I know I’ve been pretty sporadic in my posting, both here and on the ‘gram, but I have been filling my days with as much as possible and not stopping because the sadness if waiting if I stop and until now I haven’t really felt like facing it. I saw my niece of Tuesday, she’s a year old at the end of this month. That night was the first time I properly let myself cry for a very long time and now the feeling is sat on my shoulder waiting patiently for a second breakdown. The feeling of the utter dispair thankfully is now less and less than it was after loosing Emmet and then Réa and the months that followed her loss.
I don’t feel drowned in grief, but I am certainly still sat on the shore occasionally being drenched by an unexpected wave. I’m pretty sure that I’ll spend the rest of my life on that beach somewhere, on the sand or in the waves or in the sea, which seems like the right type of analogy for life after Babyloss.
I have definitely been struggling again with Dissasosiative episodes, there’s periods where everything feels unreal, or distant, or dreamlike, although the Dissasosiative Seizures are more under control than they were, because having Non Epileptic seizures and getting regular concussions is nobody’s idea of a good time.
I can identify the trigger mostly, and this time it’s because I’m bloody tired and it’s only 15 days until Emmets due date, and 33 days until its a year since we Lost Réalta. I know I’m stressed, and I know stress causes depersonalisation, and that makes it a lot easier to sort through in my mind. I know I’ve had bad moments of panic, and flashbacks and threatened seizures, but I’m pretty pleased with my progress as I haven’t actually had a Seizure in a while, or a full blown panic attack and for that I give much thanks.
I can step away and point out to myself what’s going on, and use grounding techniques, which for me is honestly mostly just reminding myself ‘this is real and you’re present’, which seems to help. Or I fidget and try to use tactile stimuli as a way to focus and come back to reality a bit.
Luckily now I’ve grown pretty used-ish (as used as you can be I guess?) to the dissasosiative episodes, and instead of just living with the feeling that nothing feels properly real or permanent for as long as it chooses to last, I can go ‘ahhh yes, here is the beast rearing it’s ugly head again. This is a period of dissassosiation. Now’s the time to book a Psychologist appointment, keep a diary, write notes on my phone and get my family and friends to re assure me of what’s going on/ has happened/ what I have and haven’t got up too.’ I am not sure if Seizures will ever be something I fully acclimatise too, they’re nothing short of awful.
Being able to identify the start of a dissasosiative episode has lessened them, now they’re hours rather than days if they happen at all because I’m not floating around going ‘oh this is weird everything feels far away and nothing is feeling real anymore la la la’ , but it’s pretty much always a pain in the arse because not knowing if what’s happening is actually happening messes with your head, as do flashbacks, but that’s another kettle of fish.
Now I know what these ‘episodes’ of unrealness or temporary amnesia are, it’s nowhere near as scary, because feeling like nothing is real is a weird feeling and it tends to make me feel really low and make random shit.
It has to be said crafting and drawing is probably one of the best things to do in a disassociative episode, some people go on murder rampages, I craft with too much glitter. That probably tells you all you need to know about my personality, draw your conclusions from there.
I can also now identify that this has been an issue for a lot longer in my life than previously thought, which makes sense re childhood trauma, a lot of which was pretty blanked out for a long time.
I struggled a lot then with not knowing what was real, I was experiencing one thing, and being told A. Not to tell anyone, and B. That it never happened in the first place. At 10 years of age that has a way of messing you about, till you don’t know where you stand, or even trust your own ideas about what’s been going on. I was in a world of my own, literally, and it isn’t something I can really explain.
The worst one was last summer, during my very brief pregnancy and the months following the loss, it was completely blanked out for months to the extent I doubted myself utterly and even what I had written in my diary, in my own handwriting, throughout July 2017. A second loss was what my Psychologist described as what he thinks was the straw that broke the camels back.
The timeline for me is muddled and confused and somehow far away, meaning that the second pregnancy, Réalta, seems far away and out of reach as well. I am greatful I kept a diary, however sporadically as its let me know what happened when, and how I felt about it.
I struggle a lot with remembering her dates. 18.07.2017, I have to double check a lot because I am terrified of forgetting or getting it wrong, I am still vague, still struggling to know exactly what happened and in what order, but mostly things are clearish now.
I have moments of really bad paranoia that she wasn’t real, that I made it up. I doubt myself and my memories and experiences, I know it’s because it would be easier if it wasn’t really real, if it had been a bad dream, if at any moment I will wake up to July 2017.
It would be easier to bear, but I wouldn’t trade her for the world. I know I was scared the second time around, more scared than the first time. I know I tried to justify a ‘chemical pregnancy’ as nothing, and if anything I expect that’s made it worse, I sat down and read my diary entries again and I read myself trying to comprehend a second loss, and I still can’t.
Honestly it is still as if none of this makes sense, I know when I lost Emmet there was an element of it being unreal, many people experience the feeling of their having to be some mistake or other explanation after loss, with Emmet I remember experiencing this in a normal capacity, and moving on and learning to live with and accept the blow and the loss I had been dealt.
With Réa, I know that I have not got to the same stage of moving on to the new chapter and accepting the blows dealt yet as I had with Emmet at the same stage. I’ve been trying not to hold myself to those standards, as the two situations aren’t the same. With Emmet I had a year of processing emotions, with Réa, they were blocked out for months and honestly I don’t really know exactly how long it went on for, when I worked out what had happened and when I told my partner. I know it was before the 2nd of October, because we released a balloon for both of them, but I don’t know more than that.
I could look through my diary, blog posts and text messages, but I’m pretty sure that in my current mind set the only thing that would achieve is triggering myself unnecessarily when it has to be said my current mental state leaves much to be desired.
One loss was easier to accept and comprehend than two, one loss could be justified by never again and at least I experienced pregnancy once. Two losses can’t be. Two losses was two too many, one loss was one too many.
I know Réas loss was rock bottom, previously I had thought I’d reached that place loosing Emmet, but if life has taught me anything it would be not to underestimate how low rock bottom goes. Clawing up from rock bottom wasn’t pretty, still isn’t pretty because I can’t pretend I’m out of the pit yet.
It took until it had been a year with Emmet before I felt like I wasn’t at rock bottom anymore, and I think with Réa, with both my babies gone, it will take a little longer.
It was pointed out to me by my therapist that I hold myself to standards I don’t hold others too, my standards for myself tend to be high and unforgiving. I don’t expect other people to move on, but I expect myself too.
Anyway I will conclude my ramble, and if anyone has read to the end, we’ll done- reward yourself with a biscuit and a beverage of your choice I guess. It’s nearly 4am here, I can hear the birds and I’ve eaten half a packet of fig rolls so I’m going to try to sleep now.
Love and support always,