Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stuck

Tomorrow is the official two month mark and I feel absolutely, completely stuck. I can't go back, but I'm not sure if I can go forward either. I think I need to break out of my routine. The dead baby routine of no work, no Charlotte, lots of sitting at home immobile. But I'm not sure if I am ready to go back to work. I am going in on Thursday to do a few things, but it's all going to be behind the scenes. I'm not sure I can commit to work again. I have plenty of days where I sit on the couch unable to move for the sadness.

I think I am confused that this is my life now. All that is required of me is to get through each day. My husband works, he works hard, and his job pays him well enough that I can sit on this couch day after day. He doesn't require anything from me. A clean house is nice, coming home to dinner is nice, but he doesn't expect me to do anything. He understands that I need some time to absorb what has happened to us. But I feel terrible because he had two weeks and then he was thrown back into the fray. Each day patients ask him if he has a family, if he has kids, and he has to slog through that question again and again and I'm not sure how he does it.

I've been doing my best not to cry lately. There comes a point when a person just cannot cry anymore. It's wearying, tiresome, annoying even. I've put away most of Charlotte's things. Looking at them is hard and usually makes me cry so I am spending some time without them in my face. Of course there are things that will never be put away. The spot above the fireplace will always be hers, I think.


It's not like I want to erase Charlotte, but it's been two months and I have to step back from the intense grieving for a while. I am feeling the need to go forward, to wrench my feet out of this heavy grief that is reminiscent of drying cement. I fear if I stay here too long I will be forever immobile. I will sit on this couch the rest of my life, stare at that little spot above the fireplace, and become so scared of living I simply stop doing so.

I think it's time to make decisions about life and work. I go back and forth on going back to the bookstore. I'm not even sure if there is a place for me there anymore. I was supposed to waltz off into the next stage of my life, but the music has been turned off and I can't expect everything to be in place, waiting for me to crawl back, wounded, upset, barely functioning some days. I haven't felt uncertainty about my future in years. I mentioned feeling like I was back in junior high in a previous post and today I feel like I'm in high school and trying to decide what step to take next. I feel as if I am standing on a cliff above a canyon screaming, "What do I do with my life?!" and in return receiving only a faint echo; my voice returned to me devoid of answers or ideas.

I was supposed to be a mama who stayed at home with her daughter. I wrapped my identity in that notion and now that it has been ripped away from me I feel quite lost. I wanted to give myself some time before we tried again. Mainly so I could heal physically, but also because I am scared of being due in May again. Now I'm wondering if we shouldn't wait. Perhaps the joy of having a new life to hope for will eclipse the worry and pain. Somehow I doubt it. Apparently for me losing my daughter is tantamount to losing myself. I am not enjoying it.

10 comments:

  1. "What do I do with my life?!"

    I keep asking myself the same question over and over again as well. We've planned our future around our babies, we've made crucial decisions to prepare for one of the biggest responsibilities in our lives, and yet here we are with nothing to fall back on in the event of our unforeseen tragedies. And it makes me angry, frustrated and hopeless. It wasn't supposed to be this way. What do we do now? What CAN we do next?

    Tomorrow will be one month since Kai died. I haven't cried as intensely this week as I did during the early weeks he was gone and I wonder if I'm grieving "correctly" at all. I know there's no right or wrong way to grieve but I sometimes fear that it will come to me a hundredfold in a time I least expect it.

    I will be thinking of you and your daughter, Charlotte, as I remember my beloved Kai tomorrow.

    Jennifer

    P.S. Thank you for the kind words and for recommending Glow in The Woods. Its articles, blog posts and discussion forum are helping a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Much love to you Jennifer. The early weeks were hard for me, particularly weeks 3-6. The first two weeks I was in shock and then week 3 - BAM. Goodbye shock, hello full time grieving. I am glad Glow has been a refuge for you. Thinking of you and Kai tomorrow. Feel free to e-mail or find me on facebook if you need anything.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thinking of you and Charlotte as this difficult day approaches!

    Forcing myself to get back into some kind of routine was good for me. Some days I HATE that I have to get up and go to work, but other days it's a good thing for me.

    Making decisions like these are hard. I'm done with decisions...someone else can make them for a little while.

