A Belated Follow-Up
2010-07-20 - 11:07 a.m.

If it makes you feel better, I've felt guilty about updating and then falling off the earth again.

I am better. It's a relief to be out of crisis-mode. Reading my last entry reminds me of how bad it was.

It's not like things are hunky-dory. But I passed that critical period where I couldn't spend another day with the baby. Now I don't mind so much again.

But it's not gone. I still feel like I don't know myself. It doesn't help that I'm in a new city. Everything feels like it's been thrown on its head. We are not quite a month in, but it's been a rough month. Not as bad as the month before, in many ways, but bad.

E and I don't seem to know what to do. I am used to him being depressed. He's not used to me being depressed. His initial responses were so kind and helpful. But now I can see the impatience and frustration seeping in. Which I totally get because I've felt an awful lot of it myself.

We had a very big fight a few weeks ago. I think it definitely qualifies as the biggest ever. We were apart for nearly 2 weeks, not able to talk much, and when we saw each other again it just didn't quite click into place.

I just wanted to see him, to put the baby to bed, to hug him, and relax. But he was late picking me up and then got us curbside which meant I was pushing a stroller and several suitcases alone at night through the airport.

He just wanted to see me, to show me all the work he'd been doing on the apartment, to give me a present he'd bought on his trip, to see me happy and settled. But I was exhausted and spent and wasn't in the right frame of mind to realize all he'd done or appreciate our new place.

We just kept having that happen. And then we started jumping on each other. Everything we said was interpreted the wrong way. And finally we had a big fight. Which means I could tell he was mad about something, he refused to talk about it, and then I forced him to talk about it, and then he got mad about it, and then I got mad about it, etc.

There wasn't anything specific that we were fighting about. It was everything. Every perceived slight. And it had a lot to do with me being depressed. He has to learn how to deal with it and I have to learn how to deal with it and so far we're definitely still learning.

It got better. And then we'd have another rough day. It was up and down and up and down for a long time. Honestly, I think it still is. It's hard because my brain reverts to normal, and I assume that how I feel is a reflection of how things are going. Sometimes this is true, often it's not. Sometimes it's like I'm myself and I can shrug off a few bad days. Sometimes a bad day can feel overwhelming.

Depression was tough when it was mostly about the baby. It's been very different now that it isn't so attached to the baby. During one of those bad periods, right in the midst of the worst fight, I had to get the baby out of the house. (Power was off and it was roasting.) I put him in the car and started driving. I had no idea where I was going. I'd probably been here a week or so. I just drove. And while I was driving I had this crazy notion that it didn't matter whether I came back. That if things with E were bad, that my life was totally untethered.

There was no logic in that thought. I turned around, but only because it was near the baby's bedtime. The only benefit of that temporary insanity was that it made me decide that it was worth it to stick with E. In some strange way, he is almost everything I've got.

I think the root of that thought and other similar ones that have come and gone in the last few weeks are that I've finally started to let reality seep into my brain. That may sound weird. What I mean is that I've realized that my relationship with E is fallible. I married him with the sincere belief that we would never get divorced, that we would never break up, that we could get through anything. And I'm starting to realize that these are worthy goals but not worthy assessments of reality. The simple fact that we may not end up together is something that was never real in my head before. It is now. And I'm still trying to figure out what it means and how to deal with it.

This week I start working again. It's good, because it means I get some of my day back. I've had over a month of having the baby every single day nearly all day and while it's no longer unbearable, it's still not my favorite when it's that constant. But it means that I'll see Eric for only a few minutes in the morning for 4 days a week. And this is how things will be for the foreseeable future. Unless I get a different job or something. My work has changed back to its old pay schedule, so I'm no longer on salary. Which meant we just went for a month with no paychecks for either of us. Definitely didn't help. And it means I've got to make sure I get enough hours so we can pay our bills.

I think we can handle it. I think we'll get used to it. Mostly I'm worried about my late-night drives followed by the baby waking me up early in the morning. Today was my first time with that. Not fun. And he wouldn't go down for his morning nap on the first attempt so I didn't get one either.

I don't know what to think about my life right now. I don't trust my own perceptions anymore. I have no idea if I'll be dealing with depression forever or just for a few more months.

What I can say is that the odds of us having more than 2 kids have decreased exponentially. I may be doing better with the baby, but he is still a serious handful. And I am still not a joyful parent the way other people seem to be. I hope I will become more satisfied as he gets older. Things seem to be improving, but there's still such a long way to go.

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