I could not handle the day. I had no energy. It was one of those days where I simultaneously expect the world to be accommodating, and know that they will not understand. Too many weights on my shoulders about the future, and too many triggers this week about the past.
So I lied. I invented an excuse for the afternoon to remove myself from the obligations. I felt guilt about lying. I wish I could have just said “I can’t do this today.” But I am eight months from the second loss, and feel like my ability to rely on my own sorrow has decreased to nothing.
I drove around for hours, doing nothing. I drove to four different Target stores, and bought nothing. In a daze, I picked up my son from school – the son that I had used in my lie and said that he had a fever. For a minute I was confused and thought he actually was sick before I remembered that it had only been my sorry excuse.
I had an event that evening. I could not handle the thought of going, yet could not justify staying home. I poured a glass of wine into a coffee mug and covered it with hot apple cider. I carried this into the meeting and drank it, unapologetic yet secretive in that I needed that wine to get through the evening. In addition to the two glasses I had before I left home.
I wrote this post on April 25, 2016. I never published it back then. I was ashamed that I had lied, even when I lied to take care of myself. It was only two and a half months after Iris died, and I felt like people would not understand that I needed to “take a day.”
If I felt like people could not understand it back then, I really don’t feel like they can understand it now.
But there are still days… days where I hit an emotional drain. I am tired and I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to be around people.
I had a day like that recently. I tried and tried to push myself through the day, but I just couldn’t. And not only that, but I couldn’t find a way to say “You know what? This day is really hard for me. I need to take a step back.”
And so I lied again. I made up some excuses to remove myself from the day. The only person who knew the truth was another loss mama that I had been texting, and her response was “Good for you! I am so glad that you are putting yourself first and doing what Nelle and Iris’s mom needs to do for herself.”
I didn’t even tell Ger. He wanted to talk about some household thing in the evening, and I blew him off, saying that I was tired. The next day, he was irritated – visibly so, and glaring at me. He said “I feel so disconnected from you, all the time.”
I was taken aback. Disconnected? All the time? I pointed out how much effort we have both been putting into spending more time with each other: we frequently take walks during the week, we talk every night before bed (except for the preceding night), we go on lunch dates… we have likely never spent MORE time together in our marriage.
It took some coaxing to discover that he had been hurt when I blew him off the night before. His blanket statement of “I feel disconnected from you all the time” should have been more along the lines of “I felt disconnected from you yesterday when you didn’t want to talk to me in the evening, like we always do.”
I told him why I hadn’t wanted to talk. I told him that the day had just sucked all of the energy out of me, and why. That I had been thinking about Nelle and Iris, and really just needed the time to myself, and didn’t feel that I could talk to him.
I should have told him why I didn’t want to talk. He should have told me how he felt disconnected as a result. We had both not been forthcoming with how we had been impacted that day.