Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Visit

We said: "Why are we still so sad?"

She said: "Still? My goodness, it's only been a year. I'm sorry, but you have a long way to go in your grieving process. Another year at least."

And went on to quote the "literature" which give 18-24 months of hardcore grieving for a loss. And that assumes a loss is a parent or a spouse, in other words, someone not unexpected. And that assumes the loss of one, not two, people.

We said: "This is strangely reassuring. Now, please share those time lines with the rest of the world."

She said: "Don't worry about the rest of the world. Worry about you. Worry about each other."

We said: "We are so angry." And went on to explain all that occurred leading up to the birth and death of our daughters.

She said: "Of course you are. You have a right to be angry. You should be angry. Now what are you going to do about it?"

We are going to consult with someone about a potential lawsuit. This is what we are going to do about it.

I said: "I punched a wall last week. Who does that? Who above the age of 13 does that? I feel so violent. All I want to do is punch and kick and smash and break."

She said: "Why do you think that is an inappropriate response? I think you should punch something. Both of you. You need the release. Now, let's think of a way for you to do that without harming yourself. "

I think Santa will be bringing us some pretty cool boxing gear. No shit.

He said: "I just don't see the point of anything."

She said: "Have you considered anti-depressants?"

He said: "That is not going to happen."

She said: "Then punching something becomes imperative."

I said: "I am so tired of failing. For so long. At things so important. I am tired of dealing with bad news that I cannot change and situations I cannot fix. I am sick of things getting worse every time we try to make them better. And I am sick of the assumption that we are ok and the anger when we are not."

She said: "I want you to change your language. You have not failed. There are situations that are beyond your control."

I said: "That is not acceptable."

She said: "Too bad."

I said half-jokingly: "When will we get better?"

She laughed.

I said: "When will we get better?" And meant it.

She said: "I'm sorry. That is simply an answer I do not have. Do you want to work on it together?"

We said: "Yes. Please."


ezra'smommy said...

Oh yes. Yes, yes and yes.

forward tumble said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, I'm sitting right here with you, next to you. Thank you so much. This is exactly what i needed for i feel so utterly, desperately alone and I have no answers.


Nadine said...

She is so so right.

Anonymous said...

They don't have the answers, but they can try. *Hugs*

still life angie said...

xo that is so friggin' reassuring.

N said...

You sound so much like me.

Punching things is good. It really, really is. I know how strange that seems. But I promise that it is.

I wish the rest of the world would understand. But, aside from a few, they won't. and we have to live with that. And we can. And will. You can. And will.

I hate to tell you that, 6+ years after my brother's (unexpected, young) death, I still have moments and days of complete and utter meltdown, sobbing tears, and anger. It's to be expected. These things are never cut and clean. But you're not alone. ♥

Sue said...


Thinking of you.

Mo said...

I love her. I'm so glad you found her. Coming from the clinical side of things, sounds like she knows her shit, and is real and empathic and not afraid of facing the hard stuff with you.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love your posts? Even in the midst of so much difficulty, your writing is clear and focused and real.


Lori Lavender Luz said...

In the absence of being able to do something to actually HELP, I will share this with you.

I attended my first kick-boxing class at the gym last week. A BIG stretch for me.

And know what? I LOVED IT! I felt so powerful. I felt stuff, icky stuff, coming out of my as I flung my limbs around.

I can hardly wait for the next class. If you can find one near you, give it a try.

I do like your therapist. She's straight up.

dana said...

i'm so glad you've found her. the last two lines in your post brought me to tears...constantly thinking of you and M.

much love.

Anonymous said...

Just last night we were talking in awe of you. It is no small wonder when one somehow avoids going utterly apeshit under apeshit circumstances. So, I think punching walls is WELL within reason. After all, there is always Spackle. On a more serious note, although I do see the point about choosing something less harmful to your person, I think sometimes one can feel a strong urge to physically manifest what's going on internally (not that I speak from experience or anything like that...). You know?


annacyclopedia said...

I love her, too. I'm so glad you found someone so compassionate. Although I wish there was no need.

Thinking of you often although I am in hibernation mode these days.

Michele said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.

And together. Another yes.

LJ said...

Things I have done or know that others have done:

1. Get ice cubes, throw them at a brick wall.

2. Get plates at at thrift store, throw them at a brick wall.

3. Kickboxing, like Lori suggested.

I'm so glad you have someone who is helping you sort through it all - and punching a wall is totally acceptable!

