Things are moving along here as one expects them to. I’m at seven weeks today. I feel pretty sick most of the time. I vacillate between feeling like I’m on the verge of puking (or actually puking) and crying, all of which they tell me is par for the course, and does get better eventually.
Agnes is holding up mostly OK so far, though she is definitely carrying a bigger burden around the house, which is strange for us. We have a lot of identity tied up in sharing work equally, and I really hate not being able to pull my weight. I get that it’s temporary, and sure, I did everything back when she was pregnant with our first, but there is ever so much more to do now that we have a toddler and only barely stay this side of complete chaos as it is. We’re trying to lower standards (we already thought they were pretty low), and hunker down into survival mode, and I’m trying very hard not to feel guilty, but it’s not easy. I think we just haven’t figured out what the new normal is…and I guess that will be a moving target for some time to come.
I’m finding the emotional pieces of this very difficult, and I think it is bringing up some old patterns in our relationship that I’d rather not revisit. Back when Agnes and I were first together over 7 years ago, I believed I was bipolar, and so did she. This whole re-evaluation of my care and diagnosis, and withdrawal from meds is her story, too. She’s been there from the beginning. From the start, there was a disturbing caretaker aspect to our relationship that we eventually kicked. When I got into a bad spot, I really could suck the life out of our relationship, demanding more and more attention, behaving less and less respectfully and reasonably. And yes I was in pain, but I really could run through Agnes’s rather remarkable supply of personal resources pretty quickly. The worst time for us in this respect was when I was withdrawing from Zyprexa. It sucked both of us dry, and honestly, when I think back, I’m amazed that our relationship survived. I think the fact that it did speaks well for both of us, ultimately. After years of this, a bad day or any overreaction on my part could spark immediate aggravation and annoyance on Agnes’s part, and I can’t really blame her. Now that we’ve moved to being more equals in this relationship, now that I’m not “the sick one” that dynamic hardly ever comes up, but I fear my melancholy during these last few weeks may be bringing it out again.
I keep telling myself that this is 100% normal. I am so not even anywhere removed from the average first trimester experience, but I fear I’m slipping back into old behaviors, and even if I’m not, I can sense sometimes that Agnes’s patience with my tearfulness is limited. And I don’t want to sound like she’s not being supportive. She absolutely is. And she’s as excited and scared about this as I am. But that old dynamic is haunting us, and I’m not sure how to nix it. Until now, the way I nixed it was by being healthy, independent and supportive of Agnes, and pulling my weight. But now that my energy is so low, my tears so close to the surface, and I find myself in a position of actually needing to be taken care of, I find myself at a loss for how to move forward in a healthy way. I don’t want to be who I was before.