A beautiful mess

This weekend was messy.

Yesterday I was a ball of nerves. Ruby’s sick. Sometimes it seems like she’s always sick, but that’s beside the point. She’s had a runny nose and a cough for a few days. On Friday she started complaining about her eye hurting. Yesterday there was discharge. And then a fever.

This is the part of the story where I should tell you that I’ve been reading too much about the measles. It started out innocently enough. We began planning a trip to DisneyLand in March, and then I thought, “Hmm, maybe I should get some more info before making any decisions.” Well, I got that information and it was far from helpful.

Then last night Jason had to go to work. In the best of circumstances I feel anxious being alone with Ruby at night. And these circumstances were far from best. Ruby was sick, my researching practices had become borderline obsessive and there was a risk that Jason would never return. Yes, that is an exaggeration. But for reasons I won’t get into there was actually a risk he would have to move into his office for an unspecified length of time. I mean literally eat, sleep and live there. Not allowed to leave.

So when Ruby began frantically itching I felt my anxiety catapult into another realm. If I were to draw a picture of my anxiety it would look like just that: two layers. Most of the time my anxiety fluctuates within the bottom layer. And, really, the bottom layer covers a lot of ground. I know I shouldn’t assume, but I do sort of assume that most people, even when under extreme stress, never leave that bottom layer. I know I hadn’t until Ruby was born, PPMD settled in and I set up camp in layer two.

Now I like to think about my PPMD as in the past. And, really, it is. I also like to think that I’ve felt pretty good throughout the hormonal fluctuations of this pregnancy. And, really, I have. But last night was a reminder of my brain capacity, the truly remarkable way in which chemicals and synapses collide and create and my nearly complete inability to control it.

Last night I scratched the surface of layer two. Ruby had the measles. It was only a matter of time before the rash showed up. I would catch it to. I would miscarry at 23 weeks pregnant. And, oh yeah, Ruby was going to die. She was already dead. I could feel it.

You guys, this is an embarrassing thing to admit. I do recognize how irrational this sounds. I want to hoard those thoughts, lock them up somewhere safe and secure and private. Really private so no one can figure out that I’m actually this mess of a human. But then I would be all alone with these thoughts so… here I am.

Today I’m back down in the bottom layer. Ruby seems to be getting better. Jason’s home. I’ve been – I guess you could call it – recovering all day. Decompressing. It’s like that tightly wound ball of anxiety unravelled, spread throughout my body and is now seeping out through my pores.

I keep crying for no real reason. But in a good, cleansing sort of way. Almost like tears of relief. But also in recognition of this messy life. I don’t know how else to put words to it. I look at Ruby, with her baby skin and chubby feet and that beautiful smile of hers full of the innocence of youth, and feel like: she is real. She is here, and she is real. She came back to life.

She’s alive. I’m alive. The world is alive. And full of grief and love. And I’m feeling all of it. And that’s okay because this is life. A beautiful mess.

9 thoughts on “A beautiful mess

  1. Oh god, honey, I have so been there. Today I was convinced that Archer was dry drowning because he slipped under the water in the bath tub for a second and then got sleepy when I had to give him Benadryl because he got hives from some unknown allergic reaction. Yeah, it was that kind of night. I was just telling David that a large part of my day with the kids is spent worrying about how to keep them alive. And when I keep in on the normal level that’s well and good and what I should be doing. But god, it’s so easy to let it slip, just a bit, and then there you are, deep in the dark of crazy anxiety about it. You have the tiny fucking humans who could die in so many ways, so easily. It’s terrifying. On the other hand, they’re really remarkably sturdy!

    Also, I’ve been meaning to comment on so many of your posts lately – I love what you’re doing with the music! Even after reading your description of the “problems” with your piece I still couldn’t really hear them when I listened. It sounded beautiful. You go girl!!

    • So good to hear from you! Oh the anxiety of parenting… Sorry you have to deal with that crap too. But nice to know I’m not the only one.
      And thanks about the music! It’s definitely scary putting it out there…

      ALSO- I miss your blog!

      • I know… the blog is gone. In fact, the writing is gone. It’s been a very strange year and to be honest I have no idea what I’m doing with myself. Except that, apparently, I do. I’m going back to school to study International Affairs and try to help do something about the god-awful state of our world. It’s as much as a calling as I’ve felt about anything in a long time, but I don’t know how to trust it. Why is life so damn confusing?!

        • Well, now I would like to read a post about that! Ha! In all seriousness though, good for you. It sounds like you know what’s right for you right now. Maybe you’ll come back to writing later, maybe not. When I have a hard time trusting my choices my mom likes to remind me there’s no such thing as a bad choice, or the wrong path. Just different. (Doesn’t make it any easier to figure this shit out…) Good luck on your next chapter!!!

  2. I hope this in no way demeans your experience, but I have stayed up at night planning detailed post apocalyptic plans for Henry at every stage of his development to ensure his survival from zombies or any other thing such as Day After Tomorrow climate shifts to name a few…so I can only imagine what REAL anxiety is like.

    Wow, I can’t believe I just wrote that…Nothing like sharing your craycray for the world to see

    • That definitely does not demean my experience, and please always share that kind of stuff. Parenting is so scary! Such a huge responsibility taking care of those little lives. I think we all have our “crazy” thoughts. Maybe they’re more normal than crazy after all… Doesn’t make them any more enjoyable, of course. Sorry you’ve had to deal with zombie preparations. That can’t be fun.

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