Sunday, April 13, 2008

Reverse Pain Olympics

Yesterday was my one year blogoversary, and this is my 200th post. I didn't plan it this way, but see below re: blog neglect in the absence of the second driver in the family. I meant to write this yesterday, but got hit with the worst migraine I had in months just as I was getting ready to start. Booooo. So here I am this morning, writing in the quiet house. Let's see how long I get before it's no longer quiet*. So I have been thinking about this topic, this Reverse Pain Olympics, for many months, on and off. Have meant to write about it at least half a dozen times. I guess today is as good as any other day.

Many moons ago, and in web time something like eons ago in fact, there was great unrest in the internets, all about who had it worse, or the worst. Pain Olympics. I noticed, though, that ever since the very beginning I have been engaging in my own private Reverse Pain Olympics. Not denying my pain in any way, but more of "this could've been so much worse."

We had great and compassionate care in the hospital, and even then I was thinking "wow, how much worse could this be if we were surrounded by insensitive boobs?" And sure enough, just click around and you will see enough stories of insensitive boobs mascaraing as medical professionals to fill your indignation quota for the year.

Yes, we had to explain to Monkey what happened, we have had to support her, validate her grief, even on days when what we really wanted to do was crawl into a very small hole and stay there. But we have her, she is here for us to support. We didn't have to wonder, as so many other bereaved parents do, whether there would ever be a child in this house. She doesn't make up for the loss of her brother, and since she had never before seen us crying or even just that sad, we had to explain to her, and keep explaining, that she isn't responsible for making us feel better, that sometimes shit happens that is so big that it makes you sad for a very long time. But she is here. She is here.

Most of our friends have been very supportive. They made it completely ok to talk about my pregnancy, some asked to see A's pictures. They made it so comfortable, in fact, that when it came time to venture into the wider world, I didn't really want to. I know that is not unusual, but I think in my case there was this added benefit of being so comfortable in my slightly-larger world that made it hard to want to push the boundaries wider, where the reception was less likely to be so humane. Do I even have to mention how many others have felt lonely, abandoned, complete outcasts even among the people who used to be friends or family?

There is more. But listing examples is not so much the point here. One of my points is that nobody else is allowed to say these things to me in the "at least you have X" format. Because when others say it, especially others who are not bereaved parents themselves, it sounds belittling. It sounds like they are ranking, and find my story not tragic enough. Like they find my pain lacking. And I know, I know that in reality it's about them, not me. It's about their inability to deal with the bad things in the world, about making themselves feel better by not having to feel so bad for me. But it still pisses me off.

Slightly more recently, last summer I think, there was another tiff in the blogland. A popular magazine launched an infertility blog, one of the writers of which, having gone through IF treatments, started her first entry with something very much like "Hi. I am So-and-Such, recently back from maternity leave." Open new post window, insert foot. Some readers took offense, the magazine didn't react too well, and the whole thing went on in circles for what seemed like a while.

The magazine editors, I am sure, couldn't see how some of the infertile readers could be so heartless as to reject this blogger just for having accomplished what they themselves were hoping to accomplish one day. These very readers couldn't see how sticking someone who was so glowing with her motherhood that it amplified the regular glow from their screen approximately fifteen fold in their tired and strung out faces was a tactful thing to do. After all, they argued, we have to deal with happy mothers and baby mania in real life. Shouldn't an infertility blog be a safe haven for us?

There were even words to the effect that anyone who has had a baby should be disqualified from calling herself infertile, and should certainly not bitch and moan about wanting more children when she has been already so bloody lucky once. You know that sat well with me. Excuse me, I wanted to say, but my infertility is right here every time I have to decide what to eat. PCOS, see, insulin issues, directly relating to fertility hormones. I took the bait, people. I was right there, running qualifying heats for the Pain Olympics. I stopped, though. I stopped just short of typing that angry comment, featuring both my food choices and my dead baby, and hitting post. Because what do I know of the pain of ten years of IF with no living child to show for it, with not even a pregnancy, not even a BFP?

It is easy these days to think myself not so badly off. I am 19 weeks today. My husband made it back from his business trip in one piece and doesn't seem to be suffering jet lag. I have a daughter who amazes and delights me every day (yes, frustrates too, but that's not the point here). I have a doppler for when the paranoia hits, and I have the world's best OB. I have started to feel movement.

