Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Other Elephant in the Room

No, not my sadness and hopelessness and lack of ability to answer the question "Do you have children?" No, no, not my biological clock. Just ticking away. How do you bring that up in the passionate throes of a budding relationship? Okay, so there are more than a few elephants in the room. This post is going to get uncomfortably honest: I want to talk about suicidal thoughts.

Even though I just wrote a blog post about not wanting to die.

I recently sent a reply text to a friend that I was okay and had "stopped wanting to die." I didn't hear anything back after that, and even though she is a very good friend, I wondered if that were too much; if it was too honest. Maybe when people ask how you are doing they don't actually want to know that you had ever rather been dead.

As it turned out, the very next day I wanted to die again. That day is today. Three months exactly since Blue died. Yesterday I realized that I didn't cry. For the whole day. I didn't cry for a whole day for the first time since the middle of July. Until I read Blue his bedtime story. Maybe I was feeling guilty for not crying? So I made myself cry last night. But today, the tears were unstoppable.

Last night I dreamt that I'd had four miscarriages. Two boys and two girls. I was painting square, pink murals as I realized that my second boy was gone too. I think in the dream that Blue was the second boy, and the last baby. But maybe he was the first baby. I am not sure if it means anything either way. And I am not sure if the dream had anything to do with my terrible, miserable day.

Maybe my terrible, miserable day had to do with seeing my dear friend's eight-month-old boy, who reminds me of my cousin's two-year-old boy. And I think that everyone has her little boy except me. Then I attended middle school parent-teacher conferences with a Burmese woman whose family my mom looks after, because my mom was sick in bed. I only saw three pregnant women, and only had to overhear one conversation about how a baby should be given a chance at life, and not aborted, because it's a life. I am taking that out of context perhaps...but that is what I heard. I mean, are you fucking kidding me? And let's top it all off with the first time I have been asked the question, by a complete and total stranger, "Do you have children?" So of course I do not have a prepared answer. Though "I don't" seemed to work fine.

If you've never thought that you'd rather be dead, then I don't think you can understand the feeling that underlies the thought. It is utter despair. Hopelessness. Worthlessness. Excruciating emotional pain that laughs at physical pain. It is getting an offer in the mail for life insurance that asks "Is anyone depending on you?" As if you needed a reminder that no, no one is. And so, really, no one is depending on me. Sure, people love me, and want me to not take my own life--and please, listen, I am not going to do it, I just want to talk about it--but how horrible would it be for them? Would they feel as bad having lost me as I do having lost Blue? I can't imagine that anyone else in this world would want to die upon learning that I was dead. I guess I just want to talk about that honestly. I do understand that there are many other reasons to keep living, but can anyone tell me truly and honestly that someone else might die if I die first? And if that is the case, then why must I live? Why must I live in all this pain? In all this hopelessness? Like I said, I am going to keep living, despite the pain and the hopelessness. Because I am pretty sure that someday I will have my happiness. I will have my rainbow.

And I am also pretty sure that the only thing worse than losing your baby is being committed to an institution because of your suicidal intentions after losing your baby.

These are just thoughts. Not intentions.

1 comment:

  1. Doctor types have written about this and confirmed that wishing yourself dead after a child dies is totally. normal. (phew!) It's not uncommon at all. Where you need to get worried or find help is if you actually start *planning* or ideating the event -- then it's gone to another place, and it's no longer about your dead child but about hard core depression. These fall backs you're experiencing are also totally normal. That was around the time I stopped crying every day, but maybe bust out once a week. Then it will go to once a month. And then whenever you see *that* commercial, or read *that* book. It does get better. It does not get awesome, it gets better relative to where you are. It really does.

    I'm sorry about your friend. There's a thread over on the GITW message board written by someone who was contemplating suicide a bit more seriously -- the ensuing discussion might be worth a look. There are people out there who are more than happy to sit and listen to you talk about these things.

    Much love.