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!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Selfish and Judgemental

There is still a part of me, a larger part than I would like to admit, who yells in my head everytime someone pretends to understand what it was like. Someone who thinks that because they've experienced death they know what I went through. There's a person in my head that screams:

"No, you don't understand. This was my child. She died. I named her. I felt her move. I told her I loved her every day that she lived. She lived in me. She died in me. I went through labor knowing that my child was dead. The first time I saw my daughter's face, she was dead. The only time I ever held her in my arms, she was dead. I didn't get to plan a birthday party or a wedding or a graduation party or any of those fun things, but I did get to plan her funeral. That's not normal..."

I know that lots of people go through lots of things. On an intellectual level, I know that what happened to me and to my daughter and to my family isn't that special. But there's still that loud selfish part of me that just wanted to yell at the world, that just wants to try to make people see how horrible and dark and macabre any of that was to go through...and is to live with. 

With every passing month, passing year, it fades from people's memories. And there's a part of me that still, everyday, is amazed that I'm still going on. That I'm managing to get up everyday and live my life and be a normal person. It still harder everyday then I can understand or explain. When people don't acknowledge it or don't notice it, I just wish I could make them feel for one second, just one second in their life, what I feel and what I felt and what I will continue to feel for the rest of my life. If they knew how hard it was, maybe they wouldn't pretend to understand.

And the thought makes me feel very selfish

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Feeling Weak

One of my biggest problems in working through loss and in creating a new life for myself has been with self-worth and motivation. Some days I feel really good. Other days, like today...

I have to remind myself that I'm not special. Everyone has things they have to get through and live with. In quiet moments, I find myself denying this in my head....No, your issues aren't the same as mine. No, what I went through and continue to go through are catastrophic.  Why don't you people see that? ... but it's inaccurate.  I'm not special.

I am still surprised people don't care and/or are so resistant to allowing her to be a part of my life.. I know Charlotte died over two years ago. I still want to talk about her though. Sometimes I mention her in conversation with people that know about her...just because it's real, and you should be able to say real things.

The look that comes over their face generally is like they just heard me pass gas while talking and are pretending not to notice.

I said something yesterday about having given birth to three kids, and the person I was talking to literally froze as though I had pointed a gun at her or turned her to stone. I'm bothered that so many still want it hidden, even unconsciously.

Worst, it makes me question my worth.

Am I trying to be broken so people will pity me? I don't think so, but I worry that's what people will/do think. I don't talk about Charlotte like I want sympathy, or at least I don't intend to, but I worry about the perception.  To me, she's just my daughter. She died, but she's still my daughter.  She's not a secret, or taboo, or a hidden pain. She's just a little girl.

Are the people I've chosen to surround myself with not actually that interested in what I have to say? This is an old issue for me. Real friends (and family, though that's a different issue) would want to be there for me and support me in whatever way I need, even if it takes them out of their comfort zones. Right? Isn't that the cornerstone of friendship: wanting to support your friends when and how they need it? So, what does that say about me? It's a cold reality to notice that, when you really need it, most of your support base falls apart.

I think that is why today is a weak day. In the beginning, right after Charlotte's death, when I really needed support and compassion all the time, it was really apparent that it wasn't coming. My isolation and lonliness were glaringly obvious, and it fed my depression which went generally unchecked. Now I don't need constant support. I've beaten back the depression most days. Many friendships have formed or reformed over the scars of abandonment because I don't feel constantly let down by those around me. Every once in a while, though, those friendships scrape at the scars. In those small moments where I still expect a little compassion, when I mention Charlotte's name, when I say I had three children, when I forget that people don't want to be friends with that part of me, it still cuts. Not as fresh, not as deep, not as painful, but I still can bleed and be made to feel weak. Or allow myself to feel week, depending upon your viewpoint.

I want it to be different.

I feel like maybe it's a defect in me. If I were a cooler person, more fun, more worthy of being someone's friend, maybe they would be willing to embrace my damaged edges. I have a Facebook friend who also had a daughter who died before birth, and the support she gets is astounding.  Is she inherently better than  me? Does she choose her friends more wisely than me? To be honest, people on Facebook get more support for a pet's death than I got for my daughter's death. That must be on me somehow.


Sometimes I want to be harsh with people. I want to use the harsh words instead of euphemisms. I want to tell them about what it felt like to go through labor and delivery, to writhe in pain that seems unending, all while knowing your child is already dead. I want to tell them how it felt to call a funeral home and make arrangements for the transportation of my child's body. I want to tell them how I imagined her lying cold and alone in the morgue and how I didn't take her little hat home with us so that she could stay warm. I want to tell them how I held my breath every time I listened for a heartbeat when I was pregnant with Ethan, how I felt weak with relief every time I heard it. I want to tell them that I still cry when I think about the fact that my daughter is dead because it never stops hurting. I want to tell them that for a solid six months after she died it was a fucking heroic feat that I managed to get out of bed every morning and care for Mia and live my life. I want to tell it was and is incredibly hard. I want to tell them that they made it worse....

On weak days, the power of my anger still surprises me. The people who called me strong seem like liars on weak days.

Tomorrow I'll be better. Weak days are only days two years later, they aren't weak months.

I wish I felt as strong as the people who DID and DO support me seem to think I am. I want to be the person they seem to think I am rather than the vitriolic, bitter, weak version of myself I am as I  write this. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm a fraud on weak days.

Friday, February 6, 2015

No longer appreciating noble sacrifice

I just finished reading the Divergent trilogy. I hated the third book. (Note-spoilers ahead)

First, I hated the general plot of the third book. It was just bad. The allure of the first book, for me, was a relatively normal girl surviving. It was small. She didn't take on the world (too much) or society or much of anything else. It was more about her identity than about major sweeping political movements. Book two pushed the envelope on that. Book three was painful. Suddenly we're starting a revolution and taking on the post-apocalyptic government and challenging widespread social norms? Reign it in dude. She's a teenager.

More importantly, I struggled with the ending. I embraced the ending of the Hunger Games. I appreciated the broken symbol learning to survive in the new world with the logical relationship choice given her experiences. The ending of Divergent I couldn't get behind. It hinged on the concept of noble sacrifice. I used to get behind that. I used to find the romance and the bravery alluring. The scene in Man in the Iron Mask when they charge the line, accepting their deaths and showing such bravery, used to be beautiful and honorable to me.

Yeah, sorry, but fuck noble sacrifice.

Watching a main character learn to live with the loss of the love of his life isn't romantic. His symbolic goodbye is not liberating, as I think was the intention. I know this series couldn't really end with a happily ever after, but...I have a hard time appreciating a book in which a character in which I invested three books of my time just dies. She's dead. You killed off the protagonist.  No. Nope. Not ok.

See...there's no nobility in grief. When we view the new, improved world through the eyes of a grief-stricken man, I can't really appreciate it. I wonder if that was the point? Every major shift in the world is viewed, of necessity,  through the eyes of grief. Real life rarely even has happy endings....even if it is happy.

But I want that from a book. I want a happy ending or a cathartic crying jag. I don't want a reality where the main character...goes on. Deals with life and death and grief. I know what that feels like, and it's hard. It's more bleak sometimes than the post-apocalyptic world in which it was set, especially at the start. I don't need fiction for that.

I'm mad about her sacrifice. Death is not noble. ..or at least, I've lost perspective to see it as such.