Throughout my whole life, I’ve been told how difficult marriage is, how hard it is to hold it all together. Personally, I know more divorced people than married people. I don’t judge people for being divorced. My parents divorced when I was very young, and I believe I was a happier kid because of it. I can’t imagine having grown up in a household with the two of them. I only ever witnessed telephone calls between them, and let’s just say I wouldn’t want to see them in the same room, let alone together on a daily basis. When my parents remarried, I was like every other child in my situation. I found ways to deal with my emotions…usually by trial and error.
I knew not to talk to my dad about my unhappiness. If I was upset with my stepmom or about something I didn’t like, I wasn’t about to go running to him. Tried that and it didn’t work. My dad was much easier to talk to as I got older. When we were young, I could talk to him about anything as long as I wasn’t complaining; he didn’t want to hear it. I also knew he wasn’t going to take my side. If I complained about anything, it was usually met with, “What did you do to cause the problem?” If I told on my brother for picking on me, his reply was, “No one likes a tattle tale.” My dad was very loving, but he had his limitations. I think that’s why I try very hard not to complain to this day.
When I started writing, it was an avenue to get out my frustrations. In essence, I was complaining but to no one in particular. Just throwing it all out there, and if people wanted to read it they could; if not, no harm done. When Nash died, I could talk to Todd about anything, but I quickly learned that he had a limit as well. He would never stop me from talking, but I could read his facial expressions and knew when he was done. He also had a knack for changing the subject. This irritated me to no end. He would change it to something so off the subject that I would mistake it for a lack of caring. We both have terrible days, and he likes to deal with it by being alone in silence. I have mastered the art of going to my room and crying. I can go cry for 10 minutes, and come back down and ask him what he wants for dinner like nothing happened. Almost like one would take a power nap, but I have a power cry.
Sometimes I’m thankful for that alone time, but other times I wish he knew how much I was hurting in those moments. I wish he knew I was upstairs clinging to Nash bear and crying…but this has become our new normal. If I concerned him every time I had a breakdown, I don’t see how that would help. When you lose a child, you feel very alone. The private thoughts I have when I am by myself are always the same. If I stop and give myself to much time to think, I’m back to June 19th…I’m back to dropping Nash off at daycare…back to that call at work, that hospital gurney holding my dead baby. The stares and cries of strangers who watched my every move as if to see if I was going to break in half. Those faces are permanently etched in my mind.
I think it’s normal as a parent of a lost child to feel very alone. I feel alone with people, at work, even at home. People can say they are there for me, and I know they are, but no one can do this for me. No one can carry this pain, this hurt..I have to do it. No one can erase these thoughts, these images that will plague my life forever. I alone have to figure out how to cope with them. I have to learn how to go on with my daily routine, with life, without burdening everyone including Todd every time I have a bad thought. It makes me feel alone and sad. It feels like I’m in the ocean, in a storm with no life raft swimming against the waves.
In our society, it’s to easy to make everything look perfect…perfect house, perfect kids, perfect marriage. You slap a couple of happy pictures up on Facebook and gush about your family when asked. It’s easy to fool people, to make people think you have your shit together. The truth is, none of us do. We all have our problems but we just don’t share them. There was a time when I thought Todd and I were on different pages. That we were grieving so differently that I wanted to be done. I still have those days; like they say, marriage is difficult. I’m learning that it all doesn’t have to be so pretty or fit into some box. I’m learning That Todd I can be together and still cry in separate rooms.