quiet down

April 26, 2013 § 14 Comments

I haven’t been able to write anything for a while now. I have five different drafts saved and I can’t type more than a few sentences before I have to do something else. Even all these months later, it doesn’t take a lot for grief to overpower me. I don’t know how to think about him, this little person that I can’t bring myself to address anymore, and not have it ruin my day. I’m starting to think that a blog is not enough as an outlet. I hoped it could be enough, but it has also enabled me in ignoring my feelings and never talking about him in real life, which doesn’t lend well to my sanity. But I can’t do anything else, not when everyone else is completely fine with the omissions, and I am literally the only one who notices a big hole everywhere.

I can’t talk to anybody about it, especially not David, with whom it matters the most. I wish we could discuss him, but it’s like a forbidden subject with us. The one thing I’ve opened up to him about is that I always want to die and I think of it often. I see these intrusive thoughts as vultures who will hover over me at all times, to the point where the thought is there in my mind at inappropriate moments, and once I do feel sad, it swoops in for a feeding. David told me I need to get help, which I think is funny. Not wanting to be alive seems normal to me, and it also does not mean I would do such a thing, because I wouldn’t. Even the word “help” is funny. What kind of help does he think there is? I saw a therapist regularly, a few different ones, from third grade until I was a sophomore in high school. I remain unconvinced in its value. Antidepressants are not an automatic ticket to Bliss or Easy Times, or even to the less mythical location of Not Suicidal. Besides, all of these things cost money. Money that I feel should not be spent on chasing after mental normalcy.

David does not regret the adoption like I do, although I won’t pretend to be an expert on what he thinks. Whenever he is sad, he does not bring it up or admit to being sad if he is asked. He just plays video games, or scrolls through reddit on his phone, or something else mind-numbing. So it is hard for me to venture a guess at whether he is sad or not. During the first month, I know he was. A few days after the birth, he told me he wished we could get him back and how much he missed him. Now, I think he has moved on past it. I once asked him if he ever thought about the baby, and he said yes. But he didn’t elaborate, and I doubt he thinks of him too often. And despite his initial regret, David has said, more than once, that he thinks we did the right thing and that the baby is better off. All in all, I find it incredibly frustrating to talk to someone like that and I get angry sometimes over the Siberian wind chill that is David’s emotional support. So, the subject is not mentioned.

I mean this blog to be a space for me to get everything out, but I don’t know if it’s beneficial to indulge in feeling sorry for myself when I have not acknowledged it out loud in months.

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§ 14 Responses to quiet down

  • {{Ariel}}, I want to say something useful, but I don’t know what that would be. “You’re not alone.” “Yes, it sucks.” “I think you’re holding yourself together amazingly well.” “Breathe.” “I’m sorry.” I’ll say all of that and more if it helps, but I’m a realist. Nothing I say will fill the hole or make it’s presence any less painful.

    I guess the best I can hope is that you will find respite in your blog, some small comfort in knowing that even though the particular pain is yours alone, you are not alone in your pain. If that doesn’t lessen the pain, maybe it will strengthen you enough to keep on keeping on.

    You said, “I mean this blog to be a space for me to get everything out, but I don’t know if it’s beneficial to indulge in feeling sorry for myself when I have not acknowledged it out loud in months.” Ariel, speaking your truth isn’t feeling sorry for yourself. It’s your birthright.

    I’m glad you’re here. You changed my life.

    • everything you say is useful, and more! much love to you.

      i actually do agree that speaking up is a right. i wish i spoke up more, and i always want to talk about the baby. i wish that it wouldn’t complicate my life to do so.

  • myst1998 says:

    Hi Ariel… There isn’t really much to say other than I am sorry you are a member of this club. I get that wanting to die. In fact much of what you say resounds with me and many other mothers who lost or placed their babies.

    I think the only way for you to ‘get help’ is to continue what you are doing. Those feelings, that pain, would be worse if you were to tuck it away inside for fear of ‘feeling sorry for’ yourself. You don’t though. You have a son. A son who is no longer with you. That is the biggest crap you will ever hurt over. Because it goes against everything in our primal system to have a child out there so please don’t ever think you are feeling sorry for yourself when you vent. Those feelings, if not expressed, have to go somewhere and invariably end up worming and permeating every part of you where the damage can be even worse over time.

