Thanks

Thanks for stopping in. There isn't really a rhyme or reason to this blog. It's just what comes to my head as I go through each day. If something I say resonates with you (positively or not), please leave a comment. It helps to know that people care. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

On Being Annoying

So, every time I try to think about verbalizing this, I think of the Muppets (the recent movie) and i think that might invalidate the depth of my feelings on the subject. There's a moment when they go to get Animal out of therapy, and Jack Black whispers, "we don't use the word drum...it's his trigger word."

"Annoying" is my trigger word.

It doesn't even have to be verbalized. When I know someone is annoyed by me or thinks I am annoying in general, it triggers me. Instant shame spiral: dark emotions swirling, self-doubting pit. I can't stop it. I wish I could.

This happened to me yesterday. It wasn't verbalized, but then, it doesn't have to be. I got the meaning, and the darkness swirled.

I'm still in the pit, a bit. I don't want to be in the pit. I don't want to have trigger words. I don't want to constantly question my status in every relationship I have.

I do, though.

It's that whole adolescent scarring thing rearing it's ugly head again. I hate HATE being perceived as annoying. It just makes me feel....unlovable. Unloved. Alone. Hopeless. It puts a filter on my life for a few days until the darkness clears. It's like the ani-rose colored glasses, and it sucks. A lot. I question everyone and everything.

I'm trying really hard to claw my way out of my pit today. Hence the rambling post. I want to enjoy Christmas with my kids. I found myself snapping at Mia this morning when it wasn't her fault, and I don't like that about myself.

Can I get a little divine intervention, maybe? Could use a butterfly today. It would be a great day for a sign.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Trust

I sent my husband a text last night (he was working) that I think sums up my life fairly well. The true measure of how much I trust someone is if I choose to open up to them about Charlotte, with bonus points for those with whom I share my blog. Most people don't have something that concrete. It wasn't really a conscious thing...until my epiphany last night, that is...but I literally can count the people that I really trust. There isn't a grey area. That said, I can count on two hands the number of people I put into this category. I don't know if that says something good or bad about me. I suppose it's good that I'm selective, yes? I'll just gloss over the paranoid, untrusting background and go with selective. Yes. I'm selective.

*My messed up moment of the day: as I wrote the above paragraph, I actually paused, concerned that my writing this would make the people on the trusted list uncomfortable. By definition, those on the list are the ones that would read this.  You know those people who think they're a closer friend of yours than you thought? The ones who want to hang out when you were really just study group partners? The ones that are the clingy girlfriend who wants to send out Christmas cards together before you've reached the appropriate stage of your relationship?

Yeah....I don't want to be like that. Then again, I literally JUST said that the people on that very short list are the people I trust. I think I need to trust that they're cool being on my short list. So...you don't mind sending a metaphorical Christmas card with me, do you?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Due date +2 years.


It's been two years since Charlotte should have been born.  She would be two.  Wow.  

I was in Richmond today.  It was an hour and a half drive.  I listened to Christmas music the whole way (thanks to my wonderful husband finally putting music on my phone and my awesome bluetooth stereo in my car), but I had a lot of time to think.  

It's funny, really.  The first year, her due date was ridiculously hard.  It was symbolic.  It should have been her birthday.  It was representative of everything that should have been and so very clearly wasn't.  But it's been two years.  It's not her birthday anymore.  Her birthday is in July.  The fifth of December only has meaning in that it helps me mark time.  I'll be honest: I actually had forgotten the exact date until I saw my timehop this morning which had a few images I posted on facebook two years ago.  

I don't know how to feel about that.  A paranoid piece of me worries that it means I'm forgetting her. I know that's not true.  I know that I think about her every day.  I know that I listen for the wind chimes all the time.  They're blowing right now, as a matter of fact, and I can hear them as I sit in the office.  

I know it's just that the day she was born, the day Mike and I got to spend with her, is her celebration, and so that is the day we remember her.  We choose to celebrate her life, not mourn what should have been.  This is why the 22nd of July is so important and the 5th of December has faded a bit.  The 5th of December is really kind of arbitrary, as she was actually born four months before that.  The date was just the symbol of the life that never was.  A part of me feels guilty for that, though.  A part of me WANTS to still mourn and moan and cry and be tortured.  I mean, I do still cry.  For everything and nothing, just as it was two years ago.  But it's different.  I can't explain it.  I feel compelled to try, obviously, but I don't seem to have the words.  

