Tuesday, December 05, 2006


“I am just tired of living.”

That is what TEG told me a few nights ago when we were having one of our (increasingly) rare heart-to-hearts about non-Madam and non-work issues.

I was jarred to hear him say that, as he is usually the epitome of collected. It also made me feel instantly guilty—I’ve always been the “keeper of fun” in our relationship—the one who created the anticipation for our trips and holidays, who fashioned our lives into a rhythm of movies, dinners out, new museum exhibits. But lately, I’ve been hard pressed to find the fun myself. Part of that is the Madam, of course—it’s been sixteen months, but we’re all still adjusting to the changes she brings into our lives. I know I talk often about sleep, but that’s because sleep is more precious than rubies, more blessed than wisdom. I would trade sleep for…for….I’d do a lot for a whole night of uninterrupted sleep.

Outings have been curtailed. Movies are out of the question (we don’t have babysitting). We’ve left our families and extended friend circle on the other coast.

Also, it’s cold. Very, very cold.

And his work is all-consuming—like a fire that has burned away everything inside him that is not aimed at promoting the company’s success. He’s always been a man of few hobbies, preferring to spend all of his time on his beloved computer. But the strain of the company’s teetering status has started to strain his temper, turning most of his interactions into short, barked orders and tense one-liners. Only his daughter can coax a smile to his face. It’s been a while since I have—usually I am part of his problem. My moods, my mother-struggles. I fear I have become another burden to add to his stockpile.

So it stands that the three of us drag ourselves through each day, dutifully making our phone calls to clients (him), changing diapers and singing songs (me), throwing tantrums (well, she does it like it’s her job lately).

I’ve written before about my fear that I won’t be able to give Madam a happy, lively childhood, and my fear appears to be coming true.

Reading your blogs is a bit like warming my hands before an inviting fire. So many of you seem to have discovered the secret of joy—a deep joy, an attention to the present, that transcends fears and circumstances. How do you all do it? Find joy, find fun, find purpose? The thing is, I used to know. I feel as though you are all living in a land where I used to be a citizen, but I’m in exile. That was me! I want to proclaim. I used to find happiness in literature, in poetry, in music, in the faces of passersby in the street. I used to feel steeped in the sacred—in love, in passion. In my belief in God.

That was all me. It WAS. But it doesn’t feel that way any longer. And God feels very far away.

I don’t mean to write endless whines here—that was never my intention for starting this blog. I wanted this to be a place for me to explore my creativity, to practice my writing. But the writing feels halting, stifled, awkward. The writing reflects me.

I’m in a dark place. I long to see the light again.

(I WILL find positive things to post about, I will. Soon. Promise.)



Blogger deirdre said...

I tried to comment earlier, but blogger is being a pain tonight. I'll send an email instead.

10:12 PM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger Laini said...

I wish I could do something for you. When I read about your sadness, I want to DO something. Come over and babysit at least, even if I am the least qualified babysitter in the world. Your talent is extraordinary, and I so much want you to have the time and peace of mind to let it flourish. And that's just the writer part of you. The rest, the mother part, the wife part, the SELF part, my heart just goes out to you. The little sliver of "you" that I know here from your blog, she so deserves happiness and fun and creative thrills and romance and all of that. I hope things will start to get better for you soon.

1:36 AM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Ally Bean said...

Find joy, find fun, find purpose?

I don't know the answer to this either. I, too, used to have it but have lost it in the last few years. I kind of wonder if it's not anything wrong inside of me, but is my hyper-awareness of all that is wrong outside of me. I pay attention and that makes me sad.

But at least know that you're not alone and that things get better just as gradually as they go bad. Or that's what I've found to be true in my life.

7:17 AM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

I know part of the problem with little ones (mine is 21 months) is time but I have asked myself these same questions and have found some real inspiration from the following:
The Secret (movie you can download and watch for 4.95 on line)

Make your creative dreams real- by SARK

Stumbling on HAPPINESS by Daniel Gilbert

8:14 AM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Jessie said...

m., i've been thinking about you a lot lately and wishing it was easier for us to get together. but i worry about the amount of guilt that you put on yourself over your husband's situation and moods. i mean, it's not fair of him to bark orders at you OR expect you to stay home 24/7. i understand that marriage and motherhood can be a very difficult and exasperating...and i'm not pretending to understand the nuances of either. but i worry that you are feeling smothered and i hate to see you so unhappy.

you have a right to have a life, m...and you know it--even if that only means 1 hour a week to do something on your own, OUT of the house. i know that, in reality, everything gets more complicated than this...but be careful of handing over too much power. you have too much fire in you to pretend that your passions don't exist.

by the way, i'm picking you and madame up for coffee on sunday--whether you like it or not.

i love ya,

10:48 AM, December 06, 2006  
Anonymous fern said...

I'm sorry that things have been so dark for you lately.

Lately, I've been trying to internalize that things WILL GET BETTER EVENTUALLY, if we can just hold on to hope. Just as the spring will return, I really believe that your relationship with your family, and with that creative person you used to be will come back to you in time...

Someone recently told me that before we can renew our spirit, we have to renew the most basic parts of ourselves. We need to eat well, sleep when you can, breathe deep and dedicate ourselves to healing our minds and bodies. Focus on feeling better.

The good will come back. Just wait and see... :)

8:54 PM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger Catherine said...

Sleep deprivation is certainly not going to help anything else that might be a problem - sounds like there are a lot of stresses in your life right now. I do hope things get better soon. Congratulations on reaching your 50,000 words, even writing through depression (something I find almost impossible to do)

3:03 AM, December 07, 2006  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

Sending you big hugs across the country...and saying to you LOUD and CLEAR: You are NOT ALONE (in feeling this way. I'll save the rest for an email...

