19 July 2004 by Published in: in my life 1 comment

I found my Waterman. For several weeks I didn’t know where it had gone, neither it nor my print journal. I’ve started using my Waterman again, but my paper journal is one of those things I must steel myself to face. The last thing
I will have written in it will have been something about my meals and Simone’s nursing patterns. Even thinking about opening it makes my stomach churn. I find it especially difficult, for some reason, to deal with things about her diet (or my own) or about nourishing her. I had to ask
someone else to dispose of her bottles and my breast pump, for example. At any rate, because the pages of the journal will be filled with details about my eating and my feeding of her, I am afraid to open it. I know I will have to, eventually, but while it was lost I didn’t have to try and make myself do it. It’s also got, by the way, all of my to-do lists and all kinds of other things that I need to be referring to. Both it and my Waterman were sitting in the bag we had packed to take to the hospital, which I finally
unpacked this weekend. However, for the weeks that it was gone, I kept wondering where these things were. I couldn’t remember where I had put them or what I had done with them or why they weren’t directly handy to me.

I feel obligated to give this warning : I don’t know how long it will be before this journal is something other than a sad and dark place. I have a lot of things to say and work through. Some of them you will be spared. You can be spared of all them by simply navigating elsewhere on the web. I can finally understand, I think, why some people say there are things they are not willing to blog about. Before now, if I needed to get it off my chest I would just write about it and whomever might read it would read it and I can’t say I cared over much who that might be or what they thought when they read it. I’m not a terribly private person in this regard, I guess. But now, now there are so many things in my mind that must go to other places but not here. I need my paper journal back and the strength to write in it.

I do not know what is happening in my dreams. I go to sleep and there’s a curtain that falls and I wake up and I don’t have any idea what happened there. I have hopes that I am spending time with Simone while I sleep, but I cannot recall if this is true once I have wakened. Maybe I am dreaming about paperclips or weeds or skyscrapers. I cannot say. Like so many other things in my life right now I am disconnected from the world of my dreams.

I sometimes feel like a quantum world split off at the moment of Simone’s death and that I somehow went the wrong way and got stuck in this world, the not quite real theoretical what-if world of how my life goes on if she dies, instead of the real world where she survives. I feel like I need to be there instead of here, urgently, because she needs me to take care of her there. I feel like everything here is insubstantial and hollow, a likeness of life and a universe but not authentic. I am aware that this
involves a certain degree of wishful thinking on my part and I feel a little bit ashamed of that but like so much else that happens to me I cannot help it and I cannot avoid it.

There was a day last week that I did not cry in the shower. However, I cried before I got in it and after I got out, so I’m not sure if that counts. On that same day (last Thursday) I told two people that had not seen me since I was pregnant that my daughter had died and didn’t feel tears fill my eyes and blur my vision, though they were still lurking nearby. The only thing I felt intensely, on telling them, was a little sadness because I had to give them bad news, because surely they had asked out of convivial intentions and I had to ruin everything by telling them something harsh and horrifying. I keep forgetting that it’s not June anymore. My husband has the same problem. I see him looking at the calendar with a slight frown, as if he’s trying to read something in a language not his own. “Oh
wait, it’s July now,” he’ll say. Not a day has passed and yet it’s been forever.

My body is a strange and alien being. It displeases me in almost every way. It is not bearable to me to still have pregnancy pounds. The child is gone, what use is the weight to me? I have lost all the strength I had developed before getting pregnant. When I went to yoga last week for the first time I ached for two days following, even though I tried to take it easy on myself. None of my clothes fit but I don’t want to buy new ones because I don’t want to be the shape I am or to give it the permanency of suitable clothing. My eyes, normally a point I am pleased with, are sunken and sad and I cannot look at them in the mirror. My hair is falling out by the handfuls. I got it trimmed last week and the hairdresser told me it looked healthy and shiny and not to worry about what was falling out. I can try to
fake some satisfaction in the health of my remaining hair, but every day more falls out. Here’s a little irony for you : my hair started falling out about four weeks ago and I was giddy with joy about the blog entry I was going to write. I was going to state that I was going bald but that so was my
daughter so it was ok. I was going to talk about the forward combover I was giving Simone to disguise her receding hairline. I was going to write all these cute and funny things about her and me and our common hair loss. Ha,
ha, ha. So yeah, my hair is falling out and I have no company. My mind is confused and unfocused. I cannot concentrate or complete simple tasks. I go into the kitchen and find a ziploc bag, a marker and a set of Sophia’s clothes. I stare at them for a few moments before I realize that I put them there, that I was trying to put together an extra set of clothes for Sophia to have at daycare but got completely derailed and left everything undone. Several work days in a row my mother has come running outside to
hand me my badge. The one I can’t get into the building without. Even after I realized this was a trend and something I needed to be extra careful about and after I told myself several times this morning not to forget my
badge I drove away without it. I’m an emotional wreck. Every spark of feeling I have winds up being grief, even if I thought it was going somewhere else. Happiness, inspiration, beauty, hope, gratitude – they all somehow
turn out to be somber and unhappy just as I start to relax into the sense of them. I am not a sad person by nature and I find I have no understanding of this self who is perpetually two breaths away from breaking down. Who am I if everything I knew to be true about myself is not so? If I see myself as happy but am not, as smart but cannot think, as competent but constantly failing, as thin but with too many pounds, as a helper who is in desperate and constant
need of help, as a dreamer who cannot remember her dreams, as a parent but without that child, then who am I?

I don’t know.

I really don’t know.


Sun 25th Jul 2004 at 9:55 pm

i love you, ani

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