Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wounds or The Only Way Out is Through

Today I see our doctor to find out if the little can finally come off of oxygen. While I'm there I'm going to ask for a referral to a good counselor, if he knows one, because it's time to start healing.

Yesterday I saw my OB, who gave me a prescription to make my uterus cramp and my postpartum bleeding start again. Despite bleeding too much in the delivery room, it seems after that I did not bleed enough and my uterus held onto some things that need to be let go and that let to infection, pain, etc. Fitting, it seems, as there are certainly some things I have been holding onto that need to be let go. Festering and in pain, I want to be free.

I'm not normally the type to keep a tally of my hurts and upsets. Generally I can view each thing by itself, deal with it and let it go. I've come to realize, however, that I've been literally and figuratively stuffing some things I don't want to deal with into the drawers, cracks and crevices in my life and it's not healthy. Exposed to the light, they are less shameful and overwhelming -and apparently what we need around here is a good, old-fashioned blood letting.

I've been grieving, but not allowing myself to grieve, so many losses that it's time to move on and through so I can just enjoy the other side. The loss of a healthy childhoood, normal creation of a family, my brother's murder, two miscarriages, a hard pregnancy, a complicated birth and the very recent close call with my son where we almost lost him.

Infertility and the associated feelings of disappointment, grief, anger, broken-body issues and such (I almost typed suck- and yes, it does as a matter of fact) were things I thought that would be healed after my daughter was born. Or, if not then, perhaps after my son was born. After all, how can you still hurt over infertility if you have not one but two children? How can those wounds not be healed? Turns out they're scabbed over, but the wounds are deep and still ache from the times they have been poked and prodded. The birth of my daughter helped, as did our two year nursing relationship because I could say honestly that in that my body did not fail me. Secondary infertility, another miscarriage, and a pregnancy full of preterm labor brought back a lot of those feelings of inadequacy and betrayal by my own body. Even now, as I fight a uterine infection, I struggle to avoid thinking "Can't you do anything right?"

Those words are so ingrained, however, that it's no wonder they come to mind. As a mother I'm painfully aware of my desire not to be like my own, while still as a daughter one day hoping to have a healthy relationship with her. I try to incorporate the good things about her into the way I am, while being conscious of the behavioral and emotional land mines she buried so many years ago. It feels all too much like a tightrope act, as if one misstep will find me falling into her patterns. I am trying to create myself as a parent, having had three parents but no healthy parenting models.

On my father's side, there are the issues that come with me now being the only surviving child. As it was, I felt responsible for my father at times - a man who often was not very strong on his own and let those moments of weakness keep him from being a true father, a man whose insecurities let him believe he wasn't good enough to be there for us. Now that my brother is gone, I'm feel I'm fighting the battle to keep him from sinking into oblivion all by myself. And, of course, there is the grief that comes from the loss of my brother, when I would have liked to have known him better as a man.

I want to raise my daughter as a strong, independent woman without the baggage I've been carrying. Then there is my son - I feel as if I've been fighting for him since before he was conceived. With scares about my progesterone, bleeding, pre-term labor, visits to L & D throughout my pregnancy, a harsh birth and then a bout with pneumonia where we almost lost him, I fear if I don't deal with all that I am in danger of becoming overbearing or overprotective of him and I don't want to smother him, just mother him....even if I do feel a bit traumatized by all that has happened.

When I called my insurance company about a referral, I joked I needed one of each with regard to what type of counselor I was looking for. Hopefully I can find someone with a good pair of ears, an ability to track a pretty intermingled set of issues, and someone I feel comfortable with. I'm ok with doing the work on this, I just don't want to waste any more time now that I realize how much has been piling up.

The good news in all of this, is that I can honestly say this isn't depression (yes, perhaps avoidance though) and I think it's a sign of some health that I'm going to deal with all this. It will probably be more painful than the pills to get rid of the junk in my uterus, but if I can think about that "it's flawed but it's mine and I care enough to fix it, even if it hurts" then I can take that same attitude with myself .

No more band-aid fixes.

1 comment:

Claire said...

You have a lot pressing on you right now, don't you. Not that your issues aren't very real, but I'm sure the emotional and hormonal state you're in is making it that much more raw. I really applaud you for facing things; so many of us choose to hide our heads or hope our problems will just fix themselves. It's a strong person who can make the decision to look these things in the eye and deal with them. I think that's a lot of what separates those who break the cycle and those who repeat the same behaviors and mistakes. Not everyone can look with even a little bit of objectivity at their own life and realize there are issues that need healing. So you've already taken those first, very necessary steps, and I think that's awesome.

And I've said it before - you're way more normal than you have any right to be. So at least you have that going for you!