I’m a little embarrassed about how little I’ve distinguished between these things, until now. I never really gave it much thought. But my brain is always busy, and now I have so much more to think about.

I participate in activities every day, but I feel guilty and like I should be doing more. On a daily basis, I get lost in my own thoughts and I spent a lot of time living in my own head. Sometimes I can’t stop thinking about a specific dream I had. Sometimes I have these viscerally painful dreams that ruin my entire day. I wish I were stronger, emotionally, and able to shut these negative feelings down. I’m working on it, but it’s a constant work in progress.

I’ll have a dream, a nightmare really, that my “mother” is near me, and I feel the oppressive, dark, heaviness of childhood. I feel her screaming and yelling and slapping; I feel the pain of living beneath her storm cloud. The narcissistic personality should never have children. Tell your friends. If you know a narcissist, sterilize them. Seriously.

These dreams infiltrate my entire life for the entire day. I feel depressed and empty and anxious. Panicky, even. The idea of being under her thumb; of dealing with her abuse all over again…I can’t fucking bear it.

Better days are when a dream is insignificant — although really, that hardly ever happens. I’m a lucid dreamer so I’m aware and can control things, so it’s a very real experience. It’s memorable. Sometimes I have such an amazing dream that even that can have a sort of negative effect on my day. I feel sad that I’m spending my day wishing a dream was real.

But on a regular day, what do I do…. I walk my dog; I write; I colour (I love colouring; always have, always will); I read, when I can find the time and concentration. But my choice in books can impact me too. I’ve had a fascination with World War II and the Holocaust ever since I read Anne Frank’s diary when I was 12. It was, and is, so unbelievable and fucked up and insane. I’ve read countless memoirs and biographies and books about concentration camps. I have not, and will never, read Mein Kampf. Fuck that guy and his ideas.

These are weekdays, so I spend majority of my time taking care of my daughter. We play and colour and go for walks; we go shopping and read books for her. When she’s awake, I try to devote all of my time to her. Now that she’s a little older, she can do things by herself, but she still needs me. I can’t just say, ‘Hey, go play so I can read/write/have time for me.’ She’s not that old.

Weekends are where I can find time for me. It’s hard. I’m a very solitary person and I love my time alone, so adjusting to being a mom has been so crazy for me. I never had a motherly role model in my life. I’ve had to learn how to be an amazing mother to my baby because that’s who I wanted to be. I refused to perpetuate the hell I grew up in. My daughter will never feel what I felt. She already does and always will know that she is amazing and special and adored. I’m not raising an asshole here, but I’m raising a beautiful person to know that yes, she is beautiful and smart and sweet and incredible — but she’s not better than anyone. She may be my world, but she can’t walk around thinking she’s hot shit and other people are scum. No. I focus on kindness and compassion and positive reinforcement. I will never scream at or hit or abuse my  child. She is my miracle baby and I will never forget how lucky I am to have her.

If I could add more things to my activities, I wish I could read more and write more and travel more. I love reading a book for hours. It’s hard to put one down because my baby wakes up; it’s hard to close a great book!

I wish I had more time for photography, and a better camera. I would love to have a really nice Canon or the new Sony DSLR. I love taking pictures. I feel like I could make a career out of it, but I don’t have the money to buy the nice equipment right now.

I wish I exercised more. I think it would help me feel better on several fronts. It helps with depression, it helps with confidence. I wouldn’t say no to help in either of those departments. I’m still carrying about 10 pounds of pregnancy weight that makes me feel like I’m built like a bag of milk who can’t fit into her favourite jeans. Still. Eighteen months later.

I am a work in progress.