I’m a bit of a control freak. At times I can lean towards bossy. I don’t like surprises, I don’t like not knowing where I am and what I’m doing, and I don’t like being unprepared. On top of this I’ve always been a runaway fantasist. I hate feeling caged or trapped, and regularly let my mind wander to a situation where I just disappear and start fresh somewhere else, changing my name and leaving everything behind and just being new.
Then our unplanned pregnancy happened.
Nothing about me regrets welcoming this little girl into our lives. She’s strong, she survived me getting swine flu and I feel her crashing around inside me, flexing her muscles and growing bigger by the day. She’s ours and I love her. But her appearance in our lives has flung all of my insecurities and neuroses to the foreground of my brain.
I’m financially dependent on a man. This stresses me out no end. I have a small amount of income from my tax credits, which gives me a degree of freedom, and I do have my first novel selling on Amazon. But that is the novel of a first time author and, as anyone in the arts will tell you, is not a reliable income. Therefore I am dependent on The Boy to support us.
I did that before with the Ex-Husband. I gave up work, lived on my savings, and got abandoned with zero financial support for our daughter and absolutely no money left. The good thing is The Boy is no way like the Ex-Husband, but still, it’s hard knowing that if it happens again I’ll be stranded with two daughters not just one, and again no money and no home.
When I lived alone and was on full benefits after the Ex-Husband left, I felt the most in control of my financial situation as I have in my life. I was dependent on individual except myself. The money that came in, whilst from the state originally, was mine and I had control over it. I knew where it was going and when. I knew how much went where and how much I had left. I was careful, some say tight, and didn’t waste it. I was in total control and I liked it. Now I’m not.
I’m physically unable to sort my house out. I want to move our furniture around to make room for baby stuff, get everything sorted so when she arrives we’re ready. I did the kid’s room the other day and I’m really pleased with how it all fits in. The baby’s chest of drawers is nicely in place and there will be space for the cot when she’s ready to move into the bedroom. But it exhausted me and made my whole body ache for days. I need to sort our bedroom out now, replace broken drawers and move things round to make sure there’s space for the cot. I can’t do it. I physically cannot do it and I am dependent on other people coming in to do it for me. I hate it. I hate relinquishing that and I hate that I can’t just decide it can be done now. I have to wait.
I cannot move house. I love my home and I love my neighbours. I love our area and I love being so close to the school, the shops, playgrounds and town. Our home is beautiful and, importantly, affordable due to the generosity of our family. But I am a runaway by heart and knowing I cannot afford to leave somewhere makes me feel like a tiger in a cage. I know that I have no choice, and having no choice makes me need one.
I was trapped in home literally before. I was unable to leave. The abusive partner who held me there made my life hell. He abused me, assaulted me, broke my spirit and I couldn’t do anything about it. It’s not the same, but it flings up old gut reactions. I can’t leave, so I want to. I don’t cope well with feeling like my choices have been taken away from me.
An unexpected human is coming. Losing control of my life and my body was something I signed up for when I chose to have Miss Rose. My house is full of toys because I’m a parent. My body is riddled with signs of parenthood. I love it and have embraced this loss of control to the most extent. Now an unexpected human is entering our lives and our home and I didn’t plan it, I didn’t physically and psychologically prepare in advance. I hadn’t given up alcohol before we conceived her. I hadn’t started taking my vitamins in advance. I hadn’t prepared myself for pregnancy and a newborn in any way, she just appeared.
My body isn’t mine. However prepared you are for pregnancy, and I’ve both planned heavily and been surprised, I’ve never been really ready for how much i lose control of my body. I’m very anxious about having control of my body, it has been taken from me enough that I’m very determined to keep it, and I don’t have it anymore. I pee when I sneeze, I get sudden cramps in my sides if I move too suddenly, and I’m weak and tired. I get headaches, I get heartburn, I get cravings and aversions, and I’m always living for the life inside me.
I worked hard to get control of my body by working out and getting extremely fit. I wanted to be strong and capable, I wanted to not need a man to do things for me. I wanted to know if I man tried to hurt me I could look after myself. I was strong and I was fit and I loved it. Working out, lifting weights, running, it all gave me a sense of control over my body that I had never had before. I still got assaulted, and don’t get me wrong it scarred me emotionally, but I felt more physically in control of myself than I ever had. Giving that up because my body is so consumed in developing a human that even carrying the shopping in sometimes leaves me in tears is something I am struggling with.
The thing is, none of these things are a huge deal and I know it. The Boy won’t abandon us. Other people can help me get the house ready for her. Our home is somewhere I feel safe and love to be. Her arrival is something I am excited for, not something I’m dreading. And losing your body to pregnancy isn’t forever, and it’s something beautiful. So all of these problems are small in the grand scheme of things. But however small they are in comparison to other problems, and however much there are safe answers to all of them, they are still weighing on me. I’m out of control of my life, my body, my finances and my home. And I have nowhere to go where I can get that control back. I am surrounded by chaos I have little to no influence on, and so much of it brings up emotions and memories that I’ve spent years trying to heal from.
My new baby girl is coming and my life is changing. I welcome it, I celebrate it. I am surrounded by loving and understanding people who see my panics, my anxieties and my struggles and they accept them. They don’t judge me for them, don’t get snotty about them, and just tell me they’re here to help in anyway they can. If I can release a little more control over my life to let them help me then I’ll find it easier. But that’s easier said than done for a control freak like me.