15 October 2007

Funk

I am in a funk. Funkity funk funk funk.

The six-month anniversary of John's death hit me really hard. Work has been incredibly annoying. My best friend is moving away. I feel like a lot of my friends just so happen to be in those places in life where the stars align and things go their way. I want to be happy for them, and I say the right things, but mostly I'm sad, jealous, and bitter.

When John was dying, my sadness often turned to anger and it often got directed at John. So unfair, right? I was so scared of what my life would be like without him, so tired from dealing with the constant presence of Imminent Death, and so overwhelmed as a new mother that sometimes things would just spew out of me at the nearest target: John. It made me feel horrible. John and I talked about it and he was a prince for dealing with it, but it sucked. I look back on those days with much regret, mad at myself for spending our last times together in such a state of fear and anger instead of making the most of what we had left, whatever that even means.

Right after John died, there was a part of me that felt this strange sense of lightness and relief: No more cancer. Frankly, that relieved feeling was stronger than the sadness at first. John being gone was somehow too much for me to grasp, but I was more than happy to accept that cancer was no longer a part of my daily life.

The endorphins of that no-more-cancer euphoria are wearing off. Now I just feel marrow-sucking sadness. I miss John. I miss our life, even the part with cancer. I hate wondering what things would be like if he were here, because I know things would be better. I was at a party over the weekend and the whole thing was so tedious for me, a minefield of chasing my kids around someone else's house, never having time to visit with anyone, consoling Riley, who kept hitting his head or being scared of strangers. I have no wingman, and I was in a place where everyone else had a wingman. It sucked.

I can't direct all of this foulness at John anymore because, alas, he is gone. So guess who's getting it now? That's right. The twins. I am short-tempered and crabby. I am no fun. I take away toys that cause disputes. I have no energy or creativity. Emmie sang a song into her son's pants the other day to help him through a stressful time—such an awesome idea! I have no such ideas. Upset about having to wear those pants you don't like? Sorry, life is hard, you'll be fine. That's the best I can do. I just can't help but feel that they would be happier if I were happier.

There are moments of joy (the kisses!) but there is a lot of drudgery in my life right now, and a partner would make life finding the joy so much easier. I'm an optimist by nature, and what keeps me going is the thought that there must be some payoff for this, something big waiting for me, and if I keep going and keep doing the best I can, I'm going reap some amazing benefit. For now, I'm doing the right things: I eat, I sleep, I get lots of help, I talk to a therapist. It's only been six months (or is that it's already been six months?), but I'm ready for my reward to come my way.

44 comments:

The McMommy said...

Hugs from just south of you in CT.
I have been reading your story for a while and have only commented a few times, but today I felt the need to comment....I wish I could virtually hug you right now....

C. said...

Hi Snick:

I can relate. My husband didnt die (I am so so sorry), but I to do not have a wingman, and it does suck. Life can be really difficult sometimes and having someone around can often help make it a little easier.

We don't have that right now, but we have ourselves, and you have the twins. It is difficult, I know it. It is lonely and sometimes isolating, but having some hope helps get through the days (and nights).

You're not alone, in spirt or physically. The twins will be there for a good 17 more years ;)

Best,

C.

Caustic Cupcake said...

With every day of sorrow that you work through, you must be one day closer to a day when it won't hurt this bad.

Poor Snick. Hang in there.

Rachel said...

It must be so hard to see in your friends' lives a reminder of what you have lost.

There is a lot of drudgery in taking care of young kids, even if you have a partner, and it must be so much harder to do it all on your own.

The kids thing does get easier. It never gets easy, but eventually they will be more independent and you will be able to take them out in public without feeling like they are a ticking time bomb.

Sending hugs/ good thoughts your way.

Eliza said...

Ugh. Just...ugh. While our situations are not the same (my husband is not dead, you and the twins do not have a non-fatal but wretchedly unpleasant genetic syndrome), so much of what you said in this post sounds familiar. The guilt, the drudgery, the readiness for the prize we'd like to think we've more than earned. I don't have any words of wisdom that are likely to make you feel any better about any of this, but I did want to say that I hear ya and I'm sorry and here's hoping better days are ahead for all of us getting through crappy day after crappy, crappy day of living with a reality forever altered by the One Horrid Thing.

Leggy said...

