Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Today was a hard day.

{This post was written sometime in June, and has been saved as a draft ever since. I have no idea why it was never posted. So here it is now}


Today was rough.

I'm still in training at my new job, which includes a few months of mandatory classroom training. Today, we talked about Shaken Baby Syndrome so that we can recognize the signs of it. That actually isn't the part that was hard. I knew when I applied for this job that I would see some awful things happen to kids. The part that really got to me was when we spent a long time talking about grief and mourning. I actually hadn't really thought about that being a part of my job. After talking about it for a while it makes a lot of sense - a lot of parents will mourn the loss of their children from their lives even when their own actions might be the reason that their children were removed from their homes. I can talk about grief - obviously. No big deal. The hard part came when the trainer wanted us to talk - in detail - about what grief felt like...because we'll be more empathetic etc., if we can kind of know what they're feeling. He asked if anyone in the class who had recently lost someone would be willing to talk about the physiological effects that it has on your body... like what it physically feels like to grieve. I knew that I would lose it if I raised my hand to speak, so I just kept my mouth shut.  A couple of other people raised their hands and shared their stories... but I could very well be the only person in the room who knows what it's like to actually have to hand over their child to someone knowing that it's the last time I'll ever see her.

Talking about grief and mourning isn't the problem, but because of the discussion, I felt like I was actually reliving the moment we placed Olivia back in her basinette and walked out of the NICU over and over and over in my head. I haven't actually let myself really think about that moment in a very long time. I didn't cry though... and I don't think anyone could tell that I was getting shaken up.

Afterwards, the trainer read two poems about grief out loud. To the group. By that point I was just thinking, COME ON!!

The good part was that after we finished talking about those issues, talked about attachment and watched a video of kids seeing their military dads for the first time after a deployment. I think ALL of us (at least the girls) were crying... so that was a good little emotional outlet for me!

I also would like to say that I really hesitated before writing this post. Then after I started writing it, I erased it and started over a few times. Talking about hard days makes me feel like I'm complaining too much. I struggle with worrying that people will think I'm grasping for sympathy from others - like I want people to feel bad for me. But I know that when I was a "newbie" to this baby loss thing, I found so much comfort in reading the blogs of women that were candid and honest about their pain - and happiness. It's so much easier to write about the good days than it is to write about the bad ones, but I think it's important that I'm honest with myself and with you guys. Because even after posting just yesterday about how well I'm doing, it's okay to have a bad day too.


LauraJane said...

As a newbie in the whole BL community (at 5 months after Jack), I appreciate you keeping it real and showing that the rough days still affect you. Of course, I'm sure your reaction today varied from what it might have 2 years or so ago, but you are so amazing to be able to just remain silent while you listened to others tell you what grief physically feels like. :)

B. Wilson said...

Thanks for still being honest. I appreciate reading how you are doing since you provide so much hope for us that aren't even a year into the journey.

You are strong and not a complainer-- you are honest, open, and sharing the reality of what it is being a baby loss mom.

Monica said...

I loved you post. So honest and touching. I am new to your blog but have really enjoyed it!

Lia Larson said...

Hi Betsy,

Thanks for sharing. I could almost feel how you must have felt, or at least what I imagine I would have felt like in your shoes. I don't think it's ever considered complaining when you're sharing about your grief. It is part of your life. Those who choose to believe you are complaining, well, do they really matter? Just my opinion. :) Thanks for deciding to post about it because people need to hear it. Take care!!


Holly said...

I'm sorry it was a "bad" day. Even though those days will still come, I still don't like them!

ALo said...

doin ok? haven "heard" anything in a while. thinkin about you...prayin things are ok!

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