Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Somewhere Around the Rainbow
Not a fake friend. Not even a fake person. I mean, I usually tell it like it is. But, I faked so much when I was recovering - mentally, spiritually and physically - from my miscarriage.
I've written a bit on it and how it made me feel. I had a lot to process. I was so depressed. So angry. I was writing to let it out. And then, I stopped. Not because I was healed. Not because anyone told me to stop. I just wanted the thoughts to stop. I was turning into a different person, someone I didn't ever want to be.
You could say that I have rage issues. As a child, I was bullied and tormented in school. No, really tormented. Things happened that would shape my psyche forever. As a result of what I went through, I lost my ability to trust other people. I became insecure and unable to have confidence in anything about myself. I felt rage. I was never able to feel like I got any justice for what was done to me in school. I wanted so badly to hurt the people who hurt me, but I kept it in. I didn't want to worry my parents and I didn't want my friends to know the truth about what I was going through. My rage has always been on the back burner, just waiting. If you watch Dexter, he talks about his "dark passenger." That's rage for me ... a dark passenger, riding along in my cerebral depths, waiting for just the right time to stop the car, get out and make a grand entrance. I was able to suppress it for years. I acknowledged it, knew it was there and told myself it would always stay buried. In my heart of hearts, I'm a pacifist. I don't believe in wishing harm. I believe our thoughts eventually lead to reality and I didn't want to open that box. Until my miscarriage. Every restraint I had placed upon my rage just snapped. Broken. Unleashed. It was here and it wasn't leaving.
Losing a child - there are no words to describe the pain. No one can understand what you are going through. Our society has made it a stigma, keeping grieving parents quietly tucked away in a corner lest our grief cause anyone to become uncomfortable. I have a wonderful family and wonderful friends who were my rock during that time. They read my woeful status updates, they talked to me, they acknowledged me. My friend Lauren heard the brunt of it. She took frantic phone calls from my husband, who was worried I was going to harm myself. She listened to me ramble psychotically. She stayed on that rocking boat with me in my sea of fear and wild emotions, dropping her anchor and steadying me when I needed it. Who knows where I'd be without my hubby, my little boy, Lauren and my other friends and family. It wouldn't be a good place.
I had never felt anger like that before. As I've written before, anything would set me off. Work was especially hard on me. Things were said that really hurt me, even if it wasn't meant to be that way. I felt so caged up, like I was going to crack at any moment. I raged on in status updates, on this blog and on online forums. That was only the tip. No one saw the real me. The once gentle mother who screamed at her little boy every hour of every day. The mother who believed so much in gentle discipline spanking her little boy. The mother who believed too much TV was bad for her child's brain letting that little boy watch TV for 4 or 5 hours straight while she lay catatonic on the couch. The mother who was gung-ho about a natural and organic diet for her family giving in to buying fast food and allowing more junk food in the home. The mother who would go outside and play and hike and run with her little boy just laying on the couch while he watched TV and destroyed the house. The wife who would listen to her husband and support him now cut him down. The wife who used to be loving and playful became verbally abusive and hateful. The wife who wanted to keep a happy and semi-neat home just letting the house go to shit. The woman who loved peace and non-violence punching and denting the car of a stranger. The employee who cared about her job and her co-workers would violently snap at them at random moments. I was nothing. I became so absorbed in my hatred of this world and all the happy things in it. Friends were announcing pregnancies and I wanted to punch them. How dare they have what was taken from me. I was more apt to spew venom at cashiers with attitude or strangers who looked at me the wrong way. My fuse was short and ablaze with all of my sorrowful anger. I wanted people to hurt. I wanted people to feel my pain. I was suffering and I needed the world to suffer, too. I didn't care who or what I hurt. I didn't care if I hurt myself. I need to feel that rage and let it burn.
Is this the part where I tell you that the clouds parted, the sun shone through and the angels sang? Not exactly. There is a little sunlight, but it's a mostly cloudy day and the only angel singing is tone deaf - worse, he only knows one Justin Bieber song. Yes, the rage subsided somewhat, but allowing it to come out has made it harder to stuff back in. Kinda like those old gag "snakes in a can." You'll eventually get that bastard back into the can, but it takes a lot of pushing and shoving and the snake springs back out at you from time to time before you finally stuff it back in. I'm working on it. I became pregnant in November of 2010, 7 months after River died. Pregnancy kept the anxiety flowing. I never had a moment where I relaxed. Loss was always in the back of my mind. I had a few moments where I snapped. I had a health issue here and there and the fear of loss would slap me in the face and I'd flip out. And then I would get anxious about flipping out, worrying that I would hurt my little baby girl. It was a viscous cycle. I didn't relax until the moment she slipped out of my womb and into my arms.
Why am I writing this? I've been reading comments here and there on Facebook. I won't get into specifics, but they involve judging a mother for the angry way she has been dealing with the loss of her baby. I understand that the anger must eventually subside for the sanity and health of the mother and all involved. You don't want to use hate and anger for your baby's legacy. I get that. But, I get the pain. I get the rage. I get needing to lash out at people and make them feel as bad as you. Not everyone grieves that way, but I certainly understand those that do. My heart breaks for mothers who lose their sweet babies. It breaks when I see them judged in their grief. While their emotional outpourings may be hurtful towards others, it's still no excuse to berate them. These mamas need support so they can make through the rage and work on putting their peace puzzle back together. If we feed into their hate - and there are those who do - then we don't do the mama or her sweet baby's memory justice. I know I needed to feel that anger, but I didn't want it to become River's legacy forever.
I'm trying to climb my way out of this fog. The sun is beginning to shine through the rain and I can make out the faint colors of my own symbolic prism. I am ashamed that I lost myself so badly in the last year and a half. I am ashamed that I disrupted my son's happy childhood because I could not adequately deal with my emotions around him. I'm trying to pick up all of those broken little pieces and put them back together again and I can only pray that the damage isn't permanent. I need myself back. I know I'm out there and I'm getting closer to finding me again. I'm waiting for myself.