So it turns out I miss blogging.
I think I started blogging almost completely 100% for me.
Then a few friends and family started reading it, which was both good and bad. Good because it's awesome people I love care enough to read my random musings. Bad because I felt somewhat limited in what I could say.
Then several strangers started reading my posts about the Trisomy-18/SLOS quad-screen scare. For awhile, I was getting pings every month or so from other scared moms who were anxiously awaiting more testing. The comments they left were heart-breaking, and as more time was passing, I found it harder and harder to reach out to them. Because while I remember feeling scared and helpless and looking for any information I could find, enough time has passed, enough new experiences have popped up, that I just can't relate like I once could. It's no longer fresh.
Also, somewhere along the way, my mental health took a bit of a nosedive. Issues with Bella got more complex. Life changed in unpredictable ways. And I felt uncomfortable writing about some of those things online, where anybody can see it.
Here's the thing though. I don't journal. I just can't seem to get into it. I type WAY faster than I can write, and looking back on my blog makes me smile at my old memories. Also, it just helps me feel better.
So in an effort to care less about what others think and do what makes me happy, I'm going to attempt this again. In that vein, I'll just admit some stuff up front.
1) I'm codependent.
Most people misuse this word to describe somebody who depends on somebody too much, but that's not quite it. You know how in an abusive household, there's often the peacemaker, the one who does whatever they can to keep the abuser even-tempered? That peacemaker is codependent.
I do NOT live in an abusive household, and I've never had an abusive boyfriend. But I have had a couple deeply unhealthy friendships. The last one was bad enough that I sought therapy to regain some control over my life, and since then, I've been much more aware and less likely to form these relationships. I still have the tendency to put my needs lower than other people's (often inconsequential) wants, to take offhand comments way too seriously, and to bend my life around somebody else's desires.
Thankfully, I have a great support system of people who get this about me and try not to abuse it. Jason, for instance, when stating a preference will make it clear that he does not want me to change my behavior or plans if it's of little consequence to him. And if it's something that has absolutely zero affect on him, I think he just keeps his mouth shut. Also, he listens when I describe what's going through my head and puts up with me when I worry way too much about other's thoughts.
I'm going to throw a shout-out to my BFF Corrie here as well, as she is all sorts of great for my mental well-being and just overall happiness.
2) I suffer from depression and anxiety.
I think I was probably always prone to some of this, and can now recognize past times when I probably was depressed. But it started in earnest right after I had Genevieve. I had a really difficult time bonding with her for a long time and worried that I never would. I'd had a postpartum hemorrhage with Genevieve that left me feeling weak and lethargic. For a long time, I thought what I felt was still left over from the effects of that. But when I broke down in tears at my 6 week followup, the doctor swiftly put me on extended disability for depression and got me into a psychiatrist.
What's followed has been a pretty long journey of good times and bad times, with plenty of medication thrown in.
I've gotten better at recognizing when I'm falling back into a depressive state, which is good. But it still sucks.
You know that commercial that says "Depression Hurts"? Well, it flat out does. It hurts my mind. It hurts my body. It hurts my family. And I fight it. I really do.
I've gotten much better, I really have. But the thing with depression is it leaves you vulnerable. My ability to roll with the punches is sometimes just non-existent. It's like my emotional endurance is gone. Something awful happens, and I need extra help pulling it together. I've learned to ask for and seek the help though, which is good.
3) This one's the hardest for me to write about. Bella is really struggling in school, and in some ways with life.
I question how much I should put of this up here, because in many ways, this is her deal, and not mine. But here's where I'm going to trust that Bella knows I love her and that I have her best interest at heart. I'm going to trust my friends and family that read this to be understanding and loyal. And I'm not going to care about the strangers. And I'm still going to filter. Not everything needs to be for public consumption.
Bella is about 2 years behind on her fine and visual motor skills. She also has ADHD. The former is the bigger problem right now at school, but the latter is compounding the former. She's also behind on social skills and is having a hard time with friends. And there's more, but this is where that filter comes in.
I know that the perception is often that ADHD is over-diagnosed and that she'll grow out of all of this and that we are worrying too much. If that's your perception, feel free to judge us quietly, but please keep it to yourselves.
Bella is a sweet and kind and loving girl. And she is struggling. She's struggling with reading and writing and behavior and friendships. And it breaks my heart. All of the time.
Jason and I have near-constant anxiety and worry over this.
I think that's about all I can handle writing right now.
I know some of the friends and family come here mainly for pictures; so I'll try to post some soon.