I wish I could think of something more eloquent to say than "I'm sorry." This is totally trivial by comparison, but I am finding that the total sleep deprivation is making me rude and grumpy with both my husband and my older son and I hate that it does that. I wish there was a pill to take to make us always act they way we ought to act.

carosgram said...

It has ONLY been 6 months. And this may sound flippant but the twins will survive your bad moods and lack of flexibility during this time of such overwhelming grief. In fact it will help them deal with other people (and themselves) when they are in stressful situations. Everything you talk about here sounds perfectly normal, including the relief at the end of cancer. Thinking of you and wishing you the best

Anonymous said...

love and hugs.....it's only 6 months ago...you are amazing! just go a day at a time and enjoy those kisses from two cute babies who love you lots and will love you whether you are crabby or not!

cyber hugs winging their way to you..........use the blog to release your feelings......we're here to listen.. xx

Lori said...

That feeling that every day just kind of blends into the next in a never-ending trial of drudgery really does bring out the worst in us. And I hear you about taking it out on those we love the most; my husband is physically disabled - not devastatingly so, but enough that I also do the vast majority of baby-chasing, etc., while everyone else seems to just sit back and have real conversations. It can be so frustrating, and trying not to take it out on him or our daughter sometimes tries me more than I can take. We've talked about it, though - it is what it is, and in the end, the kids, in particular, will remember the good times far more easily than any bad ones.

But, as others have said, it does get better as time passes. They get more independent and just that much easier to look after. It takes awhile, and it seems like freaking forever when you're in the middle of the not-so-independent period, but it does get better.

Hang in there.

erk said...

Somewhere, John is so proud of you (and Maddie and Riley).

Anastasia L said...

More hugs from another random reader here... and I just want to say, I think it's wonderful that you're able to admit all these feelings. Everything sucks right now - how could it not? - but at least you're able to be honest with and about yourself, and that's something to be proud of. I know it's small consolation, since the twins are probably too little now to benefit much from that sort of self-awareness on your part. But when they're older, it'll mean a lot that you're able to say what you're feeling and why, so they can understand what's behind your actions when you're angry.

I hope something good happens soon for you.

every tenth said...

Don't beat yourself up about your bickering with John. I'm guessing that if you had acted sweet and gooey in order to avoid any conflict, he would have said "who are you and what have you done to my wife?" You did the best you could under unbelievably difficult circumstances. I'm sure he knew how much you loved him, and I doubt anything could have really changed that.

Twins are tough. But just as with John, they love you unconditionally. You are their mom, and the center of their universe. Even when you may not feel like the world's greatest mother, they think you are.

Anonymous said...

you are doing the best you can in a difficult situation. That is all that anyone can ask of you.

That reward will come!

Anonymous said...

I've been "stalking" your blog for a while now (I found you through Doctor Mama). I lost my dad about two weeks before you lost John. I know it's a totally different circumstance, but I wanted to thank you for putting words to a lot of the same grief I've felt. Please be encouraged by knowing you have helped others by being so open, honest, and real. You--we--will get through this.

Arwen said...

I too can relate. I don't have anywhere near your reasons but I've been a crabby monster to my daughters today because I'm just too tired to deal with them because my husband has been out of town since Saturday. {{{{{hug}}}}} From what I read, you are the model of patience. A couple of weeks ago, you posted about having yelled at one of the twins over nothing... it seemed like that was perhaps the first time... if so, you are Mother Theresa compared to me. Just two and a half days without my husband gives me a glimpse into your day to day life, if it is this hard for me when I know he'll be back around 8 PM tomorrow, what is it like for you when John isn't going to be back. {{{{{hug}}}}}

Emmie (Better Make It A Double) said...

Well, I'd sing a song into your pants, but that'd be a little creepy. ;-) There are many, many times when my best doesn't feel good enough either, when I'm crabby and unfair (to both spouse and kids) and not very proud of myself. Many. I don't get much out of writing about them is all - and I have no loss like yours as a reason. I'm just fallible, imperfect, and sometimes selfish. I'm so sorry it's so hard right now. Everything about how you're feeling sounds like it makes so much sense, but I do think you're being awfully hard on yourself. You're raising toddler twins by yourself! You're some kind of super-mama for doing that and having even some good days. I know we'll never be a true "wingman", but I'm still glad you share the good and the bad with us.
P.S. Having taken the boys to more than one party by myself, I can vouch for the fact that it SUCKS. The only reason I have to do that is because J works every Saturday, though. My boys are just now (barely) reaching the age where they're starting to run around happily with the mob of kids at a party. This is a very welcome development.

