It's been a minute to say the least. Shaking the cobwebs loose on word vomiting cohesive thoughts when not told in a third person, fictional narrative - even the ones I somehow manifest into reality - is uncomfortable to say the least. So if you choose to read on, cut a journal-er some slack. In the time since my last blog update, a metric fuckton of stuff has happened in my world. If you had asked me as recently as July 1, I'd have gotten into some Karmic, uber regressive spiraling. But something happened, you guys. I turned 40. Middle-Aged. And I'd say, it was some divine fucking timing.
For most of my life I considered myself (if you can forgive the cliche) a fairly open book. I had nothing to hide, not thing I couldn't express. But it wasn't until I realized I had a life FULL of people, and no one knew me. Not even my spouse. When i started writing and trying to grow that tribe; started promoting my stories and my voice as an author did it hit. No one knew me, b/c i didn't know me. Sure, there were the easy labels. Mother. Wife. Nurse. 'Chicago' by my solid work family. But even those were just as surface level as saying i had brown eyes, wore glasses, and preferred deep-dish pizza to tacos (don't worry i've acclimated just fine).
I didn't know i was living at that surface level until i had livy (the littlest of my not-so-littles, now age 9). I experienced PPD w/ each baby, but i couldn't say it. Couldn't even identify the hopelessness and sadness, i felt. My logic brain. the brain that spent so long in school, knew how to save lives, knew how to care for sick neonates, knew fundamentally that almost all women experienced some sort of hormonal fluctuation which resulted in depression after giving birth - i could spot it in a new mother in the ED or while holding her 3lb premie from a mile away, but identifying it in myself? FUCK NO. I didn't have those feelings. Like.. ever. Except i did, all the time and expected... HOPED someone loved me enough to shake it out of me; to rescue me.
I was emotionally drowning. Choking down of feelings i couldn't even name b/c id never been shown how or given the permission to feel anything that went below surface of 'you're fine. just be happy.'
You see. Stacey (we all know my real name isn't ellis) had emotional needs.
THE FUCK YOU SAY? a human being had... emotional needs?! The space between that realization and some deep spiritual ascension/personal healing is about 7 years of denial, 3 years of emotional abuse AND more denial... and over 2 grand in therapy.
money well fucking spent. (still woulda preferred a trip to Figi or something, but ive got a few decent years left. ill get there one day)
I know my kids will be 40 and in some version of therapy. and while i know i'm not a perfect individual, i know with every fiber of my being i am an awesome mom. my babies are the best things i will ever do and it is my greatest joy to be their mama until my last breath. they are shown everyday they have worth, that they are seen, that they matter, and that their needs... physical AND emotional are valid and that it is MY PRIVILEDGE nurture and love them unconditionally. And somewhere in all that... embody the mid-life lesson that the only way to truly accept unconditional love from someone else - even your mama - you have to compassionately love yourself, first.
bc if someone hasn't said it lately. we're all worthy. hopefully you're divine timing hits earlier. 40 doesn't feel old. but these knees, hips, and back... yeesh.