    So vent, scream, get angry, etc… That is healthy. What is not healthy is the way society and the industry in particular, want you to deal with it and that is to keep quiet, keep the lid on and pretend everything is a-ok when it clearly isn’t.

    Again, I’m sorry.

  • lisaanne119 says:

    Ariel, I would love to talk to you personally. Your story reminds me so much of where I was, and where I am. My daughter is now 3. I thought I would not make it this far. My child’s father is someone I am still with and he would not speak of her either. His emotional desert was almost as painful as the loss my heart was/is marinading in.

    I will say that I do see a counselor. She does not really help. She can’t. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to feel better. And I don’t. I want to feel this loss, because it is real.

    One thing I will say is that medication has made me functional. I can now sit at my desk at work without tears constantly streaming down my face. I can’t have a conversation about my daughter without crying, but I would expect that.

    It took a LONG time to find the right medication for me. I have an awesome physician’s assistant who is compassionate and willing to be aggressiive with medication and try different attempts to find something that made a significant difference. It took 2 years for me to figure it out.

    If you ever want to talk, or vent, or anything else, know that I am not just giving lip service when I say contact me. Send me an email and I will give you my cell number. lisa(dot)nelson(one)(one)(nine)(at)gmail(dot)com

  • V's Mom says:

    I have to agree with David I think it is time to find some help, any help. There ARE really good therapists out there, you need to find one that specializes with loss and grief…adoption loss would be best but those are kinda hard to find. I wish you the best!

  • teradanielle says:

    Ariel, I wish there was something I could do, something I could say to ease the hurt you are feeling–a hurt that many of us know so well. It makes me so sad that you feel so alone and unable to talk about the loss of your son, I don’t know you son’s father but I do remember how my daughter’s father dealt with it, and it sounds very similar to yours..he wasn’t okay though, he just shut down emotionally because that is the only way he knew how to deal with it, at times it seemed like indifference, but when we got to the heart of it, it was a loss that was so overwhelming that to him it became insurmountable–I would hate for you to shut down yourself–it is so dangerous, good help is hard to find, but it is out there. You are not alone Ariel. In the little bit of time that I have been following your blog, you have become a part of my thoughts daily. You have shown yourself to be a tremendous spirit, finding the time to offer comfort to others when your own loss and grief are so fresh…I admire you greatly.

    Please do what ever you can to care for yourself, your son does need you. You are a valuable part of him and who he is, he will not be a little baby forever and one day he will need you to fill that place in his heart that no one else can fill but you and his father. I wish I could share with you some of the heartache my daughter has faced since losing her father to suicide, she barely got to know him but it has affected her profoundly. Legally we are not their parents, but the heart does not care about such things, you are his family and nothing can change that. You are his Mother.

    If you ever want to just talk, anytime, call me! I have a great long distance plan and I will call you right back..please!

    sending you lots of love Ariel,

    Tera

    • i suspect sometimes that david is very sad about the adoption and that’s why he acts the way he does. but i’m never quite sure.

      i was deeply saddened to hear about what happened to your daughter’s father. i think what he did was horrible. i don’t pass any judgment on him, but how he could’ve left like that, i don’t know.

      i definitely would like to chat sometime.

  • Robyn C says:

    Ariel, you probably already know about them, but there is an organization called BirthMom Buds that gives support to women who have placed their children for adoption. They have a Facebook group and they chat, and each year, they have a retreat on the East Coast. One of the founders (Coley) and I used to write for the same adoption web site, and she’s a really wonderful person.

    I have read that good therapy is hard to find when it comes to the pain of relinquishing a child. I hope you take the other people here up on their offers to talk.

    I’m sorry I don’t have a lot to offer, other than hugs and prayers.

  • amy says:

    Oh Ariel…(((BIG HUGS))) to you, sweet girl. I can only tell you I’ve been where you are, and you WILL get through this…you MUST get through this. I agree you probably need a good, sensitive-to-adoption- issues therapist and some medication possibly…to help you through this excrutiating time. I wish I had sought therapy earlier than I did, but I have been going off and on now for probably 20 years give or take. (“birth” daughter recently turned 28)

    My daughter’s father (now husband) also acted as David is. He still does for the most part. Men tend to want to “fix” things, and if they can’t, they want it to disappear. In their minds, when they don’t acknowledge the painful issue, it doesn’t exist. However, they soon realize it is still there, but has been deeply suppressed. It didn’t really hit my husband fully until our daughter was 18, and he basically had a break down. He too went into therapy…long over-due. It would hurt my feelings so bad because prior to that, he would ask me why I hadn’t gotten “over it” yet when I’d get sad or go back into grieving mode. Men simply deal with emotional pain differently…but the hurt is definitely there.

