This is going to be chopped up pretty small for the sake of friends’ pages. Not sure how far I’ll get, but a real update is long overdue.
Grief is a strange, strange thing. I know that for my part I’ve had a hard time getting back into the spirit of the community. Since Toby died last August, the things that mattered to me just didn’t have any flavor or spark anymore. It’s been a struggle even to take joy in my family, my husband, my kids… nothing held anything exciting. There were moments when I’d come out of the darkness and really take part in a movie, a moment, a song, a day, but nothing lasted. I didn’t do the things I said I would do, I didn’t keep up with the budget, I didn’t care enough to take care of myself… and I guess I fell back into that place where I was after Cassidy was born, when I felt like a damned fool for talking about things that I’d talked about a dozen or more times before. Who wants to hear the same crap over and over again? I was sick of saying it as much as I was sure everyone else was sick of hearing it. And how long can you expect to go on, worrying over the same questions, before it just stops having any potential of sense?
That is what I’ve been going through. There are those that have been here to help, and those that have popped up randomly and when most needed to lend an ear, and those that have sufficiently distracted me with wonderful things to do and see… but it always ends with me coming home and seeing that little teddy bear, or going into the closet and seeing the box his ashes came home in, or maybe the sun just happens to come through the window and strikes the prisms and stained glass that Marie and her friend sent… and these are bittersweet moments. I treasure every last vicious little stab of them. I would not trade them for all the world because this was my pain, my loss, my sacrifice to make. I have the right to this sadness and no one can take it from me. No one else can work through it or solve it or release it. It is MINE.
But… not entirely.
Joe has been devolving, making stupid mistakes, becoming more and more hurtful in random moments to me and everyone else. In all the years I’ve known and loved him, I have never doubted that he loved me back, until recently. And it’s not that his love for me has diminished – it’s just that… well… he had his own grief to go through, and instead of embracing it as I’m prone to do, he sublimated it so that everything lost its color, its flavor, its importance. He was being mean and vicious to the people closest to him, the people who love him the most, and he didn’t even realize it.
So, my comment yesterday was made with tears in my nose and my guts in my hands after a particularly cruel comment, and I couldn’t explain or even COMplain because, frankly, I knew he didn’t mean it the way he said it. I’m sure he meant it at the moment – such things don’t just appear out of nowhere – but the reason for it, the motivation, was nothing like what he thought it was.
For the first time since it happened, I held my husband – my best friend – and we shared our grief. And he didn’t even really realize what we were doing until I tore him down pretty hard and left him with nothing but the raw emotion, and he asked me, “Why do I feel this why? Why do I feel so awful?”
“Because you miss our son.”
Nothing brings up grief in a fresh light so well as the opportunity to share it with someone who will certainly and without a doubt know what you’re feeling. There’s no need to explain what happened, the experience is held in common. And so it returns with a vengeance, ready to be conquered anew, and oftentimes I’m left wondering after the tears have dried if I’ve accomplished anything at all. The hole in my heart is still there, throbbing and aching, but the tears have run out and the voice is tired and cracked. If I needed to let it all out again, would I even have the strength? I doubt I could manage more than a whisper…
I do not understand the ability to sublimate emotions. For me, they have always been the proof of existence, the road to God, the primal nature of all things that all creatures must start with before intellect and reason can be applied. I do not know how to ignore them or put them away where I can’t see them, and I must’ve failed Joe horribly for forgetting that he DOES ignore them, he DOES put them away where he can’t see.
I don’t know if it’s my job to pull them out and make him deal with them, but I know that NOT dealing with them is liable to cause the one thing I promised myself I wouldn’t allow to the best of my ability. And, how ironic would it be if the one thing that seemed to bring us closer together than we’d ever been proves to be the thing that finally tears us apart.
When God created the Universe, I think irony was His favorite building material. I think I need to work harder at learning alloys.
