Two Months In…

So, as of last Wednesday, we’re two months into this stupid separation crap. I’ve resorted to sarcasm and grumpiness, lest I devolve into a flood of tears. (Which also happens regularly. Usually in the evening).  I am at the point where I often grumble about how I ‘HAD to fall in love with a Canadian!’ like I could have controlled that one.  For the most part though, I’m ok.  Sometimes, I’m very not, okay.

The first month was extremely rough. He was falling into a job with higher expectations than he had believed, with crazier hours (14 hour days…ALL WEEK) and insane learning curves.  My life was…much the same. Same apartment. Same mess. Same work. Same. Same. Boring. Same.  I didn’t even know where he lived really, or what his days were like. I didn’t know what he was doing, where he was, if he missed me. It was a huge mindfuck for me. Thank god for my friends because if it weren’t for them…honestly? I don’t know where I’d be. They quite literally held me up when I could not go any further. They listened to my whining, my crying, my insane anxiety spirals, everything. They listened. They tried to help. I could feel their love across the miles.

I tried to do as much as I could to support myself in that time. I cooked meals. I started to exercise. I worked to find a therapist. (And then another therapist. And now…am on the hunt again.)  I found a GP and talked to him about medication, which was a HUGE jump for me after my horrible experience with Effexor in 2004-2005. He listened to me, he was so kind, so caring and genuine. I LOVE him and am so glad I found him. I’ve now been on a low dose of Lexapro for about 6 weeks and I think it’s taking the edge off of the daily, constant, CHRONIC spin.  I plan on seeing him for some other health concerns I haven’t gotten taken care of due to lack of insurance…soon.

It all helped as much as it could. Probably was the reason I wasn’t in bed every single day, wasting away. I started losing weight, I avoided the crap food lest it make me feel crappier. I really did feel like I was doing the best I could in a seriously shitteous situation. I felt proud of that. I felt like, “I might make it!”

Then his job evened out. He felt more capable and confident. We started talking more.  At first I was so ecstatic. I felt like our love was renewed. We both felt so close, so committed. We started talking about the future and what would happen. Would he come back here? Would I move there? Who was moving where and what implications that had on our future. It was…amazing.  So reconnecting and just…it demolished any negative thoughts and fears that I had with one fell swoop.

Fast forward to today. It’s been a rough couple weeks. I had a birth false alarm, then I got sick with a cold that turned into the mucusy cough that wouldn’t die. My coworker gave notice. I went to a client in what we thought was active labor, at 4am, for 4 hours…then it all stopped. I slept for a few hours and went to work.  Later that night, I went to a DIFFERENT birth and was up all night with them until 7am. Then I attempted to go to another birth, back to back.  It was crazy. Less than a week later, I went to another birth ( a VBAC at home!) and then labor slowed and…I went to work. FINALLY that baby was born and I got home at 4am.  This is all within a 2 week span and did not include the fact that I was still going to appointments, interviewing applications for my coworker’s job, teaching 7 hours per week, all day Sunday and still just…keeping up with life.  I’m still coughing and have two postpartum visits for next week It really set me off in a bad way.

I’ve felt unsteady and apathetic for the last two weeks. I’m exhausted, like bone tired. Not just “i didn’t get sleep” tired, but TIRED. I feel like I have no more stores of energy to get myself up and moving. I wake up tired. I work tired. I stopped working out. I stopped having the energy to cook great meals. I crave sugar and crap. I get weepy at the drop of a hat and I explode with feelings if someone asks me how I’m doing. Andrew is at a loss of how to help when he’s so far away but he keeps trying.  I’m not depressed. I’m sad, sure. It’s a shitty place to be. But I’m not depressed daily. I’m just fucking tired.  I think I’m going to talk to my GP about adrenal fatigue when I see him in two weeks.  We shall see.

Other than feeling completely unstable and not knowing what I’ll be like at any given moment…I’m still upright. I’m still putting one foot in front of the other. I’m working. I’m teaching. I’m loving my clients and students. I’m still inspired by birth, by the midwives and clients I work with. It’s still my passion and my love, even when it gets hard.  I guess that’s why it’s my calling, or a good tip that it is. Even when it’s at its roughest, I can still see the light. (Sometimes not in that moment,’s there).

We’re looking at me moving to be with him and immigrating from inside. It means I can’t work for 2 years, but…we’re thinking…maybe that’s the window we need to start a family. Maybe that’s a sign, saying, “HEy. You can’t work on your career or go to school for 2 years….I know you want a baby so…”.  We’re feeling like, if we do that, then we can get ahead in life. If he returns for his PhD…it’s another 4 years of struggling, not trying for babies and just making ends meet. Andrew’s willing to give up the PhD for now, to help us get ahead as a couple and as a family.  That’s a huge thing in my book so we’re looking pretty seriously at it.

