Saturday, November 21, 2015

I’ve become fixated on Christmas

I’ve become fixated on Christmas.  I want the magic.  I want the lights.  I want the warmth despite the cold.

This morning I woke up to our first snow. Thick and heavy. Your eyelashes get wet just looking at it.

I wake up bleary these days. As soon as the focus finds me, the gasped “oh” at the sight of my window is involuntary.

I pick up baby Bronson, and crawl us to the window behind my headboard. I fight the roller shade, he must see it all. I hold him to my face in that softest, brightest light and whisper, “That’s snow buddy.” His eyes tell me he’s just as awestruck as I am (well more-so, I’m sure, this is his very first snow.) “It’s just like rain, only it’s cold and fluffy.” Cheek to cheek we take it in, hushed reverence. “It’s so beautiful.”

There is nothing but us. Us and the perfect soft sight. Silence and wonder. No thoughts, just vision. Snow falls so fast and yet seam like it unfettered by gravity.

I am in glittery love. Slow moving. Sweet quiet and peace.

After soaking it in --- only good, good, and more good. I suddenly feel the juxtapose. Last year the snow was a heaviness proclaiming my seeming unending pain. When it finally melted I felt some small emotional breakthrough -- eventually time will pass. Eventually I will be free.

Having Bronson in my arms is such a strange sensation when these moments come. The moments where I am face to face with what came from my pain and suffering. It’s strange because I’ve divorced that pain from him. He is only good. Only lovely. And that pain is only pain. I try to press them together in these moments to find the answers -- but it’s all oil and water.

I do that, when I have my babies. I become two people. Every time. One who is happy and thrilled and more in love that I can ever comprehend. Each time. It’s incomprehensible that each time I can love someone more than I knew I could love anyone.
But I am also another person at the same time. One who is lost and broken and grieving. It’s incomprehensible that I could be so deeply broken in new unforeseen ways each time.

First birth: Broken by scalpel cutting in disappointment and a gaping chasm of failure. Second birth: Broken by disillusionment --- a VBAC didn’t take away what hurts. Grapling with, “Where do I got from here?" Third birth: Broken by what was an unending labor ---42 weeks of truly questioning if I was dying physically, and worse, mentally. The literal labor and delivery, albeit gentle, was still hard, still counts as pain, yet I would gladly have done that two (maybe three) times a week for 42 weeks if it meant I didn’t have to feel that pregnancy.

I’ve never been so helter-skelter. I have no point of reference anymore. Things I’ve always known, I don’t know anymore. Things I never knew are solid truth.
And so many attempts at advice come at me each time I speak, none of which paint any better than my water and oil slick.
And this morning, caught off guard,  I answer my door wearing paint pants, to two minty and apologetic, Jehovah’s Witnesses. They ask me, “Does it do any good to pray?”
 At my door, they are covered in snow, that's melting on their dress wool coats and ties. But I have left and for me it's June. My belly huge, my body long since past my breaking. I’m on my bed, alone in my house, crying with full voice --- praying the only word I have left, “Please.” “Please, please, please.” I’m screaming.
The cold crawling up my arms pulls me back; at my front door my eyes well up.  I’ve asked myself their question more than I like. I pause an awkward moment, I feel like an oozing mess. I wonder if my abruptness is a terrible testimony, I take on another weight. I tell them, I have a church. They give me their booklet. We part while I wonder even bigger things. Things I’m not made to hold. The world is entirely too big a place for me. How does it rush in with the wind when I open my door? Or scream at me through glass screens? I’m doing good to process only one-life’s hard things.

More physical than my emotional bruises that hurt all day while I move -- The food: The allergies. The inability to feel safe. The nausea, it’s ramifications. The inability to ignore, to cope, since food is always, always, and everywhere.

I have no idea what’s ok anymore. What to say. What not to say. What to do.

When I was pregnant I told myself I would just be done when I’m done. I’d feel better. I’d leave it all behind me.

Only. I didn’t feel better. I was nauseas, still so really-actually-nauseous for a week while I held my baby. And when that cleared. I still hated food. If you throw up a food when you have the flu, don’t you usually avoid that for a long while? Only that’s how all food feels to me. Still. Four (close to five) months later. Yet Breastfeeding demands I eat and eat because being hungry sours a stomach more. And a sour stomach scares now now, after 10 months of such a thing. So the baby weight won’t budge. (It was gone by now the last two times.) And I got cavities from the pregnancy. And I had them filled. So now my teeth hurt when I eat.
How on earth do I feed my kids? The allergies. The hang ups. All the advice, that never helps, flies in my face. And that grocery list that has to come up at least once a week -- yeah, it does, it can give me panic attacks, seriously who can understand such a strange thing.

I can’t just leave this experience behind me. I am IN this experience. And as if I wasn’t baffling enough to people when I was still sick past the half way point, and no one else was. I am certainly baffling now when I should be great, but instead I am a tremoring pile of hormones and residual bruising.

I get so tired of talking about it that I just want to be alone. Only I am so horrifyingly alone that I grieve the space I place all around me.

I have no idea if this should be written. I have no idea if this should be read. I only know it’s very real.

That snow is so powerfully stunning. And holding Bronson is better than anything I know. And I press him against my heart as often as I can. A warm compress and a bandage. And finally a sweet smell (the sweetest) after 42 weeks of every smell turning me into someone who wanted to stop existing because existing was more than I could do. But my stomach is still ify this morning. And my heart still feels blind.

I’ve become fixated on Christmas.  I want the magic.  I want the lights.  I want the warmth despite the cold.

Come Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set They people free
From our fears and sins release us
Let us find our Rest in Thee.

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