Friday, October 07, 2005

How much is too much?

I was reading deadbabymama's post about how people share more intimate things with her now that she's lost a child. And, being the insecure creature I am, I began to wonder if I am guilty of sharing too much with people who would rather not be a part of it.

I mean, I have this idea of grief and how I think people should be treated...but who's to say that that's the "right" way...who's to say that everyone should jump to my tune? I know I've suffered something other people can't even begin to fathom, but does that mean that I have the right to force my grief on them? Just as I expect my space when I need it to grieve, other people may want space to escape from the harshness of it. Am I merely playing on that old concept...the one I was forced to abandon a long time ago...if you love me then you will behave as I would like you to behave?

Have I, inadvertently, expected someone to accept my inner sharing of my feelings...because I've earned some special right to be selfish? some special right to share things with people that they would really rather not hear? does having a dead baby give me some special super powers that exempts me from having to consider that other people just may be tired of hearing me cry? how many people have listened to me, out of politeness, when they would rather really cover their ears and sing, "la-la-la-la?"

Further, I'm cautious about this because I've made some "friends" here through this blog (and my obsessive reading of other blogs), and I would like to think that I haven't become some strange person that people are secretly thinking should just shut the heck up. For example, meeting David on Wednesday and seeing his play meant a lot to me. It definitely helped me take a big step (or two) toward healing. But then I think, that's a lot of pressure to put on someone. Am I expecting him to be an expert of some sort just because he's been there? just because he's lost a baby? is it fair to think of him like that?

And there is always the secret fear, of course, that someone is thinking...shut up you whiner. I guess that stems from the normal sentiment of people around me who expect me to be "over it." It's so entrenched in my psychological expectations that I just can't seem to shake it. Do people step away from my writing and think...gee, what a kook? Have I shared anything that maybe I shouldn't have shared? Do the few people that I talk to wish I would shut up? Should I shut up?

Since Alex died, I have doubted everything. Not all at once...just most of my drips and and there...question after question. I have never really written for an audience. This has always been "my" place. If someone chose to read it, that was fine. But I never really censored myself for who might be reading it. I never really considered that people might think I'm a loon for some of the stuff I think and say.


Jill said...

You seem extrememly sensible in your grief to me and in no way whiney or kooky.

And this is the place where all those expectations do not apply. Where you have to behave as though you are over it in real life, you don't here. So don't feel you need to.

Just keep writing Catherine:)

gabesmama said...

Very interesting post. I'd say the same thing that people tell me things about themselves that they would never have shared before. My mom tells me every horror story and says, "see other people also have it bad." Thanks mom. Anyway--I have learned so much from you and enjoy reading your posts. Please keep sharing. I'm always afraid that I offend people. I have a hard time commenting and thinking that my comments are OK when people are sharing intense thoughts. And then I can't say as much as I want to say to people with my schedule of work and crazy puppy. But I do love reading your blog.

cat said...

We wouldn't read and comment if we wanted you to shut up... Keep talking, keep writing, keep thinking.

It's your blog you can do what you wish and damn the rest.

*ps: secret word was: einkanvo*

lauralu said...

regarding david: you know, he wrote a play about losing his son that he chose to put out there in the public eye. he was the one, when i was afraid of freaking people out by talking about hans, who encouraged me to stop not talking about him. he continues to perform the play now to professional groups that recognize its educational value. he is not about not talking about it. he gets it.

i know i've encouraged you before to say what needs to be said about alex, because i believe other people will follow your lead, and because by doing so you honor alex. that you have this concern means you are not a loon and are paying attention as to when it's appropriate to talk about him - my point being that if you were out of touch, you wouldn't be aware of it to worry about it.

and ultimately your blog MUST be a safe place for you. it's up to you to make it that place, if you don't feel it is now.

and on a lighter note, are you still coming to our rocktoberfest in two weeks? and do you want to stay overnight in our carriage house? e-mail me!

vixanne wigg said...

You came pretty late to my blog. You missed the party!!!! Where I said all kinds of nasty and hurtful things about my pregnant friends because I was bitter, jealous, suicidal and above all ANGRY at the world.

But you know what? You do the best that you can do. If people don't want to hear it, no one is making them. The good people will stick with you and they will love you no matter what. They will remember that this is just a time in your life...that there were all kinds of times before and there will be all kinds of times after this time.

I have often asked myself this same question...I guess for me it's "have I expected too much from people?" I don't know the answer. I just know that at no other time in my life have I felt so let down by so many is very hard to reconcile whether it's them or me.