After the first month, I just don’t care what we do, honestly. I just want to be with him, whatever that takes. Anywhere in the world. As long as I’m with him, I don’t really care.

My current plan is this: Get my eating and drinking under control. Get regular, healthy food and enough water into me so that I feel stable. Then add in some exercise and see where that takes me.  I’m sitting here meal planning and putting one foot in front of the other. I’ll make it. I have to.

Tu Me Manques

I just read an article that Alan Cumming wrote for Canada’s Globe and Mail.  He mentions how the French do not make ‘missing’ about us. It isn’t, “Oh I miss you.”  They say, “Tu Me Manques” – to me, you are missing.  Boy, that socked me in the gut, today.


That truly is how I feel. In these calm moments where I feel confident in the solidity of our marriage. Confident in his love for me and our ability to weather storms. Confident in where this separation will land us – him with more experience and potentially a better job, me, with more experience as well and hopefully, an inner strength that I know I need to find.  Confident in the way this will force us to better communicate. To love harder. To talk more.  In these quiet moments where I simply feel sad and heavy, that perfectly describes how I feel.

To me, he is missing.

My walk through the city feels lovely, but, it would feel just a smidge better, with his arm around me.  Ordering from our favorite Mexican joint is so delicious, but something’s missing. Everything is fine, wonderful, good – but, to me, he is missing.  No one is critiquing the investigation on TV.  No one is at home talking about some serial murderer. The books that I used to joke about, the ones on interrogation, hunting humans and sexualized violence – are missing.  The sweat shorts that are always tossed on the shelf, are missing.  The bathmat is always hanging where it should be…

Tu me, manques.

It’s those little things that I miss, and more and more as I think about it, it isn’t that I miss him, it’s that he truly is missing from these things. These life events. These moments.  I’ve been so blessed to have shared these moments with him for nearly 10 years. TEN.  He and I have had so many fights, so many ups and downs, so many really…really…really hard moments. SO many times that we have both taken each other for granted. We’ve both gotten caught up in hurt or work, or school, or or or. We’ve gotten caught up in the wrong things.  We expected the other person to just…be there.  Because, well, why wouldn’t they be?


If there’s one thing that I take away from this time apart, is that I never, ever, ever…EVER…want to take him for granted again. I can’t. It breaks my heart to think of the moments we’ve lost because of doing just that.  I am so very aware of how much he is in my life, in my heart and in those moments when I take a second to really look and see the whole picture.  He’s in my packed lunch, the coffee in bed, he’s in my routine of checking in and of coming home.  To me, he is missing.


I vow to try as hard as I might, to never take his presence, the small things he does to show me he loves me, for granted.  To never take HIM for granted.  I’m human and I make mistakes, but I want the rest of our lives to be the best ones yet.

For now, Andrew, tu me, manques.



I overflow a lot.

In the form of tears. Words. Gasping sobs. Sometimes quiet woe. Often energy that has me flying around like a whirling dervish. Sometimes with feelings that I can’t find the words to express without rambling.

As I described before, it’s like this feeling in my chest gets too big for me. Too wild. Too strong. I can’t contain it anymore. Cue spillage.  I mean, we make fun of this one birth video because the woman says she, “Could feel the love bursting forth from her womb” when she looked at her husband while in labor. (In 26 births, I have yet to see love bursting from anyone’s womb.)

But lately? It’s kind of like that.

Andrew and I have been together for almost ten years now. TEN. I met him when he was *cough* a teenager *cough*. We’ve been together since before he could legally drink.  I’ve watched him grow up and I have become a completely different person who is no longer running, but deeply intent on staying put.  With his departure rapidly approaching, I can’t help but look over the years past. Where we’ve been, what we’ve done, how far we’ve dome.  I think that’s inevitable.

Amidst the sadness, the fear, the worry and all of those “I’m going to miss you!” feelings, there is also this intense sense of pride and this huge…swelling in my chest that I can’t contain. It’s built up of love, pride and just emotion. I started really feeling it when I sat at his MA Thesis defense a couple months ago.  He rolled his eyes when I told him I teared up, but I DID! He was so casual, so non-chalantly speaking on topics that the average person would have no idea about. He spoke about linguistic analysis, he spoke about the habits of serial killers’ language, he spoke easily about cognitive load and speculation for further study. He had an intense panel that included the world’s top profiler, one of the world’s leading experts in deception detection and one of about 50, licensed forensic evaluators in the country.  It was so impressive and yet they all conversed with ease. They threw him tough questions that he didn’t bat an eleash at returning. He spoke so eloquently with such knowledge and poise – I just couldn’t help but tear up.  I mean, I always knew he was smart but this? This was different.

