Jul 27, 2010


This is not going to be a "feel good" entry. I usually wait until I'm out of a funk like this before I write, but I've already waited awhile and maybe sharing this with you might help me through it.

Where do I begin? With the thing that hurts the most. At first I didn't string anything together, but in the past few months, I have lost contact with some previously very close friends. These aren't my only friends, thank God, but they made up the majority of my inner circle. These friends had all been there for me fully in the early weeks after Brynn's death. They don't know eachother, they don't even all live in the same state, but one by one they each stopped returning calls, and last week I couldn't help but notice this pattern.

I've asked other moms in my position and this is a very sad but typical side effect of surviving a tragedy. It's not just that people get back to their own lives. We had been a part of eachothers lives for 10 - 20 years already. I've started to feel like they are deliberately distancing themselves from me. I know I've changed.  Maybe I became aloof. Maybe I scared or offended them.  I suspect I may have gotten a little too real once or twice in my coping process. I suspect that possibly they are coping with my story by removing themselves from it. It feels unfair.
Now more than ever, I value and protect my self esteem too much to attempt to maintain a friendship that's not reciprocal. I truly wish you all the best, I love you, I forgive you, I cut you loose. I work with the willing.

(Editor's note:  Ahem, it occurs to me after finally hearing from a few of those afformentioned distanced friends, that I may have jumped to conclusions about why I hadn't heard from them.  Turns out summer can be an extremely busy time if you're used to having kids in school, and perhaps not everything is about me all the time :)
All that, plus my sleep and work and parenting a very active four year old schedule, affords me little time to socialize, even with my husband, and our marriage has grown strained as it did in my last pregnancy. And socializing with anyone other than my closest friends is still exhausting. Exhausting because I have to pretend to be fine. Because I feel like I have to protect acquaintances from thinking about my dead baby, and it feels too restrained to purposely avoid talking about her, she is as much my life as my son is. So, this leaves me feeling very alone.

I've lived in Massachusetts for ten years now, and I will always feel like an outsider. I'm reading a book now called I Carried You by Angie Smith, who's daughter Audrey Caroline was diagnosed "incompatible with life" at her 18 week ultrasound, and lived for 2 hours after she was born. Angie felt like it was wrong not to tell her whole story to any stranger who may have innocently inquired about the pregnancy, or the occassion for the dress she was buying for Audrey's funeral. She must live in the South or the Midwest. I think that I would like to try to do that but I just don't think the people I encounter here in Massachusetts could handle it. I feel like it would be rude to do that to them. There are so many mysterious codes for small talk here, and such a general fear of depth, especially too soon, that I have infered that this is something you just don't do here. I started working at a school in April, and no one there knows my story. When I consult for my home party business and people ask me if Shane is my only child, I say yes. But he isn't. And every time I say it, my lonliness compounds.

There is a strength to showing how vulnerable we are, and I think if I could embrace that more, I'd do better.

Today, on my commute to work I was crying, pleading with God for some relief. I could harldy see the road through my tears. I gave in to my sorrow, to my lonliness and isolation, and I let it all out in the only moments of the day I had to be alone. In the same moments I slowed on the highway as traffic built up behind an accident. Then I stalled out. Then my car would not start. I grabbed my things and started walking toward the accident to wave down a police officer and ask that they push my car over. I snapped back into confidant mode and handled the ordeal bravely, not even letting the state cop bully me into taking a tow truck he called when my freebie was on the way.

What was the point of that? I don't know. I'm good at that sort of situation. I'm good at holding back my tears, my hurt. But I don't want to be good at anything anymore other than authentically me, broken, lonely, grieving, heart broken, and crazy. It is far far too exhausting to pretend to be anything else.

1 comment:

  1. what a thing we have to experience through this. I've struggled with some of these exact same issues. It is so reassuring to me though, when I read other moms being honest and open with their feelings and knowing I'm not alone. So thank you so much for being this honest.