I realized today, as a yoga pose that is meant to open the heart opened instead a floodgate of tears, that things have gotten really bad. For me. For Mi.Vida. For us.
I recognize the tell tale signs of depression. The apathy, the anhedonia (not finding pleasure in that which you usually enjoy), the whisper of “what’s the point” in the background of everything I do. My fuse is short. My patience thin. Everything is overwhelming. I can’t quite get my footing.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Mi.Vida is suffering from situational depression as well, though I’m not in a position to diagnose him. I’m no doctor for one and I’m no close, for another.
Except I don’t feel close. I feel unfathomably far away.
Tonight I reached out to Mi.Vida and he didn’t really have anything left in him to reach back. I’m not angry or disappointed. I’m not even surprised. I don’t know what I expected but when I saw the defeat in his face I did nothing more than let it settle in my heart.
Defeat is etched in each of us, indelibly.
For the first time in my life I’m genuinely worried that we won’t survive this. That our relationship will be irreparably damaged by this transition. That as a couple we will not survive our journey through parenthood.
I don’t understand how this happened. I don’t understand why it’s this hard. I’d read that it was difficult. I was told it was a challenge, but nothing prepared me for this. No one described it this way. At the end of each day, when there is nothing left to do but count the struggles that lay behind and ahead, I wonder how I got it so wrong.
This thing I wanted with all my heart, this life I thought was not worth living in the absence of what I have, it’s making me miserable. Did I not want it enough? Do I not love her enough? I feel so unworthy of this incredible gift we were given. When I think of all the people who want what I have and yet are denied it, it makes me sick with guilt and grief that I squander the miracle of my own good fortune.
I read article recently on NPR, that we should talk about how hard parenting is. That admitting it’s hard doesn’t mean your admitting you don’t love your kids. That good parents can struggle too.
Is this the kind of struggle they mean? Is this bone-aching fatigue what every parents faces? I don’t see it in the faces of my friends, I don’t detect it in their voices or hear it in what they say. But then again, they probably don’t in mine either. I hide it well.
I’m too embarrassed to admit how much we’re struggling. I’m too embarrassed to express that I’m not good enough, not strong enough, not patient enough, not tough enough.
I’m too embarrassed to tell someone else that I don’t love my daughter enough to make everything else be okay.