Living My Life & Finding The Words

life update

I click over to the back end of my blog at least once a week, sometimes more. I know it doesn’t look like it… the blog looks deserted and a little bit dusty. I’m still here, dear reader, living my life, trying to find peace and happiness in all the little things around me, and I have a deep down urge to tell you all about the good and the bad.

I just can’t seem to find the words anymore.

There are too many stories that are not mine to tell anymore, even though I am going through them too. If the blog were a bit more anonymous, then I would probably feel more able to share, but that ship sailed many years ago.

My blog has evolved a dozen or more times over the 15 years that I have been here, and most of those evolutions have involved a long period of quiet while I sorted out whatever was going on in my life. I like to think this is just one of those times, and I will be back.

I just have to figure out how to come back… what I have to offer.

I don’t want to alienate those who found me through the baby loss communities when I share stories and pictures of our rainbow baby, though that may be inevitable. I treasure each of you with whom I share a mutual loss. I am still one of you, but the wound is not as fresh as it once was, and that is partly due to the passage of time, and partly due to those whom I met when I was writing my way through my grief on this blog.

I have met many readers who identified with my struggles with my oldest daughter’s mental health issues. I am still there, and I am sorry to say that, if anything, those struggles are more intense than ever before, but I am not comfortable voicing those things to the internet at large anymore. My daughter is almost 15, so as much as I would sometimes like to be selfish and tell you all about how I feel about her issues… I won’t. She deserves her privacy.

While I’m still sorting out what I have to say, and how to go about saying it, I do continue to post pictures on Instagram (username: thedestinymanifest). Please do come by and say hi there!


A Million Ups and Downs

I’m going through a million ups and downs this week, so I’m defaulting to a {nearly} Wordless Wednesday, instead of my usual Wordful version. I’ll be back shortly… I do have a lot to share with you all.

A Million Ups and Downs | The Destiny Manifest

Don’t forget that from now until July 1st, 60% of all sales through will be donated to Molly Bears, in honor of Clara. We appreciate every sale and every penny that will be donated to this wonderful non-profit group!

I’m linking up several places for Wordful/Wordless Wednesday…

live out loud button better in bulk button seven clown circus button babybabylemon jenni from the blog button Pictimilitude button Fresh Mommy Blog
parenting BY dummies
Wordless Wednesday by David Tales of a Pee Dee Mama

Grief and Anxiety at the Grocery Store {Scriptic}

The simplest of responsibilities and tasks have taken on momentous proportions, since Clara died.

I have social anxiety and it can get pretty intense at times. I’m not a fan of crowds or loud noise, and when you combine the two, in a Christmas shopping expedition, for example, I become grumpy and short-tempered. I shut down, in a manner of speaking, and must get out of the store NOW.

My anxiety is not one of my prettiest traits, that’s for sure.

Today is the last day of school/work for the kids and David until January 2, 2013, so I had grocery shopping to do, to prepare for everyone being home for breakfast and lunch. I really didn’t want to go shopping. The traffic was awful at 10 on a Wednesday morning, which is never a good sign. I have had a bad couple of days, emotionally, and grocery shopping had taken on this huge and scary dimension. It was quickly becoming something I could not do, in my anxiety-ridden mind.

Honestly though, it had to be done.

It doesn’t matter whether I’m tired, emotionally tearful, scared to death of simple tasks like picking out chicken, bread and milk and paying for them at the register. And what if there are babies in the store? Surely there will be at least one tiny baby, snuggled in a sling on their mama’s chest, or riding in their car seat at the head of the cart. Maybe they will cry, and then I will be paralyzed with the desperate want to scoop them up and comfort them, coupled with the wild need to get as far away as possible, to shield my hurting heart from the grief and the constant reminders of what we have lost.

All that aside, my kids have to eat. I don’t have the luxury of sending the housekeeper to do my shopping (wouldn’t that be nice though!?), and I won’t send my husband into the store after he’s been working all day. Don’t get me wrong — I have done this, many times, but I feel guilty when I do, like I have reassigned one of my responsibilities to him, when he already does so much.

Plus, I had already sent him a text to let him know that I was off to the store, asking if he needed anything. I didn’t want to disappoint myself. I didn’t want to disappoint him, though he would never express disappointment. No, this would be self-judgement of the worst kind, if I didn’t make myself do this chore.

So instead of giving into the urge to drive right past Aldi’s and head for home, and the warm comfort of my freshly-made bed, I pulled into the parking lot, parked the car, and after many deep breaths, headed into the overflowing store.

I did survive. There were no babies in the store this time, so I didn’t have a meltdown. I got what I needed and I even managed a brief conversation with the cashier. I was quite proud of myself, to tell the truth.

But that won’t make it any easier, the next time I need to go to the grocery store.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Diane Trujillo gave me this prompt: “I’m off to the market. Do you need anything?’.

 I gave Tara Roberts this prompt: Write a letter to the first person who ever broke your heart.

Silence Has The Loudest Voice

Some days are better than others.

I say that over and over, to everyone who asks how I am.

Honestly, the truth is more that some moments are better than others. I can’t remember when I last had an entire day that wasn’t filled with sadness and emptiness and tears, intertwined with little bits of happiness.

The happiness is real, but it fades so quickly, acquiescing to the sadness like a scolded child.

I smile and laugh out loud over a goofy text message conversation with David. I take pride in Lakin’s excited tale of how she helped her team win the intramural basketball game. I grin at Addah moving like Jagger in the back seat on the way to school.

And as soon as I am alone again, I feel the hollow sadness settle back down over me, making it painful to function and hard to want to.

I miss my baby.

I miss her every moment of every day, and the nights are worse. The nights are often impossible, leaving me awake and fumbling for words to convey what I’m feeling at 4:00 in the morning, knowing that I have to be awake and alert at 6:45 to drive the kids to school and David to work. I don’t mind that part, doing for my family. It’s coming home to a silent house that I dread.

I should be hurrying home to nurse my baby, worrying over whether she’s gaining enough or too much weight, complaining that she kept me up all night because she’s going through a growth spurt. I would gladly {gleefully} stay up all night for that, every day of the week.

I should be doing those things, but I am not, because my baby is gone, passed away, lost… dead. In the place of my beautiful baby girl, I have silence, which I fill by trying to do a lot of things and not actually doing a whole lot, most days.

I spend far too many long minutes scrolling through pictures of the babies in my due date groups, tormenting myself by imagining what Clara would look like, what she would be doing. I feel an unsettling mixture of sadness and anger and bitterness and contentment, watching these babies grow up and knowing that my girl never will. I try to capture my grief in photographs, but there is no photograph that shows how empty I feel on the inside… how light my arms feel with no baby in them.

Yesterday was one year since we found out we were pregnant with her. So many hopes, gone. We want another baby, but our hearts aren’t really in it. Not yet. We’re stuck in what feels like an endless cycle of coping and grieving and propping each other up until the next time one of us collapses into tears.

There’s no solution, no easy answer to this one. My usual responses to this kind of bleak depression are no longer an option, so there’s no bottle to put down, no drugs to quit taking, no failing relationship to end, bleeding wound to bandage, or stressful job to quit. There’s just each day, coming at me like a freight train, loud and manic in the mornings and evenings, and tragically silent all day long.

I miss my baby.

I have to carry on through each day and try to make a happy life for us. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, coping with depression, trying to pull myself up by my bootstraps and figure out how to incorporate this intense pain and loss into the happiness that comes naturally, from living in a loving family with goofy kids and a young-at-heart husband.

It’s awful, and I fail often, but I am trying.

There are times when silence has the loudest voice.
~ Leroy Brownlow ~