Here’s a tissue. Sorry about that…
Joseph has reached That Age. He is no longer satisfied with waiting around until we notice that he has pee dribbling down his leg. (And, by the way, NEVER buy Huggies Diapers. THEY SUCK!!! MASSIVELY!!!) He’s decided that he needs to take matters into his own hands. So, this morning, he was wet after a long night’s sleep, and he got up, got undressed, took his diaper off, PUT IT IN THE TRASH, got another diaper out, and crawled onto my bed, buck-naked, to wake me up with the cheery proclamation, “DIE-POOH!”
And so it’s been going ALL DAY.
Every time I turn around, there goes Joseph, streaking like a pro through the house, yelling out “DIE-POOH!” Luckily, a little fussing at him after we get a diaper on him (despite his best efforts, he cannot get the damn thing on himself) and he is more than happy to dress himself again. And then five minutes later, get undressed so his diaper can get changed.
Unfortunately, it’s still so novel that he wants his diaper changed even when he *hasn’t* peed.
And, yes, you know it’s going to happen – mid-morning, he stripped off clothes and diaper and left us a gift of poop. Thank the gods it didn’t go anywhere, but there we were, me holding the naked boy’s arms up like a Roman torture scene, and Crystal trying desperately hard to clean up his backside so we could get proper clothes on him once more.
I tell you, it’s days like this that make me glad I went ahead and had another kid. Every one has a different oddity, and perhaps this will prove to be Joseph’s. Gods help us all.
And in totally unrelated news…
I’ve started sewing again. It’s all Crystal’s fault. She got me watching that damned “Project Runway” show, and it’s so horrible and awesome, and I find myself saying things like, “Pause it! OOoooo, I can make that dress… lemme get my sketch pad…” I’m very, VERY happy to announce that Santino LOST! WOOOT! * does the happy dance * That smarmy little bastard was fabulously creative and original, but he couldn’t fit a model to save his ass (which is what finally did him in) and he seemed to have a disconnect between designing clothes that are attractive and designing clothes that normal people would ever wear in a million bazillion years.
Daniel V. didn’t win, either, which saddened me, but looking at his collection, there was really no way. I don’t know what he was thinking, but the details were just… eh. You know? In the end, it was Chloe, and I was surprised because I felt like she was a little too “make everything match” and “do variations of conventional”, but the judges loved it, and I guess that’s what counts. She gets $100K to go start her own clothing line, which is awesome, but Michael Kors, one of the judges and a top-notch designer himself, offered Daniel a job. Frankly, I think Daniel got the better deal.
What does that mean for me? Well, it means at the very least that we’re going to look fabulous when we go to Scarborough Faire in April. (That the 8th, by the way – Opening Day. We’ll see you there, right? It’s in Waxahatchie, Texas, between Dallas and Waco.) More than that, it means that I’m going to have a pathetic overabundance of baby blankets. Tonight, just on a lark, I made a little plaid flannel quilt out of three patterns – all scrap material. I even used organic cotton batting for the middle. This is on top of the other two baby blankets I made earlier this week – both of them these brightly-colored-and-black camel designs with neon green backing… and there’s still no guarantee or even significant suggestion that I’m pregnant. I might be, if it’s anything like Joseph’s pregnancy, but all the tests are negative so far. I’m just stuck with random nausea, the magical disappearing appetite, slightly larger breasts, and a hair-trigger crying reflex.
As far as anything else is concerned, I probably need to blog again tomorrow… Lili’s friend Cassidy (how weird is that for me…) is over, and since she owes us about five bucks, I’m going to make her work it off. She really seems to like coming over here, which I can totally understand since, you know, you can, like, WALK in my front door, and doing so doesn’t mean you get struck violently with the stench of unclean ferret/rabbit/cat-box/dog-crap. She’s a good kid, if a little rough around the edges, and I think she’ll make a nice addition to our sla– er, REGULAR GUESTS.
More tomorrow, maybe. Maybe not. We’ll see.