my own group therapy session

I wrote this on Monday evening but I didn’t want to post it because I didn’t really like it and felt like I was being too negative. Plus, I was exhausted from crying. I remember when Greg was sick and I couldn’t bring myself to post on CaringBridge because I didn’t have anything positive to say. I guess I still feel the same way about writing something that you will all see. I want to be able to have a happy ending or at least some hope to leave you with. For you and for me. So, to add a little happiness to what you are about to read…I’m feeling better today. The sun was shining and I let Squeaky play in the van out in the parking lot (buckling and unbuckling her ‘babies’ is so much fun!) while I stuck my head out the door for a little sun. I prepped everything to work on taxes with my accountant next week. I THINK I finally figured out our health care situation. AND Squirmy and I found a game on the iPad to play together that had us cheering and high-fiving each other – the game is Where’s My Water. I’m sure you have all heard of it already and have been playing it for years and years but we had a great time with it tonight!

Anyway, I still don’t like this post but I’m going to share it anyway. See below for some ramble-y, 3-day old whining.

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I don’t feel fun anymore. I THINK I used to be fun. A fun mom. A fun daughter. A fun friend. I’m just not fun. I’m too stressed. I’m crabby. I don’t know how to participate in small talk so I just shy away from conversations regarding anything about anything other than my immediate sphere of circumstance. I have tried participating in some conversations but I float away, feeling like I have no right to be talking about daily things, silly things, trivial things. Things that don’t pertain to life and death. I still don’t know what’s going on in the news and that’s depressing to me. I try participating in things in the community but I’m held back by inability to converse and the fact that I’m now a single mom with no back-up parent. My girls like babysitters but I sometimes think I get them too often. They are usually very crabby and clingy to me the next day. I don’t want my girls to think I’m leaving them too, but mama just needs breaks. And it seems so selfish of me but after I get a break one day, I need another one a few days (sometimes HOURS) later! It’s never-ending guilty feeling.

I was supposed to go to my first group therapy session tonight but it was cancelled because of the snowstorm. I was actually looking forward to starting some kind of therapy. The next one is a month away and that feels like ages from now. I keep telling myself it was meant to be because everything that has happened since Greg died has felt bigger than me, more deliberate, just meant to happen. Every door that opens, I wander through. I do this because I’ve always liked going with the flow but in some ways I don’t feel strong enough to attempt anything else. It’s exhausting to stress about going in a different direction so I just float through that open door. Maybe this is the way I’ve always done things and I’m just more aware of it now. I’m paying attention more, wondering in what ways Greg is still helping us along.

I’m used to mourning the loss of Greg but I guess I’m now feeling like mourning the loss of me. The old me. The fun me. The aware me. The crafty me. The political me. The self-deprecating me. The save the earth me. Some days I just don’t recognize this crabby lady. This lost lady. This lady growing grey hairs and new wrinkles who’s yelling at her kids to go to bed or plopping them in front of the tv or telling them that she’ll read them a book only to realize she forgot to call the IRS to request 3 years of back taxes because she can’t find them anywhere in her computer files or that she hadn’t even thought of what to make for dinner and all that there is in the fridge is old tofu and yogurt. I realize that there are a lot of people going through hell in their lives worse than I am so I don’t like outwardly complaining. I just hate seeing me this way. Me not being able to handle it all. I’ve always been someone to pick myself up and go. But I still feel lost. I can pick myself up but I just don’t know where to ‘go’. Then I do my floaty thing.

We’ll be coming up on a bunch of anniversaries soon…the day Greg got his stomach ache. The day I KNEW it was cancer. The day we got the actual cancer diagnosis. The day I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe because I knew he was dying. The day he started radiation. The day he started chemo. The day the oncologist told us there was no more plan. The day hospice came to our house. The day he was taken to the in patient hospice unit by ambulance and the girls started screaming and crying and clinging to me when they found out I’d be going with him. The day of his party. The night I woke up and cried to him because I knew there would be so much to do when he died and he wouldn’t be there to do it with me. The day that was the beginning of the end. The last time I held his hand.

2-24-13 photos

Greg and the girls on February 23rd, 2013, the day before the stomach ache.

People always tell me that firsts and anniversaries will be hard but I never really believed them. I didn’t really even think of ‘firsts’ until I had a shitty time this Thanksgiving and Hanukkah and an even shittier time at Christmas. I wanted it to be good but it was all just too normal. Normal stuff we would usually do but with that big, gaping hole right next to me. I guess Monday, the anniversary of Greg’s stomach ache will feel like just a normal day. I’ll have to plan something to make it not normal. Maybe then I’ll feel a little better.

I don’t feel like this every day. Just some days when I feel I’ve done a shitty job of what I’m supposed to be doing. Or when I just don’t give a shit about this or that. Or when I feel like I should have my shit together a little more. Shitty shit shit.

On a bright note, I do remember making some people laugh the other day. And today I was watching an old video of Squirmy and Squeaky dancing that Greg had recorded almost exactly a year ago. It made me laugh so hard I cried. It’s been a very long time since that has happened.

Well, I guess that’s my therapy session for this month. And a successful one at that, since I have a pile of snotty tissues on the floor next to me. Maybe next month I’ll be able to say it all out loud.

xxx,

Mariah

P.S. I did NOT go with Greg right away to the hospice facility. I stayed home to make sure the girls were okay and happy having a picnic before I said goodbye…just in case you were wondering.

 

6 Responses to my own group therapy session

  1. Christina 02/20/2014 at 9:08 am #

    I cried along with you reading this post. But I did laugh out loud at “Shitty, shit, shit”. :) I can’t imagine what you are going through. Please know that you are an AWESOME mom. You are doing the best that you can right now and right now that is enough. I wish that I was closer and could help out with your girls. I hope that you find some peace at your group session next month. Sending warm thoughts your way, Mariah!

    • Mariah 02/21/2014 at 12:53 pm #

      Thank you Christina! The rest of this week has gotten much better…for ALL of us. xoxo

  2. Lisa 02/20/2014 at 9:10 pm #

    So you get a sitter? My sister and I loved it when we had sitters as kids – just like when we had substitute teachers at school. I think I liked the sitters because my parents got so dressed up and it was special. Make it special. Especially for you!

    Don’t beat yourself up so much! On the anniversary of the stomachache maybe you and the girls need to go to Culver’s and eat ice cream until you have a stomachache. Take a pic of Greg with you – feed him some too. Whatever gets you through.

    If you think there is a perfect parent out there… Ha!

    • Mariah 02/21/2014 at 12:52 pm #

      I love the ice cream stomach ache idea! And Greg loved Culvers too so it’s perfect. Thanks Lisa!

  3. Mom 02/21/2014 at 11:20 pm #

    Mariah,
    The grieving process is bumpy and filled with muddy potholes that you will have to continue to wallow through. You are doing that honey and taking your little darlings along with you. It’s OK to feel all of these feelings. Even though they continue to tear your heart out and feel like there will never be any healing. You are healing, with each teary face and snotty Kleenex, each laughing/crying memory, each cherished time to snuggle and treasure togetherness, or a desperation to have some time alone without a tired, crying child to put to bed. I’m so glad you are sharing this part of the process too, even though it’s not so pretty. We all know it’s there, if healing is to happen. You just keep moving forward and we will be around you and the girls to hold your hand or your head. It’s OK, you are OK. I love you all, Mom

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