Two Years

I made it.

I survived.

Two years without her and I’ve made it.

Not only that but I’ve thrived and done well, and I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.  Yesterday I sat at the skating rink, beside someone who spent time telling me how amazing it was that I had sat with my emotions and grief and worked through them.  And here I am spending time in PHP and kicking myself because I haven’t done enough.

A year ago I listed off this huge, way too long list of things I had done in the year before that since she died.  This year I’ve done far less, and I’m sitting in a hospital for most of each day learning how to be a functioning adult again.

But, I got myself this far.

Not alone though.  I’ve had a huge huge support network since day one.  Ever changing and rotating with people coming in and out of the picture as their own lives rotated around with different stuff.

And I also got myself this far because I reached out when I needed it and I kicked myself into gear when I needed it and I rested when I needed it.

And I survived for another year without her.

One of my songs at the beginning was “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, and there’s a line in it.  “It’s been two years, I miss my home,”  and I remember at some point in the first year I heard that line and wondered how I would ever make it to two years and if I would ever make it that far.

I made it.  So did Kidlet.

But Damn it, Parker . . . you were supposed to make it, too.

I miss you my firefly.

Crying on the sidelines

The next 48 hours are officially cancelled.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve cried today and it’s not even the beginning of the trigger day.

I’m sitting off to the side at derby because the idea of focusing long enough to participate seems foreign.  I know I just need to get through 48 hours and then I’ll be okay, for at least a little while.

Today at PHP I felt like my parenting was called into question.  In hindsight it may have been in my head, it may have been nowhere near as bad as it seemed.  I may have overreacted and blown it out of proportion, or, years of being told that was what I was doing could mean that now I’m minimizing what happened today.  But either way, things today were hard and bad and as it ended I walked away from the building in angry, defeated tears.  And I don’t want to go back, but self care means going back because self care isn’t always bubble baths and pretty things.  It’s the hard fucking work that means healing and making it till tomorrow.  

I miss Parker so much right now.  Normally, I want her back in this world, while also realizing I’ve grown to a place where we would probably not be a good match, knowing we would not work the way we were.  I love her as part of my past which doesn’t conflict with where I am now.  But right now, it’s this feeling of wanting her so badly to be here with me now as part of all of this.  I don’t want to go back but I want to bring her here without losing what I have now including my current wonderful woman, my Wonder Woman.   How do I reconcile that in my own mind.  Not that I have a choice to make any of that happen.     

And then Kidlet and I talked, I feel my thoughts spinning, tattoo ideas, memorial ideas, how can I properly mark the fact that it’s been two years.  I know that it’s going to spin past and I will be fine but first I have to survive the next 48 hours.  I started crying on the phone with him for the first time since he left and my kid was telling me how he wished he was here so he could console me.  

I just want to live in the moment but that’s impossible when I’m worried about everything I did wrong yesterday and everything that could go wrong tomorrow.

Today, they had us do some worksheet and list 3 challenges we overcame.  I just wrote out, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.  But when we were sharing, she asked me if I could list somethings that I’d overcome,  I asked where she wanted me to start.  I wonder when people start thinking I’m full of shit.  Too much trauma, None of it has really been overcome though, it all still haunts me.  I just survived the actual moment of it.  It could still kill me.

Then we did three things I’m good at, One of them is getting back up over and over and over again, because I’ve seen the alternative and it leaves so many tears behind.  

Parker didn’t end her pain.  She passed it on.  Today at PHP I stood up for Kate Spade when someone was upset about her leaving her daughter when she died by suicide.  She had no idea what she was doing to her daughter, her daughter either wasn’t on her mind or she thought she was doing the best she could for her.  Depression is a hell of a liar and creates a black hole that you can’t see out of.  Parker didn’t do this to our kid or me, it had nothing to do with us in that moment, she just wanted to end that blackness.

Unfortunately, what happened is that those of us that are still here are picking up the pieces of what she left behind.  That means the pain she left behind as well.

Now I have to figure out how to heal it and live with it or live in spite of it.

And it isn’t easy.  But I’m doing the best I can, and sometimes, that means crying on the sidelines at derby.

For our future children…

A friend told me to check out her Pinterest for some easy cooking ideas while I’m in PHP.  I hadn’t even looked at Pinterest since long before Parker and I moved to Maryland.  I finally figured out my log in information and realized I was already following most of my Facebook people.  Today I started following the rest of my favorite cooking sites, too.  Finally I started going through my old boards from 6 years ago, the last time I used it.

I found a board I had created, called, “For our future children”  It was filled with pins of cute wooden toys, and 100% cotton clothes, and monkey and frog themed toys, and room designs.

It was from when Parker and I were trying to get pregnant.  She wanted more than anything to have her own bio child because as much as Kidlet was equally hers, she wanted another.  We had a donor and had even tried a few times before she started with the headaches.

