My finger has hovered on the “publish” button of this post now for several days, so if you’re reading this, it means I have found a little bravery. Or maybe a little “I don’t give a #&*” but either way, here it is.
The title of this post in itself is ironic considering the gist of what I’m saying is that I am NOT, in fact, handling my anger. I know that official stages of grief are BS, but that a good majority of us deal with most of them in waves, re-occurrences and oftentimes, we get stuck in one particular spot. Mine? You guessed it. Anger.
It has been brought to my attention recently (by the professional sort) that I seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle of blame and self-loathing over the death of my child. I have no one to blame…so I blame me. I have nothing to direct my anger toward, so I don’t know how to FEEL angry. The good, stomp your feet, scream and throw things kind.
The kind where after the outburst, you feel cleansed almost. Free.
No…my anger manifests in an entirely different, completely messed up way, but I doubt I’m entirely alone in that. I’m quite certain there are a few other friends I’ve met who might nod in agreement to what I’m about to share.
Please know…these thoughts I’m sharing are NORMAL, VALID and OKAY. And no, I will not name names, even if you ask me directly. Part of my anger issue is that I really and truly cannot articulate if you’ve hurt my feelings or pissed me off by something you’ve said because truth is, I can’t blame you. There are NO right words to say and EVERYone (myself included) says something bone-headed without intent. If you have done this to me in the last two years, I assure you, you would likely never know because I’m far more concerned for your feelings than I am my own. Because I can take it. I can bear the brunt because I already hurt as badly as anyone can be and in a way, I feel like I deserve it.
I’m ANGRY that I cannot get outside of my own head. I cannot find peace from the blame I place on myself and that I replay the scenes every single day. I’m ANGRY that I didn’t change the course of this path and take matters into my own hands because I so badly hoped I was wrong. Had I stopped hoping and started acting, she would probably be here still.
I’m ANGRY that cancer in children exists, yet people are more concerned with crowd-sourcing funding for lost or stolen band equipment. Save the flying squirrels. Start ups for coffee shops. Is it too hard to look at? Is it too hard to say outloud…CHILDREN ARE DYING? If it’s hard to look at, imagine how hard it is to live with. I care about animals and the ocean. The environment and the world. I care about the CHILDREN more. And it blows my ever-loving-mind that some just…look the other way. Angry? Oh yes. Yes, this makes me angry.
I’m ANGRY that there even exists an online banter of memes, Facebook posts and Instagram feeds about how HARD parenting is. Yep. It’s hard. No one promised you a cake walk. Children are a gift and to repeatedly post about how annoying/expensive/stubborn/late/tired/mentally “done” you are likely makes you a jerk. Want to know what’s hard? Watching your child die from through the glass while 20+ people work to save her. And they can’t. What’s hard is closing the casket on her beautiful face and knowing you will never, ever see her alive again.
I’m ANGRY that I’ve been told my grief has no place in (insert certain situation here.) I’m ANGRY that I’ve been asked what I was doing to “move on.” I’m ANGRY that my life, my very existence now is ONLY in hopes of preserving her memory. I live with one foot on Earth and one foot on a Heaven I cannot see.
I’m ANGRY that on days like today, I’m worried about losing friends or hurting feelings for sharing what is my every day life. I’m ANGRY that I put on a fake face every single time I leave the house and you have no idea. I’m ANGRY that I can’t just let loose the wild, caged, rabid animal I feel like because no one would ever want to be around me again. I’m ANGRY that I spent the day buying holiday decorations for the cemetery instead of Christmas presents for her.
I’m ANGRY that the mention of Thanksgiving sets my mom and I to sobbing tears and that while the world around me argues whether November 1st is too early for a Christmas tree, I’m struggling to breathe. That when the world settles into what is the most beautiful, family oriented and peaceful time of year, I am desperate to sleep and wake up in….yah. There IS no “when” that would be okay to wake up in.
I’m jealous. Oh my GOD how I am jealous. Family photos, special moments, every day moments, holiday jammies, bath times, school parties, tummy bugs, birthday celebrations, Halloween costumes, boo boo kissing, growing up to fast…
I don’t want to be. I stuff that down so far, I choke on it each and every time my fingers reach out to type congratulations or happy birthday or some other milestone my girl was robbed of. You deserve my love and support. You have it. But it hurts.
I was a good mom. A DAMN good mom. And my little girl died. I only got 4.5 years to be her mom and I wasn’t done.
I’m ANGRY that I haven’t seen her beautiful eyes for 22 months tonight. Her bright blue, smile-with-her-whole-face eyes. She died in the early morning hours this night 22 months ago and I had no idea I was looking into them for the last time. I last heard her say “I love you” or call me “mommy” 22 months ago tonight. I’m ANGRY that PTSD (the real kind; the diagnosed kind) has robbed me of actual memories and all I have is what I think was the final time she said it…and because of my grief, I don’t know if it was real. I truly, honestly do not know if it was real.
If you have read this far, you are a saint. I am hurting and I am lashing out because I can’t take my own abuse anymore. I don’t know why I struggle to forgive myself and I don’t know if I will ever be able to, knowing I let her down. She should be here. She was beautiful. She was funny. She was kind and she would have cared about people. She was mine and she was special. And she was robbed. Ripped from my arms.
And I am angry.