Monday, March 9, 2009

Back at the beginning

Back to no words, only tears.

But that's misleading. I've been doing better. Sociable, the class I co-teach is going well, the animals are (mostly) getting along.

I have a list of things I wanted to talk about, write about, but for the life of me, I don't know where to start.

I was feeling so good, in fact, that I call my RE's office to ask them to call in a 'script for the folic acid supplement he had the pharmacy compound. I bought vitamins and took a couple. I asked the nurse about the yoga class they offer, and bought a new mat. My RE is doing accup.uncture, too, now, so maybe I'll try that as well. Craving vegetables, occasionally, food that is better for me. Talking more with C about trying for another child. Thinking about consults with doctors.

There is a confluence of events or conversations or activities that can explain this, but I don't know where to start.

I'm thinking about writing -- or editing -- a book. Maybe connected with a dissertation, maybe not. I hesitate to academize this too much.

But something I have learned, as I shared my story with my brother (mistake, but learned from -- we are better) and my friend S, and one of my profs. I didn't know why I felt compelled to share "the story" with her, what happened during those two weeks, but I did it anyway. Her response was sensitive and warm and thoughtful: just what I would have expected, had i expected anything.

I told my sister about it, and she asked me what I was hoping to get from sharing this story -- pity, understanding, conversation, something from others, a free pass... I don't know what I was thinking, honestly. I'm still processing it.

Something I have learned from this, though, is that I feel lighter, somehow. Sharing the events, the grief, my own process.

And I can't explain it, though part of it I instinctively knew, from writing this journal, sharing with others who get it because they've been through it. But why put it on others? Why should that help me feel lighter?

I can't explain it. Not yet.

But I'll take it.


Thanks for sticking around.


Mrs. Spit said...

There's a line in Desiderata that talks about many fears being born in fatigue and lonliness.

I think one of the primal urges of humans is to share our stories. To tell of who we are and what we are and where we are and have been, to seek understanding. To be heard.

I don't think you are crazy for telling your story. That is, in some sense, all we have, especially of our children, their stories.

Busted said...

You do sound like you are doing better - tears or not (and for what it's worth, I don't think crying more means things are worse, to me, it means working through things).

I meant to thank you the other day for mentioning our milestone in your post. Thank you so much - it means a lot.

You should try the acupuncture - I can't really explain it but it is such a great experience and I absolutely think it helped me in my grieving and healing process (not to imply mine is over - but I haven't gone since I've been pregnant because I'm too scared so it's no longer something I'm using to help).

G$ said...

I told M last night that the thing I hate worst out of this experience has been the pity. Compassion, empathy, care, etc. I appreciate. But the pity is unbearable. Pity is like compassion with a free side of contempt to me. People look at you with horror and you see their thoughts in their eyes, OMG Please never let THAT happen to me.

Coming here to this community, the pity is few and far between. And that alone keeps me coming back.

Much love hun. I wholeheartedly agree with Busted on the acupuncture. I am on an every Monday schedule and some Mondays that is most of the reason I hop out of bed.


Martin said...

I don't understand it either, I have no idea why sharing our story makes me feel 'lighter' but it does.

It just does, and that's enough sometimes.

loribeth said...

You're not imagining, it really does help to be able to tell your story -- over & over again. Our support group encourages us, as volunteer facilitators (based on some scientific theory, although don't ask me to quote chapter & verse), to encourage our clients to tell their stories at every single meeting they attend -- because every time they do, it helps them to process a new chunk of it, and organize & assimilate into their lives. There was actually a number given as to how many times you need to tell your story in order to get it "unstuck" in your brain, & while I can't remember the exact figure, I think it was something like 50 times.

There's a big poster hanging on the wall of the office -- & each group has a little laminated version we display at meetings -- & this is what it says (credited to Ken Doka, Disenfranchised Grief):

*** *** ***

Telling the Story (again and again)

There are three therapeutic functions for developing the story of "what happened" and why I am here in this place, wanting or needing to share this experience again.

1) Affirmation: "My story" describes the value of the relationship, and thus the normalcy of my grief.

2) Enlightening: Asking to hear "my story" provides an opportunity for me to review and discover any unfinished issues.

3) Comfort: Repeating "my story" provides a rehearsed explanation tht mitigates any lingering discomfort caused by the ambivalent status of my dead baby.

*** *** ***

So, keep on talking, Sue! ; )

CLC said...

I have to agree with everyone (but your sister) that it's natural to want to share your story and that it makes you feel lighter. I think it makes us feel understood, if only for a moment. And if one person who reads or hears the story develops some more compassion as a result, than it is so worth sharing. Keep telling it.

Michele said...

One of the things that I've learned is that many people feel alone after losses like ours. I know I feel that way. I've had people tell me that sharing their story with me and knowing that I will understand has made them feel less alone. Sometimes, it's that that gets me up and out into the world.

Tash said...

Pity sucks.

I watched "Taking Chance" a few weeks ago (don't highly recommend this unless you're in a really, really good place -- I think I broke some kind of record starting to cry about 3 minutes in), but there's a line in there about "Bearing Witness" to the dead. And it hit me, that with us, we really shoulder all of that responsibility because no one else really *knew* our children. It's our right and honor to bear witness to these events, not just to our comfortable community here, but to everyone. You don't necessarily need anything in return, just a witness to your pain.

And my advisor always said when I couldn't figure out where the beginning was, to start in the middle. Write when you can.

luna said...

writing can be therapeutic, sue, plain and simple. seeking understanding in the sharing as mrs. spit said, and for others to bear witness as tash said, are both natural human needs.

writing is also a process in which we seek to better understand and accept ourselves. it is a great outlet above all, to let go of some of the grief and anguish by releasing it to the world.

niobe said...

It's only very recently (over two years after my loss) that I've been able to share (in a very abbreviated version) my story. For a long, long time, I didn't want anyone to know and, for those who knew, I didn't want to go on and on about it. I think I needed to fully process my losses before I felt comfortable introducing them into conversation.

The comments and post are incredibly interesting -- so many different ways of dealing with grief and pain.

Betty M said...

If you want to tell your story - tell it. People need to hear such stories. They need to understand that if it helps you in some way to tell it they need to be there to hear and not make it about them.
Thinking of you.