I am spent. I am emotionally overwhelmed. I know many of my posts have been rather intense lately and I am very very aware that I probably sound indulgent/dramatic/attention hogging.
I assure you that I don’t want any attention. Seriously. I want to go to ground, hibernate from the world and wake up when this nightmare of being a babylost mama is over. Except that it is never over. I want my "normal" life back...my life where my most intense emotion is shittiness at Kelvin for not emptying out his pockets before the laundry load. The intensity of the emotions I feel these days are so overwhelming at times that I sometimes wish I was an inanimate object so I can’t feel anything. Then again, I feel so incredibly lucky that I got chosen to experience these emotions, as they can be so rich. Sybella has enriched my life in so many ways. I have changed as a person. Some changes are good...and some are bad.
Lots of people don’t understand these changes. Or they wonder why I am "behaving" this way, when it was a "whole 7 months ago that the baby died. Geez." Or even worse, not the baby..."the foetus."
The thing is, I am weary. Tired. Battle bruised. Grief doesn’t get easier as time goes on for me. It gets heavier. Foggier. Plus I am walking around with the physical burden of another 26 weeks worth of pregnancy right now and all the fear, trepidation and anxiety that goes with that. I think I just want to be understood. But I get that it is hard for an "outsider." I can’t expect it all the time. However, when confronted and challenged, which I have had an alarming number of these types of interactions this week, I feel like screaming "just be nice to me! I am in pain! My baby is dead. Just be nice to me! Please!" I want the special treatment. Not the attention. Just the understanding. I realise though, that in this world, where everyone (myself included) is so wrapped up in their own bubble of problems that it is hard to give anyone else a break. Angela writes at Little Bird about her daughter Charlotte who died just after Sybella. This particular paragraph leapt out at me and Angela has given me permission to reprint it:
Grief is selfish. I am selfish. I want everyone to bend themselves around my life and my grief. I want the apology without asking for it. I want to vent anger without repercussions. I want to speak her name without carving a swath of awkwardness around me. I want to feel less isolated. I want to remain motionless so that she can always find me if she wants to stop by and say hello. I want her to know I am always here, and I will always love her, even if I am the only one who remembers her short life.
The bold, large text was done by me. That is how I feel. I have so much to say at the moment and have a massive problem with things that are unfair or that demonstrate injustice. Lately I have been speaking out, when normally I'd do the polite, correct thing and nod my head "mmm, I see your point. Thanks for that insight." Then I'd go home and try to reconcile a point of view that wasn’t necessarily mine. Because that’s what reasonable people do.
I’m not reasonable anymore. Now I buck up without thinking, and say whatever my thoughts are. Sometimes the consequences of this are disastrous. Sometimes they are liberating. Sometimes it sends me into a panic. I was a mess last night in particular, after being told to “mind my own bloody business” by a person who I don’t even know, in response to me teasing my best friend on Facebook...teasing in a light-hearted, tongue in cheek way that best friends do. My friend knew I was joking. However, this random stranger didn’t. At being berated by her, I fell apart. “Don’t you know I have a dead baby?!” I wanted to shout. “Leave me alone!”
I am not walking around picking fights, I assure you. The problem lies in my new reactions. In the past I kept my head down, acted intelligently, tried to see other perspectives, keep a cool head. I’m so tired of doing that. I am capable of having an intelligent conversation about something that I don’t necessarily agree with, sure. I’m not saying I jump down the throats of people who don’t vote what I vote, who don’t immunise, don’t breastfeed, or whatever else. What I do now, is defend myself when I feel challenged or confronted. I would never stifle anyone’s opinion, belief or value or tell them they are wrong if they don’t prescribe to what I believe. That’s just arrogant. But if I feel unfairly maligned, I will let it be known. It’s just that I’m not always good at it. There is a trite quote from Marilyn Monroe going around at the moment. It seems to be on everyone’s Facebook page. It says:
"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."
Okay. I used to read this as “I give myself permission to behave however I want and I don’t apologise for it. But I’m so awesome that all that crap is worth it when I do decide to behave myself.”
But not anymore.
Now I get it.
If you can bear with me while I work through the death of my baby...if you can give me a free pass at this time in my life...if you can understand that I'm not myself, and may say or do things that you dont like...
...the day will come when I can give it back to you. Ten-fold.