5:24 AM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

oh mardou, it sounds like you are in quite a shadow-and possibly your mate too. it is okay to be here, to be a bit sad or angry about what seems lost. i want to help you-can i? i want to point out to you that our blogs make us all appear a certain way-life is not as simple as a blog post, though. my life is not as simple or rosy as i may make it seem. the conflicts and deep sadness from my own childhood that sometimes gets triggered by ordinary life events(and comes out sideways)is not something i always write about. whine away, dear. this is part of it... sending you lots of love, p

1:30 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

p.s. i'm with jessie, with no disrespect to your mate, his barking is about him and how he copes, not about you. but that was a nice try, sister...:)

1:50 PM, December 07, 2006  
Anonymous krista said...

Wow, she and George my little one are the same age. I didn't realize that before.

I've been in places in my family, in my heart, in my life since George has been born that are strikingly similar to what you describe here.

I hope the natural ebb and flow happens, and that soon enough you'll be swept back into the present, dancing in the fire.

11:18 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger liz elayne said...

tonight, i keep listening to paul simon sing "wartime prayers" over and over. sometimes i realize that melancholy has slipped in like a quiet fog. tonight is one of those nights. i know it is partly that i keep thinking about james kim and his family...
these struggles are so real and true. it is what life is. it is so very hard. i think this often. why does it have to be so hard. and the "hardness" is all relative. though i can see how someone else's life is obviously so much "harder" than mine, i still feel the pain of my own struggles...
i know i am rambling, but i want you to know that you are not alone. you are not alone.
(i wish i could jump in the car with jessie and join you all for coffee!)
i am sending you a big, deep hug tonight. and moments where you take a breath and let the light above you fill up your body with all that you need.

2:04 AM, December 08, 2006  
Blogger paris parfait said...

I'm so sorry about what you're going through. I think everything you and your significant other are experiencing is because you're exhausted and frustrated. You've had too many big changes at once and it's hard. You have to carve little pockets of time out just for you, sans Madame, sans anyone. It sounds like sleep-deprivation is your biggest problem. As for hubby, if he is miserable in his job, perhaps it's time for him to make a move and find a better job. It's not fair that he takes out his frustrations on you. Stay strong and keep writing. I promise you things will get better and you'll find joy again. xo

4:50 PM, December 09, 2006  
Blogger Alexandra G said...

Like Laini wrote I wish there was something I could physically DO to help. If you name it I will do my best to make it happen. I know certain chapters of my life have felt like they will never end, and that the depair of the moment is somehow just how it will always be for the rest of my life. But thats never the case. For every single thing you are struggling with there are options and solutions, not always easy or quick ones, but there are whether its his job or whatever. I know the despair of waking up and hating one's life and its so hard but I also think depression has its own voice and its a little, very belittling, pessismistic one that simply can't see options and you and your husband both deserve everything you would want for your daughter. Don't give up, keep sharing what you are going through so you are not alone and know that things can, do, will get better. It might take some new steps and new conversations but you two can do it. I have seen my parents' marriage go through a metamorphosis like I never thought humanly possible and I know now that all can evolve and grow if both can commit to it and reach out. Also don't underestimate just how severely an awful job or city you two don't feel at home in affects the marriage. Sending you hugs M.

11:19 AM, December 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So many of you seem to have discovered the secret of joy—a deep joy, an attention to the present, that transcends fears and circumstances. How do you all do it? Find joy, find fun, find purpose? The thing is, I used to know. I feel as though you are all living in a land where I used to be a citizen, but I’m in exile. That was me! I want to proclaim. I used to find happiness in literature, in poetry, in music, in the faces of passersby in the street. I used to feel steeped in the sacred—in love, in passion. In my belief in God. "

Lordy, gal! If only you saw me struggling not to cry in front of 19 other people on Saturday night. The fear is always there, to varying degrees. Sometimes I think the trick is not to be perfectly happy (whatever that is), but to be comfortable with the fact that "ick" sticks around, cycles back, slaps you around.

That said, I'll add that it always bugs me when people write me and think that because I posted one sad entry, this must be who I am or my identity or something. So--acknowledging that--with the rest of yourself, which I will choose to believe shines brightly. ;o)


4:24 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger Goddess of Leonie said...

dear sweet woman ~~~

just wanted to send you and your family love and light.

2:53 AM, December 17, 2006  
Blogger Amber said...

I don't know how I missed this post! I'm sorry, because boy did I hear a familure song...

No one has it all figured out. It is all hard. And as for knowing the secret of joy--Ha! Um, not so much. I often wonder if I have ever known true joy...Maybe only in moments with my children.

It is only about looking up. Just take steps, and things get easier. And some things just need to change! But it is hard when kids are little. I know it has been hard on evey friend I have, at one time or another. But it gets better!

Sometimes we just...forget to reach out to one another. Kory and I have had some rough spots after kids, and we are best of friends. We never thought we would have to work on love. But. That is just life, I guess. Complex and sticky...Good thing it is also so beautiful.

I hope you are well, and had a happy holiday. ;)


1:16 AM, December 30, 2006  
Blogger Rach said...

It has taken me many years to get even close to realising what your words say. I have no answers honey, only the knowledge that it will get better, when you have all your ducks in a row and your priorities are the same as your dreams and wishes. Keep your chin up, and Madam, well, that is who they are. Sometimes so fantastic you feel scared to breathe in case it all ends and other times they can bring you to your knees. I denied for so long that I was unhappy, as soon as I admitted it, I was on the road to discovering what I wanted from my life. And never apologise for ranting on your blog, that is what it is there for and why we all read and support each other. Have faith, that things will improve. I did and they did. x

6:38 PM, January 04, 2007  

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