But you know what? My daughter wanted to buy flowers at the store yesterday. What for, I asked. To take to the cemetery. Yup, that's what my living child wants to buy flowers for. And that still sucks. No matter what else happens in my life, it will never be ok that A is dead. It will never be a little thing.

So why do I play Reverse Pain Olympics? I think it's a defense mechanism. When talking about the original Pain Olympics Tertia wrote about how you don't want to be that one, the saddest story around. You don't want to win that trophy. You don't even want to be in the running for it.

But with a dead baby you are pretty much guaranteed a spot, at least in your real life universe. It's a part of what makes us feel like freaks, being the saddest story around. (This, I believe, is not unique to deadbaby freaks. IF, widowhood, cancer, surviving violent crime-- so much can qualify one for the saddest story trophy.) So we go online, and we find other freaks. And we feel better, because it turns out so much of what we feel is ok, is normal. This new definition of normal none of us ever wanted to discover, but the normal that is helping us find our way through our days and nights, somehow.

So is this a contradiction-- wanting to be acknowledged for the tragedy in our lives, and, at the same time, not wanting to be pitied as the saddest story around? Is this asking too much of our fellow human beings? Are most people capable of acknowledging our tragedies without denying us our dignity? I don't know. I honestly don't.

************

While we ponder those questions, though, how about a blogoversary present for me. Tell me, please, what are your defense mechanisms? (If they are of the mixed drinks variety, I would be much obliged if you included recipes. Merci.) What helps you muddle through?



*So clearly, given that I am posting this in the evening, I didn't manage to finish the post before the rest of the family woke up. At least it's still today...

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

My son has a lot of health problems, and even though they will all be resolved one day G-d willing, I am definitely the "saddest story" in my circle of friends. I completely agree with everything you said in this post. After suffering a recent miscarriage, I have found my coping mechanisms to be intensely black humor, overt religions superstition (adding be'ezrat hashem or baruch hashem to practically every sentence), and a bit of social withdrawal. I've also found myself saying that I am "hanging in there", an expression that loathe. But you don't want to tell people things are shitty when they ask how you are! Neither do I feel like lying and faking it anymore. Things are not fine.

Esti in Philadelphia

Brooke said...

Oh how I know all about those reverse pain olympics. We have been playing that game since the day we found out Caden had passed away.

But it's only really okay when WE do it. I hear anyone say "at least you are lucky to have Rory (our 6yr old)" and I want to punch them in the head and scream "my baby DIED you insensitive ass" but I just sort of mumble something to myself. Even my mother said to me the other day how much worse it would have been to have taken home a healthy baby and lost him to SIDS. Uh, yes that would also be terrible but please, DONT minimise my pain.

So as for coping mechanisms, mumbling obscenities helps a little, Jack Daniels is a great friend when I'm out in public (i hibernate during the day) and pretending my phone is ringing to avoid conversation with these type of people usually works.

Happy 200th post :)

STE said...

I think I'm out of defense mechanisms. I cry. I hide. I eat. I medicate.

I was just thinking today about feeling like the saddest story. There's a bit of the competitor in me that wants to "win" these Olympics, but as you suggest, I think it has to do with acknowledgment of incredible pain of this loss. I don't want to be the most pathetic of the sad stories, and yet I want others to feel my pain, to understand it.

It's a double-edged salve, though. I wind up feeling recognized, but that much more of a freak. I don't know where the "happy medium" is. I, like Esti, say "I'm hanging in there," but I want people to know I'm lying. I'm tired of lying.

Thanks for articulating this so eloquently.

N said...

Here I am, de-lurking for your anniversary. (don't worry; I haven't been hiding long.)

I think there's an absolute truth in the "pain olympics" and wanting your pain, your story, validated; wanting it acknowledged that you've had such a loss.

I haven't lost any pregnancies or children -- I haven't even (yet) gotten pregnant. But I have lost a brother (not in utero, he was 21), and I wanted to say that the stories of your daughter and her insight, her thoughtfulness, really touch me.

CLC said...

Mine are similar to yours. I always think of worse things that could have happened to me.

I also find myself just avoiding people and social situations. I hate the fakeness I have to put on for others and I dread the question "How are you doing?" I think the next time someone asks me I will a. freak out and tell them how I really am doing or b. tell them I am wonderful and completely over it and back to my normal self, to see if that person has half a wit to detect my sarcasm.

And alcohol helps. Wine in particular. Wine is my friend.

janis said...

