Saturday, April 19, 2008

. . . just like Clifford!

Last Thursday, we went on a ferry ride from Coronado to downtown and back with Eliza's field trip group. We were late, and Eliza bawled about losing her shoe on the pier (we found it upon returning), but overall she enjoyed the novelty. She was disappointed that there were no fairies on the ferry though.

That evening, she drew a picture of a boat, naming the figures she'd scribbled: "Ben and Hannah and Noah and Olivet." I think that is the first time she has drawn a person outside our little family.

On the drive home, she was rattling on excitedly about the park, her friends, the ferry, and the pier.

E: It was just like Clifford!
me: Eh?
E: Just like Clifford! Emily Elizabeth and Clifford met friends on the pier. Just like me!

That reminded me of a comment she made a month ago. We were reading Robert Sabuda's pop-up Alice in Wonderland, which has one spread showing Alice growing so large she bursts out of the house.

"That's just like Clifford! He got so big then they moved to the island. Alice goes to the island, too?"


I laughed, surprised and delighted that she would make such a connection, but also a bit mortified that it was to a TV show. Her viewing is now down to a maximum half hour a day with a movie once or twice a month with me - usually a classic musical because that's the only thing we both find interesting.

Clang clang clang went the trolley,
Ding ding ding went the bell,
Zing zing zing went my heart strings,
From the moment I saw him I fell!

(Yes, I really do burst out into song at home.)

On a completely unrelated note, gut yontif to those who celebrate Pesach this week. Hell hath no fury like a bread-deprived vegan. :)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

four months

Two months ago, I was shaken but slightly hopeful. Today marks four months to the day since I've been existing in pain, anxiety, and despair. Overnight it happened. I look back on cheerful e-mails or posts in the days before the revelation and desperately wish I could go back to blissful ignorance.

For three months, I held in the pain whenever Eliza was around and broke down sobbing each day once she was peacefully napping. I grew weak under the strain and eventually broke down one day about a month ago. In all my 30-odd years, I have never cried as much as I did that Friday. I sobbed for literally hours as Eliza watched TV in the other room. I truly feared losing my mind. By late morning, I had enough sense for a few minutes to page my husband, begging him to come home from work for the first time in 10+ years, knowing that I was incapable of caring for our daughter that day. Five and a half hours later, he finally came through the door.

How I prayed. I was tempted to ask G-d to end my pain, but I feared it would be answered where all others had failed.

I can't quite say what changed in the week after that, but my deep sadness was partially displaced by anger. I don't find it "empowering" - it's eating me alive. But I realized yesterday that it had been weeks since I'd last shed a tear. For two hours last night I expressed my pain and bitterness, which was met with silence. I was able to sleep no more than an hour last night, and just when I thought I was outwardly coping well with the day, I broke down as soon as Eliza was asleep and couldn't stop sobbing for an hour.

I'm trying to take care of Eliza and myself to the best of my ability each day, but some days that just isn't good enough.

Exercise has fallen by the wayside (and my weight loss has stalled) since Eliza decided she was only going to nap a couple days a week at most. I've been struggling to keep up with housework. My first priority this month has been to keep sane, to keep from drowning, and sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day for everything.

I've been seeing a therapist for a couple months. She wants me to ask myself how I can take care of my needs (short- and long-term) every day. Right now, I only feel capable of surviving each day; I feel incapable of looking much farther ahead than next week.

Books have been a small comfort to me and are often the only way I can concentrate on anything other than my broken life. I've read over 60 books since the New Year - a clip I haven't matched since my daughter was born.

Last Friday I met with an herbalist to address my anxiety, (frequent) headaches, depression, and insomnia. The tincture she made me contains St. John's wort, Siberian ginseng, wild oats, licorice, vitex, skullcap, and California poppy. The medicinal tea has nettles, skullcap, passionflower, lemon balm, and I forget what else. I was told to continue with my couple capsules of valerian before bedtime. (It does help on the nights when I'm less plagued by emotional demons.) It may take weeks to see an effect. Once I'm on steadier ground months from now halevai, she wants me to do a 28-day cleanse again.

I'm spinning out of control, and it's frightening.