Monday, March 28, 2011

Maybe I'm Amazed

Think what you like of me. Say what you like, but I have always been completely forthcoming and honest in this blog. In the last two years, I've given you a glimpse into my private hell, and whatever you think you might do in my situation, I say BULLSHIT. You don't know a thing until you've walked it. So read or not, up to you. This material will all be somehow useful to me as I continue to write my memoir of what happened to a codependent mother in the wake of a difficult child's death, and you will remember that I was always honest about it all - the good, the bad, and the hellish. I always shot straight from the hip, never feeding you any bullshit about how great I was doing. I gave it. I bled on the blog. Now I'm getting better, and you'll see that, too.

It has been necessary for me to take a little break from the 30 posts about Kim and I, because starting Thursday, I fell completely apart in what can only be described as a full-blown crisis. Now that I am past that, I can feel that I am moving into another stage of things. Instead of telling you about what happened next in our budding relationship, then, I'll tell you about how we got through this -- because that is the really amazing thing. If I repeat anything from yesterday, my apologies. Some of those details are critical to this post.


Something broke in me Thursday. It had been coming on all week, with nervousness, the shakes, and general grouchiness. I wrote it all off to the anniversary coming up, which probably had much to do with it anyway, but I found it funny that when I tried to write my feelings here or to a friend on Facebook, my stupid mouse somehow made me go back a page and lose everything I'd written. It's like it wasn't meant to be written.

Kim had Wednesday and Thursday off. We had a lovely date night Thursday, except that it started off a little bumpy. Just a misunderstanding. I felt the shakes coming on, but we went to a movie and had a really good time with that. Afterward, we came home, paid the sitter, and settled in. She immediately began to fall asleep. I was wired and antsy. In getting ready for bed, I became agitated. I don't know what was happening other than intense anxiety.

I said some catty things, such as, "Well, since we're obviously just going to sleep..." and "You know, it would be nice if you just held me - that would be really good."

I was being a real shit, and I didn't know why. I couldn't stop myself. All I wanted - really - was to be held until the anxiety went away. Instead, it turned into an entire night of hell. I couldn't let it go. I couldn't just go to bed and sleep. I went back and forth to my office, texting Kim when I wasn't going back in the room to argue with her. I was definitely losing it.

By the next day, we were good and pissed at each other. She didn't know what the hell was going on, and she admits that I was beginning to remind her of some ex's -- clingy and irrational. In truth, I, the queen of words, could not express what was happening in my soul. By Friday night, I was ready to end it all, meaning my life, because if I had ruined the beautiful thing I have with Kim, then I couldn't see trying again. I couldn't see going on. I couldn't imagine being able to survive it. I would just "check out."

Sean and Paul were leaving the next day for Cary, NC, to get an apartment for Sean. I thought, "Okay. Everyone will be gone from the townhouse. Kim will go to work, and the sitter will be with the kids. If things aren't better with Kim by tomorrow morning, that's it."

The next morning was no better. I wanted to be held, but she got out of bed and went into the bathroom. When she came back, she still didn't seem interested. I knew I had blown it all. That was that. We argued. I got out of bed and began to make plans.

It's not that I haven't ever felt suicidal before; after all, I grew up with a mother whose sole coping skill was to O.D. I had to know how to check a pulse and call the ambulance before I was out of elementary school. Was Mom sleeping or dead? I had to be able to figure that out. Many times over the course of my life, I've just wanted the pain to stop badly enough to entertain the thought for a moment. I refused to have guns in the house because of that. It would be far too quick and easy to pull a trigger. But with therapy and anti-depressants, I found some solace. This is the first time I really had it all planned out.

I figured I had enough of a variety of drugs to do the job. There was also alcohol in the townhouse, because my son likes to have a drink now and then. I would go over there, take care of the dogs and then take care of me. Paul and Sean would be back at 1 or 2 in the morning, at which time it would be too late. Kim didn't have a key to the townhouse, and as upset with me as she was, I didn't think she'd come looking for me anyway.

I know. It sounds really shitty, and it is. It was a bad way to feel, but I'm being honest here. How could I do that to my son, right? Barring anyone else, how could I do that to him? I don't know. I just know that I almost did it.

But one thing I did was finally call my therapist and leave an emergency message. I was crying so hard I'm surprised the receptionist could understand me. I had sent a text message already and finally got a voice mail indicating that my therapist could see me the next morning (Sunday) at 9 a.m. I tried to call friends, but no one answered.

