Saturday, January 23, 2010

Go ahead ...

I found this poem, I've not written it, I read it on the facebook page of the local miscarriage support group I've just joined. I think they are people who will understand what I'm feeling and this poem says what I'd wish all my friends to know.

Go ahead and mention my child,
The one who died you know.
Don't worry about hurting me further,
The depth of my pain doesn't show.
Don't worry about making me cry.
I'm already crying inside.
Help me to heal by releasing
The tears that I try to hide.
I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
Pretending she didn't exist.
I'd rather you mention my child,
Knowing that she has been missed.
You asked me how I was doing.
I say "pretty good" or "fine."
But healing is something ongoing.
I feel it will take a lifetime.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Not waving, but drowning...

"Not waving but drowning."

It's my favourite line from a poem. Ever.

Four small, ordinary words. A simple sentence. But it says so much about how much we can mistake the actions which we see, how wrongly we can perceive situations and how much we take for granted in imagining we know what other people are trying to say to us. But it's so easy for someone to be lost when we could see that they need help if we just stopped to really understand what it is that they are trying to make us see.

I'm not quite drowning. I'm too strong to drown, I know this now. A year ago I wasn't too sure, I felt overwhelmed and unable to ask for help from those who could see me if I waved my arms. That was part of my problem, being unable to tell people how I really felt, being unable to tell people when I was upset, and what I was upset about. I would just go and lick my wounds in private and keep on wearing my shiny mask. Like I said, I'm strong. I'm not about to drown. I won't let myself drown. I know what it's like to see someone waving who you just can't help, who you just can't reach, and I'm not about to become that person. I don't need to become that person, because I can now blog about it.

The magic about this is that you readers can all choose whether to be burdened by my feelings or not. You can just ignore it all, you can walk away and I'll never even know you've been here. That makes me feel so relieved already. I'm not forcing anybody to listen to me and to deal with my issues. You can comment if you want, or not. It's a totally free relationship, no-one feels beholden and it's so good for me. So, here goes...

I feel a bit lost right now. I've tried a number of times to tell people how I feel. My husband, my family, my friends. Yet none of them can see that I need their help or what it is that I'm really upset about. Now I can finally tell people how I feel they don't seem to want to listen. I don't know why I keep on failing, why the fact that I'm struggling so much with one part of myself is so hard for anyone to see when they seem to be noticing all the rest and all the other things which we talk about. I feel like I am waving madly and no-one can see.

For once in my life I could say I had a quiet Christmas. That's because my head was quiet. It was elsewhere, switched off. I went through the motions and I'm still going through them. To be fair Christmas is always like a play to me. I know the lines, I've played it many times, so that's no different. But this year I truly felt vacant.

I am vacant.

I am empty.

That's the truth of it. I should have been seven months pregnant by now. I should have been enjoying our last Christmas before it all changed forever, I should have been excitedly chatting to my sister and my Mum about my pregnancy, about my plans, I should have been glowing, I shouldn't have been thinking about myself any more and what presents I might like. We would have been crowing over presents for the baby and Christmas would have felt a little bit magical again, how it used to feel.

But instead I feel like I'm missing a vital part of me and I can't understand why no-one can see the gaping hole. Every day I tend to my scars from two operations in fairly quick succession and I still feel twinges in those wounds, so there is no escaping it physically. Much more than that though I feel like every day is empty, like all my social interactions are just trying to take my mind off the hurt that I want to feel. I want to scream. I want to cry. I want to be morose and miserable and I want people to understand how I feel.

Yet I seem unable to get anyone to stop and really listen, to really appreciate what I feel and not just presume that they know. My friends without children, who don't want children, don't understand what all the fuss is about: just try again and have another one. My friends with children just tell me that it will happen soon, that they managed it so it will happen for me too. Maybe they've forgotten how difficult it was, or maybe it wasn't difficult at all for them. The only people I think who might understand are those who can't have children, but do want them. Then again they say to me that at least I can get pregnant. That's no comfort to me though.

I'm not sure I can even articulate my feelings properly. I can't seem to get across how wretched I feel. I suspect that people think that it's not healthy for me to dwell on it, that I need cheering up. But I don't. I need to share my pain. I'm grieving and no-one seems to want to acknowledge that it's happening.

I feel completely alone. No-one is right here, right now, in the same position as me and I can't seem to be able to communicate how I feel so that people can truly comprehend. Maybe someone who reads this might know?

Anyway, here's the poem in full...

Stevie Smith - Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.