Please Don’t Touch The Mama

*Trigger warning for talk of mental illness, sexual assault and rape*

Right now, I don’t want to be touched.

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The simple act of my husband holding his hand out to help me up from the couch causes a subconscious revulsion.  My body reacts before my logical mind kicks in.  I shrink back and get up from the couch without help.  Hugs?  Forget it.  Kisses?  I’d rather not.  We can safely say that sex is so far out of the question it’s orbiting Pluto.

It’s hurting my relationship with my husband.  He needs closeness and physical intimacy – and I just can’t give it to him.  A simple hug feels like a violation of my space and I retreat as fast as possible.  Whenever I have to touch somebody (mostly my husband because there are not many people who require physicality from me) my brain just starts SCREAMING “stop touching stop touching stop touching”

This isn’t limited to my husband either.  Though not as common, oftentimes I have to force myself to touch my son.  He still wants to breastfeed once in awhile, for comfort and closeness, and I have to clench my teeth and fight back the tears.  The tension in my body is clearly visible when he snuggles up for cuddles.  I have to force myself to touch the one thing in this goddamn universe that makes me remotely happy.  That is so so so fucked up.

I don’t know if this is related to the fact that I am a mentally ill person suffering depression and am currently unmedicated and not seeing anyone.  (Not for lack of trying, believe me)  Or if it’s tied to my horrible past that has been seeping into my dreams unwanted.  Past trauma I had forgotten, or shut out is giving me nightmares.   As I’ve learned more about rape, about rape culture, and what sexual assault actually is, I’m realizing I’m a victim.  My past is littered with unwanted gropes, touches and assaults.  I didn’t know back then.  I thought it was just par for the course, that it was just what guys did, that it was just what happens.

I’m living, currently, in a roulette wheel of feelings.  One day I’m angry – angry at my husband, angry at my house, angry at my job.  I hate it all.  I want to leave it all behind, run away, hide.  Then I feel guilty and slip into depression where all I want to do is sleep, sleep and never wake up.  But sleeping brings no relief as I’m haunted by memories.  I fake my way through work, fake smiles, fake caring.  Sometimes it’s real, mostly it’s not.  And my patience is very, very, very thin.  I am losing my ability to deal with…well…almost everything.

The only thing, the ONLY THING, that brings me joy is Bean.  And even he suffers because his mom is sick.  He suffers my inability to deal normally with day-to-day toddler behavior.  The mom I wanted to be, the soft caring mom, she’s only around part time.  The other times I’m angry mom, sad mom, frustrated mom, too-tired-for-this-shit mom.  I’m the mom who doesn’t want to touch her son.  To feel his soft skin and relish in his silky, beautiful, curly hair.  To snuggle his rolls and kiss his little nose.  The fact that oftentimes I have to force myself to do these things kills me.

I can’t keep living like this.  Feeling like I’m swimming underwater and not quite ever reaching the surface, even though I keep following the sunlight.  Sometimes I sink so low I can’t even see the light anymore.  I hurt so much I’ve gone numb.  I don’t want to die, but I can’t keep going like this.  Something needs to give or I’m going to implode, again.

It’s hard for me to talk about all of this on here.  There are people who read this blog who know me in real life.  Family, friends, even work-related people.  But this is me.  This is the turmoil I am in these days.  Some days are good.  Some days are bad.  Mostly they are just days.

 

Red Boots Of Hope

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This has been a hard soul-sucking winter.  For people like myself who’s depression is worse when the nights are long it’s been especially grueling.  The face-freezing cold meant days when I couldn’t take Bean out of the house for fear he would return with a frosty upper lip.  Living in the city like I do means that the snow wasn’t particularly fun to play in anyways.  Icy and full of salt and sand.  Here kid, welcome to winter, no – really – snow is white.  I mean, it looks black there and there and there but that’s just pollution and car barf.  If we dig around a bit I bet we can find white.

Then mother nature had to tease us with a day of pure bliss.  Sunshine radiating down on us.  I saw people in shorts and t-shirts.  Car windows rolled down and thumping stereos turned up.  I took Bean outside and let him wade in the giant puddles of water forming around our apartment.

Then the next day we are hit with a gigantic blizzard that closed schools and stopped public transit in it’s tracks. Hubby stayed home and we spent the day cooped up inside while Bean destroyed the house (as an energetic toddler with nothing better to do will usually accomplish when stuck inside all day).  

So today while out at the mall I bought Bean some red rubber boots.  They are Lightning McQueen boots and every time he looks at them he says “Vroom Vroom” and pushes the toes in (because that’s what all the adults do to the shoes he’s in!).

This means Spring has to come and the snow HAS to thaw into giant puddles.

I have an adorable puddle jumper raring to go.  You don’t want to make him cry, do you Mother Nature?  

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Busy Busy Bean

Touching.  Climbing.  Exploring.  Licking.

One of the things I cherish most about being around Bean is his wonder and awe at absolutely everything.  His desire to test the limits of his body and his fearlessness.  Where other children fear to tread my little man rushes in with a big goofy grin on his face.  He’s not afraid to try new things and right now…pretty much everything is new and FREAKING AWESOME.  I mean, c’mon.  Did you see that transport truck?  It was like WHOAH DUDE.  SO BIG.

He’s a busy guy and an explorer.  I have to be on my toes because he has no hesitation to climb higher or go faster than his body is ready for.  Indoor playgrounds have been my blessing this winter as it gave Bean a huge and relatively safe place to play with lots of fun things to do.  They are also super fun for me because I’m pretty much a kid inside and giving me free reign to run around a playground and climb up things and go down slides…well let’s just say I was also having a blast.

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Sometimes I forget how small he is.  He’s in 2 – 3T clothes at 20 months – he’s tall and slim with my family’s thick thighs and big feet.  But then something happens and he needs to put his hand in mine and it’s still so tiny and fragile.

Temper tantrums, sleep problems, iron deficiency – it’s been a hard couple months.  But through it all I try to remember that his view of the world is still so new.  So tiny.  That he’s watching and learning but not all of what he’s seeing is something he can do.  That would be frustrating for me too!  That is big personality and big emotions are spilling out of him from time to time when he’s tired or hungry or just plain not having it.  He’s growing up so fast but he’s still so very small.

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