Saturday, June 7, 2008

Black Gaping Hole

I feel right now like I am in an upswing, moving a bit farther from the gaping hole, though I know it is right behind me, waiting. Recent distractions, newly (re)found, if tenuous, focus on my goals, on my husband, friends.

I fear the moment I feel the swing start to move downward, back toward the gaping hole, wondering about what new misery awaits me, which old misery will hurt most. How long it will take to climb back out of the gaping black hole, what I will need to do it, to let go again of my boys.

I left this comment on a post at Glow in the Woods, in response to a post by Niobe about feeling the wound of loss sort of, well, scar over. Be less raw.

When I wrote this post, I was feeling really good. Hopeful about the future. C had just completed 5 years of intense work and had successfully defended his dissertation. I was starting to get back into my own research and study. There was a minuscule chance that we could have conceived this cycle, and I was feeling okay, even hopeful about it. There was talk of getting a dog. There has been crazy weather here lately, with a big jump in temperature, severe thunder storms and threats of tornadoes. Electricity was literally in the air.

Weeping, hard crying was held to a minimum this last week or so. I was glad to be done with May. I was feeling okay. Almost no crying in therapy, even. I decided that it was time to be done with the Am.bien, that I had been taking it for a while, and I was doing well enough otherwise to try to face sleep without it. So, you know, feeling pretty okay.

But I was getting bitchy. Feeling the anger. A lot. It was coming out in subtle, and not so subtle ways. I thought maybe I was withdrawing from the am.bien, but I also feared it was another downswing.

I don't know if anyone else has experienced this, but for a long time, after a good day or two (hell, after a good hour or two) I would crash. Feel the black, deep sadness more intensely. It's like it would build when I wasn't looking. And so, while enjoying some of the "gee, I seem to be doing well" or "I wonder if I've gotten past the worst of this." there was a little voice in my head that said "brace yourself." I hadn't had the crash. I'd recovered from all the dates in May, I'd been feeling pretty okay, and without the crash.

Until yesterday.


Without going into specifics, C and I had been talking about doing some things, making some (small) changes in our life, and I was pretty excited (no, this was not about trying again). I took it for a done deal. But for C, it was not. Without knowing that, I was thinking about things, making plans. Looking Forward. Planning. Hoping.

Hmm. Looking forward, planning, hoping. Remind you of anything??

Yeah, well, after several more discussions yesterday, it became clear that those changes, those decisions were definitely not part of a done deal. I was crushed and furious. Furious. After more talking I decided I needed to get out of the house, get some comfort food, or something.

I slammed the door on my way out. I haven't slammed a door since I was 17 years old. I drove 40 mph down our little development street. I took a detour so I could speed around a few curves of empty road, then spent far more money than I should have at C.VS on I don't even know what.

I came back home, slammed the door a few more times and ended up upstairs alone with junk food I didn't even want. Crying. Hard. I felt like I wanted to explode. I don't ever remember feeling so much tension. Like I needed to break every dish in the house. Punch a hole through the wall. I went into my office and threw a couple of things on the floor, but that didn't do it. I saw the Takin.g Ch.arge of You.r Fert.ility book I had bought way back when I thought I had any control over my fertility and I tore it up. Literally ripped pages and binding and covers. A book on grieving that was helpful when my mom died. Ripped it apart. Em.pty Cradle, B.roken Hear.t. Shreds.

Satisfying but not enough. Sobbing in my bed. Sobbing. Weeping. Wailing like I hadn't done since the boys died. I took a couple of steps down the stairs and C came to me, and just held me while I cried like I have never cried in my life. Ever. My chest hurt. I started to hyperventilate.

I cried for my boys. The life they'd never have. The life we'd never have because they were gone. I cried for the things we should have been doing, contending with infant sons. The exhaustion and the joy. I cried for everything we got cheated out of. Everything I wanted and was denied.

I cried with deepest sorrow and deepest anger I have ever felt in my entire life.


I've stopped crying now, more or less. I'm still processing everything that came with the events of yesterday. I'm exhausted. My body still hurts. But I'll be okay. A few days, or a week. I'll be okay. Somehow.

And, I hope, the gaping hole has become a little smaller.


Ya Chun said...

STE- I am sorry that you've been sucker punched. It has happened to me several times. This weekend is an monthiversary, so it's more teary than in recent times.
And yes, small stresses like being on a different page than C can really cause an explosion, seemingly disproportionate, but not really. I also noticed that the higher my highs, the lower the lows. You were coming off a big wave, c's defense and job, getting thru the dates, feeling better. Anyway, what I am trying to say is, yes, all to be expected. thinking of you guys...

Busted said...

I'm so sorry for you having to go through such a downswing. They suck. We all have them (or at least I can say I have the same types of incidents). I think it's the fact that during the time we are thinking "gee, I'm feeling ok", all of the pain and sadness and anger is building up inside and something seemingly unrelated can set it free, and it comes in greater force from having been pushed below the surface. I had a similar breakdown this week, I don't even remember what triggered it. It may have been as simple as not wanting to go for a walk when DH did. Next thing you know, bawling.

