14 March 2019

Parenting and anxiety

I wish I could scribble in this space, a big wad of crossing lines of different thicknesses, thorny with barbs, wire maybe, all tangled up.
My anxiety
and Della's
and the non linear cycles they create.

Parenting is hard when it is easy. We have the most wonderful spirited, smart, sensitive child.
And those very things also predispose to anxiety, and holy fuck
hers and mine tango
and
it sucks beyond measure.

My panic disorder is finally ordered thanks to medications and EFT, TFT, EMDR and WTF.
But my child shares my triggers, has her own, and her anxiety triggers mine.
So off we go, into some form of hell.

A new therapist for her, interview on the 15th of April.
A new therapist for me, April 9th.
Empathy and compassion
exhaustion and blues
my adrenal glands probably look like craisins.

Got some great advice I am trying to apply: observe not absorb.

but it is like a tuning fork is struck and we share a harmonic frequency,
and the ground starts to shake, and the skies open, and I feel lost in it, to it.

***
so here we are.  thriving so much of the time, but the time when it's hard is like an eclipse when the ancients thought the world was ending even if the harvest had been mighty.

30 December 2018

the end of the year

so here we are at the end of the year, and I am thinking about what i have learned. I learned I need to create, in ways that feel creative to me, as I am doing the work, letting the work through me, it is not optional. it is nourishment. it is essential. I have learned that too much work is not the blessing it may appear to be, but can impact everything in ways that feel like suffocation. that right work in right amounts is delicious. i have learned that my body and mind are brave and that my panic was/is pain trying to express itself. be heard. be understood. be accepted. and pushing it down and away is impossible. pull up a chair and listen, katekate. That is what it needs. after panic I need rest. full rest. sleep or distraction. I need to refill. i have learned I am not good at that. I bullshit myself. I am excellent at that. time to trade a little of my excellence in bs into excellence in self care. unapologetic. simply necessary. i have learned that I need connection that is simple. and I need conversations that are complex. that I need beauty that is simple. and beauty that is beyond imagining. I need to make space(s) for myself and within myself to hold who I am growing into, so I don't take the shape of an old container like a pot bound plant. I define the shape by my growing. i have learned that loving others is what I am here to do. and that others includes me. i have learned that doing my best work means telling the truth, even silently to myself. i have learned that I can speak, and that the listening is not up to me. but that I can speak in ways that make it more likely to be heard. I have learned that my enthusiasm can be a deterrent. too much. and the best I can do is laugh and call it what it is, and know that it is a filter. if I am too much, then maybe the work is not the right work, or the person is not the right fit, or the time is not right. my enthusiasm is a gift. but so is my conscious awareness of others. let me bring both together more harmoniously in the new year. i have learned that my changing body does not mean I have to reject myself because I am no longer familiar. it is an invitation to renew my own familiarity with this place I call home. recognizing I am in a time of rapid and chaotic transition. my needs will change as fast as my topography and my chemistry, and i need to cultivate self compassion, curiosity and fluidity in adapting. I have learned that love can be deep and distant, can be simple and complicated. that I can love and be loved and not understand or be understood. and that understanding is simply not as necessary as acceptance. If I wish to be accepted as myself. i need to accept others as themselves too. it goes both ways. both. in and out. out and in. like breath. i have learned that my mosaic of friends and family create the reality of my support system. that no one can hold the whole of my needs and no one should. I have learned to be a better piece in the mosaic of others'. I cannot be everything to anyone else either. i have learned that i know shit about parenting and my history of abuse and codependence makes this so so hard as I dance the crazy impossible certain to fail dance of conflict avoidance... but am doing my best with a smart sensitive spirited sprite whose energy outpaces mine like an Australian sheep dog. i am learning the difference between reacting and responding. this, my friends, is slow painful learning. i have learned how much of my life is tethered by a self I tend to so rarely. the one who is me. not the roles, the duties, the actions, the work. but this kateness, this one. this one who sits and writes and words come out like salty water of tears of joy and relief, face turned upwards toward whatever is out there, that connects with all and the everything, including all that is in here.

20 July 2018

big love and gratitude

Time is a funny thing, isn't it? It goes too slowly or too quickly. And then suddenly it feels like I drop out of the maelstrom and months have passed.

There is no single day that passes when I don't think about this space. How it has held me, saved me, kept me from going insane. How you, the you that read back then, and those of you who stop by and say hello, the friends I have made, and the blogs I still visit from time to time to see if there is any new news... you are a family to me. A family that understands things that no one else really can, and I want to say thank you.

