Saturday, July 23, 2005

I feel old

I had an Adult Protective Services client once say to me, "I just don't want to burden anyone." I could sympathetically understand what she was saying, but I didn't really "get it," I guess. That feeling of tiredness and lack of interest in the world is there, lurking under everything I do and say. But there is more...there is a feeling that the best of my time is already behind me and I'm becoming a burden to the people around me.

I look at pictures of myself from before Alex died and I think, you poor, poor naive thing, you have no idea what's coming. And I long for the time when my smile reached my eyes and radiated from my soul. I especially see that happy spark in my eyes in the pictures before we even considered conceiving Alex. I have to admit that I have thought about how much "better" my life would be right now if we hadn't gotten pregnant at all. Shamefully, I admit that I have wished Alex completely out of existence on more than one occasion. That, of course, brings with it all the accompanying feelings of guilt, embarassment, and even more sadness. Isn't this merry-go-round fun?

Already, people don't speak to me. I see it in there eyes in that split second they are contemplating even saying hello. They weigh the options and more than once I've seen, "What if she brings IT up?" and they scurry away, with their head down, as if they didn't see me in the first place. Already, family and friends find it easier to not talk to me at all. Nobody asks how I'm doing or offers to lighten the load. So I'm left to consider the possiblity of asking for help...the possibility that people will think I AM a burden to even be around.

I know it's uncomfortable to talk about. I know it's uncomfortable to even think about. And I really don't want to be a burden to anyone.

I feel so old...

6 comments:

MyrrhsieSLB said...

Catherine-

I miss that happy innocence, too, and even the lack of worry. The thing is, as tired as people get of it, I don't think I will ever move entirely past grieving for this little one. The only way I have to mother the one I lost is to remember, and I can see myself at 80 still thinking about our little Peanut, and visiting the little gravesite every year. I don't think that's a bad thing.

I think everything will always be a little bittersweet now. Always a little sadness mixed in with the joy...and an unbreachable gulf between me and people who have never felt a loss.

Thanks for your comments on my blog, btw, I read yours fairly often.

Hugs,
Myrrh

Anam Cara said...

I relate to everything you wrote here. I am so sorry that most family and friends just don't get it and can't offer to lighten your load a bit. When I think back to those really early days (which you are still in the thick of) I get angry at the lack of support I received - no one wanting to REALLY know how I was doing (being so "polite" and talking about everything but the main thing on your mind) or offering to help in some way (cook dinner, or take care of my daughter, do some shoppinng, or whatever). Everyone just expects you to get on with it. I am not good at asking for help, never have been. So it would have been nice for someone, anyone, to offer!!

I too look back at pictures and videos of me before the death of my son and pine for that person who used to be, but who is gone forever. I am not the same person and most of my relationships have changed as a result. And I too have secretly thought how much better my life would have been had Thomas never even been conceived. So you are not alone Catherine!

Holley said...

I can relate to a large chunk of what you said.

And Sweetie, you are not a burden on anyone.

Love you,
Holley

lauralu said...

as much as i want hans back, i consider his loss a reprieve, if you will, from motherhood. i slept in today. i spent all afternoon in the sun at jacobs field and all evening in a smoky bar. i had a f***in' fantastic day, and i wouldn't have had this day if hans were alive. i can't feel guilty about it - it's the truth, and i don't believe acknowledging that truth takes anything away from hans or my love - or grief - for him.

i am going to offer you some assvice - don't let people get away with not talking about alex or about his death or about how your life has changed as a result of his loss. other people haven't experienced it, or at least not in the way you have, so they don't know what to do. you have to lead the way. if you talk about alex to other people, you are establishing a pattern others can follow. they may choke on it, but they'll eventually get used to it. people that never get used to it are probably people without whom you'd be better off. i believe what i'm telling you with all my heart. and if you don't believe it, then let me throw a little negative motivation at you: if you don't talk about alex, you are dishonoring his memory. regardless of what you believe about what happens after death, the way that alex lives on in this life is in the memory of others. it's up to you to keep him in everyone's memory.

i feel so strongly about this topic (can you tell???), and i don't bark at you to make you feel bad but because i care about you and i think you are strong enough to *choose* how the subject of alex will be handled in your world. it's up to you.

okay, i'm done now. you can be mad at me if you want; i can take it. :)

deadbabymama said...

I agree with lauralu, don't let people get away with avoiding you in order to avoid your own fear. It takes a lot out of you to do this, but even more if you don't (in my experience). You don't have to confront everyone at once, or bring it up all the time, but when it is relevant do so. Alex is your son, he is part of your family and if other people can't deal with that reality then they will drift off into their world of denial; screw 'em and stick with the people who are really there for you (and for Alex). As laura pointed out it is the only way to be true to Alex, and therefore true to yourself.

deadbabymama said...

Oops! I mean avoid THEIR own fear! This no caffeine thing is killing my concentration ;)