CW for everything I suppose, but particularly for self-centred whining.
In the last few weeks I realised I was angry at Leo for being sick as a baby.
It is ridiculous: it’s also true. Leo’s first month of life was very hard. Four times under general anaesthetic. Two emergency surgeries. Test after test after test, wire after wire after wire. I cried a lot during this time and I thought I was handling it
I wanted someone to blame. Was desperate for it. There are several pages in a notebook somewhere where I, an avowed atheist, rage at god.
I was holding onto a lot of rage and some of it found it’s way to Leo. When he was difficult in that way that all 2yos are, I would get annoyed with him in a way I never did with Nova.
That feeling seeped out in a dozen different ways: tone, patience, all that. And I found myself with a little boy that was a lot more distant than their sister had been.
It is mortifying to realise that my lack of emotional dexterity dictating my relationship with a blameless little boy who I love very much.
It’s more than mortifying; it’s totally unacceptable.
I have been putting my emotional house in order. I wrote Leo an apology letter than he will never read. I took a day off and I went through the text message transcripts between me and Kat (which are obviously super-detailed) and released a lot of other emotion that was hanging around. I cried at things I’d forgotten: little patches of pain that had been missed the first time around. It’s useful stuff but I suspect that 80% of the work was done in the lead-up to the realisation: the thought cracked me like an egg. I’ve got a list of other things I want to do to explore the feelings and I’m gently working down the list.
Leo and I have been hanging out a lot more. Having a lot more fun. More snuggles, more play, more giggling. It’s been an adventure - I month ago I would have said we were very close, but it turns out there was room to grow. I love Leo very deeply.
As a postscript: it wasn’t only Leo. during the period when Leo was very sick there are maybe a dozen people I stopped talking to. Some of them because they took actions I felt were offensive, some of them because they weren’t there for me in a way that I expected them to be.
When I think of these people I think of things I could say to them to make them sad.
Leo is two and a bit now. That’s a long time to be wishing ill on people. It’s also a really long time for me to realise that perhaps that perhaps I have a lot of anger in me that is looking for a home. When I work out how to put it down, I will.
Postscript to the postscript - there are also lots of people that I simply haven’t spoken to in a long time. So if you are reading this, you probably shouldn’t assume that I have anything other than good feelings towards you.
I’ve left out a lot of detail both for the privacy of others and because you don’t need to see the wounds in too much detail - I can tell you that this was one of those realisations that meant that lots of other things, all of them painful to admit, fell into place for days afterwards.
I would not have been able to work this through without the patience and acceptance of lots of people who have been by turns kind, brutal, gentle, and open. I won’t name anybody but I love you all very deeply and am angry at relatively few of you.