As soon as Kim left for work, I started throwing things in my car. She had said that she felt surrounded by death, so I took my daughter's ashes, all her pictures, anything that was about her, and either stuck it in my office or put it in the car. I took all my meds and such with me, basically cleaning out the bathroom. I took a change of clothes, just in case this didn't work, and I packed up my cat. I cleaned the litter box so that no mess would be left behind. I wanted CC to be with Sean and not be a burden to Kim.

When the sitter got there, I was sitting on the steps, and I bolted out the door as soon as she arrived. I knew the boys would be better off without me in the house. She tried to talk to me, but I couldn't. I just drove off, driving erratically.

Once at the house, I did everything I needed to do for the dogs, and I brought in all my things from the car. I went upstairs and crawled into bed, taking a handful of meds but not enough to do the job. I wanted to rest first, which was the best decision I made during this whole ordeal. I hadn't slept in several days and was not thinking right.

At some point, Kim called me, and you know this part from the last post. She came over - and I let her - and she got me through it. Her friend Katherine had advised her on what to do, and it worked. I finally got that bone-crushing hug I needed while I screamed at the medical establishment (of which Kim is a representative) for not saving my daughter from herself.

After I did that and raged and cried, I felt better. I started to calm down. I began to feel hungry. I began to see the world around me again through clear, though tired, eyes.

By the time we went to the therapist appointment on Sunday morning, I felt ready to let go and move on. As I told the therapist, "I'm sick of all this. I'm sick of blaming myself. I'm sick of being angry at God, Stephanie, and doctors. I'm sick of feeling this way. I'm ready to let it go."

And something clicked in me. I really did want to let it go. I was ready to stop being so angry, therefore I was ready to stop taking on every failure (real or imagined) and every wrong (real or imagined) that occurred between Stephanie and I or Stephanie and the rest of the world. It was exhausting, and I'm done battling and struggling and suffering.

My therapist said, "Well, there you go. I think that's a fine idea, and you can just visualize yourself in phase 2 of the grief process. Let it go. You did absolutely everything you could."

It didn't matter how often people said that to me, though, I had to finally believe it.

Just like with Kim. I was afraid of being happy with her and the boys. I was afraid of letting go of the grief, anger, and guilt I was carrying so that I'd have room for them and the joy. I couldn't believe her when she said she loved me, because how could I be lovable? We are still new in our relationship, though we are crazy about each other. I couldn't bear it when I thought I had ruined it, but I just couldn't hear her saying, "I love you." I was too mired in my shit.

Today, on Facebook, my "message from God" said that God wants me to know "that you can be an echo of your past, or the glory of your future. Past is connected to future through the present. At this very moment, at every moment, you are choosing to carry on the past with all its troubles on your shoulders, OR to let it go and see bright future pull your forward. Choose wisely." It seemed so right and spot on today, so I thought I would share.

Stage 2 is here. I'm feeling better. Now I just hope the sleep returns. Sleep will help me deal with the really rough days when they come, because I'll still have them now and again but hopefully not so bad. I'm severing my need to enshrine Stephanie and severing my need to be responsible for everything that went wrong.

The time is here for me to enjoy a new life with Kim and to enjoy raising these boys with her. The time is here for my son to become his own man and enjoy working in a new career, and finally finishing his own education. The time is here for me to experience joy again.

It feels really good.

Kim? I love you so much, baby. Thank you for helping me cross this boundary.

Peace - D


Annette said...

I was just talking to a friend on Saturday about the loss of a mutual friend...which can in no way be compared to losing a child....but we were talking about grief and when you finally reach the point where you are ready and able to move forward in life, without that loved one's physical presence by our side. It takes a long time to get there, but you sound like you have had an epiphany of sorts and are ready to take those steps. Obviously your daughter will be in your heart forever, never ever forgotten, but your life can still go on and you are making that happen. As it should be. Blessings to you...

Daryl said...

Again .. no words, just hugs

kim Treat said...

I don't know if these tears are from sadness at the thought of how close I was to losing you or happiness that we made it through. Could be thankfulness to those that were so caring and supportive and sending their love and prayers. Could be that you finally get it, how much I and the boys love you and need you to help us be a family and would hurt so badly forever to lose you. Baby, I too am amazed.

RiverPoet said...

I am incredibly blessed.

Kim, let's keep amazing each other.

Friends, thank you.


the walking man said...

All I can say is good journey from this point forward.

TSannie said...

Only positive light, thoughts and being to you and those you love.