I need to vent and I think this is probably the best place to do it. I literally feel like I may explode from the pressure. The pressure to perform, the pressure not to disappoint. The pressure to be a good friend, good daughter, good mom, to all my children, living, dead, blood and step. I ask too much of myself. Or perhaps others ask too much of me. Or perhaps -both?
It is now three weeks until Holden's first birthday. What do I do? Nothing will be adequate. Nothing will be good enough. It would be good enough if I could set him in his high chair with a smash cake on the tray wearing only a diaper and sit and watch, take pictures and laugh, as he takes his first bite of refined sugar. That's all I want. Why is it so much to ask? Instead I am trying to figure out the perfect way to honor him. Honor him? He's just a baby. He's just a little one year old boy. Why put so much pressure on him that he needs to be honored? Because he's not here. He is nowhere. He is everywhere. He is in the ground and in my heart and in my daughters' tears. He is in every breeze, harsh or mild, he is in every forget-me-not bloom waiting to burst forth from the ground. And we shall see how much he is in his new little sister...
I miss him. It's crushing, suffocating. No one should have to live like this, without their child.
Sometimes I still deny that this is my life:
The constant fear of having to either lie, and deny my son, or explain and get those sick, sympathetic looks and sudden subject changes.
The empty placating comments, the ones that say, "I have no idea what to say so I will say something that makes myself feel better," without any real regard for my feelings or how their words can truly affect me.
Always hoping that someone, anyone, who knows about him will bring him up so I can finally feel free to talk about him. And knowing that so very rarely happens.
The disappointment every time someone close to me says something hurtful without thinking, without acknowledging him, and I have to correct them.
Putting on the mask, every morning and not being able to take it off for fear I may just finally lose my shit for good this time.
Never being able to truly focus on the task at hand because I need to connect so badly with other people going through what I am because that somehow helps me feel connected to him.
Wondering if I'll lose my job for said lack of focus, then realizing I don't care, then realizing I SHOULD care because I have to take care of the rest of my children.
Always wondering how I can force myself to be a better mother to my living daughters because I can see my lack of interest or patience is hurting them so badly.
Hating the pain that their brother's death has caused them, my oldest daughter mirroring all the anger I feel and knowing so little how to cope with those feelings inside herself.
Wishing I had done things differently, but knowing I did the best I could, still oftentimes hating myself for those decisions I'd made.
The rare outburst from Holden's Daddy where he just cries and cries and I can't do anything to take his pain away.
The happy updates from friends and family about who's expecting and all I can think is, "I hope this baby doesn't die."
Being annoyed with and jealous of those who are expecting because they don't know what it's like to live like this and their complaining of pregnancy discomforts and babies who don't sleep enough are really stabs through my chest, each and every one of them.
And that is just a scratch on the surface...
I am pregnant now. I am 36 weeks pregnant today. Today is three weeks from Holden's first birthday. Today, in this pregnancy is 2 weeks from when I found out in my pregnancy with him that he was gone. Today is 4 weeks from my due date.
I have tried to find comfort, and I have previously, in online support groups. I just feel like Debbie Downer. All the other ladies, despite their anxieties even, seem to be so hopeful. They look on the bright side. They see the best in people.
I just want to hide. I want to crawl in bed, pull the covers over my head and speak to no one until littlest sister is here, screaming and nursing and pooping and puking and keeping me up all night and... living. If, when, maybe. I hope.