Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lifelines. And on being a shitty friend.

On Friday night, Justin and I did our first socializing since Lydia died.  We had our new friends, Renae and Scot, over for dinner and conversation.  Renae and Scot lost their son at 36 weeks in September due to a cord accident.

Last night, I met a new friend, Jill, for dinner.  Jill's son Collin was stillborn four years ago.

Tonight is our support group.

This weekend, we're having Caroline and her parents over for a playdate.  Caroline goes to Ben's daycare.  And she's a rainbow baby.  She has twin brothers, Andrew and William, who came before her.

Christine, whose son was stillborn just 3 weeks ago, would like to meet up for a drink sometime soon, but I just have to figure out when I can fit that in.

Suddenly, looking at my calendar, I've got quite the social life.
And my plans are all with other people who have lost their babies.
That's not to mention the near-constant communication I'm in with Jen, or Cara, or Molly, or a few others.  

These people are my lifelines.

I told my new therapist that I'm nuts.  That I only want to be around people who have lost children.  That I have a really hard time talking to my own friends.  She asked why that is nuts.  I said, well, for one, these friends would do anything for me.  They would do anything they could to take away my pain. They didn't want my daughter to die any more than I did.  But still?  I have a really hard time talking to them. They get to tuck all of their children in at night; they have no idea what this feels like.  Sometimes they say things that piss me off.   Sometimes what they don't say pisses me off.  But maybe I'm just sensitive, maybe I'm just pissed in general, and looking for places to direct that.  Regardless, I feel like a really shitty friend.  But I don't have it in me right now to be a good one.   I just can't ask about what's going on in their lives right now.  I can't hear about how normal their lives are.  The normality of everyone else's lives is too much for me.

The therapist said I need to allow myself some grace.

I hope I don't feel this way forever.  I hope there's a day when I can pick up the phone and chat with Kate again.  Or that I can run across the street to Joanna's.  Or head over to Ashley and Nick's for an evening of hanging out with some drinks and our kids.

But today is not that day. 
So I surround myself with all these people who get my pain, who don't lead normal lives, who don't get to tuck in all their children every night.  Who are muddling through the best they can, which sometimes is better than other times. 

7 comments:

  1. I think the most important thing you can do right now is take care of YOU. Your mental health is what matters the most right now.

    We (your tribe) will always be here for you. Because we'll always find ourselves needing to come back--off and on, whenever.

    Your friends from before will probably make a decision about whether they'll stay. And if they're truly your friends, they will.

    This takes time--so much time--to get a good grasp on. And it seems like no one knows how to navigate it.

    Things will be different. They might go back to being sort of the same, but you'll also have newer social circles to navigate. And that's good.

    You're allowed to be a shitty friend for awhile. It's totally totally OK.

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  2. I love you very much. You are on my mind all the time still and I know you need space now, so I don't want to overwhelm you. But please know you are not a shitty friend in the slightest. You are so much more thoughtful and supportive than you give yourself credit for. In short, your friends are here and will be here forever. You take care of you. Your army is behind you no matter what.

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  3. I'm glad you are finding your tribe. Four and a half years later and I need mine just as much.

    Your non loss friends will hang on for the ride and be there when you are ready. And there will come a time when you are. And there will come a time when you have joy again and you want to share it with those who shared in your pain. And those who didn't? Well, they go fuck themselves.

    (sorry if that's harsh - but SERIOUSLY)

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  4. Awww hi friend! ;) I'm so glad you are talking to Cara too... She and I just recently connected as well. And yes as Caroline said, we need our people more than ever 4 years out. I'm so thrilled you are finding yours--I'm jealous (weird word to use but you know what I mean) that you have so many IRL! I never connected with anyone locally in the way that we are friends really. So that's why I have to plan trips to visit my blms across the country ;) (and Canada and London). Hopefully FOL will be a resource again as well when we get the new submissions going.

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  5. I'm such a loser, I got all excited by the namecheck!! Hey Molly. You must come visit me in London both of you!xxx

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