"YOU'RE TOO OLD TO BE A MOM NOW, YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING."
My seven-year-old keeps telling me that it was a mistake to have my surgery. Yesterday she told me that I'm "TOO OLD TO BE A MOM NOW, YOU DON'T DO ANYTHING." I'm really feeling for the moms with chronic illnesses. I bet your kids are dicks ALL the time to you. I bet you feel like you're ALWAYS letting them down and it makes you resent your body even more than you already do for your own reasons. She's scared, clearly. Her fear and uncertainty translates to anger. She's still 98% id, so everything gets filtered through rage. I think in her world view, I need to be a consistent, steady presence, or nothing makes sense. She needs me to be a fortress.
This is part of what is turning me so bitter right now. I just spent the past eighteen months riding through my own terror and uncertainty, anger and severe anxiety so that I could present a *mostly* solid front to my kids while they lived through a pandemic. I did NOT want to school them at home. It was terrible. I mean, TERRIBLE. I've never been more frustrated and lost in my life. But I had to try to keep my shit tight so that they didn't see me cracking. Then we lost jobs and business and had to move cross-country for work. I had the difficult, painful conversations with them about leaving everything they knew in exchange for the unknown. So much change at once. And then, just as things were looking a little bit up here, and they had some friends, were getting settled into a routine at school, we had a clue of how our new life might work, I seemingly intentionally acquired a disability. I deliberately put myself at risk of being laid up for months.
I have been trying so hard to maintain positive energy, to be present in the ways that I can, to maintain some of our routine, but honestly? It's all shot to hell, and everyone knows it. Now we're all just zombied out on devices or screaming at each other. All the fear and chaos I've been trying to protect them from is just seeping in and settling in the cracks in my body, in the corners of our house. I feel like such a failure. They didn't need one more traumatic change this year. They need an intact mom. Fuck.
It's been twenty-three days since I briefly went under anesthesia to get a bunch of fat removed from my boobs and armpits. They rearranged my boobs to be smaller and higher, and sewed them back together, but they haven't stayed sewn back together, and now I have gaping wounds. They're improving, allegedly, but the estimated time until I have skin fully covering holes is 8-12 weeks. It is physically and psychologically uncomfortable to do much of anything with gaping wounds. Everything rubs and cuts and hurts. Sweating with gauze packed inside my wounds and more thickly layered (and rubbing annoyingly) under a sports bra feels so wrong, but how else do I go outside to pick my kids up from school? Or watch their soccer practices or riding lessons? Or scrub the bathrooms and the kitchen floor? They act like they don't care if I'm there, but they do. They might ignore me, they might even say they don't want me, but I think my showing up is a pillar in their lives and they feel like it's fallen. Another pillar fallen. Dammit. And the house being a disgusting mess- my husband is already doing so much while I do so little, how can I expect him to take all this on, too? So we fight. And we fight. And I want to cry but my eyes are dry and jaded.
This past few weeks has been mind over matter for me. I'm trying SO hard not to sink into a depression hole. Not to succumb to anxiety. To stay positive and as productive as I can be. But I have pretty solid regrets even without my daughter's mean little lectures. Maybe long-term I'll be glad I did this to relieve my back pain and be able to wear all my clothes again, but I don't know that it was worth all this. Not this year. Not this life. We've had enough disruption this year. I should have anticipated this shit and waited it out. It was selfish. And we all know being a selfish mom is being a terrible woman.
I say that with some sarcasm- it's a theme I'm exploring in my life and my book....but I can't help but think, perhaps wrongly, that it's my job to protect my kids from the fear and pain and disruption of their normal, and all we've done this last year is fracture their safety. I should have known better. They've lost so much.
I need to start getting back into normal life- I know that it would be helpful to my husband and reassuring to the rest of the family. I *should* be able to rally and be me again, but I'm just doing the best I can not to lose my mind.
I'm trying to be long-sighted but the future is a big black hole. LIKE MY BOOB.