When I think about him leaving, it feels like there’s this gaping hole in my chest. Like part of me is being torn out without consent.  And yes, while I’ll miss the sweetness of him making coffee for me in the morning or packing my lunch, and the help that he gives me while I work three jobs – mostly? I’ll just miss being around him.  I’ll miss hearing him jabber on about this criminal or this case – things normally I just roll my eyes at (while secretly swooning).  I’ll miss hearing about his work int he FBI lab, or him joking about how the tri-state area is safe from eco-terrorists for the day. (He’s been involved in a research project and he’s been interrogating fake terrorists.)  I’ll miss his brain. His heart. His drive.  Yes, I’ll still see him or hear his voice via skype and phone, but it won’t be the same.

In the last year or so, I’ve just been so overcome by how far WE have come together.  I’ve gone from not having an idea of where I wanted to be, from being a housewife (that sucked at housewifey things), from being depressed and aimless, from fearing another birthday, to a woman who has direction. A woman who has supported over 26 families through pregnancy and childbirth. A woman who has begun teaching countless more through childbirth education. A woman who burns passionately for women and babies. For their rights. Their choice. Their births.  I’ve become firey once again, and while with that comes the emotion, I’m realizing slowly that in order to be the best doula (and hopeful midwife) I can be, I need to be able to be vulnerable and tap into those feelings.

He has gone from front line security and law enforcement applicant, to having alphabet soup after his name. To having three documents working on publication. To having results that may potentially affect his field in a major way.  He has become so confident. So strong. His brain is so well fed and growing. He has a job that is begging for him to start sooner and two advisors all but begging him to come back to complete his PhD. He’s gone from having one job prospect to seeing the world open up before him with opportunities, including private enterprise.  I just am in awe.

Together, we’ve weathered such storms that many marriages and relationships never have to weather. We’ve grown individually and it has made us so strong together.  Sure, we fight. Oh, boy, do we FIGHT.  But in the end, we are together. We’re better, together, and I feel like we both really know that now. We might not have before, when we were idealistic young people, but now? We know it.

I am just overflowing with all the feels, but there are some pretty big, wonderful ones in the mix.

The Sensitive Life

I have been trying to think of how I could accurately describe what a “HSP moment” is like for me, as I sit and come down from a stormy spinup this morning and somberly process my emotions, actions and interactions.

Sometimes, it feels so beautiful and passionate when I feel something. It’s like, my chest swells with this warmth, love, pride, whatever the feeling is. It grows so large, so big that I cannot help but let those emotions spill out over everything.  The feeling spills into tears as they roll down my cheeks and I just feel like I am swallowed whole by the emotion.  It can happen anywhere, about nearly anything and I am left completely transformed with emotion in that moment.

Othertimes, it combines with my anxiety and they do battle.  I get ‘spiked’, or worried about something. Maybe a tone someone had, or the words they used, or how they said something, that makes me start to worry. Maybe they are mad at me? Maybe they’re unhappy? Maybe I did something wrong? Then it begins to spin further into worst case.  What makes this spin even worse, is that I can actually FEEL the frustration from the other party. I can feel the confusion, the frustration that I won’t just STOP what I’m feeling and again, I am completely overwhelmed with sensation.  With their facial expressions. With their tone of voice. With some way that they said what they said.  They might tell me that it’s all fine, everything is okay – but unless I can FEEL that it’s okay – I cannot let myself believe them. I just can’t. It’s like I can feel them still being frustrated or angry or confused. Whatever.  It’s a really hard moment and something I work on trying to sort out but man, it’s hard.


I feel so completely and utterly, out of control and totally misunderstood in the moment.

It’s also so hard on those I love. The hope that they can help me, or understand me at the very least and not blow up too.  The hope that they can hold me and love me despite these flare ups.  The need for them to accept me as I am, without wishing I was different.  It’s hard enough to wish that I was different myself…let alone thinking that others would like it if I were different too.

At its best, I feel so lucky to feel so deeply. To smell so richly. To feel that swell in my chest of love. Of pride. Of warmth and sunshine.  To be so moved by the chirp of a bird or the depth of a sunset.  But at its worst? It’s like this terrible nightmare that assaults all my senses, that I can. not. wake from. I can’t get out. I can’t stop feeling. I can’t stop hearing. Smelling. Feeling. Thinking.  I know it’s happening, but I’m feeling things so fast that I can’t stop it, I can’t get out and I can’t stop and say, “Hey, I”m having a hard time right now.”

It feels like a toddler who is feeling, but can’t express themselves yet so they throw a tantrum. I feel like a freaking child throwing themselves on the floor.  Then comments come about how keeping my emotions in check would be an adult thing to do.  Salt on the wound. Insult to injury.

I AM an adult.  I just can’t always control it.

I was reading a book and they quoted Pearl S. Buck, and the quote spoke so much to me.

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him… a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

I appreciate the gifts I have that allow me to be compassionate for others, that allow me to be a wonderful doula who recognizes what others need, that allow me to love fully and completely.

Just sometimes, I wish it were a little easier.