Monday, September 14, 2009

How are you?

I am exhausted. Most of the time, I tell people 'I'm a mess.' and give them a wry smile and they seem taken aback - by the honesty? by what they think is sarcasm? by the matter of fact way in which I say that I'm fucked up?

It came up a lot today, because I went back to work today. I don't know what to write about it, about the struggles I went through coming to the decision, let alone actually going.

I have trouble verbalizing everything I want to say, even (especially?) here, in what should be my safe space to say whatever I want. One moment, I am eager to return and let out all the anger I feel. Or I want a safe place to continue to grieve, because safe places are harder and harder to come by. Or I want to explore something but feel held back because I know people might read and might not understand. Knowing that people are reading, weighing, judging never makes it easy and I find I care more than I would expect. I lost a reader this weekend, or so my dashboard informed me. I'm honestly not sure who or why, and I felt both vaguely guilty and a little angry (too much anger and sadness and lost? why the fuck do I care? that's my life right now). Knowing that friends have read here to glean some insight into me because my communication has been . . . lax (strained, one-sided, incomplete, take your pick) also makes me guard my words and leave off somethings I might say otherwise, makes me want to say I'm doing better just so people can feel better, even when it's not true. What a mindfuck. And yet, what I put out here is truth - full truth? Who knows? It changes by the minute sometimes, and I stand by all the 'ugly crying' that goes on here, and i stand by the moments of peace too. This is one of my 'necessary spaces' and I'm exploring what that means to my healing, to my darkness, to my lightness.

It's been hard the past week (the past three weeks). Time has flown and crawled and I just wanted it to stop. Friends have expressed concern that I am headed to a dark place and that I seem to be content with curling up and staying at rock bottom. I have argued that it is my prerogative as a grieving parent to do whatever the fuck I want and the fact that I have been making relatively good choices (ie, get out of bed, eat, don't oversleep, don't take up alcohol, try and express what I'm feeling, don't bottle up or push away the emotions) should count for something. We are both right. I have been staying there, at the moment of Gabriel's death and I have not done much beyond existing. I was not ready - I am not ready - and that is ok too. Grief takes time and it also takes energy that I do not always have and it takes a will to continue living that I have yet to find for continuous stretches. I haven't sought for that. I have not wished it.

I have not been ready to admit that I have to live the rest of my life without my son, let alone attempt it. I am not ready to let him go and be . . . what? A memory? A piece of me? What? I don't know.

I am still angry. I still blame myself. The fact that I know now that the care I received was negligent has not removed the blame, in some ways it intensifies it. I have trouble shaking loose of those questions and wondering how it would have been had I made different choices. Possibly no different. But . . . at least I'd know that all avenues had been exhausted. I am still ridiculously sad and I still feel like there is a huge hole in my heart.

I was having panic attacks last week, contemplating returning to work. Last night was more of the same; as was this morning. When it came down to it, I begged my husband not to make me go. He said he wouldn't, but he wanted me to try anyway. So I tried. I drove to work. I sat in the car and cried. He held my hand and walked with me all the way, even back to my office. I cried most of the way - feeling with every step that I was walking back towards normal and away from Gabriel, also remembering that the last time I was there, I was pregnant and still believed everything would be fine and I would have a baby boy in January (well, December, maybe). I was terrified by the mess I'd left behind me and how I could overcome that. Not to mention all the people who would want to express their sorrow to me and how little I wanted to hear it, because my compassion and social grace are fucked through right now and non-existent.

And all of that . . . I made it through. It sucked. There were thoughtless comments and people who avoided my eye. There was repetition and there was mourning. And I will go back again tomorrow.

Step by step, rebuilding life. Whether I want to or not. I don't, most of the time, and I won't apologize for it. I'm doing it anyway, and eventually, from what I remember and what I'm told . . . it will take over and sweep me on my way. Until then, I bide my time and mourn my son. Some days I find some peace, for a time. Some days I laugh and even enjoy things. Most of these moments are private, with my husband. But they happen. I think they are small points of light in the darkness and maybe someday there will be hope again.

How am I?

I am a mess, fucked up, not ok . . .

. . . but also trying, and still alive.

