Friday, January 04, 2013

A Belly Full of Rage

I thought being pregnant would compel me to write more frequently here. I wrote a lot - every day - during my first pregnancy (though - ha! - on my first Geocities website and LiveJournal). I couldn't help chronicling all the random things that come with pregnancy - the cream cheese cravings, the day my beloved Earl jeans stopped fitting me, the feelings of his first movements inside me. I needed, too, a space to process all the anxiety and ambivalence and excitement. 

So I figured it'd be about the same again this time. But it hasn't been. I've not felt even the slightest desire to bore anyone with every little thing that's happened, or my thoughts on much, really. I've written about some of the bigger things that've been on my mind, but overall, I've just not wanted to write. The world wide web is sufficiently littered with other moms droning on about the minutiae of pregnancy, and every time I've thought about sharing something, I've instead ended up rolling my eyes at myself.

The thing about this pregnancy that's made me less desirous of writing is that I've spent a decent chunk of it filled with an inexplicable rage, and it's had me feeling irritable and impatient and downright pissed some of the time. It’s not an ongoing feeling, nor anything along the lines of “I have a terrible life,” or “life sucks,” but it is the feeling that flares up the instant something somewhat negative or inconvenient happens. It’s an odd thing to deal with at a time when I’m actually in a good place in my life, happier than I've ever been. I have no real reason to feel this way, but I do.

Worse, it’s not like I go through a ragey fit and then feel badly – I actually feel pretty justified in my feelings. The situations that have arisen have sincerely struck me as others being selfish or melodramatic or plain old ridiculous, and the key difference is that instead of sucking it up, I've been lashing out. I mean, not crazy lashing out (except to my husband, who’s had to be my sounding board), but I've been blunt and direct and have felt pretty fed up and acted just so. Non-pregnant Tere has become someone who holds her tongue a lot - a lot - to keep the peace, to not be problematic, etc. But pregnant Tere is like, eff that crap, xxx (person) is being a moron and I'm not going to just sit quietly and let them get away with this shit. Sure, I rage in my head but ultimately present a much more diplomatic attitude, but I'm definitely blunt and direct and care very little for how the person might react. In some ways, it's like I'm back to how I used to be a decade ago.

I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I'm relieved to not feel like I have to be so, so cautious and overly careful about what I say to someone, lest I inadvertently insult them and cause a problem. What I've become - my near-total avoidance of any kind of confrontation, or my extreme stressing when I know some kind of confrontation - even the most polite kind - is unavoidable - is not something I can really accept, and I struggle with it. I think it's become a necessary attitude to keep my anxiety at bay: I brush a lot of things off to not spin into over-analysis overdrive or to not waste time and energy on people and situations that are simply not worth it. There's a degree of peace in tuning someone out and letting it all slide off me. And yet, the part of me that can't handle anything that is unjust is reveling in this right now. I can't lie - it feels a bit good to (tactfully) call someone out on their bullshit or to put them on the spot. Too many times, people fling shit out at others and then run and hide. I can't stand that. And right now, something in my body is like, you can't just stand by, say something, do something! So I go through all this raging at the unfairness of it all at my husband and then filter it down to something I can less ragefully communicate to the jerk in question.

But on the other hand, I don't want to revert to the me of my mid-twenties and earlier, and I would hope that even in the middle of my increased irritability there's still a difference in how it all comes out, then vs. now. I certainly don't want to be a perpetually cranky person who's fighting against every damn thing. I don't want to carry anger within me, especially over people or situations I know are hopeless, nor do I want to put out a negative (or unpleasant or difficult) vibe out to the universe. In some ways, this current heightened indignation is a setback and I'm working on it like I do everything else. 

At the very least, I don't for a second believe that this is all about my current (pregnant, hormonal) state; I'm lucid enough to understand that my current state is making it hard for me to brush off problematic people who have always been there, and unnecessary b.s. that can be avoided but pops up anyway (thanks to thoughtless or self-centered people). In other words, this stuff isn't in my head, it's real. That's a small comfort, but I'll take it. I need any piece of comfort I can get to see me through these remaining weeks, so the rage won't eat me alive. 

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Posted by Tere @ 1/04/2013   | |


  • Blogger Mary Gilmour posted at 1/05/2013 3:57 PM  
    I think you have identified what is going on, even if not with a big red label. It's not just pregnancy, it's maturity. You are a solid, grounded adult with a big stake in your world and the future. And crappy stuff makes you angry.
    Welcome, with trumpets, to the land of the truly grown up. I get every word of what you said - and I have been on your trajectory from avoidance of confrontation at almost all costs (and how I now wince when I think of some situations where I should have said something) to a world where you must (and can) speak out.
    It feels good and right, after a while, even the rage. Mostly I write out things first, give it a period of cool-down, revise and let fly. But I also am known to slam doors and yell. And that also does some good from time to time.
    Love your stuff! I hope you are not too uncomfortable in the last trimester and that things are going well.
  • Blogger Maria de los Angeles posted at 1/06/2013 11:09 PM  
    Tere, I agree with Mary G above. It's about maturity and recognizing that it's time to set boundaries, right? And what better time than to do it then now? There are always going to be people in our lives that irritate us. Learning how to deal with them is the thing.

    Hey ... we are doing a panel on pregnancy and motherhood at HeartCamp this year. I'm not sure when you're due, but it's Feb 2 if you would like to/are able stop by.

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