I said it often in those first few days after Ree died. I said that I wished we could all wear signs around our necks when we went out into public that proclaimed our recent loss and explaining why we needed them to be gentle with us. To not rush us in the checkout line or jostle us in the aisles. We needed people around us to be gentle and to be aware and mindful and truthfully, this kind of wish was never going to be granted. I wanted a sign that told people to proceed with caution. To be gentle. It was ok with me if we all wore our own signs. The man that wore one that would say "Divorced after 34 years of marriage". The teenager who would write "recent cancer diagnosis". The middle aged woman who would write about her husband's recent infidelity. I wanted to take all of these people who didn't know about our recent loss, and move them to a category of those that do know. Those that do know seem to act differently. Although sometimes this isn't always a good thing.
Those that know sometimes extend us compassion. More compassion than normal. More patience or understanding. Or they gift us with their time and sit with us. Those that don't know are often more abrasive and completely unaware that there are people around them that hurt. They seem to bump into others in the world with little regard to the bruises they leave behind.
Those that know the loss of a child themselves are a special category of people. They know things, things that I don't have to explain to other people. They just know. And sometimes I need to avoid these people because I don't want to think anymore today about what this all feels like and how I'm going to cope today. I admit that sometimes I don't want to read their blogs or their Facebook posts because I need distance from all of their grief too. They know, and sometimes I need to be around those that don't,.
Those that don't are a tricky category. They don't get it and they don't know, and those people are a welcome relief on the days when I don't want to be the "mom who lost her baby". When I can blend in to the crowd at Target and I don't have to answer "How I'm doing today" for the 50th time to a person who really doesn't know me all that well. Sometimes I think those that know want to be a voyeur. They want to witness and watch our pain because it fascinates them. They either haven't been through anything like this or they just want to crane their necks in curiosity like lookie-lou's who need to slow down traffic to get a glimpse of the traffic accident. They barely know me but they send messages often asking for updates but rarely offer much in the way of support. They just want to KNOW. They don't want to pull up a chair and talk.
Those that do know and want to talk, they are rare. They fit into the inner circle of people. Truthfully I don't have much energy to update people who aren't in the inner circle because I just can't answer again today why I'm feeling the way I do when they aren't going to provide respite.
I'm convinced that our therapist doesn't know shit about grief or bereavement. She seems to have experienced her own losses in life. Maybe it's the fact that she's almost 60 so she expects me to look at the world through the same lens, the lens that says that we all make it through these things. I'm not sure. I just know she's rushing me. It's been 6.5 weeks. I'm not in the place she seems to want me to be and instead I just want her to be ok sitting with my sadness. Instead, she seems to want me to wrap my head around all the "gains" that come with losses, as if I'm in a place to see what I'll gain from all this. I already told her that nothing I gain at this point will outweigh the loss of a child until I am actually a mother. I am not ok making it to the end of my life and the only gain I experienced was more empathy for others or the ability to help my clients. That's not enough of a gain for me.
She also doesn't seem to know how to talk to those that experience infertility. She's already asked me to have patience. To relax since stressing will hurt the process. We got pregnant with Ree at quite literally the most stressful time in our entire marriage during the adoption process. She's told us to take time and not try to get pregnant for a year or two. We don't have time to take off, and certainly not a year or two. She asked today if I thought that maybe this is the universe trying to tell me that we don't need to be parents. Or that Ree shouldn't have existed given all of the genetic issues facing us in our families with mental health issues on both sides. She outright asked if I could accept that maybe we shouldn't be parents. Or maybe Ree wasn't meant to be brought into this world. Perhaps this is true. But it's not the right timing to approach this line of thinking with me, and it certainly didn't help my stage of grief. Or guilt. It certainly doesn't help me to press forward if I'm telling you that the one thing that will help outweigh the grief is to become a parent, and you pose the idea that maybe I'm never meant to be one. I'm not proclaiming the impossible here, like plans to become President.
I don't think I'm going back to her. Why are there so many awful therapists out there? She falls in the category of "Those that don't".