March 25, 2009

The Invisible Woman

(Disclaimer: This blog entry is probably going to make me sound like a whiny little bitch, but I don't care. I need to get it out there.)

I think I'm invisible. I've noticed that people have stopped noticing me. I express my concerns and feelings and everyday thoughts, and they go largely ignored - by people who used to actually care, no less. Online I am a person who really doesn't seem to be worthy of communicating with anymore; in real life I am a living, breathing incubator and nothing more.

It's a weird place to be. I'm trying not to be offended by the way things have changed, but to be honest, lately I have been horribly lonely. I started feeling this way around mid-January, I think, and I have managed to keep it under control for the most part. I've been distracting myself with school and getting things done for The Big Change.

But earlier this evening I was walking around the halls at work. I was one of the last people there. Someone stopped to make note of how big my tummy is (as usual), and while we conversed about that (as usual), I was overcome by this really deep-seated feeling of panic. It was then that I realized how scared I am of The Big Change. I am scared to be a mother. I am scared of everything that will follow. I have no idea how my marriage will be affected, only that it will be. I have no idea how my relationships with friends and family will change, only that they will. I have no idea what will become of my dreams or goals or the Leslie who I am now, only that these things are bound to change as well.

And I just don't feel ready for this. I don't feel ready for any of it. As much as I love this little boy who is growing inside of me, I am absolutely frozen with fear. I am terrified.

I don't think anyone really understands, and if they do, they're not joining in on sharing the fears. And I hate that. I hate that there are these things that are left unsaid because maybe they aren't PC or "safe" to say. I just need to know that I'm not alone. Why isn't anyone else speaking up? And why do I get the feeling that many people just can't be bothered with me anymore? I feel completely abandoned.

I realize that I sound really overly dramatic, but this really is the way I feel. I feel like I have nothing to cling to anymore except everyone's expectations that I should be grateful that I'm pregnant at all. I feel like people have moved on from being a part of my life because they cannot relate to me anymore. In short, I feel that this pregnancy has come between me and quite a few people, and I know I am in a major adjustment period, and it really sucks right now.

For those of you who have continued to be a part of my life, online or unplugged, thanks so much for hanging in there with me. It seems that a lot of my blog readers have jumped ship, and that has affected me more than I'd like to admit (probably because it has come at a time when I am noticing that some in-real-life people can't seem to be bothered with me anymore). The truth is, a blog is a dialogue, and many people have stopped talking. It's hard to carry on a one-sided conversation. Thanks to those of you who do comment or who read at all. Thanks to all of you who check in with me or who even think about me at all, ever. Things haven't exactly been easy, and it's times like this when I really need people. (I'm a people person, so I need people anyway.) Your comments and emails and phone calls and texts and interactions really do matter.

I think I sound like an absolute basket case right now, but the truth is, this week has kind of sucked so far and I'm exhausted and feeling like I'm getting sick again. I hate our childbirth classes because they are so one-dimensional and are doing absolutely nothing to help me deal with the heightened emotions I feel. I hate the baby boards on the Nest, because they are full of women who just want to tear each other down. I hate that all people see when they look at me is a giant belly. When did I stop being a person? When did it become acceptable to stop asking me how I am? I feel like I am all alone on the world's biggest emo rollercoaster and I am sad and scared but trying to hang in there, because I know things are going to get better.

(Disclaimer, part two: All this that I've written here does not mean that I am not happy to be pregnant or that I don't want Charlie. It means that things are really flippin' complicated and scary right now and that it is possible to feel many different emotions at one time. We tried hard for this baby, and we are thrilled to know that he's coming. No matter how hard things get, I am so grateful for the blessings in my life.)

16 comments:

phairhead said...

i'm not a mom nor am I an expectant mother. however, I am a big worrier! Sometimes I wonder when my real life is going to start. Why can't I be more breezy and self-assured? You'll get through this, yr a smart beautiful woman w/ a good head yr shoulders.

tootie said...

Hang in there! I bet there are a lot of other moms-to-be that feel like you do, and I bet a few are relieved to read your post!

kim said...

I am sorry you are feeling this way. :( You know I have mad love for you, yo.

thebookmill said...

I imagine that being a mom-to-be is a very scary/anxious, worrisome time. And to feel terrified is completely normal. I definitely would feel terrified too!

One of my best friends from high school recently got engaged, the first out of my close group of friends. I'm thrilled for her, but at the same time I felt that she had crossed over a invisible barrier by becoming engaged; almost like now she is a different person, no longer just my friend by now she'll be someone's wife and experiencing things that neither me nor my group of friends will able relate to.

