October 8, 2010
I went to the chiropractor today. That was a big feat for me. I had been putting it off because the last time I was there Toby was with me and it’s been difficult to return to places that we had previously been in together. It went okay, though. My back finally gave in and I had to suck it up and go.
While I was there, we talked about how people stop coming around after a death because they’re not sure what they’re supposed to say. He said that he had a friend die and that a couple of weeks after the death he and another guy were talking about going and visiting the friend’s mother. The friend was like, “Nah, I bet she has a lot of people around her” and my doctor was like, “I bet she doesn’t” and he was right.
It is weird to go the week of the funeral with a houseful of people and then, wham, nobody. Well, I can’t see nobody. I have seen Karen more in the past few weeks than I have all year. But it’s not their fault. People have lives to get back to and kids to take care of and that’s just the way it is. It’s not a bad thing, but it is a difficult thing.
I felt so cloistered during my pregnancy. I went from seeing my friends several times a week to not seeing them at all and that really, really hurt. A few made a faint effort but for the most part I sat here alone all day. Yes, I was sick for a good part of the pregnancy, but my mind still worked. I could still watch movies and talk. I think if I get pregnant again I am not going to tell anyone in case it scares them all off again or something.
It’s funny sometimes with Toby how the good memories are almost worse than the bad ones. I know I’ve said that before and that I am repeating myself, but it’s true. I found myself crying today over the memory of something silly that he did. I also started keeping a journal, starting from the minute that he was born, so that I could remember every minute with him because eventually I will forget. That’s just the way that happens. I want to be able to remember him, too.
I am shocked at the people who have been really supportive of us through this. Becca and Sha were there for the birth and Becca basically ran my life during that first week after he died. I couldn’t have done anything without her. And then Melissa, who in her own way has struggles that are almost greater than mine (certainly longer) stepped up and had the yardsale and took me to get my hair done and has just been an all around great support. And we were barely friends to begin with! I mean, I always liked her, but we hadn’t seen each other since high school. People that I barely knew in high school have sent me checks to put toward Toby’s headstone, as have people from the writer’s retreat that we went to. Heather Howard, another old high school friend, went to the support group meeting with me.
Yet Lori, my best friend for almost 20 years, wrote me a three sentence email and I haven’t heard from her since. Didn’t show up to the visitation or the funeral or even send a card. People are strange.
I hear from cousin Katerina (and she’s just a cousin by marriage) from time to time and we’ve talked about what’s going on yet I haven’t heard a single word from my sister at all (and she lost a child herself so you’d think we would finally have something in common). Some of Pete’s friends from Lampeter that we hadn’t heard from in awhile sent us some beautiful flowers while some of his “good friends” did nothing but bring us more grief-something that I can’t wrap my head around. Things like this bring out the good and bad in people.
On the upside, you really do figure out who’s worth keeping around and who isn’t.
People keep telling me how much I have it together, but I really don’t. They just see the good parts, the me after I’ve had my anxiety medication and I’m out and about. At home, I’m pretty looney. I keep a sleeping bag in Toby’s room, for instance, and sometimes conk out in there until Pete comes and pulls me out sometimes in the middle of the night. I forget everything. I can remember to take care of Sam but I have little patience with him and that makes me sad. I can work my job fine, but I have trouble finding the motivation to take a shower (even though baths I do every night).
Small decisions are very, very hard to make. Large ones seem to come quite easily.
Some nights I wonder how crazy I would really be if I drove to the cemetery and stretched out across his grave.
I can tell that the day is beautiful and sunny and I want to be out in it, but I can’t get my foot out the door and once I’m out I start panicking and I’m nervous until I’m back home again.
I get little panic attacks all throughout the day. I’m afraid to open my text messages sometimes because I’m nervous that I’ll get something from the other side of the ocean that really will send me over the edge. I close my eyes when I open my inbox, just in case someone has written me a nasty e-mail or left a nasty comment on my blog.
I actually cut myself. Not in a suicidal way, but in a way that definitely wasn’t healthy. The inclination arose when Pete’s brother in law wrote me and it got worse with the texts from Pete’s dad but then it sent me over when I got the nasty messages from Pete’s old high school friend and his girlfriend. I just picked up a razor and started hacking into my wrist. Pete had to bandage it and doctor it and then I had to lie to Sam about why I had a big band aid on me. I’ve never done anything like that before. Never had suicidal thoughts. I talked to the doctor about it and she said that it was normal. That it was a way of expressing my emotional pain through physical pain. But it’s still not “me.” My friend came over that next night and before she left she wrote Pete’s name on one wrist and Sam’s on the other and while I appreciated the sentiment, it also made me sad because whenever I looked at their names I remembered how unhelpful I was being to them and instead of reminding me of reasons that I had to live, it reminded me of how useless I was being to both of them.
But at least that’s getting better. My depression medication has been increased and I’m taking the anxiety medication like I’m supposed to and I’m sleeping a little bit better. I think my patience with Sam is getting better, too. I was able to play with him tonight for about 30 minutes and last night we made a cake together so I’m getting there.
We found an infant support group meeting in November that we are going to try to make. Pete said that he would go with me so I think it will be good for us. We’re trying, anyway. I also hope to have a little Halloween party for Sam sometime soon because he deserves something fun and I guess I would like to see people in a less somber way.