I am not going anywhere, just feeling very big gratitude right now.
For not having to go this alone.

THANK YOU
big love,
Kate

26 December 2017

ISO

Hello loves! Looking-- seriously-- for an only child IVF girl of color -- preferably smart and spirited, to become a penpal with Della. Della is now 7, and would love to find someone to talk with who is like her in ways that her class mates are not.

Her class mates all are white.
They all have siblings or have siblings about to appear (literally, any moment).
And none that she knows of are IVF babies.

So-- anyone know anyone?  Let me know! An older girl is fine too. And "girl" does not need to mean girl parts. 

THANK YOU!!!!

09 November 2017

7

Somehow through miracles bigger than I will ever understand, Della is 7 today. She is immense and beautiful. Smart and funny. Snarky and tender and spirited. She is magical and complicated. Sensitive.
She is not yet independent or resilient or patient or empathetic. She is an only child who wants and believes she needs full immersion intensity, attention, interaction, responsiveness. School is hard, structure is not hard but noise is, and chaos, and no space for quiet. She arrives home tired and hungry. And needing to be internal. So in she goes, but near by.  barks out needs: Toast!  More toast! while her screen saves her with magical worlds the way mine once did with the original Star Trek and no I am not kidding.

I have rarely known anyone so often and deeply disappointed and disapppointable. Or someone with as lovely and contagious a smile and laugh and true silliness.  She knows we are here,  but aches for us to be closer. No longer wants kisses, will negotiate for hugs.

parenting in the time of consent is curious.  Yes it is your body but we NEED to wash it.

and me, oh I am missing the snuggles. I am missing being the throw pillow that held her weight even if not her attention. And as I try to reconnect with my own independence. My own patience. My own resilience. I am strung deep and hard into empathy and anxiousness, my desire to avoid discomfort a true pathology that gets in the way of joy and experience.  And I am navigating like a new driver with a standard transmission, too many pedals, too abrupt a change causes a lurch or a stall or a fearfilled rolling backwards as I forget all I know, emergency brake, flashers, ignition, my ability to walk or sit still or wait or think. there is a perpetual immediacy that I feel in parenting, and am learning (SLOWLY) to create gaps.  longer and longer.  between a thing and a response while still being responsive.  I can say, let me think about that. I can say, hm. I'm not sure.

Parenting means parenting me too.  this weirdness of finding out all the areas I've glosssed over with make do skills.  la la la avoidance. la la la.   well hello there unfinished business, guess I will scooch over and make some more room for you at this big ole table of other things I need to address.    learning and learning and relearning. not always comfortable.  no, that's a lie.  not comfortable nearly ever.   I reposted something on FB today, a great quote posted by someone who posts great quotes. 

Robert Kaplan
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo

 I cannot promise the same.  Something great may not come of it.  But as I am learning my tiny brave steps.  my tiny insane moments of courage.  I can say that they are their own tiny greatness.  Look, I can say, look. I am trying.  I am pushing beyond what I knew or know. I am thinking of things differently.  I am willing to try to change.   Panic still has fun with me. A recent Lyme diagnosis has not been resolved with doxy. I wonder as I move forward who I am and what will stay, what will go. and how I will adjust to what my body feels like whatever that turns out to be. the same way I wonder who I am and what will stay in the wake of so many years of struggling with panic. I know I am still here. but also ever evolving. ever changing.

Last night, I tucked a sleeping Della into bed after reading, and I felt teary.  A deep ache for time passed and passing.  the preciousness of it all. and the impossibility of the adage to treasure and remember every moment. Some moments suck and are not treasured. Many go unnoticed in the act of being and doing and folding and working. Almost none can be remembered for me.  I know I held that baby full time for nearly a year. And yet, my memory is nearly a dream. the curve of her cheek. her ear. Her eyebrows. the way her chin dimples. Now stretched into a strong 7 year old who cartwheels in the living room, dances, and cries every single time she needs a bath. That, at least, remains the same. A touchpoint that connects the beginning to the now.