What I'm trying to say is maybe your friends feel the same way about you? Maybe they feel like they can't relate to you like they used to now that you are going to be mom, especially if they are not parents themselves. If that is the case, I imagine it can be kind of isolating, both for you and for your friends.

But, being pregnant does not make you a different person. Obviously your priorities and responsibilities will change, but you remain yourself and the people who love you I'm sure will see that.

/end longest comment ever.

thebookmill said...

I imagine that being a mom-to-be is a very scary/anxious, worrisome time. And to feel terrified is completely normal. I definitely would feel terrified too!

One of my best friends from high school recently got engaged, the first out of my close group of friends. I'm thrilled for her, but at the same time I felt that she had crossed over a invisible barrier by becoming engaged; almost like now she is a different person, no longer just my friend by now she'll be someone's wife and experiencing things that neither me nor my group of friends will able relate to.

What I'm trying to say is maybe your friends feel the same way about you? Maybe they feel like they can't relate to you like they used to now that you are going to be mom, especially if they are not parents themselves. If that is the case, I imagine it can be kind of isolating, both for you and for your friends.

But, being pregnant does not make you a different person. Obviously your priorities and responsibilities will change, but you remain yourself and the people who love you I'm sure will see that.

/end longest comment ever.

Patty said...

Ok, this is new here...is it okay for family to reply? I'm going to take a chance.

One of the things I love about you is your ability to be in touch with yourself. You have such awareness of what is happening as you walk through various life events. When I was pregnant with Mandy, I went through some of this -- but I didn't realize it at the time. I wasn't in touch with feelings of loss and grief over the changes in my friendships -- or the changes in my life.

Having her was amazing to me and I had so much joy. But the months that followed, where I was no longer in school, not working, etc...I felt lonely and didn't know why. Now I realize, of course, that a baby is not meant to meet all of a person's emotional needs. It took me awhile to re-build what I had lost...until after Roy was born, not quite 2 years later.

Mandy was a complete delight to me. Everything she did was so adorable, and there was a deep part of me that felt completely fulfilled. And when Roy was born, I had the amazing experience of finding out that my heart could be completely devoted to more than one little person at a time. I didn't know there could be two most adorable, perfect babies in the universe! And when Jake was born, it happened again! Hearts are elastic but strong. But grown-ups need to talk to other grown-ups.

Because you have such fine-tuned awareness, you have an advantage here. I am impressed with you for recognizing what is happening, and that you express how you feel. You are much more likely than I was to stay balanced through all these changes.

I just love who you are! Charlie is a lucky little boy to have you as his mom! And you have some awesome blogger friends who got right back to you!

Love, your mother-in-law, Roy's mom, Charlie's grandma

A said...

I e-mailed you, but I wanted to show mad love you here. :)

Laura said...

I'm sorry you are feeling this way :( I can't understand what you're going through but wanted to show my support.

Amy said...

Although I'm not expecting just yet, I can totally understand where you are coming from. Whenever I stop to think about my life once I do have children the unknown scares me. I want to know how it will affect everything and the problem is I won't know till I'm there. So I'm determined to be content with whatever stage I'm in because God knows it won't last forever. Nothing in life ever does. So you're not alone. I've been reading, just sucking in the whole commenting department. Hope you start to feel better.

Nanette said...

Doing a drive-by commenting to say that:

1. I'm still here, albeit sparsely
2. The Bump is filled with crazy-go-nuts women. So very sad.

amber said...

i'm really sorry that things are changing so much. i can only imagine how scary things are right now (i have a feeling i'd be in a similar boat as you with just being frightened) and i really hope that you're able to feel more centered and at peace with everything soon.

{{hugs}}

alyssa said...

I, too, am doin' a drive-by...I'm so sorry you are feeling blue! I can't even imagine what your body is going through right now. Hang in there, friend, lean on your hubby, and I hope you feel peace soon! Sending blogger hugs!!! xoxo!

Angie Eats Peace said...

Ditto, Kim.

Crazy Daisy said...

I'm so sorry things kind stink right now. Know that I am here! You can email anytime! I can't say I completely understand all the feelings and pregnancy, however I am here to listen. Hang in there!

Erika said...

Hey Leslie,

I don't know how I skipped this entry....I was tried from work and somehow missed it.

I hope its not too late to comment. I have days where i feel extremely lonely for some reason....I keep thinking who would come to my funeral etc...I know....morbid!

But, I gather we have ALL felt like this in one way or another....I figue i would be scared shitless if i was pregnant, about being a mom.

You would be one fantastic mommy.

Hang in there and keep your head up and just vent on here when need be....we will listen and then perk you right up again....:)

inflammatory writ said...

I am so behind on reading blogs/commenting...but know that you are not alone.