Baby Blues

It’s finally supposed to be sunny today, after a couple weeks of cloudy, humid, rainy weather. Therefore, despite sleeping poorly and having an upset stomach, I’m in a good mood today. I can’t wait for the sun to come up and blanket me in her warming rays. I feel like an indoor plant that’s wilted from too many days in the dark without access to a window.

Yesterday, I accidentally ate some vegetables that had seen better days and paid the price in the afternoon with a terrible stomachache. While the havoc has mostly worked its way out of my system at this point, my digestive system still feels a bit dicey and distraught. I’ll stick to the blandest diet I can craft today with the limited options I have on the current “safe” list. At least I am doing a much better job handling feeling sick when I’m alone than I used to post-trauma. I had intense cramping yesterday, but I soothed myself through it and calmed the fear brain part of me that desperately wanted Ben to come home in my this-doesn’t-feel-normalpanic. I lay on the floor petting the dog and watching Kids’ Baking Championships since the worst of the sharp pains were amidst a big thunderstorm, rendering an outdoor relaxation walk impractical. This also means I’m broadening my arsenal of anxiety coping mechanisms, which is great.

August is already halfway over. In fact, I think some schools are already back in session. Before we know it, fall will be upon us. Ben and I have had a very nice summer together, even though it’s been simple and not marked by any particularly notable or flashy vacations or events. It’s a good sign that we are finding joy and gratitude in the patterns of basic daily life. (This is not to say a fun vacation wouldn’t have made the season that much more special…let’s not kid ourselves!)

We will probably go up to my sister’s house this weekend to get some face time in with her and the new baby. I’m already mentally preparing myself because it’s very taxing to do that and I haven’t been feeling well. However, I really want to meet the baby and show my support, so we will do our best to work it into our schedule. Part of me always finds it overwhelming and a bit bittersweet with all the hoopla surrounding a new baby because I’m still far from at peace in my own grieving process of knowing I’ll never have children. I always imagined my sisters and I would have children at the same time so that they’d be close cousins and friends; we’d go on joint trips and live near one another, almost adopting a co-parenting approach for our collective brood. Instead, I’ll never be in that special moms’ club and I’m still not that ready to find other ways to be super involved as an aunt because it feels inauthentic. I don’t want to be just an aunt; I want to be a mom. As an empath, I’ve always been able to genuinely feel the emotions my sisters. Watching the tremendously deep love, joy, fulfillment, and purpose my sisters exude when around their children can actually be tough for me. Of course, it’s a wonderful gift that they have their children and feel those beautiful bonds and I’m honestly happy for them, but I’m so unhappy for me and it’s harder to bury my feelings of loss and heartache about my own situation when what I want is overtly in my face. This emotional pain, and my need to keep myself at arm’s length as an aunt, is something I spend a lot of time in therapy discussing, despite my myriad of arguably more “pressing” problems. I can’t say I have made much progress though. It feels like a woefully immature and shameful reaction, but it’s where I’m at and I’m taking responsibility for those feelings. Maybe by the time the kiddos are in school in several years, I’ll have my act together and will find fulfillment in being a heavily-involved aunt…

Sometimes, it’s just so defeating to own up to all the ways I’m imperfect and deficient as a person; no wonder my self-esteem is so terribly low.

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