This morning was a good morning. We had my freshly baked sourdough bread, we were dressed and teeth brushed on time, and we even left the apartment with a few minutes to spare… until we actually got to the bus stop and I realized I forgot my phone. I had no time to even complain. I just scooped Myles up and ran the half-block back to our apartment and up the five flights of stairs.
“Oh no, mommy’s phone!” Myles repeats with gasps of breath as if he was the one running around with a 30lb toddler! I couldn’t help but laugh, and ask him why he was so out of of breath. He laughs along with me, and amazingly somehow we make it to the bus stop just in time. Who needs a workout regiment when you’ve got a toddler and a never ending list of things you’ve forgotten? My face was flushed, and I was gasping for breath, but we made it!
With Myles dropped off at daycare I head over to grab my mother’s car to take to my doctor’s appointment. I had a few hours to spare, so I decided to make use of a gift card I had floating around since Christmas to purchase some pants that weren’t of the yoga variety or tights. It was an extra boost of self-confidence when I found I had dropped two sizes. I also did some shopping for some new glasses. A task that always daunts me. Too many options, and it’s a major investment. I like the pair I picked today, but I still think my original pair will be the ones I go with.
Having spent a good couple hours at the mall, it was time to go to my doctor’s appointment. Here I have to take a sidebar. Do you have memories you love and cherish? Even if they are packed with heartbreak or shame? Lately someone has been on my mind quite a bit. I had thought I could pull up the memories, relish in the glow for a few moments, and then tuck it away. Seeing as I am far more in tune with myself, I thought I had accepted that it was the feelings that I had experienced at that time that were impactful, moreso than the person that came along with them. I’m a different person, and it’s doubtful I would still even have those feelings for the actual man if we were to meet these days. A couple days have gone by from when I had that thought, and it’s obvious I was fooling myself. I wasn’t able to tuck it neatly away like an old, cozy sweater. Apparently it was more like a burning ember, and relishing in the memories was like throwing gasoline on it. Now I’m stuck waiting for this raging bonfire to burn itself out, and being oh so careful not to give it any more fuel. Even writing this I can feel it being rekindled. Today though, I haven’t tried to ignore it. Today I was hugging those memories and feelings close. I did so today, because I was heading to my hometown. My doctor was there, and that meant driving into the darkest part of my life.
It wasn’t until after the appointment that the darkness settled over me like a damp heaviness. Even trying to pull up those sweet memories just filled me with hollow emptiness. As if even those tender thoughts had no right to exist in the same space as that bleak time. Instead I take refuge in my future plans, and it concretes my resolve. This is not my home. Maybe one day I won’t be so affected by the memories of that time, but I’m not going to force that self-forgiveness on myself. Instead I will comfort myself, and reassure myself that while Kingston is a beautiful place in the interim, it’s not somewhere I’m going to stay. Just yesterday I pointed out my sensitivity to a piece of artwork on my walls. I would be foolish to assume that I am unaffected by living in the same city where the man who tried to kill me is locked up, and only in a mental ward where he is able to leave at times at that. For the work I’m doing right now, I don’t need to leave yet, but I know that when I do it will be an integral part of my healing process. I refuse to try running again. I’m not ready to leave the support of my family, or my lovely therapist. I have more work to do to become stable, but it’s definitely going to happen.
Now though, I am about to pick Myles back up from daycare. I already feel slightly rejuvenated, but I am looking forward to his smiling face. I’m taking him by the Big Dig again today, and I’m going to find something fun for us to do to heal my aching spirit. No work tonight!
…Wow. That is the only thing I can think of to describe our evening. I had a very hard time pulling my head out of the clouds. I couldn’t even tell you what I was thinking about. Just that it was very difficult to stay present in the moment. Technically considered dissociation, I just want to try my best to describe for you what exactly that feels like, and focus less on the labels here.
We stopped off at David’s Tea again today since they told me I had a promotion for a free 50g on my card. I decided I was going to let Myles pick one out for himself today since he had been showing a lot of interest in the process of making a tea, and in drinking mine. Having remembered being there yesterday he was eager to grab all the bins and sniff them, but today he went farther and started blowing them as well. He blew into two of thr tins and sent tea leaves flying. With a patience I didn’t feel, I showed him the mess he made and explained that it was rude to do that. That now the staff was going to have to clean his mess. I asked him to tell the employee he was sorry, and to my surprise he did. I still didn’t give him another opportunity to do it again though.
After our purchase we walked up the road and stared at the construction trucks for awhile before grabbing a few groceries and heading home. The entire time I was fighting to stay in the moment and engage with Myles. Things still went rather smoothly until we got home, when suddenly things were not ok anymore.
We had played in the flower container again, and Myles had laughed hysterically as I dodged the splashes of water and made exaggerated sounds of disgust. With the warmer weather today I quickly noticed, when I was carrying him up to the apartment, that the water that was now coating his hands and jacket had taken on a putrid smell. Balancing carrying a bag of groceries, Myles, and my mother on speakerphone I managed to get in the front door. A few minutes later I shut the door to the fridge where he was simply staring and contemplating his options apparently, and then the floodgates broke. He fell to the ground in hysteria.
