When I’m alone, I’m crazy

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Sometimes I feel like a crazy woman, but I know that when I’m alone I’ll
be crazy too.

Last night, a couple weeks after Genevive was born, we were driving home
from a day of shopping. My daughter wasn’t with us, but my husband’s
granddaughter was. The two of them spent the day playing hide and seek. Evey
was wearing the same jeans from her birthday the previous month, plus an old
shirt and a pair of worn shoes.

The next morning, Genevive looked like a baby from hell. The top of her
head was a mass of clotted red curls. Her eyes were sunken, and her little
mouth was stretched over one enormous, wide, pouty, purple, pug-eyed
nose.

One day she walked into my bedroom.

I was sitting on my bed wearing nothing but a t-shirt and underwear.

“Where’s Genevive?” I asked. She was sitting on the edge of the bed; she
wore a pajama top that had the word “princess” printed all over it. Little
princesses don’t put themselves on the edge of the bed. It was my bedroom,
not the princess’s.

“Oh…uh…I forgot she wasn’t here…”

But she saw me. The same way you’d see a stranger in your family’s living
room. If you were a stranger and you knew your family, it would be
uncomfortable, but somehow you don’t.

Genevive has been like this her entire life. She’s always been a little
girl who is always, always happy. She has never been, has never felt, or
ever will feel anything but pure and wonderful.

I sit beside my baby girl every day.

In fact, she sits by my bed every day.

But I think about the day when this girl decided to take herself off of
the edge of the bed. Or, at least, how I imagine it.

When I was pregnant with Genevive, I remember thinking, “I’m going to be the
first mom to give birth in her thirties.” That’s a little weird, but I
really felt like I was. I wasn’t as young as I needed to be. I was too
nervous. I was a little scared. I am a little scared.

I remember when I was pregnant thinking, “Evey is the bravest she’s going to
ever be.” That was my reasoning. I was trying to convince myself that Evey
was the bravest baby.

I remember thinking she was being brave for herself.

I don’t remember what it was that happened after I was five months pregnant.
I don’t remember the delivery. I don’t remember the days immediately after
the birth. I don’t remember how I felt. I don’t remember the days after
that.

The most important thing I remember is that I had no idea or any way of
knowing that this miracle-child would ever hurt and feel pain. I knew she
was a perfect baby.

After Genevive was born, Evey was in my arms again every day. I didn’t want to
let her go. I was terrified that I’d end up in a wheelchair or in a car or
hanging upside down with no support. I was terrified that I’d end up as a
freaky-looking old woman.

My daughter’s hair was a mass of clotted, red curls. Her eyes were sunken,
and her little mouth was stretched over one giant, wide, pouty, purple
nose. “Princess” had somehow become an adjective, which I wasn’t
supposed to use. I wasn’t supposed to be a princess. I was supposed to be
myself, imperfect.

I remember feeling like a crazy woman.

I was alone.

I was terrified that my daughter would end up as an emotional wreck. I felt
that I’d end up being some kind of mother or grandmother.

I remember thinking to myself every time I held Genevive that I would never,
ever love her as much as I did the first day we met.

That thought gave me the courage to walk up to her room, put her in my arms
again, and kiss her on her cheek.

I don’t remember if I cried. I don’t remember if I fell. I don’t remember if
I tried to protect her. I don’t remember if I cried because I was scared or
because I was happy.

When the first baby sister was born, I thought we would always call her
“Eve”. I’m not sure we even talked about it. Our daughters grew up, and
things changed. I had to become a whole person. I had to love other people in
other ways.

Sometimes, when I’m alone I become a crazy person.

That’s not a good thing.

I’m always trying to prove that I can be a person who loves myself the most
I can be. I’m always trying to prove that I can be a crazy person without
everyone calling it crazy.

That’s not a real person.

That’s not a real family.

Sometimes, when I’m alone I feel like a crazy woman.

When my husband goes to work, he leaves me with Genevive. I don’t remember
the last time when I was both a mother and a wife. I know that once he sees
me without makeup and heels, he doesn’t miss me. I know that he knows how
much I care about our daughter.

But I love him too much to leave my baby by myself.

I need to be with him.

Sometimes, when I’m alone, I feel like a crazy person.

I need to be alone sometimes.

But it’s not the end of the world.

The most important thing about Genevive is that I’m here for her. She’s my
baby. I’m her mommy. I’m her princess.

But on occasion, I wonder what it would feel like to be a normal person. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I think, “Do I really want to end up alone? Should be normal to have a life without a husband or family or friends?”

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