Separation from family and old friends, in distance, time, and season of life. Grieving new friends I never got to make and friendships that have not grown (in spite of the deep connections we intuit) because we moved or the timing wasn’t right. Making myself vulnerable to the friendships I am building, because honesty is the only way forward. Slowly building a new tribe and feeling so hungry for honesty and depth and reciprocity and hoping I can spot it when it comes.
The strain on my marriage when my husband is working in the field. A recent and temporary development for which I admit I am not well-suited. We are tough and we are honest about our goals for our family and we are better at communication now that we are older, but long-distance relationshipping is taxing.
Illnesses and disease affecting family and friends. Accepting that dying is happening, that death has happened. Watching friends suffer their own losses, recent and past, mutual friends dying, and feeling so under-equipped to deal with any of it.
Memories of extended family infighting, where one aunt broke up her own family in a terrific mess, where another aunt broke up with our family in another terrific mess, where another aunt was threatened with murder/suicide by her then-husband.
Uncovering in therapy, dreams, and writing that overhearing someone important tell my husband I should consider terminating my first pregnancy because our son’s prognosis was terminal was a large contributor to my postpartum difficulties after my second son was born. And it remains for me an issue of broken trust with much work ahead.
Remembering the death of our first son as my next delivery approaches. Understanding I have not fully processed the trauma of that birth and my anger. Struggling to hang on to my faith, finally giving myself permission to release it and start over.
Trying new things, transitioning with my son as he grows, solo parenting while I’m 31 days from delivering another baby boy (please stay in there until Daddy gets home), feeling done being pregnant (but also please move out) but not sure I’m done growing our family, wishing I were stronger and dreading the recovery from another Caesarean birth, trying to ignore my curiosity about an alternate past, wondering if I really don’t have any regrets about never birthing by canal, hoping for nursing to go well again, and reminding myself to talk one-on-one with this baby boy before he comes, like I did the others.