So right on, Julia. I have the same sentiment. And I know I am a b*tch of a fren these days. But the true, worthy ones lay around. one fren told me the other day, "Yes, it is hard being your friend now. But it is worth doing it." Through this I have seen the true mettle of some pple.
I cope by writing, no throwing up, all over my blog. and eating chocolates. I do wish I could give you a much, much better present.

G said...

Sometimes I wonder if I am an imposter in here this blogsphere. I mean, my pain sucks, but it could be worse and some stories are far, far worse than mine. Well, I think they are, maybe that's how other people feel towards me. I am the saddest case IRl, friends and family put together.

I cope by being antisocial, sarcastic to the point of mean, drinking too much, especially in a social setting (and holy cow, if people are talking about their kids, I can't find the bottle of my drink fast enough) and denial (see above).

Happy Blogoversary :) Your blog has meant a lot to me in the last 5 months, I am glad you are here.

xo
g

loribeth said...

Happy blogoversary! Interesting post. Sometimes I find myself trying to put a happy face on things too -- I still have dh, we have our home, our jobs, people who love us. It could be so much worse. And I HATE feeling like people are pitying me behind my back.

But then I think, damnit, I DID go through some crappy stuff. I've been denied the one thing that everybody else in the world takes for granted will be theirs -- a (living) child. Why should I try to minimize my pain to make other people feel better?

Defense/coping mechanisms? Venting on the Internet to others in the same boat. ; )

Tash said...

God, I'll never remember going through this period (well, still kinda in it, really) where I wanted a lobotomy so I could forget everything: forget I was ever pregnant, forget delivery, forget the six awful days, forge *Maddy.* Just forget it. And then I read this story in the paper of a woman who was in a car wreck where her 2 y.o. died, and she lost her memory -- she can't remember where she parked her car when she went into work, and she can't remember ANYTHING about her daughter. She just has the pictures as reminders that she once had one. And I thought, Good lord hon, you win. I thought I wanted that, but no, You're right, I don't.

The grass is always greener, until it isn't.

I've been very fortunate that when people refer to Bella they say things like "she must bring you great comfort," not, "that must make things better." Because, no, not so much.

Defense mechanisms: swearing, running (well, old one), hugging daughter. Happy blogiversary Julia, so insanely glad that you're here in the Olympics with me.

Bon said...

i don't even know what my coping mechanisms are anymore. a lot of public avoidance and mask-wearing early on, plus a brief and fierce destructive foray into smoking and drinking like it was 1940.

but mostly writing, and that has been healing. it's also given me perspective on the whole reverse pain Olympics thing, which i needed. which i'm grateful for.

like i'm grateful for you being out here. 200 in a year, huh? i'm at only 249 in 2. i am impressed.

Catherine said...

wow...once again I am sitting here in tears, nodding my head and saying, "Yep...that's exactly it." I don't want to be a freak. I don't want to be the queen of the freaks. But here I am...stuck in this place.

I've never been very good at the "it could be worse" thing. When fate had its way with me I just waved the white flag in surrender. It COULD be worse...I know that a little too well. But the fact that it could be worse doesn't change the fact that THIS still sucks. And I'm not going to try to pretend it doesn't.

So now I cope by just being honest. Maybe that makes people uncomfortable...but it makes me feel more human and, oddly enough, less freakish.

LAS said...

Happy 200th post! I'm glad you are here. I appreciated this post a lot. I have not had your same experience, but as you know, I have been through something horrible myself. I haven't figured out really how to even talk about it with other people as if it actually happened to me. People always say that I tell the story of surviving breast cancer like I am telling a story that happened to a friend, or not even a friend, just someone that I heard about. I lack the emotional connection because I otherwise could not deal with other peoples' reactions to me/it. Anyway - it just made me think about the way I deal with what happened to me - coping mechanisms. Mine is to some how cut the feeling off, not feel it - I am almost completely detached from the experience and then I don't have to deal with it. Working a lot I suppose is one way to accomplish this - the best way I've found to check out. I started blogging to try to process it. It's only sort of working.

sweetsalty kate said...

I totally wanted to be acknowledged as she-with-the-shittiest-luck in any room, in the beginning. I don't know what changed it but I'm much more compassionate now. Still pissed off most days but more plugged in to the struggles of others than I ever have been, able to see beyond myself.

My coping mechanism is writing at the expense of going to bed at an hour that's beneficial to my marriage. sigh.

luna said...

this is such a perfectly eloquent post that raises so many issues.

