Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It seems I suck on so many levels

I'm jealous of my friends with more than one child. I simply can't relate to them because I find that missing what I should have overshadows any possible feelings of happiness I could have for them. Now I've been taken to task for those feelings. I'm apparently allowed to have them...I just shouldn't express them. My blog has recently become a place where people feel free to tell me what they think I should write about...what I should think...what I should feel. A friend has even emailed me to tell me how disappointed she is in me.

Apparently my inability to smile and pretend that things are just peachy keen is offensive. I am apparently hurting my friends with more than one child by admitting that it hurts to be around them. I'm apparently a bitch for requesting an extra ounce of sensitivity from people in that they not send me smiling happy shiny family pictures with their Christmas cards. I'm additionally insensitive for not being able to contact people and instruct them on what kind of support I need to get through this. I should just be quiet and let people unintentionally hurt me...after all...they're happy...why should they have to change how they think or act?

Now I see why blogs become watered down...or stop altogether.

This is the honest truth. This is how I feel. If it hurts your feelings or you are otherwise upset with what I write, feel free to not read. I won't apologize for expressing how I feel. I'm trying to find my way to a new normal...a normal that I can't explain to you (if you don't understand it on your own). Deal with it.

18 comments:

Julie said...

This is your blog, your lifeline, your little space of sanity.
I can't settle on what point I want to beat to death most, so I'll be kind and say that the truest form of friendship is acceptance and forgiveness wrapped up in understanding. Anything less would be uncivilized.
Those of us who know all to well the pain you live with every single day respect your ability to let it all out when needed. And it is needed. We're right there with you.
Love, The Rest of Us.

vixanne wigg said...

Oh Catherine...this post of all things I can relate to, as you know I hurt many people in my life by expressing my anger and pain. I want to say to try and remember that some time in the future (I wish I could say when) I think you will emerge from this pain and things will seem brighter. But that's just because I'm at a different place right now...I have the luxury of saying that. You are so entitled to those feelings. I think they are very normal and to be expected. And I think that those people who love you need to try and put themselves in your shoes and understand where those feelings are coming from. Hugs.

the ockers said...

Oh Catherine I hope I am not one of these bloggers you wish would stop reading your posts. I feel so sad thinking I have contributed to your hurt recently.

I am so sorry for being opiniated about the Idol stuff. I wasn't trying to hurt you with my comments. and I wasn't thinking you need to apologise for how you feel. I just wanted to be clear about my position on the Idol stuff, that was all.

I have a lot of deep respect for you as a gutsy woman who's surviving after the most shocking of things happened to you. What ever you do, don't water down your blogs...or stop altogether. IT'S YOUR BLOG and you can CRY IF YOU WANT TO ((hugs))

msfitzita said...

I'm utterly floored. I look on my blog as a safe place for me to express all the feelings that I try to protect people from. To have someone - ANYONE - attack me for letting my grief, anger and confusion out in my safe little world is unthinkable. As you said, people can (and should) choose not to read if they're offended.

I feel my blood pressure rise to dangerous levels when someone (by word or action) implies that it's "difficult" to deal with women like us. How much more difficult is it to BE us - to be living through the unbearable sorrow of losing a child.

We're struggling each and every day to tame the grief that threatens to swallow us whole and to make it manageable. Can you imagine what they'd all do if we actually expressed how we're feeling 100% of the time - I we DIDN'T hide the pain as much as we do???

May I please fly down and hit each and every one of these insensitive morons upside the head? Please?

A thousand ((((((HUGS))))

Heather said...

Yeah, I am just going to write more of the same. This is YOUR blog. You shouldn't be made to feel like you need to censor or "water down" your thoughts and feelings at all.

I have more than one child and I have in no way felt offended or hurt by anything you have posted. You have been a dear friend to me and I come here because I care deeply about you and how you are feeling/healing. As long as I am welcome, I will continue to do so because if I can do nothing else to make you feel like you can get through this ordeal--I want to make sure you know I love and support you.

cstevens said...

I am the evil friend who questioned Cathy about 2 issues that hurt me deeply. So, to the Ockers: you're off the hook. I am a person who has mourned for and with her daily as well as prayed for her and her family. What is written on this subject by Cathy is not a true representation of what was said, but this being her page, I will not correct it. If you need some justification of how this all happened, please feel free to email me. Of course you will have to ask for Cathy's permission.

Jill said...

Through your honesty and frankness and allowing me to know you (and this is the case for all the women who have experienced a stillbirth or late term loss who I have come to know) you have given me the knowledge and courage to NOT be afraid of the grief of others.

I am keenly aware that I represent so much that could cause you pain and try to walk between holding that part of my life back and showing as much support as possible. It doesn't offend me to do that and nor should it. You don't know my kids and therefore it is only the idea of them that hurts - not them personally.

But it is only through honest discussion that we can understand each other and move forward together. And in understanding your pain, how could I possibly think that you (or anyone else in your position) could ever live as though you didn't have the knowledge you have?

