It’s Thursday, so I thought I’d indulge in some delving into the past. My life today – happily married with a baby – is very different from how I imagined it when I was marooned in the middle of severe anxiety and depression. Nearly six years ago, I wrote this after hearing of the birth of my ex-husband’s son:
Should I not crave the act of procreation? Should I not fantasise about nappy cream and gurgles and saving for school fees? Why is it that I always joked about how I’d only consider having a kid when my ovaries were screaming — and there hasn’t been a peep?
I couldn’t imagine having a child of my own. “I like children,” I wrote
but find babies faintly horrifying in their fragility and their otherness, and whenever other people bring theirs into the office I hunch my shoulders over my laptop and hope that I won’t be asked to come and coo over the child or — heaven forbid — have to hold it.
I’m certainly over my fear of babies now; nothing forces one to confront fragility and otherness like a premature baby less than half the size of the average newborn.
Back then, I also wrote that I regarded my books as my children. So I must be honest with myself, and you, and report that I failed to finish any of the several I started over that time. I would start with great enthusiasm, and my productivity would be astounding for two weeks over the December holidays, and then real life would intervene and the project would grind to a halt.
One of the reasons that I’ve gone back to my old blog posts is to jog my memory of the post-divorce years. I’ve been meaning to write a memoir of what happened when my life imploded, and h0w I managed, contrary to all expectations, to get an amazingly happy ending. It is a good story, I think. Many people have said that my experience gives them hope. And, as I’ve said before, “In the end, all we have are our stories, and all we can do is tell them as best we can.”
Here’s hoping that I carry this one to term.