And here I am on a trip where there has already been a joke about me coming back with baby fever.

Except I was already hesitant about starting over again when we were trying.  I was totally in it with her, but at the same time, we had an 11 or 12 year old who was mostly self sufficient and left for 3 months at a time to come up to his dads.  I was already starting to enjoy the freedom.  I got my baby fix through doing daycare.

But I wanted to give her the world.

Sometimes I really do question our relationship.  Things got clouded by the horrible circumstances we were in the last half.  It was never easy, but the trauma on top of trauma in 2013 just destroyed who we were and who we were as a couple.

But here I am staring at a Pinterest board reminding me of the hours I spent looking at all of the future things for our child or children that would never happen because one thing let to another, which led to another, which led to her losing her grip.

Today I deleted all the pins, and renamed the board Grief.  I’ll use it to pin all of my articles and blog posts that speak to me.

It’ll be a good way to remember the larger family that never was.

 

Just a date on the calendar

Yesterday was June 1st. While everyone was posting happy pride messages, and I was being all excited about this trip north and seeing Jess and her son (pictures later I’m sure) . . .

I was also constantly realizing it’s now June. It’s now “that month.”

Yesterday Parker mom changed her profile picture to the Parker ribbon, which I’ve been thinking about doing myself and I was torn between changing mine and staying positive and in the moment because I’m on a vacation and damn it aren’t I supposed to be happy.

But I am happy. I did a lot of great things yesterday. Nothing on the way up here really went as planned which is typically a huge trigger for me, but I made it anyway and I honestly was okay. Right now my grief is there but it’s manageable.

Jess pointed out that last time I was here I couldn’t have been on the floor with the baby crawling around but now I absolutely can, and that’s a big deal to me.

And it’s also June 2nd, and it is crawling ever closer to 2 years since Parker died. And it’s horrible, but it’s also amazing that I’ve made it, and that I’m doing all of the things. And that I’m riding the waves of emotions that come with living life. And that I’m doing it in a way that is so uniquely me.

I don’t dream of Parker often, and the last time I saw her in a dream it was shortly after she died and I was angry because she kept running from me and leaving me. And this last time I was yelling at her but couldn’t see her.

I dreamt of her last night and it wasn’t angry, it was loving, I could see her and touch her and hear her, she actually said she was just hiding and wasn’t actually dead, and when I woke up I knew it was a dream and I expected a wave of dread and sadness, but instead I was at peace.

I’m sad, I’m so sad that she’s gone, but I really do love where I am in my life. I want her back in this world. I wish I could have parts of who we were back, but I don’t want to go back to who I was.

It’s the month of June which means we’re creeping ever closer to the date that changed my life, but that day was 2 years ago and who I am now won’t change just because the day passes on the calendar again. That’s getting easier for me to say and I’m hoping that eventually my anxiety catches up.

Never Enough

Another one of those really real widow posts.

Trigger warning with this one. Suicide mentioned, Completed suicide talked about pretty extensively, including questioning the thought process behind it and leading up to it.

Each day we end PHP with what ends up being, hopefully, “no, no, yes, yes” time.

Basically, they end that group by going around asking something to the point of:

“Are you having any suicidal thoughts?”
“Are you having any thoughts of hurting anyone else?”
“Can you be safe tonight?”
“Will you be here tomorrow?”

After the first couple of people, we sometimes just start going “No, No, Yes, Yes” when they get to us, unless one of the answers is different.

Today, I left a little early and they still did a short version of the questions.

I feel so much better, now, then I did just over a week ago when I entered the program. The new meds are helping considerably. Knowing I’m getting away for a few days is helping. Having the structure in a therapeutic environment is helping. Stepping back from pushing myself so hard towards working, full time, as soon as possible, is really, really helping.

And then riding home, this picture pops up. It’s part of the last set of pictures that were ever taken of Parker. On the post surgical visit for her leg. She barely looks like herself.

I wonder, would she have been able to answer “No, No, Yes, Yes” if someone had asked her those questions at the time when I took this picture.

Would she have been able to answer “No, No, Yes, Yes” a week later?

At what point did the answer change for her in her head?

It’s one of those many things I’ll never know the answer to, and even if I did, I’d just have more questions about other things. Suicide just leaves so many questions.

I’m glad I have this picture, but it just reminds me that we never know when a picture will be the last. I’m glad that I’m still taking pictures of me, but I’ve stopped taking as many pictures of those around me. Stopped taking as many pictures of Wonder Woman and I, and my animals, and my friends. One day there will be a last picture of each of those and that’s scary because there are never enough pictures.

 34016838_10216278084326229_7086941611745083392_o

Five stages on what planet?

 

Widow post!!!!