Maybe I'm not expressing myself right, but I will always remember your post about the drowning swimmer throwing rocks at the people trying to rescue them. And that's how I see my part in any situation where another's grief is threatening to drown them - that I am the friend who is willing to take a rock to the temple until the drowning swimmer is ready to grab the rope. Or something. Jeez, I just think you are doing the best you can and probably better than many and maybe not as well as some but who cares? You are what you are and you do happen to rock:)

rach said...

Good girl.

To thine own self be true.
-Billy Shakespeare

And to whoever wrote you the email...I would hope they would bugger off.

rach said...

I just read the other comments.

See, just the fact that this other person wants us to email them so she can explain her side of the story sort of reeks of...hmmmm...I don't know what.

Who cares if the story is skewed...it's your blog, you can say what you want. I know when too many people from real life are reading I feel inhibited.

Your baby freaking DIED. He DIED. He's in the ground. It BLOWS. It hasn't even been a YEAR. If someone can't understand that, I don't think there's any way you can make them understand.

Please keep up the blog. I know you and I don't always agree, but we're still friends, and I've still got your back, mama.

Sherry said...

Catherine, *hugs* from me. I don't always understand, but want to support you. This is your place, and I am just a guest in it. *hugs*

rach said...

Catherine,
Have you thought of movin' up to the typepad side and doing a password protect like Vixanne? I think it would be worth the trouble. I think if any of your real life friends is reading and really wants to help, they can see how to help, just by reading what you have written that you need.
R

jane said...

you should not have to apologize to anyone. they should be apologizing to you. this grief is all too fresh. just being able to write about it is a huge, healthy step in the grieving process. we lost our son, joseph, when he was almost a year old to a very rare infection. it has been almost 7 years and i can tell you that time truly does heal the pain but i still relive it everyday. for now it is just a mere miracle that you can get out of bed in the morning. if someone doesn't understand this, maybe they should try and trade places with you....

kate said...

Sending lots and lots of ((((((hugs)))))) to you. Just reiterating what the others have said. *Please* don't water down your blog. It is indeed your blog and you can, and should, write all of whatever you want. Noone in my real life (except my dh) knows my blog address and this is one of the reasons why. I have lost friends and 'demoted' them to aquaintances after losing Nicolas, and that was very hard for me. And still is.

However i also have to say to you, Cathy and to cstevens 'the evil friend' that all this is hard, and supremely unfair, and that misunderstandings do happen. And in fact after your child dies you are just *so* fragile that many 'normal' things do become offensive, do become hurtful. That does not make the people involved 'bitchy' or 'evil'. But it *is* very hard on a friendship and takes forgiveness on both sides, if friendships are to weather it. And some friendships simply won't. JMHO.

MB said...

You know what...your blog, you say what you want. If someone takes issue, then they should quit reading. You should not have to be anything but honest here. Until they've walked in your shoes they have no idea what you're feeling. Well meaning friends say that they will try to understand and will be there with you while you mourn, but at the end of they day, they go home and sleep in their beds, with their children and know that their families are whole. Ours are not and only we know what that feels like.

Rachel is candid and right. IT BLOWS!

You have been my hero more than one for writing here what I always feel but cannot find words to express. Do not take away from yourself the outlet you have for dealing with those emotions.

Friends of Catherine who CHOOSE to read, but don't like what you see; go read one of the frilly happy blogs.

cat said...

Bravo... Your Voice, Your Blog.

The people who try to dictate how you process and heal are usually more concerned about how they feel regarding your loss. Asking you to not express yourself and judging you for doing so is more about their insecurity and inability to deal with it than anything else.

Keep talking, never compromise.

Sherri M said...

Cathy,
You and I fell out of touch for quite a while, then reconnected, then understandably drifted off into our own lives again, and when we did recently get back in touch (admittedly through my being one of those ignoramuses who unwittingly sent a "lucky me" christmas card - at least something good came out of it!!)it was and has been your raw honesty in this blog that you were kind enough to share with me that has really given me a glimpse into the unimagineable experience you have lived and breathed since you lost Alex. I don't think you can ever know how deeply your words have touched me and undoubtedly others. This is a real picture of what grief is - it isn't pretty and it doesn't care about feelings and it has rough ragged edges - it sucks and there is no way around it. Whatever you do, do not ever let other people's opinion or tender feelings get in the way of your candor and honest self expression. It's ludicrous that anyone would hold your grief to their own imagined personal standards. They don't deserve access into your personal feelings and thoughts if they are going to use them against you or make them all about themselves.

Dana said...

I love you sis. I'm sorry. You don't need to worry about ever offending me. I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here as long as you need and/or want me to be.

Big hugs and lots of love heading your way!

deadbabymama said...

Catherine - ARGH. I hear you.

ctstevens - of course Catherine isn't representing things how you'd like her to, she sees them from her own perspective, just as you see things from yours. I don't think it is too much to ask to just listen to her at this point in her life, listen and NOT JUDGE. I know this is difficult, I'm a big bossy judger myself but sometimes it really isn't the right thing to do. The right thing to do is to let Catherine do what she needs to and for you to just support whatever that is unless she is harming herself or others. What you've posted above is all about you saving face, not about helping Catherine. Swallow your pride, get rid of your ego and just be with this, be with Catherine, and if you can't do that then say so and keep your distance. Sorry if this sounds harsh but that's what I see and how I feel.