Yes, I’m far from my origins. Far from one place that’s been “home.” I’m separated by miles from family and most of my friends. But it’s more than the miles. And it’s more than just the one place. As much as I miss them and I miss that “home,” this is where we are now, where we have chosen to be.
I spend a good portion of my days alone with a two-month-old. Which often feels like utter aloneness. Even loneliness. I love my son to no end, but sometimes, I feel like I have to try too hard to enjoy him. Because I should be enjoying him. I should be cherishing these moments, because these moments are the reasons that I’m home with him, why I’m here. He came so easily to us that I thought my part was set, that the emotions, the connection would come easily, too. But it doesn’t. Not always.
I talk to him all the time. We sing and dance and play. These are the motions of motherhood, and I go through them daily. I hold him in my arms and nourish my son with my breasts, and everything is working out at least okay so far, and that’s good, but sometimes I feel like I am more of a performer than a participant. If that makes sense. I guess I thought there would be more. More what, I’m not sure. Connection maybe. Or feeling.
I do have moments when I am overcome by emotion, overwhelmed by frustration or an overflow of love, but those moments pass more quickly than I would expect, and then I look and find myself empty. Blank somehow. Maybe ambivalent is the word, so many different feelings that none get processed the way that they should.
So I am not only isolated from family and friends, but also from my own life. My self. And I don’t know how to fix it.
I’ve been wanting to write this down for awhile. But it’s not easy to write because it’s not easy to define. And it’s not easy to experience. I don’t think it’s depression, and maybe it’s actually normal to feel this as a new mom. But I feel like I’m insulated, like even my husband and son aren’t touching me at all. Even though I know that they are both here, near, and loving me with everything they have in the best way they know how. And I feel guilty for feeling cut off from my love for them. Because I know that it’s in here. So why does it seem so hard to wrap myself around it?