weight from it. Its so frustrating for a woman who spent the majority of her teens starving herself. I find it ironic that I finally want to really eat and so often can't, its like a form of primal torture. Now, I constantly find I will eat anything in front of me- just to save myself from the possibility of being hungry and not having a free hand to eat. Its hell. I don't taste food, I just inhale it in one giant panicked bite.

I used to have these fantasies about being badly hurt then being loved back to health. . . I would of course be brave and enlightened about the whole thing. I think these ideas were all about trying to find a way for people to see how hurt I was on the inside, even though my outsides looked like the perfect size 1. I don't know, I feel like I only know about half what I used to anymore.

L seems like a really happy baby, life is/should be pretty perfect, so I'm not sure why I am so lonely and sad.

apprehensive motherhood and mothering

This has been a really really rough week for me.

We got back from visiting my family last week and its been sort of shell shock for me since then.

We had so much support and help there and then we came home and its just us again.

On top of that Linos has started to have problems nursing the last few days (he latches then pops off right away and screams so furiously, will only take a bottle in the evenings, its horrible). I am sort of feeling exhausted and defeated (already). I need sleep but I'm writing instead.

I feel on the verge of tears often and can't handle any criticism. Actually I don't know if its PPD or just adjusting to this huge life event. . maybe its a little of both- I'm not sure. Going back to Oregon was rough, if only because it reminded me of everything we don't have here. Tonight I broke, I convinced myself Linos hated me after what felt like an hour of him 'scream crying', not taking my boob, etc and I went into the bathroom to cry.

Last night I mustered up ALL my nerves to tell S how I was feeling (e.g. this post in a nutshell).. He told me I was being too sensitive and just was looking to be coddled a bit. .. He doesn't get it. This is how 'I FEEL' and I need to let him know because I need his support not criticism.

For me, at this moment, there is no sense that this newborn phase will ever pass, let alone improve. I never really see myself getting out of being a walking boob or ever having any sort of life that resembled my old one back.

Its a struggle some days just because I feel like my life is no longer mine- at all- and I am not sure if I will ever even get a little bit of my life back, for me. We have no help here and I think that only exacerbates the problem. I have gone from feeling like I am somewhere in the middle of my 'to do' list to not even having a place anywhere on it, I'm below the dog and taking out the trash.

There is just the innate belief that whatever more is to come, will not replace what is, but will only be heaped onto everything else... and how I will continue to keep my head above water when I am barely keeping afloat already is not only a mystery but feels dauntingly impossible.

I am really trying but I feel like I just suck at being a mom. I don't know how those of you with more then one do it. Sometimes he cries so hard and nothing I do stops it. Then I hand him off to someone else and like magic he stops. It makes me feel terrible.

Then there is my pride. . .I never felt, and still don't, feel like I can ask for help even when I really needed it. Suddenly the partner I felt like knew me so well before birth feels like an entirely different person after birth. I'll try to tell him my fears and he will tell me I'm too sensitive, and that I am just looking to be coddled. . . I am hoping the deficiency lies not within me but within the support (or lack of support) around me. I may wish for something different, but still find I have no options [here anyway].

There is a widespread feeling and assumption that we as mothers have to do it all alone and if we don't know something or can't manage it, or heaven forbid, don't want it, there is something lacking in our makeup. Asking for help brings up feelings of failure for me because everyone tells you, you should be able to handle this 'its in your nature' and you are sometimes even reminded of this by family members when you do reach out. I have been surprised, especially- and almost without exception- by the men: my own father, my father in law, my husband, when I ask for a break they immediately come back with why that is a bad bad idea.

It is so painful to try to give from an empty source yet as new mothers we are expected to do exactly that.

I want my mom but right now I would even go for just a good friend or a therapist.

I see you aren't on the list...

this journal is open by invitation only.

if you want to read it, you're going to have to ask.

(note: I post honest, straightforward thoughts with little rainbows and sunshine. So if you're looking for a fluffy happy journal, you're in the wrong hood.)

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