Something I didn’t realise losing a child would do to me: feel like I am losing control over every aspect of my life.
I have never felt as vulnerable and helpless as I have this past month. A straw could knock me down.
I cried tonight to my husband over how badly I wish I could just drive myself places. Losing that bit of freedom and control not only makes me feel like a burden to others who feel their act of charity is to cart me around, but also impedes on my ability to apply for jobs outside of the easy-to-get-to radius where the bus runs without transfers. This severely limits my options to banks, a juice plant, the County, and some hotels. My absolute reliance on the bus also makes me fearful to get a job anywhere with a strict start time (especially if it’s 8:00) since the bus can be unreliable (as is my ability to get up at exactly the right time every morning) and being 10 seconds late turns into 30-45 minutes late far too easily.
My fears over driving turn into fears over finding a new job, which then turn into fears over providing for my family adequately. In the fall, my husband will be working on his student teaching, which means we pay thousands of dollars for him to teach for free–a time when he is not allowed to (and shouldn’t) have an additional, wage-earning job. Our plans are to move so that we can get away from here for a while–a change I need so badly it hurts–but if I can’t find an adequately-paying job, we won’t be able to afford living elsewhere. I might have to stay here while he moves away for a spell, which would completely defeat the purpose of moving in the first place.
I search job postings constantly, looking for something better than what I’m doing so we can put away as much money as possible the next six months, but so few of them are in my “range.” I find myself doing the same thing I did when Seraphim died: “Well, if I don’t have a baby to care for, I guess I’m taking college classes again.” This time, though, it’s: “Well, if I’m not going to be pregnant or having a baby this summer, then I guess I need to find a better job.” If I don’t, though, I might need to stop taking classes next quarter and get a third job instead. My over-stressed, over-worked self is crumpling at the suggestion, but I feel an obsession with taking care of my family. I was supposed to be taking care of a baby right now, and if I couldn’t keep him alive, I now need to make up for it by working myself to death to take care of us this year.
I don’t know how anyone does this.
I want to feel like a whole person again, not just crippled by fear. I need a long vacation, but it’s simply not an option. All I can hope for is that my endurance doesn’t wear out before I get a chance to take a break.
I think the loss of my life as I knew it is the biggest loss I’ve felt. I’ve lost babies, my friends, my support system, my confidence. I suppose these constituted “my life.”
I am so grateful that my husband is always there. He’s the last person on earth I can tell just about anything to. But he’s still grieving, too, and he does so quietly. It’s hard to balance the give-and-take in a relationship when you feel all you have strength for is taking. There must be enough grace in there for both, somehow.