April 01, 2009

NO EXPLANATION, BUT I'LL TRY

Since I am so open on my site, it must seem like I say everything here. But I don't. Sometimes I freely show my weaknesses; other times I combat my sadness by hiding it behind sarcasm or the lessons I've learned. But I kept from you the fact that I was straight-up broken for a while. I had some of the hardest days of the last decade of my life, which is why I had to silence my head.

I didn't want to let on how bad things were because I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that I wasn't coping well, that I was crying constantly, that I was unable and unwilling to leave the house, that I thought that things would be better if I rolled over and grabbed the loaded gun that was a mere arm's reach away from my bed. But I am doing much better now. I really think I had a minor form of postpartum depression and that my problems were hormonal instead of emotional. I am feeling much better, and while I still choke up thinking about what happens if Baby #4 also dies, I am past the worst of things.

I only told a handful of Real Life folks about this baby. One lady I told was the leader of my knitting group. And when I sent out an email that the baby had died, she asked why I couldn't go to a different doctor or see a specialist in the nearby metropolis.

And her email irritated me.

You all know how much I hate my doctor and how I have indeed considered seeking a second opinion elsewhere. Her email was not at all offensive, but the timing just hit me wrong. My first thought was, "Do you not think I am smart enough to have thought of that on my own?" My second was, "Do you not think I am capable of managing my own care?" She implied neither of those, but that was how I mentally responded.

The friends I have who have gone through infertility and loss, they all seem to echo the idea that no advice is good advice. I guess I haven't done a good job of explaining how perfectly reasonable advice can just kill you if you feel it comes at the wrong time or from the wrong person.

It was not my knitting friend's fault, and nor is she a stranger to struggle: she's a recent cancer survivor, one who still has wispy short hair. But I resented her advice nonetheless at the moment she gave it.

When you already feel like a failure, it is difficult to accept anything that smacks of the slightest criticism. Even if it's sound advice, even if it's factually accurate, whatever. It hurts to feel like someone is saying you're not competent enough to find the right doctor, you're not smart enough to google a bit and learn about blood clotting, and yes, even you're not emotionally strong enough to "adjust your reasoning" and try to develop a different meaning of life.

It also hurts when you pride yourself on having a healthy dose of perspective, when you constantly remind yourself of how life could be worse -- my husband could be dead, I could lose a living child, I could never have met my husband in the first place -- to feel like someone is saying that you lack perspective. This is me we're talking about, me. You know me, you have five years of my thoughts. Do you really not think that when I am lying there wanting to shoot myself, that I think of how long Heidi has lived without Sean, how Mare's friends only had their baby for 24 hours, how I have friends who are my age and older who have never married and may never get to find out if they have fertility problems? I do this to myself enough; I don't need to be reminded of it. Or at least I sure didn't the other day when I was already a mental disaster.

And maybe that doesn't make sense to people who are content right now, or whose human chorionic gonadotropin is at zero, but that's the way it feels when you are suffering.

I'm not upset because none of you had any way of knowing how bad things were. Because I didn't tell you. Because I was embarrassed that I was being weak. I was embarrassed that my head was a jumble, that I wanted everyone to go away and leave me alone...but also sending flowers was nice. I wanted to push you away but I wanted you to resist. That's some hormonal nonsense right there. I felt like such a woman for a while.

But my husband handled me beautifully, being understanding and nice and exclaiming gently in frustration, "But I don't know what right looks like!"

And renting Henry Poole Is Here for me. That was great timing.

So I'm better, and I'm technically back. But my mother is visiting and the whole family is headed to SpouseBUZZ Live this weekend, so blogging is still gonna be sparse.

But I'm back.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:39 AM | Comments (18) | Add Comment
Post contains 871 words, total size 5 kb.

1 And welcome.

Posted by: Lucy at April 01, 2009 07:32 AM (0nTD7)

2 I cannot wait to give you a huge hug this weekend...I hope Teh Mr. Grok won't be jealous. Love you!

Posted by: Guard Wife at April 01, 2009 08:10 AM (N3nNT)

3 Glad you're back. When you already feel like a failure, it is difficult to accept anything that smacks of the slightest criticism. Good advice for many different situations.

Posted by: Amritas at April 01, 2009 09:01 AM (+nV09)

4 Welcome back.

Posted by: Padraig at April 01, 2009 09:18 AM (47xDn)

5 *applauds* Bravo Sarah. I love your complete honesty. And you're right... I have felt that way and didn't quite articulate or understand why I just didn't want anyone to say anything... but I did want something. Glad to see you pick yourself back up again. Hopefully this "picking back up" will be a good reminder if you feel low again. We all go through it. Its called being Human.

