Saturday 21 March 2009

Another ticket for the roller coaster?

This morning we talked about how scared we are. How simply utterly terrified. How Ray sometimes feels that we're setting ourselves up for more pain and even wonders if it's all worth it. How sex is different now, how we need it to be about making love as well as, and possibly even more than about making a baby.

I finally admitted to Ray and to myself that in the back of my mind I wonder what I did wrong. Why didn't I know that George had died inside me? Sometimes I feel that I failed to keep my son safe. I failed as a mother before I got a chance to be a mother.

I've skirted around these thoughts since we lost him and even more so since the scan that told us that the evilfibroids might not have been the cause. I know it wasn't my fault. I know I couldn't have done anything to save him, I know I shouldn't torture myself. But the thoughts still creep in, blocking out the light every so often.

And there is a lot of light these days.

I ended up sobbing, almost hyperventilating. "I can't turn the bloody tap off". It frustrates me that I can't talk about it all without crying. It feels like a barrier that can and does stop me from expressing myself clearly. I don't mind crying one little bit, it's a normal natural part of grieving. I would just like to be able to talk about things without the tears getting in the way. I don't want to upset Ray with my tears so I'll just keep quiet and what? Stew? Hmmm, probably not the best idea. This is the main reason for me deciding to try counselling again. I need strategies.

I failed.

All through my life I've wrestled with feelings of inadequacy. I was the chubby child who entered puberty just a little too early, who became a little too self-conscious, who didn't get the great boyfriend. The comfort eater who grew a layer of fat to protect herself from the world. The overweight adult who would rather let herself be treated badly so as not to be alone. The adult paralysed by fear of what others might think.

I am not that person any more.

I haven't been that person for a long time. And it wasn't Ray that saved me, although he has made my life wonderful. I saved myself. I sorted my head out myself. I no longer care what people think of me. Like me or don't, either is fine. I accepted who I am, the positive and the negative. The easy going relaxed me and the uptight self-conscious scared me. I like me. And the me that I like is loved. Genuinely, positively, unconditionally loved. By Ray and by me.

You might want to call me a late bloomer!

But every so often, at vulnerable moments, (and they don't come much more vulnerable than losing a baby) the old me pops up. Here have another biscuit, it'll make you feel better. Bury your feelings, don't tell anyone. You're not good enough, don't even try. Fortunately the old me doesn't really fit any more and doesn't get to hang around too long.

Of course there is the all-new new me now. The mother to a dead child who will go to lunch with her own mother tomorrow and celebrate the mothers day she should have been celebrating with George and Ray. And who will genuinely smile and laugh whilst keeping a small tight heavy grieflet of pain tucked out of view, because my mother deserves to be put first for the day.

Who has no answers and is ok with that.

Ray says that love is like a stone that you have to keep polishing. We did some serious heavy duty polishing today.


  1. Oh, Barbara. I think we all feel this sometimes. I know I do. I spent the first month after we lost Kai apologizing to everyone I could think of- Alan, my mother, my grandmother, and especially Kai. On my bad days, I still do. The universe- or whatever we call the thing that brought us to this place- failed US. But I bet you won't find a single one of us here who doesn't feel like she failed.

    Old Barbara, New Barbara, or All- New New Barbara- your mother is lucky to have you as her daughter. George is lucky to have you as his mummy, as will his someday sibling be. Ray is lucky to have you as his partner. And I- and so many of us- are so lucky to have you as a friend. Crying, biscuits, evilfibroids, and all.

    Mother's Day here isn't until May- so tomorrow, I will honor my friend George's Mama.

    Love you!

  2. You write so beautifully. I will be thinking of you on Mother's Day and wishing and hoping for you. xxx

  3. It's crap. You might have inspired a post.. I feel one coming up on my blog.. I don't want to hijack yours, but so much you've said... sex is different now... feeling like a failure of a mum... the lifelong feelings of inadequacy...
    I feel your pain from the bottom of my heart.


  4. Great post.

    "You might want to call me a late bloomer!"

    I have often labelled myself that.

    I fucking had braces, that reduced my attractiveness to minus levels when my friends had discovered their plus points.

    I was overweight as a kid, and I was laughed at - partially because I clowned around.

    I have totally ruined relationships because I would grow so nervous with intimacy, that I would say the wrong things or do the wrong things...And that would kaput anything.

    I have made a lot of mistakes in my life and went on the wrong roads.

    I have acted in ways that totally ruined the trust that my parents had on me.

    But yes, even my DH has not made me a better person. But he has stabilized me.

    I still struggle with myself a lot.

    Please do not call yourself a failure. You are not a failure. And that whatever happened to George was not because you and Ray loved him any less. Please do not be so very hard on yourself.

    Take Care!

  5. "I like me. And the me that I like is loved. Genuinely, positively, unconditionally loved. By Ray and by me."

    You are liked and loved by so many people!! Count me in that group.

    Your writing is so beautiful. Thank you for your courage in sharing how you feel. Thinking of you on Mother's Day.

  6. I've had so many of the same sorts Barb. But you are not a failure. And yes, you are very much loved. I didn't know the old Barbara, but I know I would have loved her just the same.
    Ridin' the rollercoaster with you!

  7. You and I sound a lot alike.

    Especially with the beating up part.

    Sending you hugs today...

  8. I have struggled with those feelings of failure ever since we lost Ezra. Rationally I understand there is nothing I could have done differently; but emotionally I constantly question 'what if'. Shouldn't I have known? Shouldn't I have been able to do something? Sometimes I'm able to suppress these doubts but they seem to continue to bubble up. The feelings of failure spill over into all areas of my life...burnt toast-see I f up everything! Broken appliance-yup everything I touch dies. I know how irrational this sounds and yet these nagging thoughts remain. Of course this carries over into ttc too. Getting pregnant requires such a leap of faith, and after losing our sons, all the more so. Yet as much as I can ask 'what if we lose another child' equally good question is 'what if we bring home a living child' hugs to you Barbara, if we have to ride the rollercoaster, I am honored to ride it with you. Xoxo

  9. I'm getting here late, but wanted to let you know how much I'm thinking of you today.

    I'm so proud of how far you've come - thank you for sharing your journey with us. And I'm so proud of you for realizing that the New You is kind of slipping, and for taking action to keep it here. There is nothing greater than loving yourself and having others love you too. I hope you're reassured in the later :) Not to just work on the former!

    I should probably do this too, if we're being honest. So, thank you for your honesty, and for inspiring so many of us.

  10. I still think from time to time I let everyone down. They were so looking forward to meeting their son/grandson/nephew and I blew it.

    I didn't know it was Mother's Day over there so I'll be holding you and George in my heart today. Lots of love to you, Barbara.

  11. Sorry, Barbara, sending you love and peace. To Ray and George also and always.

  12. Thinking you today. The people we are today are different than who we were before and who we will become, but deep down you are th precious soul you have always been, a lovely woman, partner, daughter and mother.

  13. Barb, I am sorry that you have had such a sad day. Its hard not to think about blaming ourselves but we know that it was all out of our hands, beyond our control etc.

    I forget that mothering sunday is a different day in the UK. Sorry love. I can see from your next post that you had a lovely day with your gorgeous mum and dad.

    THinking of you. xxx

  14. Why is it that we can KNOW one thing in our logical minds and feel something so contradictory in our emotional hearts? I try to beat these toughts back with a baseball bat several times a day. And sex is different now too. And that sucks. And I want to hit that with a bat too! Wanna borrow my bat Barb?



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