It’s a hotdog in bed kind of a day.
Yesterday was a phone call session with my therapist, because the baby was finally sleeping and the rain was too much for the pair of us to go out in. She and I recapped all the major things shifting and moving in me in the last few weeks. We celebrated that we’ve named more darkness, and she helped me practice how to navigate my reality with a past that refuses to stay put.
I’ve been learning to feel the weight of the things from years gone past. I’m learning to let others have authority and bare the blame for my abuse at the same time I’m learning to trust that Ted is as excellent a father as I know he is.
I’d like to think I had some control over my abuse, even it’s if it’s just thinking that I deserved it or somehow enticed them to me. It’s easier to think it was my fault than to admit how powerless I was at five. 7. 12. 19. 20. These depressions and panic attacks time travel to our apartment more than I’d like, even with the Zoloft, the Clonopin, the supplements, the therapy. The eating disorder days are gone, but the self care is a cliff I can’t always climb in the darkness before my eyes. So I wake up with the baby and sit on the floor while he climbs and sings and rejoices in the day that the Lord has made with an innocence I can’t remember having. And when he naps I curl under my comforter and text my husband that maybe he should come home early. And sleep comes and rests my weary soul, and when I wake I remember that I’ve not eaten. So I microwave a hotdog and climb back under the covers and try to remember to take off the burdens my soul can’t carry.
And the baby wakes to ketchup stains on my pillow, and we go get coffee, running into our landladies in the hall who adore him. They can’t see the deadness in my eyes because my son’s joy shines bright. I pack him into the stroller to get coffee and stop at the bank, and he sprinkles milk from his sippy cup from his stroller as New Yorkers walking by smile and coo. We climb our stoop and our stairs and sit by the baby gate because mommy’s reflexes wander today. He slaps the floor as he crawls over my legs to pull himself up on the baby gate, a path of drool snaking it’s way behind him. Standing he turns to me and grins the grin the doctor says won’t have teeth anytime soon. Then he grunts and dives back into my lap, grunts and lands just as poop slips out of his diaper, seeps onto my jeans. The feeling of his warm wet poop soaking through my jeans, the sound and sight of his happy giggles jostle my binding cords of memory and pain. and I’m suddenly feeling like I’m a mama with a baby who just pooped on me, and not the little girl who was helpless so long ago.
It started as a hot dog in bed kind of a day, and ended with an early bedtime for me. And if I had pretended it wasn’t such a day, then all that hell would only surface in my soul tomorrow, and the day after that until I let it have the space it deserves. So today I let it be there because what happened to me in secret matters. And I’ve learned to give space for the horrors without decrying the truths I know but can’t always feel: that my God is good, and gracious, and never relenting in his pursuit of my healing. Tomorrow may be a hot dog in bed day, too, but I know that eventually I’ll rise and eat cereal at the table.