Anonymous said...

I dunno why it is, but we always behave the worst towards those we love the most, no matter what the circumstances. And you were in some pretty extreme circumstances. Please be gentle with yourself as you look back on that, OK? You were and are extraordinary.

I hope something unexpected and lovely happens to you in the next few days -- just to make you smile, and to make things seem a little easier for a couple of minutes.

Shelley

Amy said...

Your day will come again.

Right now I think you are doing well, parenting two young kids on your own, working and seeing friends/getting out for jogs when you can.

Losing someone so dear is not easy :(( While I have never lost a husband I did lose a dear brother and like you, it took months for the realization to finally sink in. It was damned hard..

There is an end to the tunnel. Someday soon (I hope) you will rediscover your joys in life and truly feel alive again.

It just takes time...

Jenn said...

*hugs*

liz said...

Hugs.

Toddlerhood is hard. Twin Toddlerhood is like climbing Everest. Twin Toddlerhood with no adult backup is nigh impossible. We are all really, really proud of how well you're doing considering what you're going through. Give yourself a break.

Hugs and kisses.

soralis said...

I am so sorry that you are in this sad place, all I can say is hang in there. Hugs

Melany aka Supermom said...

I just want to offer you hugs. I can only imagine how horrible it must be to be where you are in your life right now. My heart goes out to you

Veronica said...

I am crying for you.

I hope it gets easier real soon.

(((hugs)))

Geohde said...

Snickollet, I have no idea what to say to make it any better, I don't think there are those words. But I am so sorry this has happened to you and so sorry for your loss.

J

django's mommy said...

Oh Snick. It really does suck, doesn't it? I've only got one, but we went over to J's aunt's house for dinner the other night, and yep, I spent 90% of my time running after N and making sure he didn't destroy the house. I miss my wingman desperately, both emotionally and practically.

And creativity? Forget it. That was J's domain. I can't even figure out what to cook us for dinner, much less come up with funny songs and distracting ditties while I get him dressed.

And I definitely know where you are in terms of having a hard time with others' happiness. Both my sisters in law are pregnant and my brother just bought a new house. Sure, I'm happy for all of them, but in many ways it's a huge reminder of what J and I had planned to do and that hurts. A lot.

I vote for some more chocolate covered pretzels. It will get better... it has to, right?

Anonymous said...

Have you considered moving in with your mom (temporarily) or having her stay with you? She could be your wingman for a while. It would allow you time to focus on yourself and get through this difficult time.

I am so sorry for your funk and wish you all the best as you work through it.

Chickenpig said...

I'm so very sorry for your 'funk'. I have never been in your shoes, except for the parenting of twins thing, but your anger seems totally logical to me. I was quite angry at my husband for a while, not for cancer, but because he was the cause of our infertility. After that, he was the reason we had twins (indirectly), and I blamed him for that too. It doesn't seem fair to take it out on them, but John's cancer was causing you a lot of pain, (and by extension, him) and that by him leaving, you were going to have raise twins by yourself. I'm sure he understood, as mine does, and if he could still be here he's tell you so. Don't be so hard on yourself.

Anonymous said...

Snick, I went through a hard time (sad time) about 1.5 years ago and to help deal with it I took an anti-depressant for 8 months. I didn't want to get into the habit of being depressed even though I understood that sad is sometimes necessary. Not sure if I'm making sense here. Maybe Doctor Mama could comment on this. Anyway, as soon as I felt more myself I came off the drugs, but they really helped me through a tough time.

halfmama said...

I have no such ideas either. I use the 'life is hard, you'll be fine' parenting method also. And I am not dealing with what you are dealing with.

I am so sorry. I think you have every right to feel sad, jealous, bitter. I feel that way for you.

I hope your reward comes to you soon.

Lil Mis said...

I am fortunate I haven't gone through this, but my mom did, she was 37 when my dad died (he was 38) but there were 5 of us kids. And knowing how strong my mom is, like I am sure you are, she did it somehow. I am sure her advise to you would be "fake it til you make it". There is still a lot of love left.

lct said...

Reading, listening. Wishing we lived closer.

Candy said...

