seasonal grief

November 5, 2013 § 6 Comments

I’ve neglected my little writing space here for too long and it needs to stop! I’m glad that I’ve at least been making an effort to live my life and not mope around on-line. But I literally have 7 or 8 drafts saved right now.

Sometimes I think this blog has served its cathartic purpose and I don’t need it anymore, which is wishful thinking more than anything else. If there was a limit to how many times you could feel the same strong emotion about the same person or the same situation, that might be true. I have said most of what is worth saying. But all the repetition in the world couldn’t wear me out. I love my little baby toddler boy, and I never stop missing him. Waking up, going to sleep, and everything in between is tinged with self-hatred, anger, betrayal, and loneliness. At least I get marginally better at mastering the grief and keeping busy in the winter.

The sadness seems to be seasonal. My son was born in August. Last year, as with this year, the more sensitive, immediate pain went into hibernation once the weather cooled, around October. I’m still depressed as fuck, and I pretty much always am. But it’s easier to think about it less, or to stay emotionally removed when I do think about it. The difference is hard to describe. But I know that, come April, the sadness will become a lot heavier.

The monthly holidays that come around in the winter definitely hit hard. I suppose I should be glad I don’t have to deal with the double whammy of seasonal adoption grief AND the winter holidays. I do get a small pang that I don’t get to take my son to place flowers on the graves of loved ones on Memorial Day, as is my family’s custom, or barbecue on the fourth of July. I hate Mother’s Day, though I still view the day as a simple appreciation of my own mom. Excluding my son’s birthday, spring/summer holidays are mostly painless compared to the endless procession of Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, and then my stupid fucking birthday in January. I’ll be 25, which deserves another fuck word thrown in there.

halloween in 1992 - i'm the dalmatian, my sister is the rabbit.

halloween in 1992 – i’m the dalmatian, my sister is the rabbit.

Halloween has been rough for a while, because it was always my favorite holiday, and it’s sad to grow up and not be a kid anymore. I used to have the best Halloweens. This year, some friends and I went out dancing at a club, and I wore a sexy Pikachu costume. Before we left to meet up, I had a hysterical crying fit that took a long time for David to talk me down. It was pathetic and not pretty. I just have so much freedom, and I have so much guilt over it. I hate myself every time I go to a party or out dancing or anywhere with the purpose of mindless youthful fun. I never actually have fun. I know I don’t deserve it. And I know that what I really want on Halloween is to dress up my son and do something lame and corny with him. I don’t know what 14-month-olds do for Halloween–eating candy sounds like a bad idea, but maybe a pumpkin patch or a corn maze? Whatever it is, I wish I was doing it with him.

My adoption pain seems to come out of hibernation in April, when the weather warms up. I found out I was pregnant while I was around six months along, at the end of April in 2012. In late May, I went to the wretched adoption agency, believed all their lies, and a week later, picked out C and L. The rest of the summer felt like a blur of pregnancy: doctor appointments, growing belly, fatigue, aches, cravings, insomnia, vivid dreams, kicks and punches, discomfort, crying, sleeping, wearing the same 3 maternity outfits, feelings of shame and embarrassment in public, and ignoring the bonding that was taking place, even while he poked me and I poked him back. I had the most intense thoughts and feelings about my son who was growing inside of me. I loved him so much, but I couldn’t recognize it or understand what was happening. I disconnected from everything. I would tell myself over and over he wasn’t for me and I would hurt everybody if I changed my mind. All throughout spring and summer this year, I felt like I was experiencing that all over again. The darkness and confusion and crying every day and the sensation of spiraling out of control, and being so totally alone. It was hard to think about anything besides my son, wishing for one more chance to go back and do it differently, so that it could be the three of us going out to the park and playing in the warm weather. Instead I relive my past agony, this time knowing I can’t do anything to change what happened.

There’s not much I can do now, except enjoy the winter hibernation, stay busy and productive, and try to be stronger for the next April – August stretch.

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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.

I hate him

October 16, 2012 § 8 Comments

“I only held him for like 5 minutes, he’s not that important to me.”

