I am not an angry person. Never have been. I’m sweary and I mutter under my breath, but my anger is always short-lived.
But what I am experiencing now is something different to anger. It is rage.
Stinging hot tears, clenched fists, counting to three, deep breathing, body tensing, electrifying, adrenaline pumping and absolutely horrifying rage.
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In late December, my husband and I had our first baby in our home in the US.
It was just after Christmas when our daughter was born in the snow. My parents were here and the world was soft, sparkling and muffled and everything felt warm and cozy and hopeful.
We did the normal thing and stayed at home for the first six weeks of her life, my parents returned home to Australia with tearful goodbyes, but we coped as we always do by saying “see you soon”. And then, just as we were making our way back into the world and navigating life with a baby, the pandemic hit and “see you soon” became a fantasy.
At first I was scared and sad, but that hope was still there.
Then as America got worse and worse and trip after trip to visit family was cancelled, that hope dissipated like sugar in water. Swirling and invisible, it faded to nothing.
Now, I realise, with it went my sense of self. That self-identity has been replaced by a rage monster. Ugly, snarling and unrecognisable.
I snap at anything. I have no joy, no patience and no resilience. Getting out of bed in the morning to a crying baby takes a Herculean effort and sometimes lately, I don’t even manage it.
My wonderful husband has to be the one to go and get our daughter because I just can’t. I have to give myself a pep talk in the dark to get up and join my family.
My beautiful, amazing, magical family. I have the most incredible little family and I truly love them with a depth and intensity that still shocks me daily, but the reality is, having a baby for the first time in a global pandemic on the other side of the world from any kind of support system is impossible.
I wanted this, I signed up for this and there are those that would condemn me because it was my choice to have a baby far away from my family - but the reality is was never meant to be like this.