January 21, 2011

I Must Emote...And Tell All About It

Here is something I posted on Facebook yesterday afternoon, Sakhalin time:

So, it really sucks when you're one big failure and your contribution to the world is death. I'm pretty sure no one thought that would be my accomplishment when they voted me "most likely to succeed" in high school, and yet here we are.

Here are a few things I have to say about it:

1. The feelings associated with grief are all over the place. There are these so-called "stages of grief", but even when introduced and explained by the experts all are very sure to tell you that you can experience any of the stages at any time; there is no order nor do they always make sense. The only way I can think of to explain it (right at this moment) is to compare the emotions with the stars in a galaxy. There are millions of them, when you take into account all of the nuances, and they are scattered in a hap-hazard yet logical (because they are all necessary) way. At any moment you could be on any star. And at any moment you could be whisked away to another. Sometimes you are only on one long enough to identify it; sometimes you do not even have enough time for that. You are zapped from one to the next never knowing where you'll end up. Sometimes one looks familiar but isn't. Sometimes you visit one on one end of the galaxy only to be beamed over to one in the middle and then you're suddenly right back where you started at the beginning. You never get any warning as to what you will feel, nor do you have any control over it. Since, obviously, if you could control that, you would.

2. I posted what I felt at the exact time that I was feeling it. It was a snippet. A brief moment in my day, an even smaller moment in the week and I could go on. It is not something that consumes me. I am not on the crazy train, or you'd all be well aware. I wrote my feelings at a particular time. It is the limitations of that method of communication that allow everyone to judge and assume and so forth. It is the judgements and assumptions that make me think perhaps I should not post what I feel as it can so easily be misinterpreted.

3. To not declare my feelings would be worse. Oh, sure, I could spend all day every day acting like and pretending like all is well with me. I could put on a happy face and only write uplifting messages that ignore what has happened and is happening in my life. This would be completely unhealthy and I would be lying. I don't think people talk about what has happened to me enough. It is much more common than you think and it happens to anyone and everyone. Additionally, I think it takes a lot of courage to admit it when you aren't feeling great. I think it takes even more to admit that you feel something as silly as like you are a failure. Those feeling are real and true and if I cannot admit them, then I cannot deal with them.

4. What I feel is normal. It does not make me depressed or crazy or selfish or anything else. I am allowed to have my feelings and to express them. If I did not feel these things or if I could not own them, then, and only then, would there be cause for worry.

5. My feelings of failure have just as much to do with my living child as my dead one (amongst other things that have nothing at all to do with children). Not my emotions nor my life are consumed by my dead baby. I get up every day, I have happy moments, I laugh, I live my life. I am not giving up on anything or removing myself from the world (quite the opposite, since I posted that for all to see). To decide otherwise about me based on one moment in my day is, well, not a good thing to do. Again with the faults of facebook communications (which are mostly mine as I did the posting); you just do not get the whole picture. I doubt very seriously that I could give you the whole picture...

6. I would also venture to say that most people have felt like a failure at some point or another in their life. Go ahead, those of you who have never felt like that, raise your hands. Be honest, now. *searching the interwebs* Um, I'm having a difficult time seeing those hands, people.

7. Judging me for having feelings is not helpful. Being angry with me for having honest emotions and for being brave enough to tell the world is not helpful. It is not supportive and it is not okay. I have to talk about how I feel. I have to write about how I feel, even if my thoughts and feelings are wrong in your eyes. I cannot censor myself because someone doesn't like what I am saying. If I do not talk and write about things, then there will be a major problem.

8. Was my posting on facebook harsh and over-the-top and in itself a little unfair? Yes it was. Is what I am experiencing in general all of those things as well? Absolutely. My comments and my writing and my feelings are matched to my experience, and that is the only way I know how to play it.

9. Grief, and therefore the emotions associated with it, is not something to get over, move past, be done with, etc. It is something you have to own. It must become a part of you; otherwise it will conquer you. I have to own my feelings, and this includes telling them to the internet...because many times that is more comfortable for me than just talking one-on-one. All I need is support. I just need people to listen and to empathize and to tell me it is okay to feel all that I feel. If I get stuck feeling something, then THAT is a time to worry. Otherwise, I think I am doing pretty good dealing with all of this, if I do say so myself.


K.P. said...

You are fine and normal! Love you!!

I know people are concerned about you and when they see the harsh reality of your feelings it is scary. You'll get through this and you are getting through it. It will never be gone, but it will be better. It will shape who you become, but it is not who you are.

Every person feels like a failure at some point and I PROMISE this Mom feels like it on a regular basis. It's what challenges us to keep going and to improve. You may be out of energy for a lot of "improvements". You love your daughters and that is enough for now.

Can I challenge you to take notice of things as they return to you? The ability to laugh...and enjoy it. The days when you think less about the bad and more about the good. Post about those too. They are part of your journey as well and they will come.

Love you and praying for you sweet cousin! You have a lot on your plate and you are far from those who can wrap their arms around you and comfort you. Know we are doing it from here! (If that's possible...) You know what I mean. :)

Cathological said...

I wish I could talk to you right now. I have to say, you are most definitely brave in my eyes. Brave, honest, open, and completely justified in feeling all that you do. Anyone else in your position would feel all of it and more, and the only difference would be that they'd only allow themselves to feel it out loud to a dark, locked, room. Thank you for sharing your feelings, whatever they are. Again, I wish more than anything I could talk to you right now, because I want to tell you how sincerely I admire your honesty. Keep doing what you're doing...time marches on...

Re: your other post about kiddo #1 - don't get too caught up in those feelings of failure regarding her. I have obviously had VERY different experiences than you, but my #1 is very similar in description. She cries almost every day, and is obsessed with my emotional state at any given moment. And yes, "mad" is one of her favorites. Curiosity I think. Anyway, my point is, they are constantly going through phases, and I'm really starting to see improvement in Ella (who is what? a year ahead of yours? i can't remember) So it makes me wonder if against all odds, some of it could be coincidence, and merely a stage of development. I was tearing my hair out a year ago too. Or maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about, because I definitely can't say I know how you feel. Just my thoughts.