I've definitely been the saddest freak show IRL. sometimes I keep wondering what else will fall out of the sky and crap on us.

there is so little understanding and validation IRL of what it is to have a dead child. so little comprehension. so few even try.

even my husband is quick to remind me of what we DO have (namely each other). and yes, we are lucky in that regard -- but it's just not enough. grieving a dead baby is hard enough. but to know that he is likely to be our only child is just crushing. his statement inadvertently diminishes my grief in its attempt to make me see how much worse off we could be...

just as having a living child does not diminish one's grief for a child that died, my joyful marriage doesn't make me feel better about being childless. am I better off than someone in a loveless marriage or unhappily single? maybe. but that is so not the point.

anyway, happy blogoversary and 200th post. keep on writing. ~luna

christina(apronstrings) said...

it is weird, this whole ranking IF thing. and only us IF people even know what we are talking about.
but maybe we aren't so different. i have conversations with my IF friends, that i would never have with my fertile friends. and i try not to mix them up.
happy 200th post.

serenity said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
serenity said...

My delete. I hate when I have typos.

Anyway.

Well said. I have often been guilty of falling into the Reverse Pain Olympics as well. Though I haven't lost a baby, when a close cousin committed suicide I didn't let myself grieve because my cousins and aunt and uncle had it so much worse than me. So I completely get where you're at, you know?

I will say that I've often heard people say that they don't want to get the trophy for being the saddest story. Like the IF community gets some sort of validation from thinking "well, at least I don't have it that badly."

Maybe it's me, but I've never really understood this. When something happens to one of my sisters, my heart breaks for them... I get absolutely NO validation from someone else's tragedy whatsoever.

So maybe it's me. But I really wonder just how much people really think "Oh, gosh, at least I don't have it as bad as X."

Happy blogaversary, btw!

Beruriah said...

How it could have been worse - I wouldn't even want to think about that.

Swearing, writing, drinking were my defense mechanisms - I put it in the past tense because the third one's been out the window for a year now.

Happy blogoversary, and as usual, beautiful post.

Cobblestone said...

In the 10 months my first husband was sick before he died I had two big mechanisms.

I would assign life stories to oncoming cars and try to get good coverage of life events {his son just made honor roll, she just got passed over for a promotion, he thinks she's dumping him but her cell phone fell in the toilet} just to humanize strangers more.

In the times when I had the manic/anxiety/adreniline energy I had a tarp on the floor in the basement and I would buy cheap white flat sheets and I had a bunch of craft paint. I would change into junk clothing and get on the floor and just grab colors and finger paint/ throw paint and just get the shapes/colors OUT of me. It was a great physical/mental release.

Jenny F. Scientist said...

Happy blogiversary!

I usually cope by curling up on the couch with a book and refusing to talk to anyone. Alternatively, I find fruity drinks quite comforting. The recipe usually goes, look in fridge, pour out juice, add vodka, enjoy. Pineapple-apricot is particularly nice. :)

Jackie said...

I build walls around me, and get cranky. nuf said. oh and I stop talking, which is probably the worst thing I could do because I always feel much better if I talk, lol, go figure?

Karen said...

my reverse pain olympics more stems from long-standing bad luck - a long list of small tragedies not big enough for anyone to notice - but still I feel like a freak in the corner sticking my hand up in the air and shouting "me too, me too! I know I look normal from over there, but honest to God, me too!" It all creeps back to lack of nurturing and, well, that can really mess a person up, but apparently my coping mechanism has always been to cope and just keep coping. And humor, a dark, sharp, wittiness in a fast moving brain that tends to confuse others & make them feel like they are at a stand-up comedy club, not actually relating to a person.

niobe said...

I do this all the time. I think that, really, the Bad Thing that happened to me wasn't, all things considered actually that bad. It certainly wasn't a tragedy. I run through the "at leasts" all the time.

At least I have my son. At least I have a good job. At least the Bad Thing never dropped me into the depths of depression (and, believe me, I've been there). At least I've never suffered from IF. At least I never was extremely close to my family, so their defection didn't hurt as much. At least I've had *really* bad things happen to me before, so I can put this in some kind of perspective.

I read blogs of women who've had IF for years or who are grief-stricken over babies who've died and I think: at least I don't have to deal with that kind of pain.

Mrs. Spit said...

I'm with you Julia:

I talk about how thankful we were that Gabe was with us for half an hour, I tell people "it's ok" when they ask about what happened.

