Hiding in the Forest

Hi there.

I’ve had a lot to write about that I haven’t been writing about because to be honest, i’ve been deep in the forest lately.

I didn’t take my antidepressants for over a week. And not for any particular reason. It’s like I forgot to take it one day. No big. Then the next day I thought about it but it wasn’t handy and I thought “oh well, I missed one day with no problem so I’m sure one more won’t be an issue.” and then it turned into something like nine days.

Charlie has been sick for over a week. This isn’t unusual-she picks up every little thing that gets passed around at MDO, but Saturday things started to get pretty rough. She acted irrationally angry a lot of the morning and then absolutely refused to nap. I’m ashamed to say I let her cry in her bed longer than I should have because I kept expecting her to calm down. By the end of the cry I was so frustrated at her and mad at myself that I spoke more harshly with her than I should have when I went to get her (we gave up on the nap after about twenty minutes). Her poor face was covered in tears and red. She was obviously exhausted but couldn’t sleep. I felt like a monster. I apologized immediately and we cuddled in bed, but that was strike one for my emotional state.

The next day was much of the same. Chief had drill all weekend by the way, so I was handling this a lot on my own. Sunday she was not only cranky and mad, she was also destructive and unapologetic about it. I lost my temper and shouted at her. She didn’t cry, but I could tell she was frightened. I cried though. I picked her up and cuddled her on the couch and apologized again. I was so relieved when she went down for a nap that day because I felt so awful about my mothering and that she would be better off away from me. I was never worried about physically harming her, but I was afraid I was damaging our relationship with every raise of my voice or expression of frustration.

Sunday afternoon I took my antidepressant for the first time in over a week. I know now that I can’t be without it like that. Not at this point in my life anyway.

Yesterday Charlie was so mad and upset. We called the doctors office during her nap to try and get a spot but they said her pediatrician was out for the day. When she woke up she seemed better so we thought it must just be a phase, but then she was much the same today. Had a bad day at school and everything. Her doctor was still out so we ended up taking her to a really nice urgent care.

Double ear infection and an upper respiratory infection was the diagnosis. Cue the various guilts:

1. How could I be so angry and awful to my obviously sick daughter?
2. How could my intuition not have told me on Saturday that something wasn’t right and she needed to go to the doctor?
3. How could I let it get this bad?
4. How could I be so lazy about my antidepressants

I’m trying to let myself push this guilt away-it’s done. I can’t take it back. I made it through today and yesterday without yelling at her, though I was frustrated yesterday. I’ve tweaked my shoulder somehow and right now she just wants to be held. This wouldn’t normally be a problem, but I can’t hold her on my right because of the shoulder, so my left is taking the brunt and it’s brutal-and it’s just me. No Chief, no grandparents-she just wants me to hold her. All the time. When I’m eating. When I’m using the bathroom. Always. I don’t blame her of course because she feels so awful, but it’s very hard to do all on my own when I’m down one shoulder (I am going to the doctor, reluctantly, tomorrow), so by the end of yesterday I was tired, and hurting, and feeling guilty, and frustrated. But I didn’t yell.

I can feel myself slowly and gradually getting back under control with every dose of bu.propion. But I’m sad with myself. I’m afraid that this weekend will be one of Charlie’s earliest memories of her mother. How awful would that be?

Tonight after she had her dinner, and her bath, and her nursing, and her facetime call with daddo, she just wanted me to hold her and rock, and I did with tears rolling down my face. She has of course forgiven me. Hopefully she’s forgotten what a rotten mother I was for 48 hours. It’s just so much harder to forgive myself.

The good, the bad, the in-between.

I’m just going to say it: I didn’t get the school job.

I was pretty devastated from the moment I answered the phone call and heard the principal’s voice. Then he said “I’m afraid I don’t have good news” and I knew. I was proud of myself for staying strong on the phone and remaining professional-it was hard. I had talked myself into believing I was going to get it, and it doesn’t take much to make me cry these days.

The other thing is that while I got the on base job I just wasn’t sure that it was going to work out. I had read some tricky things online about the contracting firm I’d be working through. I also had some rough feelings about starting so soon and losing the last summer with Charlie and Chief that I’ll have before I definitely go back to work in 2018. Chief and I talked about it and we decided that if it didn’t feel right right now then we could afford to wait. So i turned them down. In the email I wrote that if the job had a work from home component or was starting in the fall I would feel better about accepting, but I felt like I needed to spend this summer with my family.

The hiring manager wrote back immediately telling me how sorry he was because he felt that I would be great for the job. I instantly had regrets-he is SO. NICE. I thought about emailing to tell him I had changed my mind but I hadn’t really. I want to work, but I want a few more months. That’s just one of the reasons the school job was going to be so great.

Anyway, I was really depressed all day. I thought I was going to get that school job, but also, I just really am ready to have a plan for my future. A few hours later I got an email from the contracting firm hiring manager, requesting that I call him. When I did he offered to hold the job until the end of August for me. He said he can’t technically do that, but he can draw out the recruitment process and have me sign on in July with a start date in August-they’ll let him do that. He said he wanted me to think about it and talk about it with my husband, but that he really felt strongly that I was the right person for this job even though he had other people who could do it.

I think I’m going to take him up on it. It’s only four months before I have to go back to work so I’m not shaving so much of my time at home off. I’m ready to have the financial security that comes with steady work, and the work will be fulfilling. It also gives me all summer to get my affairs in order at the law firm. And I can’t lie-it’s really nice to be so strongly valued and pursued. The school made me really jump through hoops to prove that I was worthy and still decided I wasn’t. I get that that’s part of the process and people don’t get jobs all the time, but this time it feels worse because it’s the most exacting interview process I’ve ever been through. But this guy wants me to have this job because he genuinely believes in me and my qualifications and my passion for public service. It’s not a librarian job-but it’s a job that matters.

I think I’m going to take it.