...bad waves of paranoia, madness, fear and loathing - intolerable vibrations in this place.
Do you ever find yourself in a place in your head where you are surrounded by a tug-of-war between the urge to snuggle in all calm and peaceful and the urge to scream out loud at the universe like some poor mental patient talking to a street lamp?
A lot of my inner turmoil comes from the constant conflict I feel about other people and how I relate to them. I wish I could not care...but I do. For example...this week I have experienced two opposite ends of the spectrum.
My dear friend who did not know about Alex (and sent me the Christmas card with her Baby #2 news) sent me an email after I told her the news. In part it said, "You are in the lifelong process of surviving one of the very worst things a parent can experience, and you are doing it in a way that is totally in keeping with the Cathy I always knew - with honesty, grace, and of course that trademark ability to see some humor even in life's unfathomable situations to keep it all sane!" One brief communication and I see that she gets it.
And then there are others who offer up, "You are not alone...you know X and Z both had a couple of miscarriages each." There is so much I want to say to that, not the least of which is...I'm not alone? Where were X and Z when I was at my absolute lowest? Where are they today? Cause it sure feels like I'm alone. And beyond that simplistic analysis...and I hope I don't hurt any readers' feelings here...but a miscarriage is NOT the same thing. I carried Alex for 35 weeks. (Sam was born at 37.) Alex was ready to be born...all 9lbs 1oz of him. Pink face, chubby cheeks, curly toes and all. He has a name...he was my SON. I had a world of dreams for him...and we were THIS CLOSE to reaching them. Had he been born alive and then died, I would hope you wouldn't dare compare him to someone's miscarriage. But then again, maybe you would.
I am in conflict because I know I'm in a solitary place. I hear all these voices of well-meaning individuals and I want to be in that peaceful frame of mind that would allow me to smile and accept the positive stuff and let the negative stuff all roll off my back. But at the same time, I want to be in the place where I can tell everyone how their in/sensitivities make me feel. I WANT to tell people how dear their friendships are to me as much as I WANT to tell some people to take a long walk off a short pier. But I can't do either. I'm frozen.
I think a part of it is that I'm afraid of the eye rolls. I KNOW there are people out there who would say, "Get past it already." I know because I have run into the peripherally already. And I don't think I am emotionally strong enough to withstand too much criticism of my grieving process. But I'm not sure I am serving Alex's memory, or my own self-worth, by allowing people to say and do insensitive things.
And I know I'm not honoring the true friendships I have by not being able to tell wonderful people how much they mean to me. But I don't think I'm really strong enough to admit to people that they have completely and totally propped me up for the last eight months. I mean honestly, how sad would it seem to tell a friend that I only survived because she emailed me every week (most often multiple times during the week)? That's an awful lot of pressure to put on someone as a friend.
And then, of course, there are the self-doubts that keep creeping in. Every time I think they are gone, they pop back up and smack me in the head. What gives me the right to think I should have a baby anyway? I mean, the universe and my body said otherwise last time, right? Should I really question that? Shouldn't I just leave well enough alone? But dammit...the universe owes me! I alternate between complete defeat and true stubborn will to fight. Who knows where I will ultimately land?
I could go back to that person I was. I could act like this past year and a half or so was just a bad dream. That is so tempting. It's more tempting every day, to tell the truth. To just smile and "move on." But then someone asks me, "How many kids do you have, just the one, right?" I can't help but respond with, "Yes. Sam's three-and-a-half. And we lost the other one in May." I literally CAN'T leave it out. It's like discounting my life for the past year and a half if I do leave it out. And I find I'm fiercely protective of it as part of my story...and Alex's story. And I did live it...so why should I pretend it didn't happen? Why SHOULD I act like it was a bad dream? It wasn't...it was my life...it IS my life.
Good grief this is another one of those entries that sounded good in my head but now looks like a bunch of insane ramblings when typed out. The funny thing is, I used to be such a decisive, take-charge kind of woman. Maybe I'm already more like the poor mental patient yelling at the street lamp than I care to admit.