Monday, August 6, 2012

Keep it Separated

   I was depressed. Again, I was pregnant and again, I had toxemia. My husband, who had been so wonderful with our son, seemed over it. There was a rift in our marriage.  I felt isolated and dejected. I felt like I had somehow been tricked. I felt foolish and small and of course once again alone.  I cried oceans of tears and lived in the valley of my despair. My hope, my joy were my children. They grew bigger and smarter, they were so loving. My daughter was the perfect big Sister. She was protective, helpful and kind. My Son was a little ball of joy. He always had a smile. He laughed like a chipmunk and he was naturally sweet natured. They got me through. My mother kept trying to pry her way into my life and just as determinedly, I tried to keep her out. She would come by, while my husband was at work, to pass judgement. On my home, my appearance and my children. I was so low and she wished to drag me down lower. I stayed in touch with a family member, we buoyed each other up in that sea of sadness.  I went back to counseling. Eventually, my husband wanted to know what I was talking about "in there" so he came too. We switched to marriage counseling.

   It was all I could do to lift my head in the morning. But there, beside me would be a little munchkin. They would sneak into our bed late at night and early in the morning. I slept on my side with my hand under my pillow and I learned to tell who was in my bed by the size of the hand that reached under my pillow to take mine. I loved being a mother. Loved doing all the mother things. I was fulfilled. Everything would be wonderful, if only my husband would allow himself to be happy.
Sometimes after we fought, I'd bundle up the kids and take them for a  few days at my Mother's. I didn't want to be there, and I am very sure she wasn't thrilled to have me there either. But, it is all I had, I had no one else.

    I remember it so clearly. I quieted myself. I had to calm down after a particularly brutal argument. My children were there. I didn't ever want them to see me cry. I would hide in the bathroom and collect myself, talk myself through it. I was good at that. I had been rehearsing that my whole life. The key to being a successful actress, in mimicking happy, is compartmentalizing. I kept it all separated. That was nothing new, it was familiar. That I could do.

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