"You get what you pay for, but I just had no intention of living this way." -Counting Crows

Why We're Here...

My husband David and I delivered a stillborn Baby Boy that we loved, and wanted. Our first and only son, Logan, had Down Syndrome. Our daughter's smile is a little light in the darkness. She turned one year old three days after our sweet Logan tip-toed away on January 24, 2009. After 2 1/2 years we found out we were having another baby, whom we affectionatly called Rudy. Just shy of 6 weeks we found out Rudy was Ectopic. Rudy was surgically removed on May 26, 2011 delivering another blow to our already broken hearts.

Guilt, Weakness and Questions

It seems odd that silly things should bother me with such intensity. Little tiffs with my husband seem like the end of the world. Stupid comments by friends and family seem like maliciousness intended to put me in tears. Noisy neighbors, achy feet, lack of weight loss...they all want to send me into a spiral of despair. I guess it's good that I recognise it for what it is. Another facet of grief. But I hate it.

I hate that my husband and I can't even disagree anymore without me feeling like its a personal assault. Or that when my generally gentle husband does loose his temper with me, it feels like my world is falling apart. It's all I can do to keep from crumbling into a heap of tears and begging him to love me, not to think I'm a jerk...not to leave me?? Seriously? Have I become so insecure that I think my husband will leave me because I rented a movie different from the one he requested? Yea. That's what I've come to be. Insane, irrational, vulnerable, scared... Logically I know this is ridiculous. But even an off handed look from him makes my heart stop. Makes me feel full of panic and dread. I guess it's that I know that with him beside me, propping me up, making sure I don't plummet into the inviting depths of the blackness I feel like maybe, just maybe I can survive this horror. But if he steps back, looks away, turns his back...who will hold me up? How will I survive? I can't do this by myself. I can't shoulder this horror and not have one person who totally gets it. I need him more now than I ever have in my life. Not just want, but need. It makes me feel weird. It makes me feel weak and insecure and silly.

I think I found a home for my dog. I should be happy right? The family seems prepared for her breed, and loving, and willing...and all I feel is panic. What if Kaida is scared and miserable? What if she feels abandoned? When I brought her home as a pup, wasn't it my job to protect her, to love her, to keep her safe? Yet here I am, ready to discard her because I can't deal with her anymore. I want her to be happy. I want her to feel safe and loved, and I can't offer her that anymore. I harbor so much resentment towards her now days. I don't know where it comes from. But I take so much of my grief out on her, and it's so unfair. But I have so much guilt and anxiety in letting her go. What if they're mean to her? What if they put on a good front for me, but are really cruel? What if the other dogs don't like her and bully her? Why is it that I sound so motherly to a dog that I don't want anymore? Why is it that I am overcome with such sadness about her absence? Will my daughter notice she's gone? Will I scar hem both for life? Why do I keep hearing Logan's name whispered in the background of all of these thoughts? Will giving my dog away make my husband more sad than he is? Will he resent me past the point of repair? Will it ruin me? Will this event be the final straw in our lives, the one that pushes us over the edge?

Why is it that I feel so weak and frail now? Shouldn't this tragedy have given me strength? I survived one of the most horrifying things that can happen to a person, I should be stronger now. But maybe I didn't really survive it. Just because it didn't kill me physically, does that mean I survived? Did I survive if it left me an empty shell, scared of my own shadow? And I'm tired of the irritation. My irritation level is through the roof. Everything irritates me. Infuriates me really. Playing cards, walking the dog, the blasted cricket outside of my kitchen window that won't shut up, making breakfast, taking a shower... All of these mundane things irritate the crap out of me. There is so little that I find enjoyment in anymore. I've always been an irritable person, but this is nuts. I have to fight the desire to just sit and stare out the window. I have to make myself eat, sleep, shower, smile, talk...when all I want to do is sit and stare. I don't want to die, but I have such little desire to live my life. I force myself to try to be the "normal old me". Who am I now? Who will my daughter know me to be? Has Logan's death ruined me for her?

I haven't managed to loose any weight. I'm beside myself about it. I work my butt off, and the scale doesn't budge. I've heard it all, it's muscle, it's hormones, it's blah... whatever. I don't care what it is, I want the number to drop. I don't care if I LOOK like I lost weight (as I keep hearing) I want to see a smaller number on the scale. I've become obsessed with it. I've heard it's harder to loose weight after kids, after you hit 30... But now it's just ridiculous. For 7 of the last 10 days (just as an example) I've eaten 1200-1500 cals and worked out burning on average 300 cals a day. I've gained 2 1/2lbs. No, it's not water. No, it's not "that time". No, it's not muscle. No, my scale isn't broken (though it may be shortly). It's the universe laughing at me. Maybe it's God's way of helping me break the yo-yo diet cycle and become determined enough to just be a person who exercises and eats right like it's normal, and not a diet. Whatever the case may be, it's making me very angry and frustrates the crap out of me and leaves me feeling like no matter what, I can't catch a freakin' break anymore.

In light of my son's death, it seems a silly thing.

But, it's just one more thing on my stinking platter of crap! And I'm tired. I'm so tired of feeling like I did something wrong, that I screwed up. I'm so tired of feeling like it's my fault, that I failed...again, and again and again. I'm tired of feeling. I'm tired of emotion. I'm tired of it not going my way. I'm tired of feeling like I have no control over myself, or my life, or my body or anything. I'm tired.