– actual quote tonight from David

This was in addition to telling me I shouldn’t be sad because he’s not sad, we did the right thing and I’m basically stupid for wishing I’d done differently. He also told me he hates when either of us broaches the subject because I “go off the deep end” on it. He then said that my grief was a burden on him because he could see how certain things affected me and he couldn’t stand it. Not like he couldn’t stand it, as in, he’s such a caring person, he can’t bear to see me in pain. He meant, he couldn’t stand my grief because it annoyed him.

Every time I think he’s done everything possible to hurt me already, he proves me wrong. The one person who should understand my pain, and he doesn’t. And he is angry with me for my emotions. Which, by the way, I have never forced on him. We never talk about it. I don’t ask for support or comfort, even when I need it desperately. The only place I talk about it is here. I know he doesn’t want to think about it or talk about it, so we don’t. In the two months since your birth, I’ve only mentioned it a couple of times, and we didn’t talk for more than a few minutes.

I take back everything I’ve said about loving him or missing him, or how he would make a good father.

I agree with him in the sense that I shouldn’t regret what can’t be changed, but in this case, that’s a thousand times easier said than done. I want to and I will strive to be at peace with this. But sweetheart, I know what you mean to me. I don’t talk about you incessantly or even occasionally. But you are in my heart and I have you there always. No one has a right to say I shouldn’t.

Sometimes I wish I was like David and I could just not care. It must be nice to have so little emotion. Then I remember my heart is only broken because it once felt something splendid.

the bitter end

October 9, 2012 § Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day 2011

My relationship with David has been more tumultuous and rocky than I feel like describing here and it ended long before you were born, early this year. Recently, I made a conscious decision to move on. It’s been really hard for me, to face the reality that it’s over between us. For him, it’s easy. He’s been over me for a long time. He was never as depressed as I was about it. I’m horribly in love…or pathetic.

It’s painful to realize that we will never be together, we will never have any more children, I’m not always going to be in his life and he’s not always going to be in mine. If he had made some kind of effort, any at all, I would’ve married him at that moment. But he didn’t. I can’t make him love me. He is done, so I have to be done too. But it makes me so sad. I created life with a man and he’s gone, and we’ll never do something so beautiful together again. You are the only child conceived between us, the only remnant of our love. And you’re gone too.

If David were a drunken one-night stand, I wouldn’t care, but we loved each other for a long time. He is gorgeous and amazing. I wouldn’t want to have a baby with anyone else. I miss him, but I know he doesn’t want to be with me. In that way it is for the best.

I don’t think I could ever love again. I don’t trust easily, if at all. I’ve been in two relationships that were over three years long, and I feel like I’ve experienced everything, none of it would be new and exciting. I have changed since the last time I found a boyfriend, at age 19. I’m not fun and sociable and interested in meeting new people. In fact, it’s rare that I like most people enough to spend more than a few minutes with them. Playing the “game” disgusts me now. I don’t have confidence or magnetism, and whenever I am in public, I’m invisible to others. It’s something I perfected in high school. I can’t bear the idea of sharing personal histories. Most guys wouldn’t be okay with my past, that I had a baby and I placed him for adoption. It’s far more likely to have a child and be able to find a partner than attempt to deal with this. Even if someone was okay with it in theory, it would be difficult for him to understand the complexity of emotion surrounding the adoption. How could I have made a choice I regret so deeply? I’m not sure I can explain. No one knows what to say to me because so few people have a clue. It’s not their fault. Being a birth mother is not something that can be easily related to.

Finding love isn’t something I need to worry about right now. But I worry anyway. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life and I know I might be, and that’s scary. The worst part is, I don’t ever want to try. Why would I? To sit around and laugh about my failures? To prove to myself what I already know, that I could never open up to anyone again? To see just how far below my standards every guy is?

I’m trying not to be angry or depressed or really feel anything about this. But I am angry. It is so easy for David. He spent my pregnancy fucking other girls and getting drunk. He is over me. He loves you very much, but he is content with the adoption. He will have no trouble continuing his life. There is no stigma or shame for him in having a baby that he is not raising. He is charming, unscrupulous, and handsome. He has friends and he makes friends everywhere he goes. And here I am utterly incapable of having a relationship of any kind, of living life happily. It takes everything I have just to exist from moment to moment.

