Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On What Happens When You Marry Your Shrink – Part 16

In the days following the birth of my baby girl, I was so focused on adjusting to the surreal newness of the situation, I was able to force the reality of Andrew way back into the archives of my thoughts.  The absolute only thing that mattered was Farrah.  Well, okay, what was also important was that for the first time in my life I had enormous breasts…the kind where the cleavage begins at the neckline.  It felt amazing and wonderful.

In a state of acute sleep-deprivation, I devoted about a nanosecond on considering the possibility of taking my infant and running away to my parents in Florida.  But I concluded that this would be like moving from one personal hell straight into another kind of personal hell.  I loved my folks, but they were always in the throes of massive dysfunction, so this was just not an option.

I spent the following months trying to “make nice” with Andrew.  I wanted Farrah’s environment to be as calm and peaceful as possible.  Of course the fact that Andrew spent a ton of time away from home was helpful in that effort.  It was also helpful that for some odd reason, Andrew began to shower again.  So I even had sex with him sometimes and I must admit that he was a slightly nicer person as a result.  But never for very long.

I learned the hard way not to leave Farrah alone with him.  The one time I did, I came home to find Andrew asleep on our bed, with Farrah at the foot, close to tipping off the edge.  I grabbed her just in time, and also noted her diaper was soaked and loaded.  I remember feeling so horrified and enraged, I almost threw up.

I nursed Farrah on demand, which meant pretty much constantly.  I learned how to breast feed while walking around doing things with my free arm.  But mostly I just chilled and held her close, enjoying the profound beauty of love and oneness I felt with her.  That, I figure, is what saved both of our lives.

The calm and peace I tried to achieve in our home most definitely did not sustain.  As I grew closer with my baby, Andrew became increasingly angry.  There was a daily barrage of insults, slams to my appearance.  “You’re looking old,” he told me one afternoon after I’d had very little sleep in days.  I looked in the mirror, and all I could see were enormous bags under my eyes, and with no makeup on, I did look awful.   

While Andrew was off working, sailing or what-the-fuck-ever else he was doing, I took Farrah on long walks in her stroller.  We drove to Griffith Park once to take a stroll by the creek, but didn’t go back after that, what with the various cocaine and angel dust freaks hanging out there.  Farrah and I also went to afternoon movie matinees.  She slept and nursed all the way through a revival showing of “Gone with the Wind,” which has always been one of my favorite movies.  We walked all the fabulous shopping malls in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.  She seemed thrilled and energized when we did that.  So much excited noise to hear, so many people and things to see, so much color.  And we hung out in book stores too.  For hours at a time. 

When Farrah was three months old, she and I flew to Florida so I could introduce her to my parents for the first time.  It felt really good to present them with their first grandchild.  I beamed as I held her out to them, and they both cried with joy.  I’ll never forget that.  But as to the horror that was their relationship, once again I crossed them off my list of options.  After a week, we flew back to Los Angeles.

In an effort to stave off a weighty loneliness from lack of peer companionship, I made friends with a woman about my age who lived up the street.  I’d met her on one of my many walks in the neighborhood with Farrah, and we hit it off.  She had a baby too…a boy.  A match made in heaven, I thought!  We began to hang out together in the afternoons, and we both wanted to take things to another level, so I invited her and her husband over for dinner.  Andrew was not happy about it.  How could I have had the audacity to arrange such a thing before consulting him first?

Without getting into a lot of pesky details, let’s just say the gathering kind of didn’t work out.  In fact, the couple was so put off by Andrew that they stood up abruptly in the middle of dinner and walked out, slamming the door behind them.

The months passed slowly and sometimes painfully.

And then the Big Bad Thing happened.

Stay tuned for Part 17


October 11, 2011 - Posted by | Psychotherapy | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. at least this is not the last installment before summer which would force me to wait TOO LONG in the state of SUSPENSE!

    Comment by geri wright | October 11, 2011 | Reply

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