This morning I woke up like I have on the 15th of every month for the past 5 months. Before I opened my eyes, I felt a heaviness, a weight on my chest. My heart hurt long before my brain was fully awake.
It’s weird. Our bodies know things before our brains can even register.
And then my brain caught up. And I knew immediately why I woke up feeling that pain in my chest.
In the beginning, all I wanted was to feel normal, for everyone to treat me like I was normal. I felt like my pain was on display and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t hide it.
Now, it’s been 5 months. The world has continued to spin (imagine that…) and everyone other than our closest circle has moved on.
Although people once had lowered expectations of me, understanding that I was going through this overwhelming loss, that is no longer the case. I worked so hard to show everyone that I could be okay, that I could handle this and whatever else they wanted to throw at me.
And now, I struggle with the feeling of resentment over these new, higher expectations. I feel totally misunderstood and hurt that the act I’ve put on seems to have worked.
It’s fucking ridiculous.
I wasn’t happy being treated like I was different. And now, I’m not happy being treated like I’m normal.
I guess what it comes down to is: I’m just….not happy. Either way. Any way.
And, I suppose that’s normal. Whatever that word means these days.
I feel like the moment you lose your child, the world inherently gets that it is a huge deal, an indescribable loss. But what most people don’t understand is how the loss doesn’t go away, doesn’t even lessen. At least, not in the first several months, and probably, the first several years.
Feeling that loss every day while the rest of the world seems to go on as if nothing happened feels isolating. Knowing people expect things from you when you still struggle every morning to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other….it’s overwhelming.
Every bit of pressure seems magnified and every mistake I make feels monumental.
I thought I wanted to make all of these commitments, to busy my schedule and keep my mind occupied, focused on anything other than what is actually going on in my life. That’s how I usually deal with things, the way I’ve always known how to cope.
It’s scary. Knowing there is no answer, that, no matter what I choose, I will probably still feel the same amount of sadness.
And, as someone with a strong need to be seen and understood for who I am, it is insanely hard to know that 99% of the world can never truly understand where I am right now.
It’s clear in the things people say when they think they’re being kind. When people tell me they need me to be okay or that they miss the person I was. As if I don’t miss that person, too.
I feel as though I’m simultaneously mourning the loss of Maddox, all of Maddox’s potential as a human being, the person I thought I was and the way I thought the world worked, all at once. It’s overwhelming. And it feels….impossible.
Every day is an exercise with learning to be okay with not being okay. And trying to teach those around me that it’s okay, too. That I don’t need fixing and that the pieces they would need to put me back together are burried with Maddox.
Because he is the piece that is missing.