HM reared its crazy head last night, entering gently with an innocent enough request for mint chocolate chip ice cream. But it absolutely had to be the green kind, ok? Not white. Green. Two bowls later, HM decided to get a little rowdier, picking a fight with my husband who clearly does not care about my needs and only thinks of himself. I'll spare you the details; suffice to say most of what came out of my mouth was inarticulate, jumbled, and, at best, mildly valid.
I went to bed crying, angry, and self-loathing. I woke up much the same, though at least heading to the train I could have blamed my tears on the biting cold, should a sympathetic stranger have inquired about my fragile state.
And here we hit the nerve center of my problems. As a 22-weeks pregnant woman who has gone through years of infertility and two miscarriages, I feel as though I should now be treated with extra special attention. Or carried around on a bed made of feathers. I want people to offer me their seat, tell me I ought to take the day off, bring me ice cream (and it had better be the right color!). But even in my most clouded, emotional moments, I can see the problems with these wishes. First, the world doesn't work this way. People are busy, wrapped up in their own stress, grief, ecstasy, or whatever. Even my husband, who I know adores me, doesn't always have my needs at the forefront of his thoughts.
All of this makes me crazy mad, which gets me twisted and negative and—eventually—feeling extremely small. Did I mention self-loathing? As much as I can't bear other people and their inadequacies right now, I most of all can't bear my own whiny, needy, minuscule self. Why do I need so much? Why am I still jealous of other women and their babies? Why can't enough just be enough? And most confounding of all: Why am I so miserable, when I finally have exactly what I have most wanted for so many years? Talk about unhinged.
Which brings me back to Hormonal Monster. I'm convinced this is all her fault. After all, I am too enlightened a person to be behaving this way. I've done too much emotional legwork, spent too many thousands of dollars in therapy, read too many self-help books to be this crazed and unreasonable.
Or, I hear some faint, gentle voice saying, perhaps I'm just a regular human with no special insight. Perhaps I'm just fumbling through life like everyone else but maybe spending a teeny bit too much time analyzing how I'm doing, and wearing myself out once again by attempting perfection. Yes, I want to cry when I see the ducks outside my office, swimming in their little pool, probably fine but also maybe suffering because it's freezing outside. And yes my heart feels squeezed and panicked when I see an old person and I can't tell if he is happy or not.
I'd like to be less worried. I'd like to feel lighter and more optimistic and carefree. After all, I'm pregnant. Plus, it's the second trimester! Oh but the truth is my back hurts. And I know I'm supposed to be all frisky and what not but really I just want to eat chips and then go to sleep.
Ok then. Hormonal Monster, I invite you to stay. Let's just be in this together, falling short of my expectations, needy, and far, far from perfect. A mess sometimes, even. Maybe if I work with you instead of against you, I can find the space I need to ease up on everyone--most of all, myself. Here's hoping, anyway.