What a week, y’all. It’s been truly intense. The backdrop is one of general anxiety. There were a few high points and one very very low. It all added up to an exhausting and emotionally draining week, capped with a Monday Migraine that sent me home after working only 1 1/2 hours yesterday.
The anxiety stemmed from the ongoing work I’ve been doing in therapy, but more specifically, last week my therapist asked me to write out some of my childhood story. Now, I know my childhood was pretty idyllic in a lot of ways, but writing out all the big important points made me realize how much some of my early early experiences shaped me in ways I didn’t recognize until now. It also made me realize how much of my childhood I’ve forgotten. I had no idea the gaps in my memory were so large and so prevalent. So that was unnerving in itself, but also remembering some of what I think of as straight forward events was fairly traumatic. I had originally thought most of my issues with family stuff came about due to events that happened in high school, but I realized many of those were built on foundations laid during my parent’s divorce proceedings when I was eleven. So, wow. I described it to Rachel — during a rare moment when we were able to just sit and chat after Darwin was in bed — as being like a fish tank. There’s this point at which you know it needs to be cleaned, but as long as all the gunk is settled on the bottom, it’s ok, it’s not urgent, you (and the fish) can live like that for a while. But then when you do go to clean it, it stirs up all the gross stuff and you get as much out as you can, but there’s always a bunch of crud that is left swirling around in the water afterwards– at least until it settles back again. That’s what I was feeling like last week. A dirty fish tank whose junk had been agitated and was all swirly and in the way.
One of the high points of the week, though, was on Thursday: Rachel’s 32nd birthday! I made crockpot pulled pork, a good friend came over for dinner, and I gave Rachel tickets to an upcoming Dar Williams concert and a bottle of her favorite gin. We had some excellent locally brewed stout and ate an ok cake with amazing frosting. It was a really hard night in terms of Darwin’s bedtime, but hopefully the good outweighed the bad. Rachel really deserved a nice birthday for once.
The next day is when everything really went to shit. I got a message from a friend who is currently doing fieldwork in Puerto Rico to call her as soon as I could. She said she was ok but wouldn’t say anything else. When I got off work, I called her, not sure what to expect, but totally unprepared for what came next. The night before, a friend and lab-mate of ours had been walking her dog with her husband and all three of them were hit by a car. My friend, a midwife who was doing amazing public health and medical anthropology work in Sierra Leone, and who was one of the most sincerely kind and pure people I’ve ever met, died on the way to the hospital.
Her husband was still in the hospital last I heard, and I don’t know anything about the dog. I spent the weekend going between grief and not really being able to convince myself it was real. Even now, as I write this, I’m not sure how to label my emotions.
Finally, yesterday I came home from work with a terrible headache that wasn’t responding to medication. It was miserable, but it meant I got to spend the day (when I wasn’t trying to sleep through the pain, anyway) with Darwin on her eleven month birthday! I also called to make the reservation for her birthday party location (the local park where we had our baby shower – I thought it had a nice symmetry to it). Almost a year! I can’t believe it.
So. That was my week, and why I’ve been failing to blog, despite having much to say. Maybe I’ll manage to make some more words happen before the end of this week! Here’s hoping it gets better from here.