I guess I’ve learned in the past few months that life isn’t fair. I’ve always known this but still somehow assumed that I deserve or that I am guaranteed certain outcomes in life, especially if I try to be a good person. I’m not the only one, either. Even most adults older than me still tend to believe this. And now that I know better, it hasn’t been an easy lesson.

without

September 15, 2012 § 8 Comments

I made a mistake giving you up. This is my single biggest regret. And it can never be remedied or undone.

All I want is you, my sweet boy. And the worst thing is knowing I could have kept you, I could have raised you, and–this is what I didn’t know when I was pregnant–everything would have been worked out beautifully. Of course I have no way of knowing for sure, but I know that I would’ve made it work. I am currently poor, in college, and single. But it would not have always been so. I chose a very permanent solution to a temporary problem, and I couldn’t be more sorry.

I mean nothing against C and L. I adore them. But having a big house and money and a wedding ring does not necessarily make someone a better parent. I thought so before. I thought being blood-related was not important. I’m not anti-adoption now, but I believe adoption has its place only in extreme cases, as with a drug addict or someone who has a serious lack of support in taking care of a baby. My reasons for it are not good enough. I didn’t ask my parents for help. I didn’t want to move back in with them. I didn’t want to lose my independence and rely on them, especially when they already help me out with money as it is, and I felt it was something I couldn’t and shouldn’t ask of them. They didn’t try to talk me out of adoption or ever question my decision, but they probably would have helped me if I had requested.

I wish more than anything in the world that I could put you back in my belly and do this over. I thought I was doing the right thing, so I turned myself into a stone. I don’t mean that I didn’t love you. When I was pregnant, all I thought about was your well-being, and after you were born I held you and fed you as much as I could. But I never allowed myself to consider parenting. I dismissed it as impossible, as a choice that would destroy my life. How could I have been so wrong? I didn’t know then what I know now. I used to think I knew what I wanted. I used to have focus and a drive for education, for a solid direction, for living life in what I believed to be the “correct way.” School, career, and marriage before reproduction, and even then, I didn’t want to have children. Now that has vanished. Why did that even matter to me? As if I’ve ever managed to live “correctly” before. I know I should look at this as a chance to continue making my life what I want it to be, but my priorities on what I want are so different. I can’t stop being a mother just because you’re not here, and I can’t go on with my life as if nothing happened.

The what-ifs murder me inside. What if I had changed my mind? What if I had considered parenting? What if David and I had still been together when I found out? What if I had done better in college, finished on time, and had a good job by now? What if I had been vigilant about birth control? What if I had figured out I was pregnant sooner and procured an abortion? What if you were here with me? How wonderful would that be. What if I never feel happiness and peace again? What if I never find love that leads to marriage and what if I can never have a family? What if you were it for me?

There is nothing anyone can say to make me feel better. I wish they wouldn’t try. Either they tell me I made the right decision, which makes me so angry–how dare they presume to know what is right, and how dare they suggest my child is better off without me–or they imply that I deserve to suffer because I’m a monster who gave up her own baby. One of my best friends was shocked that I was even sad, because if I made such a choice, why was I sad about it? And no matter what people say, each and every one thinks I’ll be sad for a bit and then get over it. They are wrong. I cannot live with myself. I can’t live without you.

This sadness is unbearable. My entire body feels weak and tired from it, but when I try to rest it follows me into my dreams. I rarely feel hungry and I can barely chew and swallow. I force myself to eat even though food is unappealing. I get lost in my head and I can’t get out of it. Nothing feels real. It’s all a bad dream. It even looks blurry and out of focus. On some days I feel numb. On worse days I cry and cry and cry. My face hurts from crying but the tears are seemingly endless. I don’t pity myself, because I have no one else to blame. I let this happen, I did this to myself.

How could I have said goodbye?

Where Am I?

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