I'm really freakin' tired.


Ter said...

((Hugs)) I have to say that I've gone through alot of the similar things and even the part about the dog, I have worried I am not a good enough mom to my dog and begged people to help me find a new home for her but I'm glad I haven't actually done that yet, she is really a big part of keeping me going every day. (Though to an outsider it might not appear that I'm going much. but to me it is. I know that some days I would just not even get out of bed but she needs to potty, so I let her out.) I hope you won't make any rash decisions, you're too early in your grief. Yes, I know it feels like an eternity but it hasn't been that long since you lost your son. If you need to temporarily find someone to take care of your dog that's ok but I hope you don't permanently get rid of her, at least not yet.

As for arguments and such, yes, I think you are a changed woman and you'll never ever fully trust that the people you love won't leave you, one way or the other. I understand that fear and I feared it intensely, and don't take what happened to me be a mark of normal, it's not.

I think the most important thing right now is to just breathe... don't make any rush decisions, just let the chips fall where they may, and I realize this is all easier said than done, but whether you believe it or not you have it in you. If nothing else, you are not alone, and I hope you know you can email me anytime you need someone to talk to.

Anonymous said...

Its overwhelming, isn't it? And so unfair. I'm sorry you have this all to deal with....sending you love.

Mrs. Spit said...

I think one of the things that is so hard about grief is that it has upset your entire world. Things that were impossible a few months ago now seem likely. I worried for a long time that Mr. Spit would die - after all, Gabriel had.

Equilibrium does return. It's different, but it does come back. Hang in there.

Mia hat eins mehr! said...

I first tried to get back to my old life, and it took some time to realize that this will never ever be possible again. You are changed, and you have to say another good-bye, to your old life. It´s very hard, and it`s a constant struggle. There is nothing that seems secure, you have the feeling to fall, and fall, and fall....but looking back at the last year, I promise- there is ground, and it is getting better. It takes time, it takes nearly all of you (so felt I) but there will be ground. Just let yourself go, don`t think about what others might think. You are free for all emotions, because of what you had to go through.

Sending you love and strenght,

Emily said...

Heather, I totally get it. The group of girls I hang with have a standing McD's date Wednesday nights. I went last night, for the second time since Leila dies, and I just feel like a square peg. We're different now. Do we try to force ourselves to conform to the old standards? I don't know, either.

And I get like that with hubby, and my son, too. Hypersensitive. When Yasar is stressed and snaps, it sets off some completely new reactions in me. I did ask him, a week ago or so, if he was upset that I'd gotten so clingy. His response was that I'm not clingy enough - it's what he needs now, too. Level with your husband, he's probably going through something similar.

When I got home from the hospital, the very first thing I did was start the antidepressants I discontinued when I found out we were pregnant. They've been an absolute lifesaver. Just throwing that out there.

Love you, sweetie, and praying for you all the time.

Anonymous said...

we lost oliver almost 6 months ago, he was stillborn at 18 weeks gestation. i had this very conversation with a friend earlier this week - i just want to live. recently standing near a wishing well i was a total loss as to what to wish for - beside the obvious that oliver was with us. i had no idea. when asked what i would like to do, where to go for dinner, or when faced with a choice about how to use my down time i am at a loss - i just don't know or don't care to know. content to just sit and be. at least when i don't fight the need to sit i don't necessarily always get caught up in my head with all the questions. know that you aren't alone and that we benefit from you taking the time to share your thoughts, feelings ups and downs. valerie

"numb_was_better" said...

All of these thoughts that you are having can feel disturbing but I would be more worried about you if you weren't having them. That would mean yoe were crazy. To not be angry, irritable, sad and a little manic would be totally nuts. If that's not true then I'm in a lot of trouble.

Carla said...

Your words are so real and honest. They are the very same things that I felt 9 years ago when I lost my son. When I read your words I remember those feelings SO vividly...thankfully I don't feel them anymore but I remember them. That anxiety, that fear of plummeting into the inviting blackness. Every little thing in life being completely overwhelming. I was a mess..and insane, depressed, anxious greiving mess. We didn't have blogs then so I thought I was the only one to ever go through that. Just know that what you are feeling is horrible, awful, terribly...but its normal...in a horrible sort of way.

You are a changed woman. You will smile again, you will feel joy again...in time. In the mean time take one breath at a time, one day at a time and allow yourself these feelings. They are not wrong. There is no way around them...no shortcut.

As far as you should be strong after going through that. You still are going through it. You can't expect to be stronger from it yet...changed yes. Right now you are merely trying to survive. The strong will come later...maybe years later.

In this vast desert of grief try to find a small oasis now and then...a moment of comfort...a glimpse of beauty...a sliver of hope. Enough to get you through to the next oasis. The desert is long and hard but nourish yourself along the way as best you can.

amorecappa said...

Heather, it would be very difficult for you to lose weight at this time in your grief and sadness. When we are stressed and anxious, we shoot loads of cortisol into our system which will retain your belly fat, and other fat, no matter what you do. I can't speak much for ways to reduce grief, stress, anxiety, and sadness. I go to therapy, am on all sorts of meds, and still struggle daily, hourly, and I lost Ian in 2005. I'm writing all this to say, maybe doing a diet program right now is not the best thing. Start with the mental healing and the physical will come along. Don't put even more expectations on yourself as far as how you should be looking and feeling at this point. I'm thinking of you often and loving your sweet Logan.

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