It’s Saturday morning, I’m lying in bed with my kitty and a warm, delicious cup of rooibos tea and the sun is streaming in. It’s nice. I’m trying to be mindful, but it gets hard. I’m reflecting on the last four months.
I have been struggling to find my voice these last few weeks. So many emotions are swimming around my head and I am struggling to harness them in any kind of logical format. Afraid to confront the sadness. And really, I am embarrassed. Embarrassed that after four months I am still not doing very well. And I’m frustrated at my own embarrassment.
It’s been four months since we learned that our sweet pea’s heart stopped beating. Four months of spontaneous rage and overwhelming sadness. I’ve realised that it was the beginning of the unstoppable outflow of emotions that I had pent up since our very first loss. We suppressed the trauma of loss after loss by trying again, without really addressing what had happened or how we felt about it. It was a quick fix, one that backfired. Snowballed. And when it all came crashing down on us after five consecutive losses, there was no stopping the wreckage.
In the last four months latent feelings of loss, fear, desertion, anger, dread, and anxiety have been dredged up. Once the tap was switched on, there has been no turning it off. I suppose that’s a good thing. But now I am worried it will never stop. A continuous outflow of emotion.
And how do I feel now. Who am I now. I don’t really know anymore. If I’m honest, I’m shocked at my own overwhelming disappointment in myself for not being able to really pull it together. Sure, I am going through the motions. I wake up each day and put one foot in front of the other, but I’m not really here. I’m not really getting over this. I don’t know how. I have the resources, I am in therapy, I practice mindfulness and meditation and yoga and other healing things but fundamentally I don’t know what I am doing. And I’m being so hard on myself for it. It’s a viscious cycle of self-loathing and self-doubt.
If these words came from one of you, I would be the first to assure you that you are doing everything you can, taking it one day at a time, and that it’s OK not to be OK. I see the overwhelming hardships each of you are enduring day after day and the humour and strength and dedication you harness to get you through each day. It’s inspiring. But when it comes to my own ability to cope, I am unforgiving. I can’t take my own advice. This is something I need to change.
I continue to perpetuate my self-imposed exile. I have cut all ties with friends who are pregnant or recently given birth. I’m angry at myself for not having it in me to deal with them. But I don’t. Simple as that. Just get over it, I tell myself. This is life and I can’t change it. But I am trying so hard to avoid it. If I can stay in my own little bubble then I won’t be harmed. And it kind of works. It feels safe. But is this really self-protection or is it self-sabotage?
With just over a week to go before I start my new job, I feel the weight of being around the sweet pea thief slowly lifting. But I’m dreading the need to be professional again. I fear that I will be found out as the fragile, traumatised shell of a person that I feel right now. Worried that I won’t be able to pull myself together to perform. That I won’t have any opportunity to hide. I worry that the strength needed to get me through each day will deplete the resources I am trying to nurture to improve my wellbeing. Has my chronic inherent need to push myself too hard gone too far this time? Am I really up for this?
And why do I continue to shun other friends, family and generally everyone except those of you out there in the blogosphere? There are maybe two or three people besides DH and you lot that I can really be honest with. And I feel it’s that honesty that I need to nurture right now. The thought of being fake turns my stomach. The thought of trying to be someone I’m not, someone content, patient, at ease, fills me with horror and sadness. I think it’s that honesty that I need to enable my healing. Without it, without recognising what I am going through, what is the point? When I think about it that way, I get it. I can accept that. I will allow myself that.
Why can’t I be honest with everyone? Because it doesn’t work. Because I’ve tried it and it backfired. Because they don’t know how to deal with me when I am in pain. Because they don’t know how to cope with the information, how to be supportive, how to listen. And their lack of understanding directly affects me, not them. It’s me who will bear the brunt of their careless comments and flippant remarks. If I can barely manage the energy to get me through each day, how can I find the energy to manage them? I have cut the ties because it feels right. For now anyway. Pretty black and white huh? Apparently I’m living life through extremes at the moment. Such is the way of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss.
Like so many of you, the loss I have suffered is so much more than five sweet peas. It’s the loss of friendships, of previously meaningful relationships, self-confidence, zest for life, security, contentment, energy.
I guess that’s why I have pared everything back to the core. Removed all external triggers. Starting from scratch. I have done this automatically. Like an animal hiding to lick it’s wounds, I am taking time out. How long it will take I don’t know. But as I write this I can accept that. I can accept my frustration at myself, and allow it to happen, but deep down I know why I am doing this. It’s how I’m coping. And no matter how much it feels like I’m not coping, I am.