    Thinking of you!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's just so tough. I agree that the death of my daughther was also the death of "me" to somed degree. I'm not who I was before. I've often thought w/ grief that I'm not who I was, and not sure how I am now. But some moments, I can surrender to what is.

    Work was also a hard one for me (I can't imagine any dead-baby momma who it isn't hard for). I found mine (and continue to) to find myself especially challenging as I work w/ pregnant and parenting teens. Bleck! Not personally at the clients, but the being surrounded by pregnancy and moms. I think I'll be quitting soon. I guess I can rest assured in the fact that I gave it a try. And I too am lucky that my husband continues to work, and we can afford me to quit my job w/o having another one lined up.

    If you're ready to go back to work, then you're ready. If you can do it part-time, or somehow ease back into it, that can help. I went back part-time for a month, then on to full-time. I think if I went from sitting on the couch all day to a 40 hour work week, I would have been devastated by that.

    ((Hugs)) to you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am a month and half further down this road than you and I still have moments where I think "is this really my life?". I can't offer advice on the work issue as I can;t figure out what to do either. I'll think of you and Charlotte tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah...What to do with my life? Who the fuck cares at this point? I wanted to be a mommy to Aidan...everything else just pales in comparison.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Going back to work has helped me to have something to focus on, but I am very lucky that we work for ourselves and I've sidled in and out. And I have my girls, I know, which I feel softens the blow a great deal. if anything, I crave a little time alone.

    I suspect a happy medium might be the way forward. Could you ask them if you could do some half days, or even if you could come in and potter about unpaid a bit so you have no obligation to stay. Either you'll find you can do it and being there is a relief or you'll find you can't bear it and you need to do something else.

    One thing is certainly true - the world is divided into people who want to tell you how sorry they are and people who will never mention it. Coming to terms with second guessing which one people will be (and in my case not telling every customer about it!)has been my biggest challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Angela, everything you are saying makes so much sense to me. I find I have days where I'm just making it through the day. But those days become less and less as time goes on. Maybe a month or so ago, I hit a point where I was sick of being so stuck. Where, as you mentioned, I was afraid to remain this shell of a person. That's when I had to make the conscious decision to pick myself up and just TRY to feel better. It's not always easy to stick to, but I feel like I have a goal now, a little more purpose to my life since I have these empty hands that are supposed to be holding my baby. My husband and I have started to try again. Like you said, the hope for a new life might just eclipse the pain. I think when you're ready, you'll know. :) Don't give yourself a time limit on your pain. Just do what you can with each day. :) Hugs to you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's just so tough. I agree that the death of my daughther was also the death of "me" to somed degree. I'm not who I was before. I've often thought w/ grief that I'm not who I was, and not sure how I am now. But some moments, I can surrender to what is.

    Work was also a hard one for me (I can't imagine any dead-baby momma who it isn't hard for). I found mine (and continue to) to find myself especially challenging as I work w/ pregnant and parenting teens. Bleck! Not personally at the clients, but the being surrounded by pregnancy and moms. I think I'll be quitting soon. I guess I can rest assured in the fact that I gave it a try. And I too am lucky that my husband continues to work, and we can afford me to quit my job w/o having another one lined up.

    If you're ready to go back to work, then you're ready. If you can do it part-time, or somehow ease back into it, that can help. I went back part-time for a month, then on to full-time. I think if I went from sitting on the couch all day to a 40 hour work week, I would have been devastated by that.

    ((Hugs)) to you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. "What do I do with my life?!"

    I keep asking myself the same question over and over again as well. We've planned our future around our babies, we've made crucial decisions to prepare for one of the biggest responsibilities in our lives, and yet here we are with nothing to fall back on in the event of our unforeseen tragedies. And it makes me angry, frustrated and hopeless. It wasn't supposed to be this way. What do we do now? What CAN we do next?

    Tomorrow will be one month since Kai died. I haven't cried as intensely this week as I did during the early weeks he was gone and I wonder if I'm grieving "correctly" at all. I know there's no right or wrong way to grieve but I sometimes fear that it will come to me a hundredfold in a time I least expect it.

    I will be thinking of you and your daughter, Charlotte, as I remember my beloved Kai tomorrow.

    Jennifer

    P.S. Thank you for the kind words and for recommending Glow in The Woods. Its articles, blog posts and discussion forum are helping a lot.

    ReplyDelete

thank you!

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