Friday, March 30, 2012

"How are you doing?"

I don't know the answer to this question to be perfectly to be honest. Like I posted earlier on Facebook, this morning I looked at my toenails and noticed that all the nail polish was chipping off. My toes were so cute just a week ago. All pretty and freshly painted, sparkling and ready to take on the world. Resembled my optimism and excitement just perfectly I think. But that was before. And now after all chipped, ugly and broken, my toenails still represent how I feel on the inside. Broken. Ugly. Alone. Lost.
I cannot begin to explain how many times I've gone into a room this past week only to stop, forgetting what I even was doing or looking for in the first place. I turn around and around, looking for some clue or reminder as to why I'm there, only to come up empty and leave the room empty handed. Honestly, I feel like I'm losing my mind some days and it really scares me.
There are times where I am in a room full of people and I couldn't feel more alone. How is that? I can see them, hear them, feel them and yet it is as if they aren't even there. It makes me want to scream.
Then there are moments where I feel nothing. Its like I'm empty. I'm not happy. I'm not sad. I'm not scared, hopeful, thankful... just nothing. It's a really hollow feeling.
People come by, and though I'm happy to see them I just want to be alone. Isn't that contradicting? I feel alone, I don't like it... and yet I crave the silence that only solitude can bring. It just doesn't make sense.
Almost every night, since Archer's passed I've had horribly strange dreams of searching for something, or someone and coming up empty handed. I'm always in a panic and I know that it is imperative that I find whatever or whoever it is I'm looking for, but I'm never quite able to find it - and I don't always know exactly what it is I'm looking for. Just that I'll know what it is when I find it. But it's always just out of my reach. And more often than not I wake up in a cold sweat.
Every day, at least once, I break down in tears. Gut wrenching sobs wrack me to my core and push me to my knees. It's exhausting and I never let my children see it, and hardly ever do it around my husband - though I'm sure he knows.
I am always tired. I could sleep for hours every night and through the day and it wouldn't be enough. My body aches in ways completely unrelated to the delivery. My head hurts all the time. I think it's because of all the crying I've been doing. My legs feel like their covered in bruises - I haven't a clue why. Then there are the aches completely related to the delivery.
Every day I'm reminded that my baby isn't with me. Every time I look in the mirror and see my saggy stomach, ugly stretch marks and engorged chest I'm reminded Archer's gone. My stomach still itches and hurts from the bought of PUPPS (a pregnancy related rash) that I got the last week or so I was pregnant. Luckily, it hurts less and less every day. Strangely enough, sometimes I can still feel Archer kicking and moving inside me. It's like the 'phantom limb' syndrome. Almost as if my body (or mind) just can't accept the fact that he's really and truly gone. My milk has come in and my chest has been hurting every day since the morning Archer passed. Again, lucky for me it is hurting less and less every day but still, it hurts. And every ache and pain is a reminder of who I've lost.
Every time we sit down as a family for a meal, a prayer or to play, or just sit - there is always a sense of someone missing. I'm always thinking, "Archer should be here." or "This is where Archer would be sitting.". Images of me holding my sweet little boy while the other kids play at my feet constantly flash through my mind. It's awful and glorious all at the same time. There was so much that I wanted for Archer; so much I pictured and imagined for our family with him. All those dreams have been crushed. I won't ever get to do any of those things that I pictured. Pushing him around in a stroller, celebrating his first birthday, taking him up to see his family in Washington, taking him to the ocean, taking him with us to the park, taking him swimming and camping, his daddy teaching him to fish, watching him grow and learn. So many things that I wanted for him, for us - and it was all taken from me in just a matter of moments. The space that these hopes and dreams took up inside of me is now hollow, and for now there isn't anything to fill it with.
This week, I've dealt with two sick boys. Logan refused to fall asleep last night until around 6 or so this morning and was up at 2 am the morning before that. It was the first time that I really felt angry through this whole ordeal. I feel awful for saying this and it's hard to admit, but I was angry at Heavenly Father. Angry for taking not one, but two of my boys from me. I was angry for the difficulties that I was experiencing. And then I was angry because the same week that I buried my baby boy, I was up with a sick child two nights in a row. I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was sleep and for some reason Heavenly Father didn't see fit to answer my pleas for help. Didn't I deserve some rest?! I'm ashamed to admit that I yelled at Him. I questioned why He saw it fit to watch me suffer in such a way. Why couldn't He just make it all better? Why wouldn't He just make Logan better and help him fall asleep? Why did I have to go through this? Why, why, why?!
It's so funny when I hear people say how strong I am because I sure don't feel that way. I feel horribly broken right now. All I am doing is taking it one step at a time. It's like someone mentioned at Archer's memorial: it's like I'm a train on a track. There isn't anywhere else for me to go but forward... so that's where I go. Forward. Forward with HoPE that these feelings will pass with time. That one day, I will wake up and be happy from the moment my feet hit the floor. That I will no longer feel so lost and alone and broken beyond repair. That I won't have to remind myself to take a shower, change my clothes, brush my teeth and comb my hair, or put on deodorant. That I won't just go through the motions of my day - but I will be an actual active participant in my life.
I've had genuine smiles and laughs this past week. I've been genuinely happy. There have been many moments of love and comfort and peace since Archer left us. I know that I'll see Archer again. I know that my life experiences aren't meant as a punishment. I do. I know these things but that doesn't make any of it hurt any less. It doesn't make my loss any less real. It doesn't make me miss Archer any less and it certainly doesn't take away the sting of the loss of the life I imagined with him as a part of our family on this earth.