Kami said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. It reminds me so much of the times Brad and I talked with a therapist. Ours often said that grieving takes as long as it takes and that our society is always trying to rush it.

Brad always seemed to control his anger although it was there - I could see it. I never punched walls, but I threw things more times than I feel good about.

I wish I could offer you a shortcut, but if there is one, I never found it.

Barbara said...

Wise words.

I too feel reassured by this.

And glad you have found this person.

And hugs, lots of hugs.


Lani said...

agreed on all counts. i am about to cave and go for the anti-depressants. i've tried almost everything and i feel like i'm in a sadder spot then ever.
glad you found someone who is so wise and compassionate and will help the 2 of you find your peace. or at least some peace. i don't believe that all the anger will ever go away, or the sadness, but maybe it will. who knows?
anyway, on this journey with you.

LittleWanderer said...

wow, that is refreshingly good advice, I may dig out the boxing gloves myself

Dani819 said...

Wow. Sounds like you find the right person. Such wise, compassionate words. Finally.

tireegal68 said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. You are in the right place it seems. You are having normal reactions to extremely unusual circumstances that sadly so many go through but so few can bear to hear about. The trauma of this experience is palpable. I wish you strength to walk
this journey and the space to express your anger. And you are a brilliant writer.

mash said...

I love reading your posts, I wait eagerly in anticipation of them. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, it brought tears to my eyes.

Try also: screaming into a pillow until your voice gets scratchy, buying cheap crockery and smashing it really hard on a concrete floor. Feels SO good.

"She" sounds so amazing. Stick with her!

My own experience of grief (and I haven't lost a child) is that the sadness never goes away completely, but you learn to live with it. Your life becomes an easier place to be, and you move on, having become a stronger and more positive person. You will survive, I promise. And for now, just let it be there, it's OK.

aliza said...

so glad you have found this person to be with you on your journey...

and i can so relate to the anger...i have smashed bottles and rocks but it's never enough, the anger is deep and real.


Julia said...

Oh, I love her. She sounds just awesome. And I am so incredibly glad and grateful that you found her.

Pst... Someone once told me that buying dishes at Goodwill just to smash them is totally allowed and is in fact, a form of therapy. So I am passing it on. In case, you know, this sounds like your cup of tea (sorry, couldn't help it-- bad puns are my downfall).

Mick said...

Wish we had had someone like that. I'm thinking of you at this time of year.

Smiling said...

sounds like you've found a good person to help with the uninvited work ahead.... Good luck with your consult, and the boxing, and the anger and the hurt. We're all right here --- wish I could more than just being here... damn why can't we just fix things!?!

Two Shorten the Road said...

Righteous post.

I know I'm just supposed to focus on the emotive part, but that's not what really struck me. I'm glad you're going to at least investigate pursuing a lawsuit. It always bothered me that the doctor called you back later to say a few hours wouldn't have made a difference. Says who? The hospital I believe you went to has a history of shady sh!t with this sort of thing, in spite of its stellar reputation, and I'm glad you are investigating. Even though a lawsuit can't bring Isobel and Jovi back, it might help you financially as you continue to pursue your dream of having a family.

Two Shorten the Road said...

Also. The failing thing. When we were in the throes of IF, I remember telling someone that usually if I wasn't good at something, I'd just assume it wasn't for me. Like volleyball, or bowling. (These sports are two that I seem to recall you being pretty good at. :) ) But with the family thing, I couldn't just walk away, and it sucked. It was especially hard for me because I was used to being successful at the things that were important to me. It was so frustrating. I can't imagine the level of frustration you must have reached by this point.

FET Accompli said...

She sounds awesome and wise.

nancy said...

~hugs~ I hope she really helps you find the peace you need. Or at least guides you to that place.

loribeth said...

Sounds like you found a good one!!

My therapist also suggested smashing plates from Goodwill. Or getting a plastic kiddie bat & a nerf ball & going outside, or into the basement or garage, & whacking it around.

Bluebird said...

I somehow just saw this post after you linked to it, and just have to thank you for sharing. It is SO reassuring - strange or not. I hope, if you're comfortable, you'll continue to share pieces of her wisdom. ((Hugs))