Yesterday I spent a good chunk of time at the apartment trying to get things boxed up so we can just be done already. We moved in with my parents three weeks ago I think and everything at the apartment should have been done already, but it's not. There's a tiny bit more to come to the house and then about one load of stuff to go to storage. I'm sick of it all and frustrated that it takes me so long to get anything real accomplished because I'm seven months pregnant and it is taking a toll on my body.
So at one point when I need (ANOTHER) break, I picked up an old journal and started skimming through it. I have a love hate relationship with journaling. I absolutely love it sometimes. I think it's inherently valuable for me to sit with blank paper and a pen and write and get thoughts out of my head on to paper. It helps me be able to concentrate on the actual tasks at hand much better because I either see how plausible it is to take care of or I get all the stupid worries circling my brain out on paper in front of me. I like having a record of things that have happened and I like to read them later and see how I handled the twists and turns of that time or what I was struggling with that is now easy peasy and everything in between. But I absolutely hate the thought of someone else reading them.
Most of my journals are the type that I would be embarrassed if someone I knew were to stumble across them and read from cover to cover. I have been relatively boy crazy since I was a teenager and a lot of my journals are heavy on analysis of what was really meant when a particular boy said something or did something. Embarrassing. My parents and I didn't get along super well while I was in high school especially (as is the case for a lot of people, I imagine) so several of those little notebooks I filled up included some not nice descriptions of what I thought of them. Embarrassing. And actually no longer existent.
There is one entire journal in particular though that I don't ever want anyone to read. That's the one I happened to pick up yesterday afternoon and read essentially from cover to cover. It is uncensored and honest about a bunch of situations that all happened to occur within roughly the same year and I was able to push out of my mind because I wrote all about it in a safe place. I set it aside yesterday and went back to packing and just thought about whether or not I should even keep it anymore. There are far too many good and memorable things recorded on those pages to destroy it just because I don't want anyone else to ever read it.
It's that kind of writing that inspires me to keep doing it. While I don't hope to face those kinds of circumstances ever again, I am proud of myself for making it through and being okay and for having a record of it. I don't necessarily want to have another journal that I am intensely afraid of anyone ever reading, but I do want another journal that is filled from cover to cover with absolute honesty.
This pregnancy has not been like other pregnancies I've heard about. In the beginning it was the diagnosis of high risk that threw me especially since it was coupled with so many doctor appointments and check off points. When I was first just dealing with the start of an unexpected (but very happily accepted) pregnancy that was also high risk, I searched for a book to read by someone who had been through the same thing. I have my fill of medical jargon and understand what is going on but I was hoping there was a narrative style book out there that I could read and not feel so alone. I still haven't found exactly what I was looking for. I decided to write out my story after I have the baby and see if it can help someone.
I think about writing a book that is as honest as my journals have been about everything I've faced during this pregnancy as a way to reach out and touch someone else who has done something similar or to encourage someone that they can face difficulties in their pregnancy because I did and I didn't know what the hell I was doing. It gets scary fast though because as comfortable as I am writing to an anonymous audience, the thought of my mom or grandmother or one of my aunts that I don't talk to much reading all of that about me makes my stomach ache.
There's so much we keep from each other. It's not just me and not just because I'm pregnant right now. I think we all have a small collection of people we are completely honest with at all times and then there's everyone else who we dish out carefully selected snippets of information to. I'm not condemning that because I don't think it's necessarily appropriate for me to answer the question "How is your day going?" with "It'd be so much better if I could just have a really good poo session." even if that is the absolute truth. At the same time though, my sister has three kids, several of my friends have kids, and no one EVER mentioned to me that constipation could be such a huge part of pregnancy. Maybe I could have used that information at the beginning and maybe it doesn't make that much of a difference.
The title comes from the first line of the song "Your Hands" by JJ Heller and it's practically my anthem right now. A lot of people have identified with it as being an encouragement because someone close to them died. I first heard it as I was nervously driving to my first WIC appointment to see if I would be able to enroll and I just sobbed. The song made me feel as though there was someone else out there who had faced a rough situation and didn't have any answers or practical advice but could say she wasn't actually alone while she was facing things and that was the biggest thing I needed.
The idea of being able to write out my experiences as a high risk mama to be with high blood pressure, probable depression, a new husband, and no money gives me the courage to plod along with more confidence. Maybe I can write it all down, edit it, and offer it to someone else who needs to know she isn't alone.
I still don't want anyone to ever read that particular journal.