Wednesday, February 3, 2010

and now, so much farther down the road

I feel the isolation now. Before, I didn't need the support of others in my real world life, I hurt too much to notice they were there, most of the time. Of course, when I read of others who have had caring family, friends and neighbours who offered tangible support in the way of thoughtful gifts, or practical help with meals I feel jealous.
As it is, the only gifts we received in Olidea's memory were given in place of christmas presents in 2008. This year, one of my friends called to let me know she was thinking of us. That's it. No-one else from our families or friends I considered to be close bothered to even send a text message until days or weeks after, when the torn wrapping paper had been taken away in the rubbish, the leftovers had gone stale in the fridge, the New-Year resolutions made and broken.
At one point last year, a woman from my mother's church died after years of ill-health. She was in her 60s, with a grown family, grandchildren, had lived a long life, albeit troubled by her arthritis and other on-going but survivable health issues. When she died, her husband, her carer for the last years of her life became very depressed. My mum went out of her way to arrange 'nice' treats for him, to make him feel less sad after his terrrible loss, arranging holidays or days out for him, that sort of thing. I don't deny his grief, and indeed he himself gave up and died of a heart attack a few months ago.
The thing that gets me though, was that in my own grief, my mother offered nothing. She took it upon herself to announce my daughters birth and death with a tiny, inelegant slip of paper in each of her Christmas cards. I know I should get over this, but it hurts. She went to great effort and expense to print off lovely cards for my neice, but for my daughter she printed off a two line message on slips of plain A4 printer paper sliced into 10, one line of which was to afford her the blame for late christmas cards. That was my prerogative, to announce to whomever I wished, in a dignified way. She took that from me whilst I lay howling in the labour ward, cradling my daughter's cold, lifeless body.
When I asked her to remove her belongings from the room that was to have been our nursery, She was too busy. All I wanted to do was decorate my daughter;s room, but she was too busy for four months.
We saw a silly competition on TV asking people to nominate women for makeovers, women who had been doing it tough and could use a break and some pampering. I jokingly suggested to mum she could nominate me, to which she responded "why?". I think that says it all really.
She went overseas this christmas, her thoughtful message to lend support came days after Olidea's day, and again had one line of sympathy, followed by a list of instructions for errands to run on her behalf.
My (younger) sister hasn't mentioned our loss once in the lst 13 months. She doesn't even give a about her own daughter though, so I don't know why I should expect her to give a about mine. Just to get it out - I have been baby sitting my beautiful, precious and wonderful; neice through most of the holidays, save for a week or so over christmas. The child is five years old, six in a few weeks and she had her very first christmas and new year with her mummy. That's sad.
Last Friday, i had a very early morning trip to the fertility clinic. It's an hour from my house but five minutes from my sister. We arranged the night before that I would drop my niece off to get dressed and have breakfast, spend an hour of quality time with her mummy. They didn't see each other until last Friday since the 4th of January, because Mummy was sick/ busy/ working late etc. My niece was very sad, but very excited when mummy said she would take her out for breakfast and treat her for an hour. Didn't happen. I get back to my sister's place and she had gone back to bed, leaving my darling girl to dress herself, feed herself breakfast and watch tv in her playroom. I hate it, I don't understand how she can see what it has done to me, to lose my own daughter and have to care for someone else's child while going through all of this. I love my niece without question, but it would be nicer to see my sister caring even half as much.

I seem to only come on here when I need to rant. I guess that's the point.

Back to the isolation. It's hard. I don't really want to meet new people, I don't want to have to explain my personality, as well as the last few years of my life. I don't feel comfortable around the people who are waiting for me to stop grieving my daughter, for me to go back to being the same as I used to be, as though I can can cover and forget the scars left on my soul in the last 13 months. I don't want to work right now. I don't want to do the whole new people thing, while I'm trying to do the whole new job thing, especially as with no qualifications, I have no idea what job I can or want to do. I need to get pregnant, I need my first priority to be my body and my baby, not office politics or some already rich person's profits.
Currently, we live quite comfortably, we eat well at home, we have everything we need, but it's still very basic. Although we have what we need, our home needs a lot of work to get it up to the current standard of living. We can clean it up ok, fix what's broken, but we lack the thousands of dollars to make it 'nice', to replace the original 70s carpet with new flooring, not just paint the concrete. To install a new kitchen, with an oven, instead of just cleaning out the cupboards. We are lucky that my parents are willing to help us with the up-front payments to the fertility clinic, so far we have paid everything ourselves, but the bills are big and it means no going out, no dates together for relaxation, no hobby classes or public pool or gym or anything like that for me. Michael worries that I spend too much time at home on my own, but I don't really see that I have much choice, all things considered.
I think I've forgotten how to socialise, I feel whingey all the time, I'm in a state of suspended animation, I wait day in and day out for something good to happen to me, to make me feel as though there is a reason to be happy I'm here, alive, healthy, a long life ahead of me without my only child, my first child, my daughter.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Michelle. I'm so sorry. The thought of that little slip of paper in the Christmas cards brought tears to my eyes.
    Your beautiful little Olidea deserved better. xo