The Drowning of Wudan

Sukie, my wife of 10.5 years, is pregnant again.

Planned, of course. After having a child so young, the one aim I had for my future offspring is that their arrival would be planned like a million dollar diamond heist, and they would be brought in to a world of order instead of chaos. Years went by, and it became clear (to me) when we didn’t have another child when our only child was 6 years old, that the world of order wouldn’t exist. Wars waged, the economy tanked, personal dramas ensued. If we waited for a more perfect time, it certainly looked like we would be too old.

Creation is one of the absolute highs of life, as any artist can tell you. Emotionally, the process has been fraught with strange flashbacks to how difficult it was the first time around, being pregnant. In a way, Sukie and I bore that load independently, as it is apparent to me (now) that I did not participate in her side of the process. As a father, and by nature, a hunter / gatherer, and finding the task of providing to be an exceptionally unreachable goal at the young age of 18, it did not work well with my already manic depressive tendencies. The disapproval of nearly every single one of our friends and subsequent alienation shook me hard.

It was OK at first, like a strange trip in to the unknown, and it sounds strange to me (now) that I would ever have been OK with that. I believe the process has altered me; the trauma left it’s marks deep inside my psyche. I felt thrust in to a world of uncertainty, living with my wife’s parents, living in a different schedule, a different rhythm entirely. It was difficult for me, and the general atmosphere broke me down more than once. I was drowning in a situation entirely of my own creation.

Don’t feel bad for me, though, I write about a tough time that was an eternity ago. I was someone else, immature, who thought magical things would happen for me, as if by chance. Well, as 10 years have passed, I can tell you, I first believed that, then I stopped believing it, and now I am back to believing it again. Magical things did happen for me, but I was too inexperienced to enjoy it.

Life was hard, and took on a new rhythm, but in the process I became a much stronger person. I learned that I was capable of managing the struggle, capable of escaping a collapsing world, and taking precious treasures with me as I left. It took me a while but I finally grew up and stopped moping about life.

I am glad that I did grow up, because I finally could focus on being a father and husband.

For one, I have an incredible bond with my son, I love him very much and I am proud of his smarts and his conduct (most of the time.) I recognize that he, myself, and Sukie, are products of those early years, and that this story belongs to us. I know that other people had it harder than us, and I’m OK with that.

I believe that it took me a while to become a stronger person, and I have more growing to do, but I can stop, look at what I’ve accomplished, and look forward to new challenges. It’s important to stop, and look at what you’ve accomplished. Reflection and introspection are important tasks on any to-do list.

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