In the months after her death, I was angry.  I'm still angry in a lot of ways, but it's not as it was.  I was mired in this pit of self-doubt and fear and anger.  If anyone had cared to notice, I was pretty severely depressed.  I'm not sure too many people noticed...and I'm not going to dwell on that thought too much, because nothing good will come of it.  

Now, today...I'm still sad.  I still mourn for my daughter.  But I work on celebrating her as much as I can.  It's absolutely beautiful to hear Mia talking about her Angel Sister.  She is starting to understand a little, and that really warms my heart.  Ethan will grow into it as well.  Mike and I said from the outset that we wanted it to be a normal part of their lives.  It's not scary or dark.  It's not a secret.  Charlotte is their sister. She's just an angel.  We are lucky enough to have an angel sister to watch out for us and protect us.  That part has won out over the should haves.  

I'm starting to feel like maybe I've earned some of those comments people made two years ago about how strong I am...I didn't feel strong then.  I felt weak and powerless and hopeless in a lot of ways.  I got through, with the majority of my dignity and sanity intact, and now I'm actually managing to follow through on what I said I would do, really believing what I told myself I had to believe.  It took me over two years, but I'm starting to truly be grateful instead of bitter.

I'm still sad. I'm still bitter.  I still want things to be different in so many ways.  Two years later, I'm finally  not drowning in those feelings.  Two years later, I can breathe a bit.  Two years later, while the shore might not be in sight, I have hope that this part of my life, my family's life, will actually be the positive more than the negative.

I still miss her every day.  I miss her today.

Christmas Shopping for Charlotte

We went Christmas shopping for Charlotte on Wednesday night,  Mike and I had our first date night since we went to the beach in August.  As a side note, it occurs to me that we don't go on enough date nights.  Regardless, we went to Tysons to exchange Mike's Kinect at the Microsoft store and to to Coastal Flats where we had a gift card.  Since we were there and together, we decided to do Charlotte's Christmas shopping.

It's still a hard thing.  The theory is that we get her what we WOULD have gotten her had she lived. Had she lived, she would have just turned two.  Wow.  Walking and talking and following Mia like the proverbial shadow.  We took it extra literal this year, thinking about how the presents we got Charlotte would fit in with the presents we were getting for Mia.  In a world in which Charlotte exists, Ethan doesn't. That's such a strange alternate reality, but it's the truth.

We're getting Mia a Lego table for Christmas, so we got Charlotte a set of Lego Duplo blocks. There's a Lego store in Tysons.  We thought, if we got real Lego's for Mia, Charlotte would have liked to have her own set of blocks which would also work on the table.  Then we went to the Disney store and got her some Frozen stuffed animals.  Mia is still obsessed with Frozen, but Charlotte would be too young to have the barbie dolls and too many dress up clothes, so we got a stuffed doll version of Elsa and Olaf.  Mia would probably have stolen them. Or maybe they would have played together.

See, this is the hard part.  This is the time of year I really think of the what ifs.  I would never, ever wish that Ethan wasn't with us.  Still, thinking of having Charlotte with us is so surreal, and it's something I long for so much.  I would have three kids in an instant if I could have them all with me. Sign me up.  It's so strange to go through and buy all the toys for Charlotte that it seems like she would like, that it seems like would fit with Mia's toys and who I think Charlotte would be by now, and then to give them away.  I give them to a kid who will have a nicer Christmas because of Charlotte, but she's not the kid I bought them for.  I bought them for my daughter.

I write that so much on this blog.  My daughter.  It's one of the only places I can put those words out there without the unintentional crazy gothic woman subtext.  People don't understand.  I think maybe they think I don't need to say it anymore.  I think maybe they think Ethan healed the wound.  In some ways he did.  I see some angel in that kid.  In other ways, I have to remind myself that I'm not crazy.  Sometimes I have to say it out loud, just to make sure I'm still real.  I had one daughter.  Then I had another daughter.  She died.  I had a son.  My daughter still died.  It's real.  She's real.  Being a mother to an angel is a part of who I am.  It's a part of what my family is.  But I digress.

I need to go give the gifts to Toys for Tots this week.  I actually still have some gifts from last Christmas that I need to give to Toys for Tots.  We did Charlotte's shopping so late last year that Toys for Tots had stopped accepting donations...so I held on to them.  That's dumb.  But somehow....they had to be Christmas presents.  Not just presents.  I've lost my mind.