Sunday, November 9, 2008

I know

I know I know I know I know I know.

There's no great plan in the universe out there, set up to slap me down every time I try to get up.

I know.

And I know that even thought it feels like every single thing sucks and is just telling me to give it up and let the car wander off the highway, I don't, because I know there are things that don't suck and there are lots of people who love me and who I love. And everything doesn't suck like students who share news with me and colleagues who try to get a smile from me when they see me down.

And every day is a fucking gift.

I just doesn't feel like it.

Last winter, when one thing after another after another just kept crapping all over me, I know it wasn't some message or punishment. The universe is not focused just on me.

I know that President-elect Obama will try to do good things for our country. I hope -- oh, god I hope -- that K comes home soon with a healthy heart.

I know that even though it feels like there is no fucking point to even trying to find pleasure because it will just end in pain -- or it will just end -- that that is just grief and depression talking.

I know that I have a lot to be grateful for. I have so many things I can look back to to find my "self" (chocolate, well, oreos) readings (though I can't concentrate) knitting (though I never finish anything, especially that gorgeous green blanket I started, imagining it for my child or for my sister's child). And the cats will walk all over the paints.

I know my sister's pregnancy is a very, very good thing. Not meant to make me feel even more isolated. Not meant to make me fear that I will never be pregnant again. Or be a mother, because I am so thoroughly emotionally wrung out right now. Not meant to make me fear for her safety, or the safety of her little one.

And I know she will do everything she can to keep this from becoming a wedge between us, but somehow, I fear it will. And I have never wanted anything more for her than this child she is carrying.

I know this doesn't mean I am the freak I always feared I was. I know this doesn't mean that and I will be the childless aunt and uncle at every event. I know that eventually Christmas will be a holiday I can participate in.

I know this depression doesn't mean that I am the permanently disabled. It doesn't mean my arms will forever be empty.

But it really feels like it.

I realized yesterday that part of what keeps me from volunteering at the animal shelter is my own selfishness. Last week, I sat on the floor with a sweet 25-lb. bundle of dog who lolled her eyes as I rubbed her jowls and leaned all over my lap so I could rub her belly. And I can't help but smile and doggie-coo.

That's why I haven't seen S's almost 3 month old baby: With her great big cheeks and arms and legs rolled with sweet squishy baby fat, looking me in the eye with a grin as I coo. And take in her baby smell as I kiss her head. And love every moment of it.

It's the giving her back. It's the knowing that this is not my family, not my baby. Two and a half years, 4 months of puking, endless doctors appointments. Hope upon fear upon hope.

And I say goodbye, have a nice evening, take care and I get into my empty car and I drive home with my empty arms. To the quiet house, and my loving chirpy cats and my husband who loves me so much he puts up with all my crap.

It is a cliche, but my arms are empty. They crave the weight of my own baby in my arms. Or the pull of the leash as I push the stroller at the fall festival.

I know I am selfish. I know I took for granted my whole life that I would get all that.

I know there is a good chance I will get none of it. I know I am feeling sorry for myself. I know I seem ungrateful for the wonderful things that I do have. I have so much.


Amy said...

I know what you are feeling. You are not alone. That's all I can are not alone in this journey. Selfishness, I like to believe comes along as part of the grief. We are allowed to be and do whatever we long as we want! You just have to know that we are all here and we understand!

Martin said...

I've been re-reading your recent post over and over, trying to come up with something worthwhile to say for you.

This post sort of says it. You do have so much, but you don't have what you ultimately want, and deserve.

Therefore you are allowed to be sad, jealous, angry, and a whole lot more.

As you very accurately said, it's the weight that you miss. I know what you mean.

Please take care.

k@lakly said...

As we have often said here, thisis not the pain Olympics, you don't have to win or lose. YOu are entitled to your feelings, the good and the bad. Sure there are people out there who have it worse, not to mention the starving children, right? It doesn't mean you haven't been through hell and had your heart ripped into a million pieces and that it sucks. Hard. Just worry about you and what you need to do for you to make yourself feel like getting out of bed everyday. And then the next step, and the next. One at a time. Be selfish if you need to, it's ok. Just take care of yourself. And know there are so many of us out here who believe in you and your incredible spirit. Count me in on that.

luna said...

it's hard to reconcile that happiness for your sister with your own emptiness, I know. it's that feeling of hopelessness, that it will never happen for me, that I have a hard time getting past to feel anything else sometimes.

it's ok to be selfish right now. what matters is taking care of you, and you and C. you have to come first, before you can give anything to anyone else.

you know I wish it were easier. but sadly it's not.

Betty M said...

I wish I could say something that would help. Thinking of you.

c. said...

Oh, Sue, I wish I could take away some of your hurt. I'm so sorry. XO.

CLC said...

You can't help but be selfish when you are grieving. Grief in and of itself is a self-centered thing. I remember my existentialism class in college and the professor telling us that we cry when our loved ones die because of how it makes us feel. On one hand I agree, but on the other hand I think it's too simplistic to think we can make ourselves feel any other way. How do you tell grief to go away? I haven't come across anyone yet who has found a worthwhile solution except that you have to go through it to get to the other side. So take good care of yourself and C and don't beat yourself up for feeling crappy. You have been to hell and now you have to find your way back. It's a long journey.

Aunt Becky said...

Sue, I wish I had any good words of comfort, but I don't. If I tried, they'd sound hollow and stupid, because I'm not good like that. I am, however, good at sending virtual hugs and love to you. And I'm doing so.

I know it's not much, but it's what I've got.

Holler if you need me. I'm always around.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I'm sorry for all you've been through and all you're going through.

I was struck by your experience of volunteering at the animal shelter. Although that's clearly not the right place for you, I hope you won't give up on the idea of volunteering in general. In my expereince, when it's a good fit, volunteering leaves you feeling filled up -- not the other way around.

Wishing you peace...

Heather said...

I think it's prefectly okay to be selfish when you need to be. I agree with the pp that selfishness is a part of grief- I know I'm in a place right now where I do exactly what I want, when I want. It's the only thing that gets me through some days. Childish, sure, selfish, sure, but we do what we have to to push through this.

I'm thinking of you. For sure.

battynurse said...

Coming over from lost and found. I'm sorry you are having such a hard time right now. I have been there before myself where it feels like nothing in life is right or will ever be right and I know how much it sucks. I hope that you are able to soon find your way to peace. Hugs to you.