My brain is good at avoidance. It’s good at distraction, changing of subjects, and shuffling conversations – both verbal and internal – away from topics that it would rather avoid. Out loud, I do it without even thinking. Internally, it’s like the thoughts and memories don’t even exist. There’s nothing there, hey look at this shiny thing over here. When I want to, I can push my brain. I can force it to look; I can trap it so that there’s no other way but through the thing it wants to avoid.
Pain lies in that direction, right now. A flood of it. Absolute freakin’ deluge.
I started avoiding the pain as a means of survival. Don’t have time to deal with this right now, need to help Nikki. Can’t acknowledge this, need to keep upbeat for kids. I’ll deal with it later, when I get some time, need to get us to the hospital. Need to be strong. Then I added in the fears that came with my wife being in the hospital. Worry about the lack of information? Worry about the vagueness of the info that we did get? In the pool with the pain. Fear that a doctor would have an attack of stupid and hurt my wife? In the pool. Fear that something bad had already happened, and that I’d go home without my partner in life? The water’s fine! Keep smiling. Keep doing what she asks, so that she doesn’t worry about you. Yes, she’s right, you need to eat, even if you’re not hungry. Go eat. Don’t think about her in that hospital bed on painkillers all alone. Hold her hand, let her know that everything’s going to be all right. Don’t let her see your fear that everything is absolutely not all right. Don’t let her know that she looks like she’s in pain, and not being able to do anything about it is killing you. This is not the time nor the place. Don’t scream at the doctors to let her go home. Don’t yell at the nurses to tell you something, for god’s sake, anything. They don’t know. They’re doing their jobs. Be strong for her, she’s always strong for you.
There’s only so many times that I can repeat something before it becomes true. The pain, fear, and doubt of the miscarriage were put in that place of forgetfulness over the last week. Doing so, I’m sad and ashamed to admit, dragged whole memories with the pain. Things that were said at the memorial service, things that I said at the service, and things that I said that night feel like vague recollections of a dream. They sound familiar and they feel like echoes. I can push my mind to remember, I can force it to stay on target, but I can feel the pain and the fear and the doubt leak in around the edges as I get near. If I push harder and farther, I will get to what I’ve locked away, but I may drown in it.
Today, I have most of the day to myself. I was holding myself back until today so that I could let go. So that I could drown, maybe. So I could feel, even if I did drown. I’m staring down the hallway, but I’m not stepping forward. I keep finding other things that need to be done, and trying to default back to feeling good through accomplishing tasks. Surprise, surprise, it’s not working. So, here I am, writing, and feeling better.
My child died on Monday, 22 February around 6 AM. On Tuesday night, at the memorial service, and in bed with my wife, I stated that I wanted to get her/him back, I wanted to try again. There is so much pain that I have made myself forget saying any of that. I can no longer remember most of the memorial service. Nearly all of the rest of the evening is inaccessible to me.
My child died on Monday, 22 February around 6 AM. I will never get to hold that baby’s tiny fingers. I will never get to stroke that baby’s soft skin. I will never get to feed, comfort, teach, or know this child that was made of pieces of both of us.
My child died on Monday, 22 February around 6 AM. No, I am not okay. I am not holding up well. I feel like shit, and am in an incredible amount of emotional pain that I have no method of coping with.
My child died. My heart knows what it wants; it voiced itself the night of the service. My mind knows what it wants; it has blocked out and cordoned off the pain. Their goals are in direct opposition to each other. I am, literally, torn inside.
My child died.