When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time." ~Author Unknown
Conversations are finding me at the park, the bookstore, my kids gymnastics class, and even on-line; discussing grief that follows loss.
Each conversation reinforces how valuable sharing openly with others about my journey from the tremendous suffering and sorrow rendering me utterly broken, paralyzed with sadness and silent for so many years to finding the courage to develop a process of emotionally duct taping the broken pieces back together.
I firmly believe sharing life experiences in hopes of helping someone who is suffering, will bring about healing; this is my story of breaking silence and finding hope…
No one mentioned mourning after; depression and the physical changes a woman’s body goes through from the effects of such a loss.
I grew to accept my lot in life, and willfully forfeited any rights to peace, so my heart ached, and I was in a constant state of angst and consumed with guilt. The loss was my fault… for this, I was convinced!
I quit. I mean, how is it possible to laugh, live or even love after something so horrible, better yet, why would I want to? My baby was gone. I was empty!
I imagine, somewhere bottled up in me a fight or a glimmer of hope existed; I just did not see it, I felt as if hope were dead, so, I punished my twenty-three year old self and intoxicated my mind, as often as, getting up from bed would allow.
Passing decades and no amount of drink have had the power to block the memories of her death, which, float around deep within my conscience…
It was my first morning back, feeling empty, alone, staying with my parents, in their home, sleeping in the same bed I slept in as a little girl; I climbed from bed, on a quest to find something that would cut the misery induced pain that weighed so heavily on my heart.
I knew where to go; my Fathers brown leather briefcase, up high, out of reach, but not locked. I wanted what was inside… I hesitated before opening, not out of doubt, I knew what I needed to do; I just wanted to do it in secret. I removed from inside the briefcase the contents of what I hoped would give me sleep induced release.
I held my Dad’s prescription bottle, prescribed to help a Leukemia patient with his sleep, it said take one; so I popped two. When I woke, I was still there… pain and all!
The doctor called it fetal demise, sounding terribly clinical, as if, making it easier to detach, but I was never able to detach from the pain; I carried my emotional weight with me wherever I went.
From that moment on, I never dreamed that life would bring me love, happy, peace or laughter; I felt guilty over feeling anything, but sadness. If I thought something was funny, I wasn’t allowed to laugh or experience pleasure…
I felt so incredibly sorry for myself, for years; I did not know what to do with the pain. It inevitably would come out at the weirdest times, often leaving me ashamed of my behavior.
The Sailor was different. I knew he was The One, which, sort of, kind of, majorly opened up some crazy. I had done a lot of living, but waited to give my love to him. I risked being vulnerable with him, and luckily for my fragile heart he was a safe person to do that with; he loved me in spite of me. In the process, he taught me something, he taught me that it is OK to laugh at pain induced crazy… It. Is. More. Than. Okay. To. Laugh!!
With The Sailor in one corner and sobriety in the other, I had the courage to walk into a therapist office, three years ago, and say “when I was 20 years old, I got pregnant, dropped out of college, had a baby and she died. And just like that the healing process started.
It has taken a lot of gut wrenching pain, tears, jumbled up makes no sense, words puked all over the place, and much effort on my part, just to reach a point emotionally that I know the trauma to my heart will forever be there, and I accept it.
It is okay to love, laugh and live… it is okay to love, laugh and live.
Maybe just maybe someone will read this and know that they are not alone and that they also deserve peace of heart and mind.
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