 

30 June 2017

Offering Solace

This space, as you all know, has saved me more than once. Helped me find myself when I was lost, sat with me in the muck when all I could do is sit. Helped me by letting me know I am not alone. A lot has changed, the blog based community has shifted, and I know so many of those with whom I was journeying have left the land of blogs and moved into other spaces, online or in real life.  But for me, this is home. When I think of where I found myself it is here. And when I think of you all, I think of friends who know the inner workings of what it means to struggle, with identity and challenging bodies, and plans that don't work, and many that go sideways.  Today I want to share a story that is not mine, because it sliced down into the raw in a way that I had not allowed in a long long time. And I wanted to share, for those who can listen. If you have resources and current blogs or facebook groups where Katie can find community please share with me in the comments or with her on her facebook feed (link below).  This is a candid video she shared, live, on facebook after her ectopic pregnancy burst her tube. And I want her to find the support I had. The love I've felt.  The not aloneness you all have offered me.  
*** 
So.
Life - as we all know-- is filled with the soft and the hard, the sweet and the bitter, the lost and the finding. And sometimes someone's story cracks me open in a way that reminds me of the power of telling our stories, raw and beautiful and true. So that others can heal, so that maybe we can too, so that we can speak the unspeakable, and we refuse to be held down by the weight of the untold or maybe even untellable secret wounds.

Saying that we are hurting when we are hurting is one of the most powerful ways to remind ALL of us of our humanity. Our compassion. Our fragility and grace and strength and resilience, all at once, breath by breath, miraculous.

I found Katie Lasky on facebook not so long ago and I am not sure how. But she is a gift and a voice to be heard. And shares a story to be honored.

I warn all of you, that this video is hard. And those of us who have experienced pregnancy loss, tread lightly in your own spaces and make good choices for your own hearts. 
And there are now fundraising links for Katie and her family on her FB feed. 

03 April 2017

As above, not always, as below

So here we are.
April.
Snow still up over my boots, but a serious melt happening right now. The sky is full of clouds saying rain soon, rain soon, rain soon, as if that is a surprise. The earth is heavy with water right now, while on the other side of the earth, this rain, this snow, this water would be traded for gold.

So here I am.
Kate.
Snow still up over my boots, and life happening both above and below ground. Above ground, I turned 50. Della is growing fast, and teenagering already, and Doug is nearly ready for his seasons away at camp.  And I am not ready for that, not really. But here we are.

Below ground, I feel a little more stable. New medication holds the wolves of panic at bay. And I am returning slowly slowly to something that feels more like I used to. At least more like I used to.  But different. I'm different. And I can feel the change in my bones.

I do not want to live wary. (I choose this word, not warily)-- I do not want to live in fear.
I don't. I don't want to live waiting for the wolves to come and steal my happy, steal my autonomy, steal my sense of safety.  I don't want to feel as if my grip is tenuous. I want to feel strong and rooted and ready and able.
And I am shoring those up, digging deep, nourishing myself, and trying not to freak the fuck out when a windstorm comes and shakes the whole thing down and down and down.

I want to tell you about parenting and how, at 50, I am still panging with whateveritis that hurts when pregnancies are announced, and when little ones are passed, arms to arms, and the beginnings, so sweet, leave a longing.  I want to tell you we talk about adopting and how, here I am, knees and soul creaky, imagining and not being able to imagine. Not with this child, not in this lifetime, and then I feel bad for feeling that. As if I should be open.  But my openness is to not knowing what will come. Right now my heart is open in the direction of a family member needing extra love. And maybe that is what I am built for, yes, extra love-- here and here and here and here.

I want to tell you I am working hard at work that pays me with people I love. And I want to say that that is enough. But it isn't. I want to be creating more, writing, learning, self-directing.  My financial fear is still in place, month by month, we make it. Have more than most on the planet, and yet, we are of that group that is one emergency away from catastrophe. So for now, I kiss the ground in gratitude, and make lists of things I want to do when I have time, when I allow myself time.

I want to tell you I am taking care of my body, eating well, and walking and spending time outside. But my last two foods were potato chips and potato chips, and I walked to get them at the kitchen counter but I don't think that counts.

I want to tell you that I am flourishing in this post infertility era, this mid life, this amazing life, and I am and I'm not. there is no post-infertility. there is no post loss. there is life after, yes, but it is never "post", it does not recede. it rides shotgun. and I have come to realize that is what this is. a companion of sorts, a thing that is part of my experience that is not undoable.

I want to stay and write all day, I ache for this ache ache ache for this
but now, the timer is going off, the one that keeps me on track (HA HA HA HA HA)
and, coincidentally, also means my egg is ready to eat. the one I have boiled and will peel and will imagine it is anything other than what it is.