For most of my life, you have been my best friend. But you know how good I am at keeping friends, don't you? Most of mine have disappeared over the years and I haven't had the time (or the energy) to find new ones. They have gone by way of disagreements, misunderstandings, or just plain drifting apart. It is easy to let go of friends you feel don't understand you. It's easy to say we have nothing in common anymore, so let's just put each other on the Christmas card list and leave it at that.
You see, here's where it gets tricky for me. I know you don't understand what I'm going through. I know you can't possibly understand the "right" things to say and do to make this better...because, quite frankly, there aren't any words or deeds that are going to make this any better. But I can't relegate you to my Christmas card list either. So how DO I deal with you?
For the very first time in my life, I can't look to you for the answers. Selfishly, I was disappointed by that. Even more selfishly, I wanted you to TRY harder. At what, exactly, I'm not sure. I wanted my mommy to make it all better...and I knew you couldn't. I was setting up an impossible standard for you, and I'm sorry.
Someone recently said something that made me think about you and how badly I have treated you. It's so very hard to remember that we're not the only ones who lost Alex. He was real to us every single day...he was real to you and others only during those times you visited with us. So I guess I measure our losses against each other...and feel like more has been taken from me than from you. I realize now that I can't do that...rate our level of pain. It's not fair to punish other people, most especially you, because you're not hurting enough to make me feel better. That is cruel. And you feeling pain and sadness isn't going to make me feel better anyway.
I do need you to realize, however, that I'm not the same person I used to be. And when things stress me, I'm going to react differently than I did before I lost Alex. And often, the anticipation of something stressing me, will be enough to set me off my self-preservation instinct. This past week, I faced the possibility of being told I would never have more children. And I did it with the knowledge that I had to face it alone with Steve. There was nothing that you could do or say that would make me less stressed about the prospect of giving up my dreams for my life. There was no way you could understand what it's like to face the future as a completely changed person, with no hope of regaining the person you were before. And there was no way you could understand that I not only grieve for Alex, but I also grieve for the person I once was. I grieve for the life and the happiness I once felt in my heart, but can't seem to locate at the moment.
I suppose you were right when you described me as a minefield. I never know when something is going to make my cry, make me angry, or make me want to hide away from the world. I have to learn to handle the unpredictability and control it. But right now, I'm just trying to figure out which end is up. Everything I ever knew about myself has been turned upside down. I read in a book that perhaps I haven't changed, so much as my perspective has changed. I think that's true. I just need to figure out exactly what this new perspective is that I have.
I do know that I've recently figured out that part of my anger with you comes from our past conversations where you joked about how easy it was for you to get pregnant...and how much you LOVED being pregnant. I'm angry that I didn't have that. I'm disappointed that I had just learned how to enjoy being pregnant this time, only to have it disappear in the blink of an eye. I'm angry that I will never have that...ever. If we decide to have another baby, that pregnancy will be filled with fear and dread and anxiety. I'll never get to tell tales of how I loved being pregnant...except for the one time I did love it and the baby died. Jealousy is very hard for me to deal with.
I hope you can hang in there with me while I learn about this new me. I have a feeling it's going to be slow and messy. I can guarantee I will most likely cause you many tears along the way. But I just can't relegate you to the Christmas card list either.
I love you.