Some days it hurts to breathe, some moments I have to cry. Some days I lay down and I don't want to get up again. Some moments I feel him near me and I have some peace. Time is marching on, and I am reluctantly dragging my feet behind it. And that is good enough for me for now.


Christy said...

Oh my, there is so much of what you just wrote that I could have written--about 75% of it actually. A lot of what keeps me going are my kids, my husband and Chase, himself. When I'm having a bad day or when someone says or does something shitty and I get angry or I cry, I tell myself, "Chase wouldn't want me to cry. I have better things to cry about."
I'm so sorry what you are going through. I feel the same about work. I couldn't go back to it and I even worked at home. I feel the same about the negligent care and wish I would have explored other options. I feel the same about people in general. I don't know but maybe knowing you are not the only one who feels this way will somehow make you feel better. You are NOT crazy. You have the right to feel the way you do. This is messed up. This is not what should be happening...this nightmare we are living. But it is what we have to live wtih the rest of our lives. We don't have a choice. Hang in there. Thinking of you...
p.s. I personally don't think you should worry about losing a's not worth wasting your thoughts about and you have no way of knowing the circumstances for their following or leaving. Really--don't be offended by that, it is virtual reality. I understand about your caution in writing, too. But know that it is your place to "vent", grieve, and find others in your shoes. People can read it or not read it. And anyone who reads blogs is or should be full aware that they are getting only the piece of your life that you are sharing at the moment. it is not a complete picture of you or who you are and you are not, or should not be, judged by that.

Jay said...

I read your blog daily, and appreciate your honesty. I wish you the emotional freedom to just be where you are.

justgerbil said...

Mia cara, for what its worth, I think you're doing remarkably. I can't possibly imagine that anyone who thinks you're "content to curl up in a ball and stay there" has an accurate frame of reference to your pain. This does not make them unfeeling, only that perhaps you are speaking Post-classical Greek and they are speaking a modern dialect: close enough to permit communication but not enough for full comprehension.

I agree with Christy pretty much all the way around. This is YOUR space, not anyone else's and you have the right to use it as you need to.

bkb said...

Sending you hugs and strength. I check in with the blog everyday. If there is anything I can do (mow, bring gift cards for food) please let me know. I wish there was a worn path for you to follow instead of having to crash through an overgrown jungle. Take as much time and fuck anyone or anything that tries to rush it or minimize it.

LDRN said...

It's such a difficult time--wanting to move on, but still hold on at the same time. You are incredibly strong. I know you have lots of questions & anger on top of your loss. I hope you get some resolution soon.
Don't worry about losing a reader. It's their loss.
Sending you lots of hugs as you start this difficult chapter in your life. Lots of love & thoughts for you!

Megan said...

Sweetie, I say FUCK the people who can't handle what you feel you need to say. This is your blog and safe haven to let it out. Holding it in is never good (I'm sure you know that) so just let it out. The people who will stand beside you no matter what will keep coming back.
As for work, I wish I could be there and help in some sort of way to make it easier to work and not feel like you are leaving behind your beautiful son. I wish there was something I could do. In the mean time, I'm here, listening and reading. Let me know if there is more I can help with. **HUGS** Hang in there. You aren't alone in this ordeal. There are so many here to help you with your sorrows. Praying and thinking about you often!

That Chick Over There said...

From a totally technical, bloggish kind of standpoint let me just assure you that it's totally normal for your readers to ebb and flow. It doesn't mean ANYTHING at all, I promise, and there are a million reasons behind why it shows that way. None of those reasons are you or anything you write. I sincerely mean that. They way you have written this? Is some of the most amazing writing I've ever read. Not that that was your goal. I know it wasn't. But I admire how well you've been able to say what you feel.

Anyway, I've already told you this but I think it bears repeating. You are doing amazingly well. Amazingly. I'm in awe of you.

I think about you and Gabriel every single day of my life.

Here's the plan: said...

I know you are not ready to come back to the boards but we all love you and miss you and are waiting for you to come back to be with you and mourn the loss of sweet baby Gabriel. We love you Eas.

Dawn~a~Bon said...

I'm thinking of you today, I hope work is going as well as can be expected. ((HUGS))