Posted by: T at April 01, 2009 10:27 AM (KV0YP)

6 I've admired you since the first day I read your blog and more so now. I loved meeting you in person last year at SBL and am looking forward to seeing you this weekend. Safe travels.

Posted by: Susan at April 01, 2009 10:32 AM (4aKG6)

7 *welcome back hugs* So glad to "see" you again. :-)

Posted by: kannie at April 01, 2009 10:42 AM (iT8dn)

8 I wouldn't give you advice because I have none for the situation you are in...other than to say, I have been there myself. Somedays it is just easier to stay in the house and not answer the phone because it is just to exhausting to have to talk. I am glad you are back.

Posted by: Judy at April 01, 2009 10:43 AM (uguBi)

9 dear lord let this comment go thru. Really your comment thingy hates me. But anyways, so glad your back and feeling somewhat better. Perspective is one thing, but lose is lose and it still hurts. Even with perspective there is still a sting. Enjoy your family visit and spousebuzz!

Posted by: the mrs. at April 01, 2009 11:23 AM (NJQf+)

10 I love you Sarah. Never met you, hardly ever commented on your blog, and you don't know me from Adam, but I just love you to death. You are a beautiful soul, and I am thankful that you can share so eloquently. My heart breaks for you now, but I am hopeful for your future. Welcome back.

Posted by: RC at April 01, 2009 01:05 PM (NIWH+)

11 Och, your terrible pain was so evident - I didn't dare write a thing. I've been in that horrible place before and it really is a mental maze...you wend your way through it. Congrats on having a husband who knew to hold your hand and congrats to you for being so honest about it all. Enjoy each other...

Posted by: LauraB at April 01, 2009 01:33 PM (Jbj8P)

12 When you already feel like a failure, it is difficult to accept anything that smacks of the slightest criticism. Thank you for explaining that, and more. I wish I'd thought of that without you having to say it, for I would've known what NOT to say. And now I won't say you shouldn't have been embarrassed about your emotional state, as that would be the pot calling the kettle black (as in, I am accused of being far too hard on myself, too--maybe we can just be to hard on ourselves together, haha!). And maybe that doesn't make sense to people who are content right now. It makes sense to me, and so I offer my apologies for not having been more thoughtful or sensitive. And I'm so glad to hear how wonderful your husband has been. Of course, if you picked him he must've been good...

Posted by: FbL at April 01, 2009 09:33 PM (HwqvF)

13 Yay. Your blog is usually the first one in my favorite blogs folder I click on, and I have missed it. Glad to see you back.

Posted by: TW at April 01, 2009 09:58 PM (qWzEG)

14 so glad to see you!

Posted by: queenie at April 02, 2009 04:03 AM (b2/6D)

15 And that, dear cousin, is exactly why i haven't said *anything* for the past few days or weeks. i know that there was nothing that i could say that would be right. I probably should have said, i'm thinking of you, a few more time but i think i've said that a hundred times and you already know that. i did wonder how the husband was dealing with all this so it's good to know he's ok. i hope you enjoy some peace with your family and i love you.

Posted by: kate at April 02, 2009 08:10 AM (JIGe1)

16 You can only imagine how many different times i have wanted to write an email and say a few words of comfort but have been afraid to. Because I can only imagine in my way what you have gone through and how thoroughly you have been beaten down by events you cannot control. I do not know how you have kept yourself sane. I do applaud you and wish you all the best. And a better dr. ;D

Posted by: Ruth H at April 02, 2009 08:13 AM (Y4oAO)

17 I've just re-read this a week later now that things have (I hope) calmed down a bit. I just want to clarify one thing: It hurts to feel like someone is saying ... you're not emotionally strong enough to "adjust your reasoning" and try to develop a different meaning of life. I never, ever meant to imply or to say that I thought you aren't strong enough to adjust your reasoning. If I thought you weren't strong enough, I certainly wouldn't have suggested that you try to do so. If I had known you were contemplating your gun, I certainly would not have said anything at all. If I thought you weren't competent or any of the things you said above, frankly, I probably wouldn't be reading this blog. What I said, I would say to my own sister if she had said to me what you posted. If that gets me a lot of "I'm frickin' glad I'm not your sister then" from people here, so be it. I never intended to hurt you more, road to hell, good intentions, etc.

Posted by: Anwyn at April 07, 2009 02:45 PM (dzxw9)

18 Anwyn -- I know you didn't mean to, but that's why I wanted to write and explain that all these little things that people don't mean to be hurtful sometimes are, if they're taken at the wrong moment. Thank you for writing back.

Posted by: Sarah at April 10, 2009 03:20 AM (TWet1)

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