Because that's just a fact.
Today though, I'm going to talk about what this means for me. (If you're new around here or have no idea what I'm talking about when I say AFE, you can go HERE to catch up.) On Facebook earlier this week I shared this and it made me pause.
I have spent a good chunk of the last four years trying to get people to understand that right now the concept of be grateful has nothing to do with trying to heal from trauma. Being grateful doesn't make my trauma go away. It doesn't make the depression go away, the PTSD, the panic attacks, the anxiety, the fear, the feeling of not wanting to be here, none of that goes away whether I am grateful or not.
Even after four years I am still sad. I still feel terror when I see a pregnant woman. A small baby sometimes makes me cry. I still feel angry.
I am angry my life isn't the way I worked for. It isn't what I wanted at all. I don't even feel like this is my life anymore.
I am angry that I missed out on Lucy's every first because I don't remember any of it. What kind of God lets a person survive this and then robs you of memories? To make me feel like a constant disappointment to my children when I can't remember important things or share in their memories? To make me always wonder if I'm as good of a wife as I was?
I cry because I'm not grateful.
I am angry and I cry because I'm not better. I'm angry there is no such thing as "better". I am so sad that I never feel well. I always hurt. I am always so tired I can barely function. I am angry my memory is awful. I'm really angry that I am so short tempered and angry and that my family sees it. I'm feel so deflated because I keep trying and trying and still, I'm running in place. Its like I'm running uphill but I never reach the top. I hate complaining about my life because I KNOW people are out there who have it worse, but my therapist absolutely hates when I say that because its downplaying my reality. I will say that I would take all of the pain and ailments if it meant Lucy could stay healthy. Anytime she gets sick or worse I feel guilty. Its an endless wheel of thoughts of what I messed up when I was pregnant, how did I fail her?
I am angry people still push their stupid essential oils on me like that's going to fix me. I'm angry people tell me if I just did a specific thing I would be cured. I'm angry people suggest memory games for me and assume I haven't tried them. Or maybe they think I just didn't try hard enough. Yeah, its probably that. Maybe I should just try harder and suddenly my brain and body will snap together and be normal.
I am angry people talk about me like I'm not trying hard enough. I am angry these people can't see me on the bathroom floor in the middle of the night crying. That they can't see me in my therapy sessions trying so hard. I am angry they can't be in my body just to feel what its like to feel like you have the worst flu of your life every day. I'm angry that they can't see me in the shower sobbing almost every day because I am so emotionally exhausted from just going through a day.
The only thing I know for certain, the only thing I know for sure with every bone in my body, is that Matt is my person. I know I'm lucky that he has stuck around, that he still loves me. I'm not always a pleasant person and I know that. It has to be hard for him to know I need so much help and some days, some days I just can't do it at all. I also know my kids are pretty damn great. I couldn't have a better set of kids even if I handpicked them. I constantly feel like I'm failing them but how do you explain to them that my best is really crappy and I'm sorry?
I'm really struggling this week, as I always do this time of year, and I'm trying so hard to fake it.
I wish I had the same connection with my family as I do with Lucy. It's not that she is my favorite or anything like that, she is the only person who knows what it was like. Some days I am grateful babies can't remember their birth and then other days I wish she did so I wouldn't feel crazy alone. Isn't that messed up? It feels messed up. I know there are other survivors and I've friended many and I listen to every one of their stories, some are similar to mine in ways but we are all different. Some days it helps but other days it makes me feel more alone. I'm surrounded by so many and I have never felt more alone.
But I'm here. I'm acknowledging that I am here, I have worked so hard to stay here, and being here is an accomplishment. I might still be running uphill in a storm but nobody can say I'm not hanging onto every rock and branch so I don't fall. Because I might be a lot of things, but I don't want to be a failure too. I also know that nobody has the right to make me feel worse, to make me feel more guilty. So I guess I'm learning things, too.
So here we are, four. I don't know if things will get better. I'm no longer in that "give it time, it'll get better" optimistic phase, I've moved firmly into the "its shit and that's OK" phase. I'm not even sorry about it. I'll just keep swimming, surely I'll wash up somewhere.