Saturday, July 6, 2013
I have written a lot about my miscarriage. I even wrote about each little anniversary associated with it - dates that hold painful memories and prick my heart when my eyes pass them on a calendar. When Spring comes, it brings all of it's wonderful new scents and sounds. The smell of new buds on a tree, hyacinths blooming in my garden and grass poking up through the dirt accompany the sounds of birds flirting with one another and horny foxes calling out to their lovers (a sound which mimics a woman being stabbed, fyi). The sun feels just a little warmer on my skin and stays out later in the evening, giving us all more time to play outside. Spring brings resurrection in many forms as the Earth wakes up and new life is created. Easter reminds us of the Resurrection of Christ and the triumph over death. Ostara celebrates the awakening of the Goddess, some celebrations focusing on the Rise of Persephone from the dark underworld and the awakening of the Earth as her mother, Demeter, celebrates the return of her daughter. New life is the hallmark of Spring. I feel it each year - it's a marvelous energy that revitalizes me and slaps me out of my Winter laziness. However, for three years all of the sounds, sights, smells, and celebrations in Spring have reminded me of death as well. My baby, River died on March 15, 2010. I chose to wait until my body naturally miscarried her, which happened on April 18th, 2010.
When I see my pink hyacinths poking up from the ground and I smell their sweet scent, I am reminded of her. When I smudge my house on Ostara, cleansing each corner with smoke from my sage and lavender bundles, I am reminded of her. When I hear the constant chattering of robins having just returned from their Winter vacations, I am reminded of her. Holy Week, a big deal in my Catholic religion, brings memories of my heartache, my physical pain, my failure and all the blood that came with it. Holy Thursday, the observance of the Last Supper, is when the midwife called and told me she was gone per the ultrasound. I took my son to a farm that day - for a hayride to the Easter bunny's house, trying my best to play normal...as if there wasn't a dead baby riding along in my womb. Good Friday, the solemn observance of Christ's death. I took my son to a bouncy playland, where I bounced in an inflatable cube with him and felt a jolt to my heart as one second my mind told me to be careful with all of the bouncing because I was pregnant and the next second my mind remembered it didn't matter anymore. I wasn't risking anything other than the tears that wouldn't stop falling as my son yelled, "look at how high I can jump, mama!" I was numb to the idea of going to Mass. I didn't want to listen to the audience participation (like Rocky Horror, only it's the Crucifixion) of the Scriptural recount of Christ's torture and death. I numbly painted eggs with my son, not giving a shit at that point if the dyes were natural or from a chemical tab made by PAAS. On Easter, a Mass celebrating the Resurrection was the last thing I wanted to do, but I went. I bitterly listened to the happy hymns and the proclamations that death was overcome and asked God, "why wasn't her death overcome? Why am I sitting in a pew celebrating life, when my womb carries death? Where were you?" Each year since, the familiar spiritual rhythms have reminded me of her.
I didn't handle the first anniversary of her death well in 2011. I tried to be strong. I was pregnant at the time and I didn't want to get swallowed in that grief and transfer that negative energy to my baby. I was afraid that my sadness would hurt her. Still, I wept and I got angry. Anger has been my go-to emotion with my miscarriage. Because it fucking pisses me off that my baby died. I made it through that first anniversary with plenty of tears and sad Facebook posts. I thought the next year would be easier. Time heals, they say.
