Saturday morning I sighed and told Mr. E, "I'm so glad Blue's birthday has passed." Yes, it's a huge relief.
But now I realize I am still swimming in last summer's aftermath. The crushing weight of the sadness, the dearth of support from those around me. I went on job interviews within weeks of Blue's stillbirth. I went to the shore for three or four days (mistake, actually, all pregnant women and small children) and my ex talked about how luxurious my life was because I could go sit by the ocean for a few days. If ever I dared sleep past 9:00, whether because of an extra sleeping pill or extra grief the night before, I could expect to hear about how I wasn't pulling my own weight.
I have over 365 days of perspective now, and it is really painful to look back on those days after, and realize that I had no way to protect myself. I thought I needed to be with Blue's dad. I thought I needed to put back the pieces that had broken for other reasons. Even my parents, who a few weeks later would literally drive four hours to DC one day to take me home, told me I should be with him. When I told him that--you know what? His name is Chris. His name is Chris Hughes and he lives in DC and I'm not going to keep his identity secret anymore like something I say here might hurt him. He is tall with green eyes and he kept gaining weight when we were together. He is very smart and very lacking in empathy and I think he technically qualifies as being a sociopath.
So anyway, when I told Chris that my parents told me to be with him, but what would they say if they knew how he was treating me (we were fighting then but it wasn't like he didn't know he was being pretty shitty most of the time), his response was, "Low blow." Said calmly with venom on his tongue and hatred in his eyes. I never understood that answer.
I am having a hard time now avoiding these thoughts, these thoughts about how bad it was but why didn't I see it then? And I know why. I know why I endured the abuse, just like I endured the all-but-first-two-months of our stupid, shitty relationship: I didn't think I had a choice.
And I couldn't possibly see how bad it was. I was in no shape to be objective. Logical. Reasonable. I was a childless mother.
Now I can see how bad it was. Surviving the sadness. Being with Chris. Trying to function when there was nothing normal, comforting or routine about my life at the time. Maybe the fact that I tend not to like routine, that I tend to seek new places, is what saved me. Because I don't know how I lived. And that makes me so sad all over again, to see, objectively, that I was sad enough that I wanted to die. That I wanted the pain to stop. That I could make it stop if I wanted to.
It's like I have PTSD from my own depression. Is that possible? I think of myself a year ago and I feel so sad for her, the woman that I was. When I read or hear about other people who are just really depressed, or who actually commit suicide, I get so sad, thinking, I know. I know what that's like.
I know, right now, I will not feel that again. Until I start to freak out about something happening to Sprout. Then I imagine. And imagining is worse than reality. Except sometimes when it's not.