The Mask

Turns out that I am not "feeling" Thanksgiving.  I am in a dark place.  Oh!  So dark!  You wouldn't know it when Mo is awake, because I put my best self forward for him...because he deserves everything good (and only good).  Also, he genuinely makes me happy and when I am with him, my heart feels almost full.  But, the reality is that I am so so so so so so sad.  I can't even write about the things that are plaguing me because they are sure to get some anonymous reader all riled up enough to send me a completely disgusting and inappropriate comment and that would just push me over the edge that I am barely clinging to.

I just think this life is too hard.  It's just too hard for me.  I am plowing through and thank god I have this little one to shower all of my love on, otherwise, I just don't know how I could keep going (but, of course, I would keep going).

Ted says that eventually we have to reenter the world, knowing that we don't relate to the people that live in it anymore.  Mostly, I am choosing not to.  As long as I can, I want to stay in this protective bubble I've built...where, for the most part, I am in control of who I interact with.  I am only comfortable in my own skin when I can authentically be who I am right now.  When I leave the bubble, I lose control and I find myself in a completely inauthentic place...pretending.  It kills my already dying soul.

The holidays pose an enormous challenge for me in this way.  I will have to figure out how to tuck my authentic self away and put on "the mask", as Ted calls it.  The mask isn't just a smile (because we smile often).  The mask is made up of all sorts of talk that is difficult for me to get through but that "shouldn't" be so hard.  It's what I wear sometimes when I am talking to other mommies and they are telling me about the activities that they do with their child...when inside I am burning with jealousy over their blissful ignorance.  On the outside, I am smiling and nodding and remembering what those activities were like for me with Max, before I knew what I now know.  The mask is what I wear when I listen to people argue about politics or complain about fixable things.  It's what I wear when I am pushing the emotions out of my brain, when I am trying to listen but not hear.  The mask is what I wear when I know that I am being listened to but not heard.  I will be wearing the mask a lot in the coming weeks and months and it scares me.  The mask often sets me back.  I guess everyone wears the mask sometimes, I am just not remembering how.


Bianca said...

I am so sorry that you have to navigate all this sadness, pain and loneliness in a world without your sweet boy. It sounds like almost nothing makes sense or looks the same without Maxie and it is wretched and unfair and heartbreaking that you are left to wade through this new reality. I hope you have a lot of time with just Teddy and Mo over the holidays, with Max in your hearts and no need for masks. xo

Seeing Each Day said...

I think you should stay in that protective bubble for as long as you need, how can you be expected to face these overwhelming challenges like the mask all of the time? You need that bubble to retreat to. I'm sorry that you have to even contemplate the mask, let alone wear it. I think it's beautiful how you write about how your little Mo fills your heart (as it would it appear you do his), I just wish you could be given a break from this deep deep intensity of grief that you've been experiencing in particular these last few weeks ( not that this is the only time you've felt like this) - just the exhaustion alone from this must be such a huge unbearable weight.. I'll keep trying with that metaphorical blanket.

Marla said...

Abby, I am so so sorry that the session didn't work. I know how much this meant to you and how long you were looking forward to it. And I am so sorry it is all hitting you now. With grief, as I've learned, you can be getting by one day, and then the next its as if everything has just happened. It all comes crashing down on you. I truly hope that in the coming future, there will be many more getting by (and happier days) than the latter. I love you. I'm thinking of you all.