Things are not okay with me right now. I've been stressed about numerous things in my life lately and have been just coasting through my days. Things came to a head this weekend when two things happened, Shane and I had a heartfelt discussion about the state of our lives and Lorelei, my four year old accused me of not loving her anymore. I'll explain...
Since Calvin died, both Shane and I have been completely unmotivated in every area in our lives. His business has all but been neglected, we've stopped socializing, our house is a disaster and we hardly talk anymore about things that matter. We have made numerous attempts to get our lives back on track only to slip into the same old apathy we've been swimming in for the last sixteen months. When we moved to Vancouver during the last three months of my pregnancy, we packed up our home and Shane's brother Greg and his wife Trisha moved in to help us out. We needed our dog to be taken care of, Greg and Trisha took over paying our electricity bill and we paid the rent. We were only able to do this because of the help we received from local service clubs, The Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. Those two clubs paid our rent in Vancouver so that we could keep our home and have a place to come back to. When Calvin died and we packed up and moved home it took months of walking around boxes before I finally began to unpack our things from Vancouver. During the last year, I haven't even made an attempt to unpack the boxes we left here at the house with our pictures, seasonal clothes etc and my craft room has been overtaken in a mess of boxes and disorganization. Shane has been working hard to find work and finally he is beginning a new job as of today. With his determination to get our lives turned back around we ended up having a discussion about where we've been this past year and why we aren't progressing. He opened up about his frustration with the lack of progress we've made in sorting out the house and the fact that we are still walking around things that are boxed up. He also mentioned that he felt we were experiencing a profound sense of disconnect from our lives and each other. He's right. I've had little interest in doing anything lately, including blogging which is the one thing that kept me going in the early days of our grief. While I am still weaning off the pain meds, I've done little else to change the things that are dragging us down. I cried when I realized that it's true, that I have been disconnected from him, from Lorelei, from my life in general. I don't know if it's because I'm afraid of living my life without Calvin and so I'm coasting through my days, not enjoying things or if it's just because the apathy has become easier than confronting the things that need attention. I wish I could undo all the hurt we've been through this past year but I can't and I don't know how I'm going to find the enjoyment that's been missing from my life again.
Not only did Shane bring up the disconnect between us and our lives but the same day my beautiful girl accused me of not loving her anymore. Since losing Calvin, I have been completely immersed in Georgia. She and I have a bond I never had with Lorelei as a baby. I think because I was so grief stricken over Calvin, I poured all my love into caring for Georgia. At first I attributed Lorelei's comments of "Mom, stop kissing Georgia" to sibling rivalry and figured that in time she would get over it. During the last months, Lorelei's behaviour has been at best challenging and at worst very difficult to cope with. She has become rude, defiant and full of attitude and in frustration I've taken to ignoring her tantrums and bad manners. She is difficult to love on days when she is being mean to her sister, yelling at me or giving me attitude. Oftentimes I have sent her upstairs to watch movies or deny her the opportunity to help me with the things I'm doing because she makes more work for me. When I was sitting feeding Georgia and she came and asked me to do something with her the other day and I answered my usual "Not right now honey, I'm feeding Georgia", she snapped. Pacing the livingroom she went on a rant about how I don't love her, I just love Georgia. She said that one day I would just put her out in the garbage and that I wouldn't miss her. I cried. I put Georgia down and gathered Lorelei into my lap and told her that I would always love her and that we would never put her out into the garbage. I told her that Georgia doesn't replace her or make me love her any less. I cried with her and told her how much I love her and how sorry I was for not making as much time for her as I should have and for making her feel like Georgia was more important to me. I felt terrible and I still do. My little girl has suffered from losing Calvin and from the things that have happened in our family since. She's seen me cry more than any child should have to see their mother cry and in my grief I have not been the mother I should be for her. I'm not the person I can be, not the wife, not the mother, not the friend I should be. I've been working on numbing myself to the pain for so long that I've numbed myself to the good things in my life as well. It was a terrible revelation and it made me feel ashamed of myself. I WANT desperately for my life to feel good again, for it to feel somewhat normal. I have to stop turning inward and isolating myself from my family, from my friends, from life. I'm scared. I don't know how to be happy anymore and any joy I have felt in my life has been shortlived. How does anyone find happiness after losing a child? How does anyone move forward with anticipation of good things to come? How do you get past the survival instincts and self preservation to be there for the people in your life that need you the most? I need some answers, some advice...Please.
Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than the Last*
3 weeks ago