(It's ok? Am I crazy? There is nothing remotely like ok in this)

At no point do I say "this totally completely sucks, and is without a doubt the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Possibly the only thing that would be worse would be losing Mr. Spit or losing another baby and never having one of my own, why thanks for asking"

mandy said...

Happy 200th. :)

"It's almost funny" became my motto. I make bad jokes, laugh off my frustration instead of dealing with it and I joke about the meltdown/nervous breakdown I'm going to have "someday." I threaten to drink the world's biggest margarita, I avoid the work I need to do for my job, I procrastinate and I internalize until I melt down. I tell myself over and over again "it could have been so much worse" and even when someone offers kindness or sympathy for what we've been through, I deflect the comments with my own about how lucky we've been. When what I really need is a good cry and someone to understand.

It's not a regimen I recommend.

It's hard for me to be able to lay it all out and say "we went through infertility, pcos still sucks, I had a lucky and pretty healthy pregnancy with my daughter and now I have my son. BUT....we had years of IF treatments, two miscarriages, tons of complications with my son's pg including preterm labor, hospital visit after hospital visit, a traumatic and dangerous birth, a hospitalization at 12 days old when we almost lost him to pneumonia, a circ that almost resulted in a blood transfusion, teh discovery that there was a molar pregnancy in my uterus with him, and a uterine infection that I'm still dealing with the ramificiations 3 months pp" without saying "but we are SO lucky." And we are, not a day goes by that I forget that, but sometimes I wish I felt comfortable just saying "this sucks"

The fact is, I can't stop doing the reverse pain olympics thing...and that makes it so hard when others do it to me. Yes, I know it could have been worse...but still.

c. said...

I absolutely would like the experience of losing my son to be acknowledged BUT without the pity. Are the people in our lives able to accomplish this? I don't know. I really don't.

And I don't know this because my coping mechanism is to withdraw. Funny enough, I do this to save friends and family. If I did not withdraw,they would then be in a position to say something that could hurt me. I hold a grudge like nobody's business. I won't let anybody get close enough to hurt me. I just can't do it.

In the end, I won't give anyone an opportunity to prove to me they can respond to my loss sensitively and offer me the dignity I so badly want. I can't imagine what they must think of these walls around me. All I know is that I need them. Now, more than ever.

Wabi said...

Hmmm, defense mechanisms. I recall hating Oprah and all her self-actualization guru guests quite passionately for awhile. Remember "The Secret"? I started to wonder if Oprah had worked out some devilish reciprocation deal where every time she mentioned the DVD on air, she would lose a pound. (See --I still cannot discuss it without getting snarky!)

Preloss, I wouldn't have taken "The Secret" seriously OR personally. But after feeling so out of control of pregnancies and my health, to hear so-called experts say you could succeed at ANYTHING so long as you employed positive actions and a good attitude ... well, it made me seethe.

Rachel said...

Your post made me think a lot about why we blog (I'm very much debating what the merit of continuing my blog is at the moment). But more than just your thoughts, I love how you can inspire so many, many readers to think about their experiences and situation. And that is a beautiful gift that you ought to be proud of.

I struggle with this idea of 'pain olympics' because I have a strong family history of IF. And the losses my immediate families members have suffered will always be greater than anything I can imagine (not only ovaries and uteruses but spouses and health care and financial stability). If anything, my family has been incredibly supportive because they've been through this before (they know the right questions to avoid, they offered us financial help immediately, they understand what is involved). But it also makes it really hard to share good news or to celebrate within the family. And in some ways to even make this my story. And just like having your daughter around does not minimize the pain of your loss, I can't figure out how to support my family members who have lost so much when it looks like our journey at this point will be so much easier than theirs.

Lori said...

Thought provoking, as always.

I think that initially it was my certainty that my loss wasn't the "worst story" that made me so insecure about having my loss acknowledged at all. On the one hand, I wanted it recognized, but then I almost felt guilty when people did. It felt awful to me, but I wasn't sure other people would understand just how awful it felt. As many others have said, it was easier to withdraw.

And now, even though I need my defense mechanisms far less often, I would still say my #1 defense is to withdraw.

Cindy said...

When people find out about my loss I am always quick to jump in with, "It's okay, it could have been worse!". When I think about how many times I've said that...wow! What BS. I'm not sure why I feel the need to comfort others and lessen *their* pain. It's so true, it could have been worse. But what I went through felt pretty damn crappy to me. Sigh!

