Lessons: April 2008 Archives

Out of Order

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I'm pretty sure I talked about this on my previous blog but what the hell. It's happening again.

We all have heard the being pregnant makes a woman more emotional. But to say that's what happens with me is like saying that the main result of the fall of the Berlin Wall was that it made a small section of Germany more breezy.
See what I mean? If you were pregnant, you'd get that.

Anyway, what happens to me when my hormones are messed with is that my emotional filter dissolves. Meaning, all the self control and wisdom I use to keep myself from being angry, crying or generally drawing too much attention to myself or my insecurities is gone. If I feel angry, I lash out. If I feel happy, I laugh. If I am moved or saddened, I cry. And no matter how much I prided myself in my ability to remain stoic and unfazed during times of stress in the past, these present days are littered with moments when my true emotions jump out there for all to see.

It's maddening for a self control freak like me.

That being said, the worst possible place for me to be is a family gathering. A  gathering  where I am not actually blood related to the family. One where dinner is served at 8:30 - 2 hours past my normal time to eat and a half hour past my daughter's bedtime.

The truth is, even on a good day, MJ's large family gatherings unnerve me. They yell and interrupt each other a  lot. The atmosphere is chaotic and stressful compared to how I grew up. Each get-together sets me back a day or two on whatever discipline/schedule progress I've made with August. When I'm with them, I sort of feel invisible because I lack the energy or desire to scream loud enough to be heard. Baring in mind that these are totally nice people and I know I am lucky they are so kind and well intended. It does not change the fact that even after sharing their last name for 2 years, I still feel no more a part of their clan than I would feel a part of the Boston Red Sox if I attended all their home games.

And I think all of these things are the reasons why I left the Seder Saturday night and  sat in the downstairs bathroom crying while everyone else was eating matzo ball soup.

Admitting that I am this lonely for some familiarity and this irritated by lack of connection to a family I should be able to trust and feel secure in is not something I ever wanted to do. Were I not pregnant and my emotions able to be controlled, I believe I would be still convincing myself that none of this matters. I would have eaten my soup, stumbled through the rest of the Seder with a convincing smile and possibly even enjoyed myself once I blocked out the fact that I have no meaningful conversations with anyone that do not revolve around my daughter. I wouldn't have been angry; I would have been numb. I would have liked that because with the stoic scenario, there is no possibility of hurting anyone's feelings.

But I don't have that luxury. I cried like a baby when we watched Juno in the cinema a month or so ago because I have an enormous amount of sympathy for teenage moms and mom-hopefuls. And I cried harder Saturday night because that is truly how sad I am most days to not have the relationship with my husband's family that I wish I did.