First, thank you for your honesty. I think many times, grief affects people differently. Some do feel the relief at no longer having to care for a very sick person. In my mother's case, when my father died, she felt free for the first time in her life (my dad was old-school and a horrible misogenist (sp.)), and it made her physically sick. She was so guilt-ridden at feeling good about her life without him, that she couldn't get up out of bed in the morning.

I am sorry you're where you are now though. I'm sure this is a silly question, but are you speaking to a professional to help you through this?

Kathryn said...

6 months, endless and wearisome though they feel, is actually no time at all in the grand scheme of things...you are doing fabulously in coping with the twins and with the grief and just generally. Toddlers are exhausting on a good day.
Just believe us when we tell you you are doing great - and believe us, too, when we say that we are praying our socks off for a bit of respite for you in all the exhaustion of grief

Liz said...

Just wanted to give you (((hugs))) and say that as far as I can tell, despite the bomb that went off in your life, you are getting up every day, caring for your babes, doing your work, building a life for your twins, and basically keeping your sh*t together. In my (admittedly humble) opinion, you are a freakin' superhero.....

Jolene said...

I am so, so sorry. This post made me sad. I don't have anything enlightening to say to you, other than you are in my thoughts and I will pray every night that each day gets easier for you.

Christine said...

Don't have any magic words that can make it all better, but as usual I wanted to send hugs and let you know I'm thinking of you. You will never get over John's death, but you will learn to live with it. Those beautiful children will help you through.

becky said...

Grief is a total bitch, isn't it?

I'm so, so, sorry for you. Try as much as you can to not blame yourself for the way that you feel and relate to the twins. You're doing far better than I could ever do.

*Hugs*

Mar said...

Your self-awareness and candor must be healthy -- and another reason why I'm so impressed by how you are handling this reality. Please cut yourself some slack (where the lack of a wingman means Riley runs a bit more wildly or Maddie yells a bit more than you'd like, it's OK -- you're still doing a great job.) Six months is such a short time; I don't imagine it will get perceptibly easier with time, but I do think you and your little people will develop new skills and ways of relating that will make living without your husband make a little more sense.

uberimma said...

I wish I could think of something helpful to say. All I can think of is that what you are going through is so incredibly difficult, so hard, so all-consuming, that just the fact that you are making it day by day is amazing, incredible, unbelievably impressive. And the rewards of motherhood are not one big here you go! reward--more little sweet rewards, here and there, that you can savor when you get them. But it's hard to savor them, when you're tired and overwhelmed, and it must only be harder when you're also missing John.

I'm sorry. We're here, listening...

Angela said...

Sending you so many hugs and good thoughts your way. It must be so very hard to bear when others around you have so much that is positive and amazing. I know you are grateful for your kids, please know that it's all right to also feel angry, bitter and pissed off at all that is so completely unfair and wrong.
You are an amazing woman, your strength, love and devotion to John while he was ill was truly inspirational. I remember when I first began reading your blog, I was always amazed by your wonderful honesty, self reflection and maturity as well as your tremendous capacity for love, patience and courage. You still continue to amaze me.

Kathy said...

:-( I'm so sorry.

I'm not very religious (therefore not trying to preach here) but in times when I'm feeling like I somehow fell through the cracks of life's fun parts, I remember that God only gives us as much as we can handle. You obviously bode well in his camp as you are far stronger then most. Its a huge sign of respect.

Rev Dr Mom said...

I know what it is like not to have a wingman,and it's hard enough without the grief you're dealing with, too.

I wish I had some words of wisdom--I don't, but I do send hugs, prayers, and best wishes. Hang in there.

Anna said...

Blah. Sorry it's so tough right now. Your comment about the bitterness hit home to me because that was one of the things that hurt me most about the whole infertility experience - friends would announce pregnancies and I would say the happy things but inside be raging with jealousy and frustration. Why them and not me? Why? And how could they have the nerve to have something good? And then I would feel bad about myself that I had turned into such a mean and bitter person - how could I not want them to have something I wanted so badly too? And at the end of all that guilt there was still the basic hurt of inferility lurking.

BTW, you ARE fun - we are bopping away to Putamayo's African Playground down under thanks to your suggestion.

cluelesscarolinagirl said...

Hey,

You've gotten bitchsmacked upside the head at a time in your life when most people are happily rearing families with their partner. It sucks, and there isn't any way around it. But if it helps, I too think you are a superhero.