That's why my first line of defense was joining an online support group. We had all suffered terrible losses and could be honest without worrying about what everyone else was thinking and feeling...in a good, healing way, you know? And it is why, three years later, I still search out blogs such as this one that continue to help me connect and be comforted and weep and everything else in my own time in my own space.

Aside from that, I have learned that Patron tequila is well worth extra cost as an excellent escape tool!

zarqa said...

Wow, I love this post. I stopped blogging because I couldn't stand the pity and bringing other people down. But now I generously spew my loss story on every "leave a comment" box that'll have me. It's become a sound bite. But I still need to tell it.
Acknowledgment while retaining our dignity. That's exactly what we wronged, betrayed, walking wounded hunger for.
Defense mechanisms? Oh, anger & social withdrawal. TV. On good days, it's laughter. Even half-laughter works wonders.

msfitzita said...

Happy blogaversary!! And thank you for this wonderful, though-proving post.

As for my defense mechanisms, I'd say humour probably tops the list. Anything to deflect attention away from the gnawing, ever-present pain. Anything to make people think I'm okay and haven't just been gutted to the core by an accidental stab wound to the heart - a pregnancy announcement, a platitude, an insensitive comment.

My therapist doesn't like this one bit, but she's not the one living it so I excuse her ignorance ;)

Lisa b said...

My coping strategies are pretty much nil. I am constantly trying to tell myself it could be worse.

I'm pretty much the saddest story in our local playgroup and circle of acquaintances. This was driven home to me when I asked for sponsorships for our children's hospital and everyone jumped forward. It was lovely, but of course depressing to realise how sorry everyone feels for us.

Our close friends seem to be very unlucky so at least among them we are *normal* in our freakishness.

dorothy said...

Awesome post--thank you.

For most of last year, I completely withdrew from all social events (unless work related)and I'm very extroverted--I also think I had PTSD after L. died. And then v. deep, scary depression.

So I began seeing a spiritual director and for the first time, experienced the potential for hope again.

I waver over telling people who now know me, but don't know "the story:" do I tell them or not? Because once I begin talking about L. I can't stop--serious "diarrhia of the mouth." I keep wanting to talk all about him--everything I know from in utero...and then realize most people can't understand how you know a child in utero, so then I try to keep talking to cover up my apparent lunacy. It's brutal.

Queenie. . . said...

I spend a lot of time around Saddest Story Trophy Winners. While nothing can ever make a horrific event go away or make it better, time does make it easier, I think. But the other thing that I think makes a world of difference in just how hard it is, is how the people around the Trophy Winners behave. Our society doesn't deal well with grief, because it's painful and ugly and hard, and we're a world looking for the easy way out. . .and there is no easy way out of dealing with loss. I think that is why most people cannot acknowledge trajedy and leave intact the dignity of the person who has suffered the loss. Most people are so uncomfortable, and it's so much easier to just move right on and not acknowledge. The reaction if you have had a loss is then to withdraw, and it's a self-perpetuating race to the bottom from there. It's such an injustice that our society is not more comfortable with loss, because I think those people that have the easiest time dealing with loss are the ones who are surrounded by people who make it okay to talk about the loss, who ask and encourage discussion of the person who is no longer here, and who don't try to ignore the loss. Loss is just like any other important event in life, and we need to process it by sharing it just like any other important event. And yet, most of society seems so disinclined to treat it that way. If it were treated like any other important event in life, I think people that have suffered wouldn't be so inclined to hide, because there would be nothing wrong with crying at the office.

And my defense mechanism: shut down, walk away, don't deal, ignore, silver tequila with sugar and fresh lime juice, wash, rinse, repeat until I'm ready to walk back up and deal.

Happy blogoversary.

Antigone said...

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carosgram said...

My mother lost her second child. Although she had four more, she never forgot her second. She marked a broken heart on her calendar on the anniversary of her miscarriage. She remembered him until the day she died at 79. I think it helped her cope with the loss.

bubbledragon said...

A happy blogiversary to you.

Sometimes I resent the idea of "reverse pain" and such, because it reflects the notion that one should have a stiff upper lip, carry on, etc, and sometimes that's just not what I want or need to do.

But those moments pass and I understand that you *have* to do these things for your own sanity. So thank you for this post and reminder to have balance.

Emily said...

Happy Blogoversary and 200th post. This is a beautiful & interesting post. I have also enjoyed the comments.
Thinking of you and your family today...

Eating - definitely eating.

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