I've had this problem recently.
I haven't been able to cry.
We had support group on Tuesday night and I so looked forward to having a release, to letting the tears flow freely. And they didn't come.
It amazes me (is there a verb that means amazes but in a bad way?) how desensitized I am. I sit and listen to stories of other babies dying. I don't cry. I read countless stories about other babies dying. I don't cry. I talk about Lydie, I relive horrific moments. I don't cry.
It seems lately, like I'm just sad. I've become accustomed to just feeling this way, just this underlying sadness.
But sometimes I miss the acute pain. I miss the gut-wrenching sobs. I miss tearing up in my office throughout the day.
For a while, I've been avoiding the triggers that bring back the raw grief. I don't listen to Lydie's playlist anymore, the songs I had on repeat in the early weeks and months. I don't look at her photos. When I catch myself thinking about what my life should be like right now, I instead remind myself that it is what it is. I try not to think about it.
This morning, waking up on what should be Lydie's 4 month birthday, I had the song, "Tears in Heaven" playing in my mind. Which is weird, because I haven't listened to that song once since she died. I have avoided it. And yet, there it was, echoing through my mind as I became conscious. I told you Lydie was always right there, forefront on my mind, whether I'm awake or asleep.
It was a better way to wake up than the jolt from than the very violent dreams I've had since she died. Things like the doorbell ringing, and opening the front door to a dark stranger who stabs me repeatedly. There's a lot of violence in my dreams lately, and I think it relates to the loss of control, the violence that happened inside my body and took away my daughter. I think it relates to the anxiety and never knowing what's going to happen next.
This morning, I allowed myself to think about the parallel universe, where as Justin is heading to work, I'm changing Lydie's diaper and getting her dressed in one of her many adorable outfits. And Ben's still in his pajamas while he eats breakfast. And before Justin leaves, we prop Lydie up next to the chalkboard that reads "4 months" and we try to make her laugh for the camera.
Except I never know how to count how old she should be. Should I count from December 12, when she should have been born, alive? Or from November 6, when she was born, still and silent? 5 weeks makes a big difference in a newborn baby. In a year, it wouldn't matter. But now, it does and it confuses the hell out of me. Would she be 4 months or would she be 2 1/2 months?
And this morning, for once, I was grateful for my long commute. For the first time in a long while, I listened to my Lydie playlist. I heard the first beat of a song and I was in tears. Hello, tears, welcome. I have missed you. I sobbed all the way to work, and when I got here, I closed my door. Please leave me alone today. I am here, but I am not really here.
I've heard from many others that anniversaries are hard, and I agree. But I can't quite figure out why. Today, I feel like I want a bad day, I need a bad day, and dammit, I'm going to let myself have it. And in general, I feel like anniversaries affect me. Is it psychological? Most likely, but it feels physical too. I hate Wednesdays, and unfortunately, Wednesdays come once a week. But when a Wednesday resulted in the worst day of your life, it's hard not to hold that against all Wednesdays.
I imagine in a year, the 6th of every month won't pack the same punch. It's just like how I took monthly photos of Ben on the 4th of every month. I stopped doing that after a year. But right now, Lydie's chalkboard reads 4.