Friday, March 22, 2013


As a kid, one of my favorite stories was Peter Pan. I don't think I was a normal kid. I didn't ever want to be a grown up. It seemed horrible to me. I fantasized about being swept away by a kid in green to a place where I never had to grow up. I loved Peter. In terms of super heroes, he was magical and magnificent to me. There was one thing I never understood about him though. I never could figure out why in this world he wanted so badly for that stupid shadow to be sewn back onto his foot. It used to frustrate me and I would often fast forward past it on the video.

Lately, I feel as if I have my own shadow. It has brought back memories of Peter and his refusal to let go of that silly shadow. Failure seems tethered to every aspect of my life lately. Rationally, I know that many of the things I count as failures are things far beyond my control, but it doesn't stop the darkness from creeping closer and closer to my heart. This is one shadow I have always had. I never felt even at a very early age that my best always fell short of the mark. I never manage to get enough done for enough people and I never seem to do any of it the way it should be done.

In my teens this eventually triggered my eating disorder. It was one way that I could be good enough. It was also a perfect breeding ground for the abuse I inflicted on myself when I felt I had failed once again. I could almost always find something I had failed at in my eyes. A missed quiz question, a botched scale in music, a misguided comment to a friend; anything no matter how trivial, resulted in restriction and punishment back then.

Fast forward 15 years and not much has changed. For years I let my food intake run rampant, but it never stopped the feelings of failure and punishment. For the past year however, I am right back in high school, every calorie awarded on a scale of failures and successes. I attributed a lot of that to the meds I was on, the emotional nightmare I entered when my student got sick, the insanely unhealthy schedule I was keeping, and the lack of sleep that ensued. I thought once I worked through all those things, the demons would dissolve.

Since the baby, I have been off my meds. My schedule is much easier to manage and I have opportunities to sleep. While not at peace completely, I am in a better place with the loss of my student, and I'm healthier thanks to my improved diet while pregnant and the introduction of vitamins. I also had a drive and determination to keep myself healthy in anticipation for our next pregnancy. There was hope.

Something happened. I don't know what set it off. I feel as if I am spiraling downward into a bottomless hole again. I have no desire to eat or take care of myself. I cry a lot. I put most of my energy into painting on a mask of okay for everyone, but on the inside and when I'm alone, I am a shattered fragment of what I pretend to be. My food demons are raging right now and the shadow of failure is suffocating me. I don't know what to do.

This experience has really brought to light how much infertility weighs on my heart. I tell myself over and over - I know - conception is something beyond my control. Still, I feel so much guilt, failure, inadequacy, and pain over it. I think it did play at least a part in the reappearance of my food issues. I feel like I have failed my husband, my family, myself, our future, and most of all God. I feel like maybe I have done something wrong, or I never live up to His expectations. I feel like He is punishing me or just ignoring my pleas.

Sometimes in those really dark moments of grief, I wonder if maybe God decided that my being a mother was just a bad idea. Perhaps he decided that it was better if I didn't parent Espe after all. Maybe I angered him to the point that He took him from me. My food demons like to tell me that I was too gluttonous and self-indulgent. My moral demons like to point out some of the poor choices I made like drinking at a party a week before I finally tested or the smoking, or even the thoughts I had about certain people and things going on. I know I internalize my pain and grief. I always have. This is beyond anything I've ever experienced though. There are days I wake up and cry, wishing I had never opened my eyes. There are nights I go to sleep praying I won't open them the next morning. I don't want to be the person I am now. If I can't have Espe here with me, then I want to be with him there.

I know these are horrible thoughts to most. I realize they make most people squirm uncomfortably, but I can't stop them. I can't make myself un-think them. I don't want them there anymore than anyone else would. I would never act on these thoughts, but they still linger in the darkness, just another shadow sewn to my foot. It makes me wonder what shadow Peter was clinging so tightly to.


Catwoman73 said...

Huge, HUGE virtual hugs to you... There's nothing I can say to make these demons go away. I struggle with many of them myself. But I wanted to send you some support here- please know I'm thinking of you. I hope you have a neutral person to talk to in real life- it really helps me. Hugs again...

SuzyEllen said...

I just wanted to share with you that when I had my ectopic pregnancy almost 12 years ago I didn't want to live. I felt like I let them kill my baby. All the what if's started going through my head, but I had a 5 month old son at home that needed me. He was my saving Grace that day and the hard days and weeks that came after. I still think of my Angel Baby and I know you will Always think of Little Espe and that will always be ok. Hugs to you.