We had swimming lessons today after 2 weeks off and boy oh boy... WORST SWIMMING LESSON EVER! Seriously bad.
I usually get one of these lessons every 3 months (especially if we've had time off for sickness etc) but today was horrible. She screamed for me for nearly 25 minutes (the lesson is 30 mins total..) she cried. she sobbed. She told the teacher NO and splashed at her and crossed her arms (and really was quite rude) so I did everything I could. I molly-coddled her, I gave her a hug (even though she was soaking wet) I told her sternly to get in the pool. I got cranky. I threatened to use the naughty corner at home. I used a make shift naughty corner at the pool (took her out of the pool). I ignored her. I did NOT do a very good job. I felt terrible. A terrible mummy moment. I was one of THOSE mothers who had no control over her child. I had NO control. Which is sort of funny, because apart from the odd temper tantrum - I generally do have full control over her and she will never venture far from my watchful eyes and most times will hold my hand. I just have a child that can throw one doozy of a tantrum (you would have to see it to believe it!) Amazing how one 25 minute tantrum can have you questioning EVERYTHING you do as a parent. And make you feel guilt of epic proportions.
So what does this tantrum have to do with this blog? This blog, though mainly my place to spill on all things Endo, is also my place to get out of my messed up headspace. I find filtering it out is very therapeutic for me & it is working wonders (so excuse the dribble as I go on and on about this and that!!!)
So today's tantrum... hot on the heels of last night's blog entry where I said I was doing OK emotionally and mentally? Yeah it appears OK may have just been a facade, a blanket cover because that little tantrum had my anxiety levels rising. At one point when I had taken her from the pool and placed her in the 'naughty corner' my heart was pounding so hard, I thought it would just beat itself right out of my chest. My heart was clenching. And I'm sure my face was beet red... oh the shame of a nearly 4 year old in full tantrum swing, where every other look appears as judgement (when you know they are secretly thinking... oh my god... thank fuck it's not me and my child going through that today... come on - we've all been there, haven't we?) but I digress.. after I had placed still screaming child back in the water, I walked away and sat with my friends mum and buried my face in my hands. The pain in my chest eased, but the eyes were starting to prickle. To make matters worse my friends mum patted me on the back and then they spilled over. I felt like the biggest Nong. Sitting there wiping away tears. Every time my child screamed out mummy. Or cried for me. I'd have to wipe away more tears.
And as with tears - once they start... they don't bloody well stop. So here I am the biggest sook out. Crying because my child was crying and I'm thinking to myself. Why? I know it wasn't because she was throwing a tantrum. Usually I can deal with them. No it was because my emotions, my stress, my anxiety peaked with the pressure I was under from not being able to control her or the situation. From questioning and judging my own actions. From thinking that sympathetic looks were really looks of judgement. And a tiny crack appeared in my armour. The armour I have built around myself in the last few weeks to shield my emotions, to help me cope and fudge my way through this mess I find myself in. The armour that has helped me cope with work and all that that entails. Finally cracked open. A three (point 10) year old with the banshee howl found that crack and broke through.
I won't lie and say it hasn't unsettled me for the remainder of the day. After the epic tantrum, said child and mummy had a nice day together. Perfect child. Holding hands. Polite. Loving. Delightful.
After today, I am feeling that sadness seeping back in, wrapping itself around my heart and I am fighting it. I am probably due a really good howl (let's face it losing it completely at the swimming pool would NOT have been cool, one crying child was bad enough without a howling mother too ;) It would appear that although my armour was built tight to shield myself from further pain. It didn't quite go so far as blocking that sadness to others. I received a lovely Facebook message from a good friend just following up on a gut instinct that all may not be well in my world. I love how she took the time to care and to ask. It's good to know another friend has my back.
Incidentally I did end up changing my Facebook status and have had 19 friends 'like' my comment. Of those 19 friends, not surprisingly 11 of these were my online buddies. The other 8 are my real life friends. The ones who have read it and liked it and to me, whether they have experienced Infertility or not means the world. It means they have my back and while they may NOT understand what I'm about at times. It's good to know they care enough to care.