As someone who has struggled with emotions and mood swings in the past, I try not to hold myself to everyone else’s standard of stability. Instead, I like to think “I may be reacting to this in a less-than-ideal way, but it’s much better than how I might have reacted before I was medicated/if I hadn’t thought this through/before I took a moment to try to understand why I feel this way.” And I figured that once I got pregnant, the hormones would throw me so far out of whack, I would have to struggle to find an even footing. I didn’t expect to be wading through a sea of OTHER pregnant women’s hormones and thinking “Man… I’m practically sane compared to these people.” HAHA But that’s what the birth board is good for! Among other things…
I’ve been doing SO well, in fact, that I have felt a bit superior to my fellow mothers-to-be as far as controlling my rage, tears and anxiety. Tom mentioned once that my ability to control this stuff might be stronger than other women’s because I’ve got way more experience. I mean, these women typically haven’t had to bite back the irresistible urge to spend every cent they have on cross-stitching patterns they’ll never use. Or run into the parking lot yelling “I’m a princess!” at the top of their lungs. Or decide to learn Italian and pursue a PhD in European history and move to Rome to study the Borgia family. You get my point.
I have been doing well. I feel very proud of myself for managing to keep it together. But every so often, I do something or react in a certain way that brings me down a rung or two. Like yesterday, Tom came to pick me up for lunch. I stood up and he went “Whoa”. “What?” I demanded. He then made a huge semi-circle gesture in front of his stomach with his hand, indicating that I have gotten very big. Well, I thought this was funny. And shared it on my birth board. And then a bunch of the other women started talking about funny things their tactless husbands/fiancés/boyfriends/partners had said to them about their sizes. Then one woman gets on there and goes off on how she can’t believe we’re all so insecure and sensitive. Of course we’re getting bigger, she says! We’re pregnant! Duh! We should just laugh it off when our husbands/fiancés/boyfriends/partners say things like that, because they’re not trying to be mean!
I began to see red. Like oh no you didn’t, bitch. You didn’t just misunderstand what I was saying and then JUDGE ME, DID YOU??? A few deep breaths later, I calmed down. But it took a minute and a lot of effort. It reminded me of the time a couple months ago when I became absolutely livid because my boss had stolen my pen AGAIN. (WHY CAN’T HE JUST USE HIS OWN PENS???) And then I remembered other moments when I was angry with Tom for one thing or another, hours of sleep I’d lost worrying about work, the fact that I flipped out on a client for asking me if I’d yet used a broom he saw in our office… So maybe I’m not really doing that well. But I’m doing well enough that the world hasn’t ended. Yet.
It might be a bit odd that I have looked at emotional control as a competition between me and the other women on the birth board. I have no reasonable excuse. But I will say this: I’m still winning. 😛