I hate that you had to feel so sad, feel such pain again, to drag you down from the hopeful place you were in, but if getting that sadness out leaves more space for feeling "ok", maybe it's necessary to have these things happen.

Newt said...

Hey STE, I've been so wrapped up in my own stuff I haven't commented in a while. I wanted to tell you I'm still reading, and thinking about you and the babies every day. I can't tell from your story if this was a cleansing cry or if the scab just got ripped off again, but I know your grieving is so deep and so strong that even the forward steps can't fill the hole behind you. I wanted to say I'm with you, as much as I can be from the other side of the internet.

Sending love.

loribeth said...

No words, just (((HUGS))).

Aunt Becky said...

I'm so sorry STE. I know that feeling (different reasons) and the only advice I can give you is this: go buy some cheap dishes at a second hand shop, take 'em home, and smash the crap out of them.

It helps so much. So very much.


Thinking of you, love.

Amy said...

I am so sorry that this is hitting you like the big black hole that it is. I wish I could reach out and hug you and tell you it will be alright. Truth is, I myself am not sure when the alright will come. I do know that it's there somewhere. I know we will NEVER accept what has happened but I do hope that we learn to live with it and that it gets softer with time.

Throw things, break things, just know it's alright to do it as long as you won't regret breaking it later!

Big hugs to you my friend, sending you an email also!

CLC said...

I'm sorry STE. I feel like such a broken record saying that. But I understand how angry you are that your boys are gone. I am angry too. I will smash dishes with you if you would like. I just wish I could change it. XOXO.

c. said...

I'm so sorry, STE. It sounds as though those tears were much needed. I feel like we keep them pent up so long inside that, at some point, they have no where to go but spill over some days. Thinking of you, hoping you were able to release some of that anger and hurt.

G$ said...

I have come to believe that for every dip in that black, gaping hole, we come out no worse for the wear and another layer of grief addressed. The BGH is exhausting and shitty, but necessary in ways we will never fully understand.

Thinking of you hun.

ps - Are we voting on the dog thing? Cuz my vote is a HELL YAH.

Tash said...

Oh, S. I'm reading these in reverse order, but I'm so sorry. Sometimes there will be days like that. i still can't really make plans that far in advance of any sort because it seems like I'm stuck right here, with my thumb in the damn. Only recently have I tested pulling the finger out a bit to see how bad the blood flow really is.

i thought about ripping up EC, BH on a good day -- just sayin'.

Julia said...

You know, I had a period of intense anger come over me when we were cleared to try again. I have also seen others go through that too-- raw emotion, anger, grief, pain. You didn't officially try, but you weren't not trying, so that's something maybe?
When I was being mad, someone told me that they used to get old dishes at garage sales to break over the trash can. Apparently satisfying. I am not big into destroying things, but I have been very tempted a few times. If only I had something I could rip or break. I have been known, though, to slam doors when I get that way. In anger or frustration, in pain, really.

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore said...

Mark Twain said something really powerful- he said that he was amazed at how humans can experience a "thunderblow" such as this and still survive. Minute by minute, day by day, week by week. Samuel Clemens "Mark Twain" lost his own daughter Suzy.

Lisa said...

What an amazing way you have just depicted raw emotion and I hope you feel even a little better for sharing it with all of us. I know that I feel a little stronger and more aware of my reactions to things from having read it. Many hugs to you.....

luna said...

just re-reading this post today. it really provides a clear window into the anger and sorrow that is loss. thanks for sharing it.

B said...

Actually - while I know it totally and incredibly sucks - I am proud of you for walking through that emotional storm yesterday. You did well. It is OK to smash plates, rip books, sob, wail, smash the pillow. You've had devestating things happen. And it is much much better than taking anger out on yourself and your husband. I am proud of your husband too for not being afraid. For standing by you and with you.

I know you feel wrung out. Dry and crumbly. Physically hurting from the pain of crying. But you won't stay here either, just as you did not stay in the rage.

Hoping for some time of refreshment.

love Barb

PS I told my cousellor (about a year back) that I was worried cause I experienced a heady high when i was even just a little bit happy and massive crashes inbetween. She said it's kind of normal when pushed to extremes. But you have to keep doing the hard work of finding a way through each black hole. Which sucks. We're with you as you do it.

JuliaS said...

Devastatingly beautiful post. I wish it didn't have to come at such a high price. Anger is such a part of grieving and often overwhelming as much as sadness.

Wishing you better days to come.

Kami said...

Reading your post brought back many memories of the months after we lost our son. So many of us have similar experiences after a loss like this. How is it that no one outside of infertility and loss has a clue how hard it is?

I was also reminded of the times when I was doing a bit better and wishing I could sob or scream or break things to get it out of my system a little - but instead I just numb, but in a very hollow and dark way.

I hope you are doing better. I'm sorry for the anniversary.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I have anything to add that hasn't already been said. It does get better. Time might not heal all wounds but it lays a scar over them so they are easier to endure. It has been 16 years since my daughter died and not a day goes by that I don't think about her but she is my own angel now, as someone told me right after she died. That keeps me calm and at peace. We are still together on some level.