Here comes one of those excessively whiney posts I hate to write...but I have to get it out somewhere or my head may explode (though, I'm in a much better place this morning after a good ambien-induced dreamless sleep than I was yesterday). I guess it's my own fault for having forgotten that "normal" days are no longer possible. I'd forgotten that this grief monster has the ability to ruin even a simple trip to buy shoes and I have to readjust my thinking to a "new normal."
My goals were small...shoe shopping to buy baseball shoes for Sam...pick up sushi at the grocery store...come home and eat the sushi with my mom (who was supplying wine)...ambien for dessert. I had sucked up my pride the night before and emailed Dr. A. to call in a prescription for me. Right there, I should have known things weren't destined to go well...but I had high hopes.
It started when we swung through the pharmacy drive-thru and were informed that the insurance was "down." We could check back later, but there were no guarantees. This, I think, resulted in the first chink in my armor for the day. No worries...stay positive...I would just compensate with extra wine if necessary. Not what I had planned, but I would make the best of it.
We had a "nice" lunch at McDonalds (because, really, how "nice" can a McDonalds lunch be?). We drove to Erie, PA for our shopping. First stop, Dick's Sporting Goods. We decided to play man-to-man defense...Steve took Myles and I took Sam. Sam and I had about ten minutes of peaceful shoe shopping before a little two-year-old bundle of energy came round the corner and we heard an exasperated Steve say, "Look, there's Mommy and Sam." Peaceful shoe shopping was done. I asked Steve to try to restrain the munchkin and was told, in no uncertain terms, that he had it under control and I should mind my own damn business. Myles then started opening boxes and shredding tissue paper, eliciting a smart ass comment from me that probably wouldn't have lit any fuse on any other "normal" day. Screaming ensued. Myles was removed from the store and screamed it out in the van. No shoes were bought. And I felt a definite second chink in my armor. But the plan was to continue on to DSW to see if they had any shoes (as well as shoes for Steve...who has been walking around with holes in his shoes for months now). Not what I had planned, but I would make the best of it.
But then we got to DSW and it all ran completely off the rails. Myles completely lost his mind. He wouldn't walk across the parking lot while holding hands...and screamed, cried, and threw himself on the ground when either Steve or I tried to carry him. Remember, we were there for Steve and Sam. Of course I COULD buy shoes, but I didn't need to. So logic dictates I would be the one in charge of the screaming banshee. Just inside the door, I told Steve to go find shoes and I would handle it. For some inexplicable reason, he refused. He said he would take care of Myles...that he couldn't shop with "all this going on." Chink. I told him, in not-so-nice terms that we were there for HIM and that he needed to go find some shoes. He and Sam walked away...Myles threw himself on the ground.
At this point, I actually contemplated leaving him there. My boobs are full and sore, my back hurts, and I still feel crampy...so I don't particularly relish the idea of picking up a punching and kicking ball of anger. But, resigning myself to my standard method of parenting regardless of physical pain, I picked him up and started browsing the sandals. I will NOT allow my children to dictate where and when I go. He could scream and kick, but he was NOT going to ruin the trip. He was SO mad...and SO loud. I could feel the eyes on me, but I wasn't embarassed. This is parenting a two-year-old sometimes. It ain't pretty, but it beats letting him win and reinforce the idea that he can pitch a fit to get what he wants. At least, that's MY philosophy.
I turned around and there was Steve, who grabbed Myles from me and proceeded toward the door. He said something about me browsing the sandals...and I said, "But I don't even want to be here, YOU need shoes...if you don't go buy some fucking shoes, I'm going to punch you in your damned face."
No more making the best of it. No more pretending today could even possibly BE a normal day. I told Steve to take me home. I called my mom and told her there would be no sushi and I would really appreciate it if she didn't visit (even with wine, I didn't think it could possibly go well).
At some point, Steve decided then would be a good time to call the funeral home director and arrange to swing by to pick up the dead baby's ashes...right then...and my armor completely fell apart. We drove home with the silence punctuated by my sobs.
Thankfully, the pharmacy had corrected their insurance issue and my ambien prescription was ready.
We got home and I went to bed and sobbed the kind of sob I generally don't allow myself when the kids are around. But I didn't take the ambien.
And then something hit me. I don't have to. I don't have to be this pathetic. I don't have to wait for my husband or my children to understand. I don't have to wait for anyone to participate in a normal day...I can just make it happen for myself...at least some things are still under my control.
So I ran away. I put my coat and shoes on, grabbed my purse, and ran away.
I spent the next four hours wandering. Some places I went with purpose. Some places I just sort of landed. But I went without stress, without worry, and without that damned deadbaby stamp on my forehead. I could wander the baby aisles and just feel sad without someone asking me if I was OK every three seconds. Nobody knew three of my babies were dead. Nobody knew my ego was bruised and battered to the point I felt useless (and was certain my husband felt the same). Nobody knew that I was desperate to find ME somewhere again.
So I did my CVS deal for toilet paper, paper towels, and kleenex...drove to the nearest shopping town with the radio too loud (discovered the volume goes up to #38)...went to Burlington Coat Factory and wandered the baby aisle and imagined another life...almost bought a blouse and a purse (but the line was too long and I was too impatient)...went to Michaels and bought some deep dark blue yarn to make myself a comfort shawl...went to Barnes & Noble and laughed at the guided journals to life happiness...went to Walmart and browsed the baby section...bought the Black Eyed Peas CD...played it too loud as I drove to my parent's house to pick up a stained glass piece mom made for Monday night's APL fundraiser (she graciously gave me her bottle of wine)...went to Taco Bell and got something disgusting to eat...went home...took an ambien and fell asleep.
Everyone I know keeps saying, "You will make it through this...because you have to." But you know what? I don't have to. And that is what's so scary. It would be so easy. And at this point, where normal isn't possible, easy is looking pretty fucking good.