I have to preface this post by saying that I have a wonderfully supportive family and small but amazing group of friends. Those who have stuck with me, really, truly stuck with me through this past year, give meaning to the idea of true friendship. I commend them really, those who have chosen to ride this storm out at my side.
Sometimes I sit and think on it, wondering how I would feel in their shoes. Honestly, I don't know how I would handle me, were I looking in from their side. I imagine it can't be easy being around someone who you met one way (happy, upbeat, outgoing, career driven, motivated, successful) and then find yourself looking for reasons to stick around when those qualities disappear. I have, in the span of 17 months, become nearly an exact opposite of the old me.
Sure, there are those who would say, "That's not true Krissy. You still tell stories, you're the same you." and maybe sometimes I am, outwardly. Maybe I have figured out that to keep any friends at all, I had to find a way to silence my grief into a sort of background static. Maybe I have realized that what goes through the mind of a woman who has held her child as she died, what that does to a person, to their heart, to their core, that it is too ugly a business to share, or more to the point, too ugly a business to share with those you love, because they deserve their right at naive innocence.
And so maybe that is why I have felt so down this week, because I feel so tired, and exhausted by this roller coaster of loss and infertility, and so terribly misunderstood. My friends and family, they can try, but they will never truly "GET IT." It's not their fault, and I hope they never have to "get it." Unless someone has gone through this (and I pray they never do), there is just a level of understanding that is impossible to attain regardless of how much one might want to understand, or how much they love you. And that is how you end up in my dilemma. I am loved, so very loved, but also so alone.
I am lonely for someone to talk to who really understands the depth of this loss. That it doesn't go away in a year. That a permanent shift in me has taken place at a level so deep, so organic, that it cannot be erased. Someone who will never make me feel that I am taking too long, grieving too hard, or missing her too much. Sometimes I feel judged, and I know that this doesn't mean I am being judged, but sometimes I feel judged. Little comments made here and there break my heart because they hint at the hope of those around me that I could "get back to normal." There is no "back to normal" after this. There is only finding a way to move forward, forever changed.
My therapist asked me last week what my next step was. I told her, "I am having so much trouble finding that next step, that I just pray to God that the next step finds me."
That is not bull. It is not laziness. I don't have any idea what my next step in anything is. Life, career, family. For someone who used to be a Type A control freak, this last year and a half has made painfully obvious all that is out of my control.
Earlier this week I posted a status on FB that read:.
Kristin sometimes wishes she had a few BLM's to talk to IRL.
In response to this status, two people suggested that I find a support group for bereaved parents. The subject of support groups is one that hasn't been broached in a long time. We attended a group meeting very early on and it was an epic failure. I was a total mess who just cried the entire time. Feeling that it wasn't helping, we never went back.
Getting those suggestions on FB had me wondering if maybe now, with so much time having passed, if I could feel a little braver this time around and attend these meetings.
I looked into the group that had been suggested to me, and visited the website, reading the profiles of each of the members.
Story after story told of children whose lives were cut too short by car accidents, cancer, brain diseases. With each story my heart grew heavier. This group of grieving parents was just another glaring reminder that there is no shortage of grief in this world, and that things can be so damn unfair. So many wanted, loved, children. Gone.
The next meeting for this group is still a few weeks away, and I don't know for sure if I am going to attend. As the date approaches, I guess I will PAGL it, and see what I come up with. There are so many questions. Would I feel comfortable walking into a room of strangers this way again? Would the meeting bring healing, or only more tears? Right now, I am just not sure.
I wish there was a way to bring some of the members of this community together, in person. That I think is what I was really referring to in my FB status. Maybe it should have read:
Kristin wishes she knew some of her amazing babyloss blog friends who have meant so much to her this past year, in real life.
Some of my most healing connections have been made with other mommas right here through this blog, and while I know it is impossible (some of my closest bloggy friends live half a world away, and others all over this country) wouldn't it be nice?
Wouldn't it be nice to be able to sit in a room, to be yourself, and for once, to feel totally understood in your grief?