Thursday, February 18, 2010

Denial

I'm swirling with thoughts and emotions this morning. Not that this is incredibly different from most mornings or days, but one difference today is that I'm actually going to express my emotions.

My friend Adela's baby is due, TODAY. Yesterday her facebook status said, "It is the day before the due date. There are no signs of labor, but that is OK. Really. I am not anxious. I am not feeling a need to get things underway. I am not "done" being pregnant. I am blissfully happy right now and at the same time grieving the idea that this part of motherhood is almost over. It's the only time in my life where everything is a "first", and truthfully, I don't want it to end."

I am so dumbfounded by this, literally to the point of tears. I spend most of my life rushing from one thing to the next, typically trying to be as efficient as I possibly can be in the process. I don't know if it's because I grew up in a family where being "on time" meant that we arrived at a basketball with 2 minutes left or just some portion of my control freak rearing it's head! Either way, I like to be efficient. Oddly enough, this doesn't fit my job, which is all about walking people through the process and even embracing the process - something that I rarely, well honestly NEVER, do for myself.

Part of my struggle comes with the idea that there are certain emotions that I should feel (or more realistically want to feel) with certain life situations. For example, when the pregnancy test actually confirmed my hunch, I mean fear - wasn't that supposed to be really exciting? The thing is, I knew two weeks before that morning. I knew when I was laying in an icy creek in Boulder waiting for my classmates to rescue me from my "hypothermic state". I knew why I was so exhausted during my WFR, and I chose denial. I always choose denial.

I choose to deny - whatever emotion I'm experiencing at the present, and maybe things aren't going the way I anticipated, or planned - and that's frustrating, or disappointing, or it's going swimmingly better and "Why didn't I come up with that idea?" And there are emotions that I just don't want to feel, let alone actually deal with. It's much easier to bury it, and just keep doing and being and pretending that things don't ever fluster me.

Well, I'm FLUSTERED. I mean, really flustered. And very afraid. Afraid of the things I can't control. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of what I'm losing. Afraid of how that's affects my identity. Afraid of letting people be excited for us. Afraid of what other people think, "They haven't even been married a year yet." "That was fast." "Well, they waited so long to get married, so it's a little more expected." - all the things that I've said regarding other people, thinking that would never happen to me. Well, it happened, and literally for the first 10 1/2 weeks I chose to deny the emotions that were welling up inside of me, until last week, when we heard our baby's heartbeat. I had to face the facts - because it's pretty hard to ignore the difference between 60 bpm and 150 bpm. I mean, maybe it's just a really bizarre heart murmur that they just discovered at the age of 28 or in reality, it's a baby. Growing. In me. So with that hard-to-deny fact it's time that I actually start identifying and dealing with emotions that are always there, that for the greater majority of my adult life I ignored and denied.

So here's to being honest, with myself. Identifying my emotions in order to understand them and their implications without justification. Let them be and call them what they are.