Thank you for doing this Angie. It's not something I like to think about. But it's necessary.
This is a really hard thing for me to write about. Not because it's upsetting or sad- well it is, but that's not the reason. It's because I don't really know. I don't really have an answer.
I'm a little bit of this, a little bit of that, all at the same time and not at all. I'm up and I'm down. I'm confused. I'm lost. I'm kind of in No-Man's Land.
Some days are still so exceptionally hard that I feel like I'm suffocating. Going through every day without my girl, it's almost impossible. I still get angry a lot. Some days I still feel bad for us. Some days I want to lay down on the floor and throw a tantrum, straight-up toddler style.
I never feel ok that Ellie's not here anymore. I never will. But some days, I think that life is going to be ok. And that we can still have a happy life. Every day, I am grateful that I got to spend every second with her that I did. Do I want more time? Hell yes, I do. But at least I got what I did.
It still seems unreal that it all happened to us. Sometimes I am still hit with the fact that I had a child die. It still doesn't seem real that she died in the horrible way she did. Memories from that day are still fleeting. But lately, they try to sneak in. I have to make a conscious effort to keep them out. I don't want them. It's usually late at night, or early in the morning when they try to come in. They scare the hell out of me. I am terrified of what will happen if I allow myself to go there. Every day, I pray that some of those memories don't come back. Some of them are so ugly, so completely horrifying, they are beyond words. The memories my mind has mercifully locked away, are memories that no parent should ever hold.
I often think, what's the worse that can happen if those memories can back? It's not like she can die again. I think I am scared of the feelings that will accompany them. I am scared if I remember them, my mind will go to a place that I won't ever be able to come out of. I feel like I have done a pretty good job of keeping it together. I fear that if those memories get me, it's all over. It sounds insane, but to me, those memories exist in a place from which there is no escape.
Lately, Ellie feels so far away. I feel very removed from her. This is a place that I have feared since we walked away from her body that night at the hospital. If I feel like this, how do other people feel that weren't around her like I was? If my memories of her are fading, are the others' nearly gone? The other day, I had to watch home videos of her to feel her again. It's a strange, scary and totally upsetting feeling, to feel your child slip away from you. It's hard enough to watch them die in your arms, but it's another thing to try and hold on to the smells, thoughts and memories you have left.
I am tired of grieving. I'm tired of always being scared of coming across something that's going to upset me. It's exhausting to always have your guard up. Can't people just leave their 9- 15 month old girls at home with a sitter for awhile? Can't Target quit making girls clothes? Can't well-meaning strangers quit asking about peoples' children?
I'm over being anxious all the time. I hate that feeling of your heart pounding in your chest, the tightness in your throat, the welling of tears in your eyes. I hate not being able to relax. I hate that my hands and mind have to be busy, because I am scared of what will happen if they're not. I'm tired of being anxious about being anxious. No that wasn't a typo- I have anxiety anxiety. I'm exhausted. Really, really exhausted.
My mind has just started to process Max's autism. I suppose there should be some sort of grieving process involved with this too. I definitely have a lot of feelings about it, but it seems like small beans compared to what else we've been through this year. Max has special needs, but he's still here. We can do something about it, we can help him. Ellie... we tried to help her. We couldn't. And now she's gone.
I still wonder what the hell happened to our life. Last year at this time, we were blissfully happy. We were starting to suspect something was up with Max, but mostly blamed his tantrums on an early case of the terrible-twos. Ellie was perfect. Seriously. PERFECT. Such a good baby, adorable. Smart. Funny- hilarious actually. Loving, caring and sweet. Perfect.
It was just a year ago. And at the same time, it was a whole lifetime ago.
So... where am I at? I miss my daughter. I miss her so much that sometimes I would give anything to go to her. I don't understand why this had to be our life. My anger towards her dying seems to be fading. But I think my anger towards how she died, is rising. I am anxious. About everything. Too many changes in such a small time period, it's a lot.
I am incredibly proud of my girl. I have no a shadow of a doubt, that Ellie was given to us for a reason. Her joy, happiness and complete innocence were undeniable. In just nine months, Ellie made a difference.
I think we are going to be alright. I think we can get through this. And I think we can make Ellie very proud of us. But at the same time, I don't want to be alright. You shouldn't be alright without your baby. There is nothing "alright" about this. It makes me feel like a traitor. It makes me feel like a bad mom.
I don't really know where I am. I'm all over the place. Your guess is as good as mine...