Tuesday, April 5, 2011
A good and bad week... all at once.
Tomorrow is my mom's birthday, and that's often a tough day for me to get through, even though it's been 20 years since she passed. Thursday is my daughter's birthday -- she's turning 2 this year (a biggie). So, on the eve of both anniversaries, each signifying someone who means the world to me, I find myself with mixed emotions. On one hand, I feel the loss of my mom, who was my best friend and pretty much raised me on her own (even though I have a good relationship with my dad now, that wasn't always the case), and on the other hand, I'm so excited to see my baby girl growing a year older and inching toward the person she will become. It seems ironic that the presence of one could so amplify the loss of the other... I wish my mom could have lived to see my daughter; I know she would have loved her with all of her heart. Sometimes I can see her so clearly in my little girl -- it's simultaneously a source of great pride and of bitter-sweet pain. Every year, I resolve to make mom's birthday a happy day, and a great deal of the time I fail at that. I know that she wouldn't want that, and I certainly mean no dishonor to her memory, but remembering her passing triggers an actual physical reaction in me that I can't ignore no matter how I may try. I suppose I should explain that by saying that I began to suffer from near debilitating anxiety a few years after her passing (as a result of a lot of things, including never having properly mourned her death), and even though I have a fairly solid handle on it now, a significant day rolls around, and it's like my body is instantly aware of it even if I make every effort to keep my mind on the positive. It's a bit of a strange phenomenon, actually. I'm writing this post because I've just felt off today -- jittery and on edge -- and I suspect that is probably why. I've told friends and family before that I believe something broke in me when I lost my mom -- something that will in all likelihood never mend. I don't know if that's defeatist talk or not; to me, it's just stating a fact. My husband and my daughter have really saved me from a lot of this, and although I still struggle with anxiety, I am really trying to slowly but surely confront the things that I'm most afraid of so that I can remove them as "triggers" of the disorder. It's not common for me to write or speak about this at all unless it's to someone I know quite well. I am only blogging about it now because I know that most folks don't even know of this blog's existence, and it's a way for me to work through a few things. So, tomorrow I will remember my mom and once again try to make it a happy day, and Thursday I will celebrate the life of my beautiful little girl. I'm immeasurably grateful for the presence of both in my life.