March-April 2012 - anniversary number two. I went into it with good intentions. My grief wasn't going to hold me down, no sir. In the midst of all of those dates, I found out that some stupid chick, who was very mad at me for not taking her side in an argument she had with another girl (they have a major junior high mentality), had a private little Facebook group where she created a thread about how much I suck. She talked about how ugly I am, how stupid I am and insulted me about everything she could think of. She called me a bad mother, a bad vet tech and a bad wife. She didn't call me a bad friend, though, which I thought was funny. Any other time, I would be able to let something like that roll right off my back, especially since most of the comments back to her were telling her what an asshole she was for posting that crap. Sadly, I was too fragile to be strong. I didn't tell anyone else about it - only a few other people who were part of that group knew and I pretended to laugh it off and move on. It ate at me, though. None of it was true and I knew she was acting out of her own misplaced anger, but I was raw and open because I was thinking of River and I allowed myself to feel more pain than necessary. I thought, "really? Is this going to really happen at this time of year? Any other time of year would be find for finding out that people are assholes behind my back, but I can't take it at this time." This led to a cascade of events. First, I just fucking cried my heart out. I couldn't take it. I wanted to be in a protective bubble where I couldn't see bad things or feel pain. Second, I took it out on my husband. I yelled at him, screamed because he wasn't mad enough or sad enough for me. I bitched him out for everything that could possibly annoy me about him. Third, I did the most obvious thing in this day and age and I took to Facebook with my anger. I posted random status updates about being so done, so empty and so sad. I posted angry things, too. People were obviously concerned because I obviously went a little crazy. I took it further. I read some snark on some friend's page, assumed she meant me (due to my postings) and left a not-so-bitchy-but-slightly-maybe-bitchy comment or three on her page. Then I texted her a heartfelt, "fuck you." These few little things erupted into a shitstorm among me a couple of "very close" friends over the following few days. I 100% fully admit that I had been out of line, but I no longer regret it. It turns out, that my outburst led these very close friends to come down on me hard. Emails were exchanged with vile hatred. Friends I thought loved me were able to very quickly tell me how much I supposedly suck. I was initially devastated. I was mad at myself for saying hurtful things. I tried to explain myself. I made phone calls in hysterics, begging for a chance to explain what was going on and why I was acting this way (they knew it was a bad time of year for me as they had always supported me through it), but I was met with more resistance and hateful words. I deserved some of them, sure, I guess. I couldn't handle the thought of another loss. I was beside myself with sadness and then *poof* it went away as quickly as it came. An angel in eyeliner and messy lipstick came my way because a little quote popped up on Pinterest - it was a picture of the beautiful Marilyn Manson and his words, "If you want to find out who your real friends are, sink the ship. The first ones to jump aren't your friends." That was followed by another random graphic on Facebook (it's amazing how big a part social media can play sometimes) that said, "Fake friends are like shadows - always near you in your brightest moments, but nowhere to be seen at your darkest hour." As if I needed Pinterest and Facebook to show me what I had always known deep, deep down inside but never could admit - they were never true friends. I know true friends. I have them. I am one. I have held some of my friends through shit that would make anyone's head spin. I have been spit at, literally and figuratively, by friends in pain, but I stuck with them despite their misplaced aggression because that is what a real friend does. The negative thoughts, anger, hurt and hatred just left my soul. I wished them peace and moved on mentally. I just didn't care. I reflected on those days a lot in the following months. I had a good talk with my friend, Lauren, who is never afraid to tell me how it is and will freely tell me when I overreact or overthink things.She assured me that, while I was probably a little too angry initially, everything that happened was not my fault and that I learned who was and wasn't a true friend. She reminded me that I am a rather insecure person, but that I own those insecurities and do not allow people to use them against me. This frustrates people. I am strong, I speak up for myself and I do not pretend to be anything other than the real me, pretty or ugly. I hit nerves. Some people can take this. Some cannot. I do not need those who cannot accept me for who I am. I need to hold and value those who stand by me and understand that I'm not always this awesome. As I said, I wished peace and moved on.
This year, I was a bundle of nerves as the anniversaries came closer. I was worried about how I would act. I mean, last year I said I would be cool and then I went nuts. I couldn't make any promises to myself or other people this year. I was feeling okay, but well aware that I could blow at any moment. I was stuck on the edge of that little knife of pain, waiting for the wrong move to knock me down and slice me up. It never came. I cried and I grieved. I remembered. The rage didn't appear. I climbed off the edge of that knife, saw myself reflected in it and acknowledged all my feelings. There was no fallout this year. No alienation of friends. No screaming at the husband or the children for no reason. No desire to hurt other people in order to make my pain more palpable to the rest of the world. I remembered River, planted things for her, talked to her, talked about her, prayed for her. I did it all in peace and calm. Where it came from, I'll never know. This year was entirely different - more peaceful, more accepting. At first, I was worried that maybe I didn't care enough. Why wasn't I sadder? Why wasn't I angry? It's what I'm used to. I'm used to be loud with all of my emotions, so where was it this year. I wasn't inviting the blind evil rage back, but I did wonder why I didn't feel everything so hard this year. Did I love her less? Did I miss her less? I'm I "over it?" The answer is NO to all of those questions. I love her more and miss her everyday. She's literally tattooed on my body and she'll always be a part of me and my family. This year, somehow, my soul was able to allow some peace. I was allowed to simply remember and honor her without the blackness of my usual negative emotions. So, I stopped asking myself "Why" and just let it be.
Who knows if this is how it will be in the years to come. Perhaps I will have very hard years followed by easy ones followed by years that fall in between. Maybe I'll always have peace on those anniversaries. Maybe I am like Persephone, rising out of my own personal hell, greeted by the Sun and letting myself see the new life and resurrections around me. Unlike Persephone, I hope I am not taken back.
***Note: This was written in May of 2013 and sat unpublished for two months for no reason other than my own laziness.***