Monday, May 31, 2010

I have a secret

I hesitated to share this before, because it was hard to put into words. Admitting it makes me feel incompetent and a complete failure. But now that there’s a glimmer of light, regardless of how feint it is right now, it gives me hope. It gives me the courage to share. When I was pregnant with Logan things were hard, I shed a lot of tears, I worried a lot but I hoped when he was born things would change. They did, but they didn’t get better. On a good day I felt nothing towards him at all. It was all just going through the motions, putting on a charade for everyone else to make them think I was a normal mother. On a bad one parts of me hated him. He would never have known how I felt because I did a great job of keeping it hidden, until one day I reached a point where I was just overwhelmed with living a lie. I knew that I could love my babies, because I had loved Lukas and Leo. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved Leo. I hated feeling nothing, I was destroying myself with guilt because what I wanted to feel just wasn’t there, it was only an imitation of being there. It’s a bit like a gold ring that’s not real gold, looks great to everyone else only I got to see the nasty green stain left behind. I started to feel scared that other people would start noticing that it was fake, I worked harder and harder trying to let everyone think I was coping and I really did love him. The pressure got to me, and things started to slide. I felt like I was destroying myself from the inside, and the cracks started to show on the outside to. I got snappy with Lukas, I couldn’t cope with being married to Mark anymore, couldn’t stand living in this house or listening to Nan anymore. I no longer cared enough to present the facade to everyone. It started slowly, I found myself telling people that Logan was a little monster, tried to correct myself when all I ever seemed to say was negative things about him. That’s the hard part with kids, they are so much work, getting into everything with endless curiosity, and it’s tiring. It wears you down slowly, but when you love them the fact that they have climbed the shelves 100 times in an hour is irrelevant when you look at how cute they are. They can win you over with a smile, or a cuddle. The love helps to tip the scales back in their favour. But when there’s nothing to balance it out with eventually the scales break. I retreated from everyone when I was able to, it was too hard trying to keep up the appearance I was trying to make, so I hid. I hid from Nan and Mark, I sent Lukas in his room a lot, I pretty much let Logan roam free only stepping in when he was in danger because I knew that letting him get hurt would destroy the illusion. I tried not to post on message boards, when I scrapped pages, I still scrapped them about Logan (because it would have looked strange if I didn’t). My journalling was more about facts, what happened etc on his pages rather than being from my heart. Everyone thought I was just catching up on old photos, maybe that I was working on some project or other. It was just easier, I couldn’t give up the scrapping, it would have made people suspicious and I needed something to do to at least try to feel normal even for a few seconds at a time. I guess the real problem was that I am a rubbish liar, I don’t enjoy lying and I find it difficult. I can’t keep secrets, ask anyone. I knew that it was only a matter of time before everything imploded. I could see my marriage going down the toilet, Lukas being taken away from me and just ending up utterly alone. I was terrified, there is nothing in the world that scares me more than being alone. It’s like a confirmation that I was right all along and I really am unlovable. I was getting more and panicky about how to hold everything together. Then I just couldn’t, I slipped up because I started worrying that even Mark would start to see the signs and get a clue about my real feelings (first time for everything right). I told him our marriage was over, I asked him to leave. I was trying to push him away before he could see the cracks appearing. Over and over again I exploded and told him to leave, to pack his stuff and get out only he never did. Partially out of laziness, he knows he has it easy living here and partially because he just didn’t want to leave. He says he loves me, who knows for sure maybe he really does. He was driving me insane with the things he was doing and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I broke down and confessed some of my feelings to Nan. I know she dismissed it as me being depressed or having “baby blues”. I knew she never really understood how I felt. But it gave me courage, if she didn’t believe how serious things were maybe Mark wouldn’t either. I could tell the truth and still be living a lie, because no-one understood. My conscience would be clear because I wouldn’t be lying anymore, it wouldn’t have been my fault that they didn’t understand. Only I underestimated how miserable I was. When I erupted everything came gushing out like a dam breaking. I think the words “Get out and take Logan with you, but don’t think your ever going to take Lukas from me” were my biggest mistake. Suddenly even Mark got it, he knew that it wasn’t random shouting or words slung about because we were having an argument. He could see that I was deadly serious, I couldn’t care less if he took Logan but I was willing to fight him over Lukas. We argued long into the night, a lot of tears were shed by both of us. I cried until my chest ached and my eyes were too swollen to look out of. Then I slept and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t have nightmares, it was just a peaceful deep sleep. When I finally woke up I felt lighter, like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I was able to think clearly for a change and even sit and discuss things rationally with Mark. We decided to give things one more try, a month’s trial to see if things will improve. Then yesterday, things changed again. I was feeling so ill I could barely even drag up the energy to get up. My back was really hurting and so was my stomach. Somewhere between laying down, falling asleep and waking up again I managed to really hurt my back. I haven’t got a clue what I did or how I did it but the pain was unbearable. The worst part was I had no feeling at all down my right leg. Do you know what it feels like to have crippling pain in one part of your body and absolutely nothing in another. Even I had to laugh at the irony of the situation because that was exactly the way I had been feeling for a long time. My heart was hurting so much because of missing Leo, my emotions were numb. When Mark helped me move my leg, the pain in it as the feeling came back was almost unbearable and although it didn’t feel normal for quite a while, I could feel it and I knew it was there. Last night I felt something for Logan. I wouldn’t call it love at least not yet, but I am starting to remember how it’s supposed to feel when I hold him. Last night he was asleep in his new travel cot, he woke up and looked at me. I told him I was going to the toilet and I would be right back. For the first time ever he just waited patiently for me to come back, no screaming, no crying. When I did I simply put my hands out to him, I wanted to pick him up but I also wanted it to be his choice. He eagerly reached up towards my like he always does. Usually he demands my attention, demands that I hold him and cuddle him especially at night and I resent him for it. Last night I just couldn’t imagine laying in our bed without him on my chest. Today I have a new appreciation for him, I pick him up because I genuinely want to soothe his tears rather than just wanting the screaming to stop. I look at him and don’t feel angry at him for wanting my constant attention, and more than anything else I look at him and I am glad he’s here, holding my hand, laying on my shoulder and being Logan. Things aren’t magically going to change over night, I won’t suddenly love him with all my heart and soul, it’s going to take time to learn how I am supposed to feel again after so many months of feeling nothing. I guess the thing is maybe my love for him is a lot like my leg was yesterday. I knew it was there all along but I was struggling to feel it. My entire focus was on the part that was hurting me so badly, the part that was numb was just kind of overlooked. I don’t think my heart will ever stop hurting over losing Leo, but maybe I can shift the balance a little bit, so that like my physical pain that I feel every single day, I will always know it’s there but I can still function around it and at least to everyone on the outside, look normal. When I really start to feel love again it’s going to hurt a lot, but I am ready for the pain. When I remember how to love Logan properly, it’s going to make me want to crawl under a rock somewhere and die. Because for me it’s impossible to love Logan the way he deserves and still have enough left to feel the way I do about Logan. Guilt comes with the territory, it’s just one of the many gifts of motherhood, worrying about whether there’s enough love to go around.

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