A while back, I posted about My Bucket. Here lately, I've been asked to get in other people's buckets and I'm finding that I just can't. Or maybe I just don't want to, so I won't. I really don't know which it is. There seems to be this piece of me missing. Where there was once empathy and compassion, there is now only sadness and anger. I've become so self-absorbed that there is no room for other people's sadness and anger. And I'm wondering if this is something that happens naturally as some weird defense mechanism? Or if this is something that I've chosen to become (as some weird defense mechanism)?
Quite honestly, I don't have the least problem being selfish for a while. It's not even been three months since I buried my baby. In the grand scheme of things, I think I'm doing remarkably well. I've found people to "talk to" who understand the mess my brain has become. I'm functioning, albeit on a much reduced capacity than before. I manage to must all my energy each morning to haul my fat butt out of bed and shower and clothe myself...when all I'd really like to do is lay in bed all day and eat Oreos and watch soap operas.
But at what point will my personality recover? Can I expect my empathy and compassion for others to come back? Or do I have to go out and seek it out...actively work to replace it?
If it's going to take work, I'm too tired right now. I can barely stand on my own two feet every day, let alone crawl into someone else's bucket and feel anything for them. Maybe that makes me a monster. But I would like to believe it just means I'm barely hanging on and I'm doing my best. And if my best isn't good enough, then the people who love me will be patient with me...and the people who don't...well...who gives a crap about them anyway.
It is somehow an attractive thought to think that I've failed in grief. Hell, I've failed in just about everything I've done for the past year or so, so why should this be any different? But intellectually, I feel like it is unreasonable to expect anyone to grieve the way you want them to. I can't possibly fail at something like this, unless someone else imposes their own requirements and guidelines on my grief. And I'm not in the mood to play by someone else's rules.
I do care. I just can't take care of anyone but me right now. And even that is proving to be too much. I feel completely beaten down, as though I've been run over by a bus and left bleeding on the side of the road. I can't get up and tend to someone else. I just want to lie there and let the world keep spinning on without me. The old me would have gotten up, patched up my own injuries, and helped as many people as I can. This me can't...or won't. I miss the old me. But the new me hates her and wants her to stay gone.
Maybe it's not failure...maybe I've chosen this new me. Maybe I am a monster.