I always try to take a moment to go back and re-read my posts. I realize that this post looks kinda bad. But I want you to understand that this isn't meant as a way to make people feel sorry for me. All I want is for people to understand where I am at right now. When you see me at the store, and it looks like I haven't brushed my hair in several days and could use a good scrubbing, now  you know why. When you see me standing in the middle of a room and I look completely clueless and lost, now you know why. When I don't answer or return your phone call, now you know why. It isn't because I'm mad at you or am trying to get rid of you. It's because I'm lost and trying to find my way in this new life that's been created for me. So in answer to the question "How are you doing, Bree?" I have to honestly say "I don't know, but I'm trying."

  sign off for blog


grammaDawn said...

The fact that you can write these thoughts is amazing. I don't think I could have written a complete sentence. I love and miss you and am so sorry I can't be near you to help.

neenerneener said...

amen to mom's comment. just know we love you, (which i know you know) and that we will do what we can from over here!

James & Amy Anderson Family said...

Bree, you don't know how bad I wish I could have been there to see little Archer. I am so sorry you have to go through this.

Natalie♥ said...

Bree, you are strong and someday when you look back on this you will wonder how you made it and you will realize that you are stronger than you thought you were. You are teaching the rest of us from what you are going through and I thank you for that. You are so wise in writing your story down so we can all learn something from it. I pray that you will feel comforted. You are such a good Mommy and I know you are doing the very best and giving all you have to give right now, even if your hair or teeth don't get brushed. I am always thinking of you :)

Anonymous said...

My heart aches for you and your family. I cry ever time I think of you and your struggles. I am also amazed beyond belief at your ability to understand the importance of each moment, and record it with such beauty and eloquence. Our true feelings aren’t always what we want them to be, but the honesty of them help us all to understand it is ok to work our way though. I appreciate your willingness to share your life and trial with me. They truly do inspire me. You have been, and will continue to be in our prayers.

brittney said...

is it weird to say that I thought this post was beautiful? Maybe the word I'm looking for is genuine or descriptive (although that last one just doesn't do it justice). I come away with watery eyes and thinking that I get it, that I know how you're feeling...even though I've not had the same experiences you have, you describe it so realistically and it comes very close to how I've felt in the past 6 months that it seems somehow understandable. Thank you for your thoughts. We pray for you.

Melinda said...

Bree, you ARE strong. You are stronger than you think you are, you're amazing and wonderful and inspiring. I've been crying reading through all your posts, all of your feelings are completely understandable and you wrote it so beautifully. I loved seeing the pictures of Archer, he's gorgeous, I'm so glad you have those pictures, I know you'll cherish them forever. I still pray for you and your family every day, and you're doing the only thing you can do--moving forward.