The grieving process is a load of crap for the most part. It’s some 5 part thing that someone came up with to help explain the process people with cancer go through when they come to terms with the fact that they are going to die. Seriously, look it up (I am kind of pulling that out of my half assed memory) and then people started taking it as fact for the stages we go through when someone dies and they expect 5 neat stages and that’s a load of fucking bullshit.

Nothing is neat about grief.

(Pause while I go do a cursory check on my history of the grief process . . yep, half assed memory was somewhat right . . good enough).

Today I was supposed to rearrange our bedroom. Wonder Woman and I are complete opposites in so many ways (I think Opposites Attract is actually our song) and so we do things separately, plus, I’m Self Saving Warrior Princess.

So, she’s off at Derby, having done her part of the room, and I’m about to actually move the room, and I’m a good ways into it, and suddenly I start flashing to the last time I moved it around. Or actually, Mickey and my home health care worker did. When I hit the point that I couldn’t keep it in the same position that it was in when Parker died.

And the room can really only end up in so many configurations.

And we were about to move it back to the other one that works well.

And I sleep on the other side of the bed now. . . . Parker’s side of the bed…..

And here I am about to move the bed and suddenly it hits me where I’m going to end up laying.  I’ll end up in the same exact spot that Parker was in when she died.  Where she was laying when I found her.

Those 5 stages of grief aren’t neat but sometimes you can go through all 5 of them in a matter of minutes.

“Nah . . it’s okay, I can totally do this, It’s not that big of a deal, I mean . . it’s just a spot in the room where I’ll be laying and a lot has changed”

“This is fucking bullshit . . . I’m tired of living with her ghost, I love her, but I’d love for her to not be interfering like this right now. I want my life to move forward right now, fuck this, I want my room the way that will work for US!”

“Maybe since it’s going to be a different bed, and mostly different furniture I’ll be fine, I mean, it’s been a lot of time.”

Tears . . .I just sat there for like 20 minutes while I couldn’t move forward or figure out what to do.

And then I started talking to people and figuring out what the fuck to do next. I don’t get to decide when to be grieving widow. It’s always there, and I can’t push it away.

And while Wonder Woman and I are opposites in so many ways, and while sometimes this whole thing isn’t easy, the minute I messaged her with a super vague message that just said I wanted to switch rooms and switch plans for grief reasons, she simply replied

“Of course”

Because she gets it, and what she doesn’t get she gives me space for.

I’m trying to accept that part too, because it’s not easy to believe I deserve to be loved this way. I want to believe it, and I’m trying to.

34140979_10155363036281994_1190477398722740224_n

Edited a few hours later to add . . .

She came home, she hugged me and we talked about some options. We let the house go for tonight.

I was pissed and upset with myself because I had made a clusterfuck of the house and was too overwhelmed to fix it.

Of course, once I let it all go, I was able to start tackling our bedroom, and slowly putting things into place the way we wanted them, even though that was the way they used to be. But once it started falling into place, it actually doesn’t look anything like the old room did. And it hasn’t felt like the old room for a long while.

We will see how I feel in the next few days, and when I come back from NY, we can always move rooms again in a few days.

I feel things really really big, especially when they first hit me. Sometimes having permission to act on them, and not being fought against is all I need to work back to my own calm.

Circus Pants

So, first, the backstory to this picture . . I had this pair of somewhat baggy pants with stand out black and white designs on them. I loved them, but they were way outside of my, back then, long black skirts and “hide in me” clothes.

But, no where near as my wild “HERE I AM” style that I rock now.

We called them my crazy pants.

Please ignore the political stuff behind the picture . . . that wasn’t the point.

33785638_10216254217809581_79627280623599616_n

I wonder what Parker would think of my style now. I’d love to hear her take on it. I mean, I know she’s up there telling me to rock on with my bad ass self, but I honestly wonder what she’d really think and say. She would, of course, have some smart ass comment. I think she’d go blind from all of the pink if she didn’t pass out first because last thing she knew, I hated pink. It was all green, all the time before she died.

She didn’t say a lot on my facebook stuff, she didn’t comment on many of my posts, got frustrated that I shared as much as I did, but I swear, Facebook memories with stuff like this are such a wonderful thing.

33757639_10216254217689578_7222277727754125312_n (1)

Sometimes, when it seems like I’m reliving the past with the dates and the accident memories or whatever, then I get something like this, with the I love you’s hidden in the comments . . this is why I check each day. The conversations between Kidlet and I, and Parker and I, and other friends. . . the inside jokes that remind me of all of the good times in between all of the shit.

Reliving the bad stuff helps me make it less and less painful, it helps me desensitize myself to the trauma I didn’t really have a choice but to survive. And reliving the good stuff just keeps building myself up to survive more and more.

Meanwhile I’m also working on building the skills to live more in the present, but that’s something that’s taking time and a lot of healing. I’m getting there slowly.

I wonder what happened to those crazy pants. I think they might be a permanent part of me now. All crazy, all the time.