Friday, January 13, 2012

Nothing "set me off" yesterday, I am just coming to the realization that I can't control anything at all.  I couldn't control Maxie's death and I can't control the way people act towards us.  I can't make someone understand.  I can't make someone care.  I can't make someone be nice.  It is all out of my control.  My therapist told me that the sooner I come to understand that, the better I will feel.  She says people have moved on, that they probably DON'T really care, that even those who do, want to feel happy and so they are just going to try and make us jump on board the happy wagon no matter how much we resist.  I guess it was an "A-HA" moment but a reluctant one.  I have this ongoing irrational fear that I will run into someone I know while I happen to be smiling at something and that they will think, "oh good!  She is fine now".  Or that something good will happen, like getting a new job, and that people will think that fixes everything and I'm all better now.  It's actually not even so irrational, because it is exactly what happens, BUT the irrational part is that I care.  You can think I am all better.  If you see me smiling or hear good news about me, you can also think that makes everything ok.  I don't need to care.  I mostly have not cared that much since reaching my thirties about what people think about me anyway so I don't know why this situation is any different.  I want the world to know that Maxie was so important that it will take lifetimes before the world is the same again in his absence.  I want people to KNOW that part of us has been destroyed because he is gone.  If they see me smile, they might think six months made it all ok.  My therapist said I might as well just decide to be depressed the rest of my life if I am just trying to prove a point.  All that matters really is that we know the impact that Max had on our lives and to work on keeping his spirit alive as best as possible in his absence.  The truth is that she told me all of this with a harsh "tough love" attitude (which people LOVE to give me since Max's passing) and it just hurt.  She doesn't understand how I feel either BUT, she is right, it doesn't really matter if she understands.  I am not going to make someone who can't express themselves suddenly grow up and tell us how sorry they are for Max's passing.  I am not going to be able to influence someone who doesn't care to suddenly care.  And, who cares really?  There are certain people in your life who will just get it (and I am actually lucky that I have so many emotionally evolved people in my life) and there are a majority of people who won't get it, and that is ok.  Some friends and family are just there to drink beers with, eat meals with, talk about work, gossip about stuff with and that is all there is....it is surface and that is fine.  Some people will be able to get into the pit with you and know that what they are doing is soul saving work.  Some of my friends who have saved my soul should be thanked - Bianca, my cousin Sharon, Suzy, Marla, my sister in law Beth - these have stood out in the way that they have stood by me in my craziness.   I have so many other friends who check in and deliver meals and care so much and I love them.....to name a few - Kate (the meal train organizer), Carmen, Leslie, Rachel K, Jossie, Daphna, Eowyn, Jess, Greg, Courtney, Molly, Amy R, my step sister Lyndsey, Tallie, my brother Paul, Stacy, Danna, Lindsay, Erika and so many more (really - too many to name - if I forget you here, I haven't forgotten you).  I get stuck on the people who hurt me and I am going to TRY and let it go (if you know me, you know this isn't my strong suit.  I probably got it from my grandma Ann, who never let ANYTHING go).  It isn't worth it and I am sure nobody means to be hurtful, they just don't know how to be sensitive.  I am amazed by the quality of people that Ted has in his life as well (for the most part :)).  When we were on the East Coast (arguably one of the most vulnerable periods of time I have had since Maxie's passing), I felt embraced by love and support.  I was so impressed with the emotional maturity of his incredible friends and I grew to love them even more (and I have loved most of them from the very start).  When I have a rant on this blog, so many of the people who have made us feel so safe respond to me and feel bad and that makes me feel terrible.  Don't apologize.  You have been angels to us in the darkest moment of our lives.  We love you.  We know everyone is just doing the best they can....so are we.

4 comments:

Melissa Rossi said...

I can TOTALLY relate to the idea that you may feel guilty smiling, enjoying a moment, or that people can assume you've moved on because you might be doing one of the above. Can you ever really "move on?" If you are like me, it feels like a betrayal of our loved one. But we know, in our heads, if not yet in our hearts, there will be smiles and it doesn't mean you have forgotten. I didn't want to tell you this, but I think it fits with your blog today. I went and heard a speaker who talked about the power of meditation and yoga in healing, which I totally get, but his whole thing was that 'everything happens for a reason and the sooner we accept we may never know why the happier will be." Well, I thought of me and you and actually asked about your situation and got some trite little answer about how maybe you will be a comfort to people in the future. I argued with him. Actually argued. That's fine and well and good. Maxie has a forest, but how can it possibly BE that he was meant to live 9 short months so there can be a forest in Israel. I physically wanted to jump across the table and strangle him as he smiled with the all-knowing smile. That whole surrendering yourself is easy when its day to day crap, but what do you say to the mother who lost her baby?? There is an element of trying to be rational in an irrational situation that drives me bonkers. It is your baby. You are having the same "mother-bear" response to people who think you are suddenly "okay" that you would if someone suggested his feet, nose, eyes, ears etc weren't completely perfect. Someday, you will find some peace, but I would say the sooner you accept that you will never stop mourning, the better off you will be. Is that tough love? I don't think so. I think it's the reality of the situation. YOU WILL however, someday, be able to get off the couch and not feel guilty about it. I believe it with all my heart. You don't have to accept this post, but I just wanted to let you know, remind you, that there are people you don't even know rooting for you and sending you thoughts. Don't expect too much of yourself. There is nothing wrong with how you feel.

maxiesmommy said...

I can't tell you how many people have looked at me with that "all knowing" look and said that "everything happens for a reason" and it has taken all of my will power not to scream in their face or punch them in the gut. Ironically, it used to be something that I really believed. Not so much anymore.

Melissa Rossi said...

I feel the same way... Had my dad not died, I may never have decided to have another baby and Chloe is a treasure. Maxie's memory is building a beautiful forest for so many to enjoy- kids to play in, adults to "escape" in, and couples to fall in love and make memories in. Does that mean this was MEANT to happen. I can't believe that. I go with, something good came out of it, but no way on Earth was this the purpose of your baby. No way. I too, believe things happen for a reason, but now I keep it to the day-to-day stuff. The horrible stuff- I don't know...

rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

Eh, I'd probably scream at this point. Not that it would be mature or helpful. :-) I think something good can come out of a tragedy (like the forest) but that doesn't mean that the tragedy happened for that good thing to occur. Does that make sense?

I have all kinds of responses in my head to things. I call it my bite me" responses. "God just needed another angel" (Oh really? He created the world but he couldn't make another angel? Bite me.) "I guess it was just his time." (Yeah, because, what, 8 weeks would have been pushing it? Bite me.) "He's in a better place." (I don't care. I want him here, in this crappy place, with me. Bite me.) "You just need to put it behind you and move on." (It's not even been a week yet. Bite me.) "Don't cry, he wouldn't want you to be sad." (Oh, really? How do you know? You never even met him. Bite me.)

You should try it sometime. It's incredibly therapeutic.

Your entry here inspired one of me own. I'm trying to give people the benefit of the doubt and release some of my resentment and anger. I'll let you know when it starts working out for me. It's like having cancer. People will tell cancer victims (like my mil before she died) that they should be positive and keep up a good energy and find the better meaning. And then one day Pete and I saw a t-shirt that read "Cancer sucks." Yep. Sometimes it just sucks.

This grief is a part of us now. The loss is part of our new makeup. We just have to figure out what to do with it. It's not going away and as the last thing I have of Toby, I don't want it to.

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