    I wish you could speak with my daughter. She would tell you that you will be very important to your son one day, and that he will love you and need you. You are irreplaceable, Ariel. Right now, you need to take care of YOU.

    My “birth” daughter will be attending my “kept” daughter’s high school graduation next month! It’s only fair because 10 yrs. ago, we were at hers. She also has 2 nephews and a niece she will be meeting for the first time! :) There is light at the end of the tunnel, sweetie. Does it make the pain disappear? NO. Would I give in to adoption if I could turn back the clock? NO WAY. But I try to concentrate on my opportunity to have her in our lives now. It has been a long, night-marish road where I doubted I’d survive at times…but I did…and you will too! You WILL.

    Please keep writing. We’ll all be here to support you… I promise.

    • i think you hit the nail on the head with how men deal with feelings. they only want to solve problems in a concrete manner, and if the problem is too vague or too difficult, it doesn’t exist. maybe it’s a better survival mechanism, though. at least there would be a few years of denial, where you feel like you’re over it, instead of continual awareness of pain. either way, i envy david and resent him for having so little part of this. he didn’t have to experience carrying a little creature for 9 months and becoming attuned to him.

      i really like hearing about people who have successful reunion stories. i always want him to be a part of my family and for me to be a part of his. i hope so much for that someday, although i fully expect him to hate me or feel indifferent.

      thank you for everything! you leave such nice comments.

      • amy says:

        Oh trust me! I remember being (and at times, to be honest, I still am) being so resentful because I thought how nice it would be to go into “denial mode” and be able to exist like it never happened! My husband wasn’t even in the delivery room, so he didn’t have to remember her birth. But, to this day, he has no memories of visiting us twice in the hospital. He came two different times over the span of 24 hrs. but has totally blocked it. Therefore, I know it was THAT painful, but I envy the ability to block memories so completely. They’re just different creatures, those men!

        Please don’t expect your son to hate you or be indifferent. There may be issues, but you are such an important part of his life and his biological history. My daughter has every reason to be resentful and negative towards me…and those emotions are there to a degree, but we are sorting through them together. She had to watch from a distance as we raised her younger siblings…one born only 21 months after her. She shares bits and pieces of how it hurt her or she felt left out, and it breaks my heart all over again. She was supposed to be spared from pain by me giving her up…so I
        was told. There still may be more to come because from what I’ve gathered by reading adoptee’s blogs, adoption issues may not fully surface until they are in their 30’s or so. I’m not necessarily out of the woods yet! I will just hope that she will come to me, and we can talk it out. She knows I love her and I tell her quite often. One day, you can tell your son how much you’ve always loved him too!

        (((hugs)))

  • Sarah says:

    Wow this was me years ago. 24 years ago. I couldn’t turn my back on my pain because it was all I had of my baby. His father and I married and have been together ever since. Men absolutely do deal with things differently. Some take on responsibility for your pain and act unworthy of you, creating all kinds of mishaps in the relationship. Each experience is unique, yet share common threads. I will say that to find your bearings and navigate forward it’s best to do so without wearing a full mental suit of armor or being behind a mental wall of protection. Be as real as you can with yourself and with each other, without drowning in the crashing waves of grief, regret and self loathing. There is a future, and it is what you make of it. Chose now what it will be and hold fast to that idea, whilst being somewhat flexible in order to keep hanging on. Hold on to your truths, both now and as you discover them in the future, because strength comes from them. If only I could have reached back in time told myself the same. Try to see through any unkind words to the truth of his pain. Often we have barbed each other in defense of feeling our own pains, not really meaning what was said. Numbness isn’t as safe as it seams, because it doesn’t respect the real you. I know this fully, now. Reach out as often as you feel. Sometimes the seas are rough, even on seemingly calm days.

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