Sunday, July 6, 2008

The secret dark side of motherhood.

Don't get me wrong... really, this isn't a bitchfest about having a child. He is my world, my heart, my soul and every day I wake up to his laughter and I fall in love more than the day before.


Yes, there is a but.

No one tells you about the terror. I don't mean being scared you aren't going to be a good mother or that you will do something wrong and screw the kid up. I actually am quite confident in my abilities as a mother. The fear I have is of everything else in the world. Every news story I read about a baby dying or chain email I receive about so and so with terminal childhood leukemia send me into such a panic that I can't breath and I feel I will vomit or pass out or maybe both. The very thought of these horrible things happening to my little boy terrify me to the point of physical illness and frequent nightmares.

I feel so helpless. I want to lock him away and never let him out into the treacherous world.

My brain knows that isn't an option, but my heart screams to do it anyway.

This internal conflict is exacerbated by the clash with my Taoist beliefs that the universe will do with our lives as is natural and death is not to be feared. I don't fear death for myself, and a battled this conflict in relation to losing Donnie a long time ago and don't fear losing him... but Quinlon, my sweet, innocent, perfect child. The knot in my throat just tightens even typing the words out.

This has to get easier, right? I am so overtaxed emotionally with the panic attacks and the nightmares at just the suggestion of harm befalling my child.

I had no idea about this aspect of having a child. No one really warns you. Logically, you know you will be protective of them, but the extent of terror that I feel is nothing like what you expect. It hit me like a speeding train and I can't seem to recover.

So now I am struggling with a balance between being a protective wise mother and a paranoid, overbearing tyrant. My heart wants to be the tyrant until he is 30, but I know that would probably be messy.

I hate this vulnerability. I assume it gets a little easier to deal with in time... I mean, it has to or every mother would be a blubbering headcase crying at the drop of a hat even in public like me. Or does it just get easier to hide the anxiety?

I dunno, but I am going to go watch him sleep some more.


Anonymous said...

Ugh. My baby is almost 3 and the terror does get a little easier to live with, but it never goes away. Every day he is able to do more, which means he could get hurt by more. Like you said, death is a part of life and nothing to fear...but i am afraid if something were to happen to him, i would go insane. literally. i would lose my mind. i just remind myself to feel lucky that i am able to feel this kind of love that result in this kind of terror!

Queen Bee said...

You're definitely not alone. I was shocked at how overwhelmed with anxiety/fear of losing him I was after giving birth (and still remain 6 mos later, but has gotten better!). We were so afraid of losing another baby during pregnancy that we honestly believed it would be completely different once he was out and we could see him everyday...

It does get better. Though certain things still trip my trigger, it's not as disconcerting as it was 3-4 months ago.

Jewels said...

I had tears reading your post.
One of my biggest anxieties I have had about TTC another is knowing the agony a mother's heart goes through, or at least I do, that I don't even think the father can understand.
I used to sit and cry at nights when my son was tiny, I couldn’t believe how awful of a person I felt I was to bring him into such a hard crewel world. I had nightmares of him catching on fire (I have a big phobia of fire), I imagine every worst case scenario when ever my son does something, I think that’s where having a man who is detached comes in handy, I can go stick my head in the sand, bawl my eyes out, call my mom and scream “He’s riding a bike with brakes on the handlebars for the first time! I know he’s going to get killed”, and the man can assist him in riding his bike, and my son will never know I’m in the house having a melt down.
The nightmares get fewer and farther between, but a friend told me that after her U/S, she could relax and not worry, I said “Oh No, the worrying has just began, and it never stops” but I also said “Everything I worry about doesn’t come true, so It must work to worry”.
Dylan is 13, I sleep better at nights when I don't get into one of my funks (I’ve talked about my funks before in my blogging but I may mention it again since it’s been a while) but the worries change, I don't worry so much about him catching on fire as I do him getting introduced to drugs, hit by a car walking home from school, getting beat up buy a bully, being wrongly accused, not knowing better and being rightfully accused. There is so much responsibility as a mother to prepare our children for the big bad real world. It’s always scary.
BUT on the bright side, my friend told me something the other day and this actually does make me feel a tiny bit better,
You know why teenagers are so rotten?
So it will be easier to let go.

Never knew our parents loved us so much, hua?

Ok enough out of me,
Remember - One day at a time and think positive thoughts.
And Good Luck. ~hugs~

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessi,

My son is just a couple months older than Quinlon so I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. Your post should be an article in a magazine - I bet every mom in the world could understand exactly where you're coming from. I know it made me feel better to know that I'm not the only one who gets completely freaked out by the mere idea of something horrible happening to my little guy. Man, just typing that makes me shiver.

(((gentle hugs))) to you. Motherhood is certainly never boring, is it? :-)