Sunday, December 22, 2013
the next step
I've been in a fog these last few days. I'm somewhere between 'this may be the thing that breaks me' and 'God will use this in our lives and everything will be okay.' I find myself leaning toward the second option more than the first, which makes me feel better about my mental health.
I keep coming back to the idea that Ainsleigh's diagnosis is a small blot on the landscape of crisis we have traversed as a family, but then the thought of it consumes me over and over like a constantly cresting wave and I lose that idea of smallness. I think I just have to accept that I need to drown in the hugeness of it for a while. Once again I find myself rearranging images in my mind because the sweet little life I imagined for my child can't be everything I hoped it would be. And I know good can spill forth from loss and unexpectedness because I have lived and walked that road, but right now I can't see the good; I'm still lost in the forest of what ifs and whys.
The time of year makes everything a little more difficult. This season of joy and a weary world rejoicing is a cornerstone of my faith, but I haven't been able to find peace or rest within its borders since Charlotte died. I put my head down, place one foot in front of the other, and wait for the easing that comes with January and the new year. But that has landmines of its own as it marks the beginning of another year without Charlotte.
Last night I told J I'm at capacity. I simply cannot take anything else. The smallest things make me burst into tears. What do you do when you reach that point? I think it would be nice to go to Hawaii like we did last January, but that trip netted me Ainsleigh and I'm not willing to go through that process again .... Also: we can't afford it. Maybe I'll make us a little Hawaii in our house. Fill the bathtub with water, turn up the heat, let Bennett pour sand all over the floors. I think it would end up more toddler heaven, less imaginary Hawaii, but that might be fun for a minute or two.
I'm not sure I should share this post because I have this thought in the back of my mind that I'm handling this all wrong. Like I should be able to pull myself together, Like every other parent going through something similar waltzes gracefully with the notion of a changed life while I wrestle the beast of change and try to throw it out of our lives.
I've spent a large portion of my life feeling like everyone else has life and self sorted while I stumble around in the dark and fall to pieces. I've been trying to let go of that notion the past few years, because I know it's not true, we all fall apart for varying reasons, but when things like this come up the doubts creep in. I know how to mother a dead baby, I know how to mother Bennett, but this, this is different and three days in I'm already worried I'm doing it all wrong. There was a time in my life when I had self-confidence, but when Charlotte died a great wind rushed through me and when it finally left - though there are still traces left - a lot went with it.
I know this post has traces of my last one, but I'm processing via obsession and I have to leave some of it here so I don't drive J up the wall. He is able to focus on the now and be quite calm about things while I worry endlessly and try to think up every possible scenario that might come up as a result of this diagnosis. I will feel a lot better when we have a few appointments behind us and the beginnings of a plan in place. I always do better with a plan.
Christmas is three days away. I was going to put together a cute video of the kids and post it here, but I might not get to it. I thought it would be sweet for you all to see Ainsleigh in her Christmas dress, but the stupid thing has not arrived, and might not arrive, and right now I just don't have the energy for something like that. I may pull it off tomorrow or the next day, but if I don't Merry Christmas from our family to yours.