“Noooo! Mommy, noo!” He cried with a high-pitched voice as he sobbed into the floor. I tried comforting him, and assuring him we just needed to wash our hands first, but he was nearly incosolable. Letting him have another look in the fridge to pick what he waned to have after we washed our hands only caused a repeat of the same thing when he decided he wanted olives, and I wouldn’t let him have them right away. Only after asking if he wanted a time out for a few moments did he finally concede to washing his hands. In the bathroom he angrily avoided my attemots to roll his sleeves out of the way, and it was only after asking again if he wanted a time-out that I was able to wash his hands and settle him on the couch with a small bowl of olives. This kid could eat a whole jar of them in one sitting if I let him. With a few moments of peace, while he watched his movie and ate his olives, I was able to get supper together. Just a simple grilled cheese tonight with some tomatoes and shredded spinach for flair. Before I did more than slice the bread there was a knock at the door, and my laughing neighbour let me know they had found my dog. In horror, I realized she must have snuck out when I came in and I had been distracted with talking to my mom on the phone. Luckily my sweet girl is only hyper and not aggressive, and she was having a hay day trying to get at the neighbours giant mastiff. Also luckily, my neighbour was in good humour about it as I quickly ushered her back inside. Facepalm.
In between Myles’ meltdowns, and my guilt at my irresponsibilty of letting my dog out, I was in a bit of a sour mood. The sandwich only took a few minutes to cook, and I encouraged Myles to gave a seat at the table. When he didn’t acknowledge me I assumed he was absrobed in his movie, and I picked him up to put him in his seat. He planks. Anyone who is a parent is quite familiar with this infuriating tactic. With my mood already being short, I just walk away to get his food ready for him instead of picking a fight. When I return I had to turn off his movie, but with that he did willingly get into his seat. Barely taking a few bites he asks for some ketchup. I put a tiny squirt on his tray that he proceeds to attempt to eat straight. With a deeper reserve of patience that I didn’t know I had I redirected him to dip his sandwich instead. Determinedly he goes for the ketchup a second, third, fourth and fifth time before I finally scoop it up and take it away. Another meltdown. I try to gently explain to him why I took it away, and he reaches over and angrily pinches me. My patience was spent.
“Okay, bed time.” I tell him in a firm no-nonsense voice. He screams and cries louder, dropping to the ground and flailing his arms. My mind already set, I be as gentle as possible. He may not know it yet, but it’s over. Only over-exhaustion could lead him to such an emotional state, and I wasn’t going to punish him for it, but I was sending him to bed. I lifted him up and put him on the couch before going to grab some pjs. When I came back he came into my lap.
“Mommy, nice?” he asks me while petting my neck. I thank him for apologizing, but tell him we still need to go to bed. He breaks down into sobbing again as I slide him out of his shirt, and into his pyjama top. “M-milk?” He asks between his sobs. I hesitate and then tell him I’m not sure if we should have milk with the way he was behaving. In hindsight, I wish I had just given him the bottle. Not just to simply appease him, but becuase he was obviously having a hard time coping with his emotions, and a bottle is one of his methods for coping with stress. It also meant that he was ready for bed. Instead I told him if he let me change his diaper peaceably, then I would let him have a bottle. Well that apparently was the last straw for Myles and he went into full-blown toddler tantrum with flailing arms and screeching… while I was holding him to lay him down fo his diaper change. You can imagine how well that went. It was pnly seconds before his arm smashed into my face with enough force to make things go dark for a millisecond, and pain to immediately blossom in my teeth nose and head. I felt warm liquid drip from my nose. In pain I quickly dropped Myles to the couch, and let out a sob of my own. Half of it being from the pain, and the other half being in frustration. The sight of the blood definitely gave Myles pause, and I explained to him in a tearful voice that this is why we were going to bed, because he was tired, and that caused him to hurt others. I do finally manage to get him in bed, and we were able to have a few quiet moments to recollect. I held him, I told him I loved him. We were both still tearful. It wasn’t surprising when after I had been out here typing away on my blog for awhile that he called me back for more cuddles, and another tuck-in. I had already been aching to check on him, so I didn’t need to be asked twice. I kissed him, and reminded him that he is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
All-in-all it has been an exhaustiong day. I’m trying hard to shake off feelings of guilt for not being more productive. I have so many plans and projects brewing. Not working is such a foreign concept, but what the hell is the point in having a job when it doesn’t get me anywhere? My job right now is learning about myself and what I need to do to truly be successful. When I say successful, I mean actually building toward my goals and aspirations. Living in a way that’s authentic to my nature, and allows me to contribute back to society in an organic way.
Tonight that means posting this blog, and maybe nothing else. It’s ok for me to heal.