Sunday, 20 November 2011

As Good as It Gets

I was going to write this as a comment on Angie's blog "Still Life with Circles" but then I thought that I wouldn't want to bore her readers with my confused ramblings. At least you guys choose to read my crap blog.

I don't know what I'm feeling. I just know that I am feeling. Hopefully this will help, here I go.

A while back, my mother asked me if I was going to cry and/or show emotion (about the loss of Alexander) in front of my other kids. I apparently gave the wrong answer (I said "Yes") because she told me that wouldn't be good for them. I don't know how I responded but I set her straight and she agreed that my approach (whatever it was) was okay with her. Good, great, glad that she agrees. I know that she just said that to shut me up.

And then there's the family friends that asked me "how I'm really doing" and I said "okay but that I miss Alexander dearly". His response, "well, you have other kids so you should be happy". I told him that one doesn't make up for the other. He agreed and changed the topic. Again, just to shut me up.

And then, I get all upset thinking that maybe he's right. Maybe I should be happy and that I don't appreciate my other kids enough. Even though I know that I do. And then I remember what my therapist said that you can be happy and sad at the same time.

Today I was at an IMMEDIATE family's house and was asked a question about ALL my kids. When I mentioned Alexander (he was pertinent to the question) the response was "Oh, ya". They fucking forgot about him. It should be noted that they've NEVER acknowledged his existence so why would I think so now!?

Tonight, while I'm writing this post, I'm complaining sharing these stories with my husband so he says, "so don't talk about him". Why should I have to change what I'm feeling to make others feel better? If they feel bad, imagine how I feel.

You can now add him to my list of people that I'm pissed off at. A list of people that I feel should know better. Or at least when they fuck up, do a better job of convincing me that they really DO give a crap.

I just want to tell everyone (who doesn't "get it") to fuck off. I'm sick of it.

People consistently don't respond the way that I want.
I can't educate the world.
Not talking about Alexander is hard.
Getting their ignorant responses hurts just as much.
Damned if I Do, Damned if I Don't.

I think that part of the problem is that I don't have anyone in real life to talk to Alexander about. Even if I did, I'm not sure what I'd say. Maybe I need to talk to Alexander about all of it. Maybe I need to switch things up.

Or maybe the problem is that I'm not committed either way. To some people I include him in my child count, to others I don't. To some I tell them that I don't appreciate what they said (or whatever), to others, I let their ignorant comments fly.

Maybe it just doesn't matter. I mean no matter what they say or think, he's not coming back. But I'm here. I need to survive. I need to go on.

Maybe this is as good as it gets.

P.S. I should have titled this post "Fuckity-fuck-fuck" because I just realized that I swore a ton (and removed a ton more "fucks") but then I'd have to tell you about how my mother someone thinks that I swear too much and how that isn't good for my kids. My response. Fuck off.

P.P.S. In case you're wondering, yes, I feel better getting all those "fucks" off my chest.

P.P.P.S. If my mother said person thinks that having a mother (that would be me) that swears is my kids biggest problem, I got a little news flash for her, THEIR BROTHER IS DEAD.


  1. I can't believe I'm going to write this bc I'm not a very forgiving person but I think you hit the nail on the head with this statement:

    "People consistently don't respond the way that I want.
    I can't educate the world."

    They don't understand. God willing they never will and will never lose children. We can't expect ppl to act or react the way we want them to if they don't really know how we feel or what we need. Its easier for me if I just embrace that and try to let it go. Because I'm all about trying to be easier on and kinder to myself.


  2. I can't believe the things that people say. It's ridiculous. I never really talk openly about my losses because I know that I'll hear horrible, insensitive comments.

    I'm sorry that you've had to deal with this. I'm especially sorry that you lost your precious Alexander.


  3. Ha ha ha ha your p.s.s made me hoot with laughter!

    Oh my. I suppose that one of the small subsidiary sadnesses of losing G was finding out how very few people actually DID give a crap. About me. About her. Most people only wanted the surface, an unproblematic friend, and didn't actually want to talk about anything uncomfortable. It is very hurtful. I try to just respond with a sigh and a 'pat on the head', these people simply don't understand what they are talking about.

    I'm with one of the ladies who posted a comment on Angie's blog, Merry. I've always thought that, given that I decided that I wasn't going to lie to J about being a twin and having a sister, it would be mighty odd if I then pretended that I wasn't at all upset by her sister's death. I want her to know that I value her twin sister, even though she is dead. If that makes any sense? I wouldn't want her to grow up thinking that if she (J) died, her own mother wouldn't care and would just carry on as though nothing had happened? That I would just shrug my shoulders and say, "well, I've got another one", REALLY irks me that comment, you should be grateful. When THEY have held their dying child in their arms, when THEY have spent weeks and weeks hoping and worrying in an intensive care unit . . well THEN and only THEN can they tell me how grateful I should be.

    Personally, I think it IS good for children to see adults expressing emotions, to know that their parents are humans and not automatons.

    Three years out, I still don't handle it consistently. Not talking is hard, talking is hard. And I think you're entitled to a few f words. Sigh. I'm sorry. I'm sorry it's so hard and even more sorry that your Alexander is not in your arms and that you didn't have to ponder such topics. x

  4. Ah man, sounds like you've got a lot of people around you who are shit-scared of death and/or grief. Which must make it pretty tricky for them to live with the reality that your son died and you are grieving him.

    I agree with Catherine - I think it is healthy for children to see their parents experiencing emotions and to know that yes, parents are very sad when their children die, and miss them for a long long time. But I also think your therapist is onto a good thing with being happy and sad at the same time - that took me a while to get my head around, but I now take that bittersweet feeling as one of the sweetnesses that my daughter has added to my life.

    I don't think there's any need to be consistent - just respond as you can at the time. I'm never consistent about who I tell about Z when I get asked if I have kids. For me it is a judgment call - how much energy do I have for a full explanation, how much time do I want to invest in this particular person. For the people that matter to you, I think it is worth letting them know how you feel when they say things like that.

  5. Manny seems young to really comprehend my grief (he's 19 months now), but I do cry in front of him. I did so tonight, in fact, and he tucked his little face up under my hair and laughed. I never want to hide Collins from him. I want him to know he has a brother, and that he died.

    In then end, we have to do what is right for us-- whatever that means, and what "right" is-- well, you got me on that one. I am still working through it.

    And as for the fucks and swearing, fuck them.

    HUGS, and I am thinking of you all xxo

  6. From a practical standpoint, I don't know how you can't NOT talk about Alexander with your kids. I mean, everybody has effing ultrasounds now. If you don't show them, eventually they'll run across one and ask who that 3rd person is. In my case, I feel that NOT telling my girls about Caitlin would cause them more stress than if I did - since she was stillborn, I'm sorry but their birthday is never going to be 100% happy for us, since that is also the day we gave birth to a dead baby. If we just sat around crying on their birthday, they'll think it's because we're sad they were born or some crap like that.

    I am not really surprised that people say stupid things or the wrong thing, because they don't know what to say. I get that. I am just shocked that in our entire circle of friends and family, there is really not one single person who knows what to say. Not even one? Really? Not even my MIL the supposed super smart psychologist? The one who has twins herself - even SHE can't understand why I don't want them called twins? My sister is the only one who talks about Caitlin and puts her in FB status updates; my mom "likes" them, but I don't think it counts, jumping on someone else's bandwagon.