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.