Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Did you know that Elvis Presley had a twin who was stillborn or died at birth?  The grave markers of both of Elvis' parents list them as the parents of Elvis and Jessie.  I almost lost it; it was stunning to see that you can have freaking Elvis Presley as a child and still never, ever forget the child that died.  We really are in it for the long haul, huh? 

But it's also encouraging to see that it's ok, and normal, to remember the babies who so quickly fade out of the memories of others.



...Seeking grace...

For a while you worry that you will forget, but that doesn't happen.  Now, it's not so much that I worry that I'll never forget but I worry that some of these feelings will never end.  I worry that I'll pretty much not give a shit about a lot of things ever again; things that used to be so important like credit scores, being successful and having lots of friends.  I worry that it really was from something that I did and that I really don't deserve a living child.  What if whatever the future brings is just a continuation of that sad story?  I'm concerned that a big comeback into living fully is not going to happen.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Tonight I selected a Cabernet Sauvignon named Parallel 33 S, thinking it was good inspiration to contemplate parallel lives.  In a parallel universe there was a known price for that wine and it was purchased instead of a lovely Malbec.  Without getting deep into the theories, Hugh Everett III proposed that there are other universes, just like ours, except that different things happen, which would make each universe evolve differently.  Critical events may not happen to *you* in some other universe.  In some other universe you are raising that lost baby.  In some other universe Toren is alive and my marriage took a turn for the better and perhaps in that universe I did not get laid off from my job, which indeed did happen here last Thursday.

The weekend went ok but Monday arrived with a new kind of blues.  The lay-off was unexpected (but not surprising in hindsight) and sudden.  Just like that I have nowhere to be anymore.  Worse, just like that, they took back my ID, office key, and I still need to return to my office to pick up personal items, while supervised.  This is so humiliating.  Even though it was not performance based, I feel really lousy that a relatively small amount of money (I was not paid very well) was selected over keeping me around.  I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone, after working there for 6 years, and now I don't want to run into anyone from there because I'm overcome by shame.

This much shame...

BTW, chocolate and wine is actually a healthy way to cope in my book, as long as it's occasional.  On another day I'll talk about how I WILL NOT let losing a job where I was underpaid and going nowhere professionally get me down, in the meantime any stories of finding work after being laid off would be appreciated.  Anyone have any advice on job hunting, or even getting through tomorrow?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Last Tuesday was off to an uncomfortable start from the get go (last post) so when my ex contacted me a few hours later asking to get together so he could give me some information for the re-negotiating the mortgage (another HUGE source of stress), I agreed.  In my opinion, it's a wiser move to add a negative task to an already not great day than to a great day.

First, let me say that is really stinks that even if you divorce, everyone who was initially put on the mortgage is still responsible for the mortgage, no matter what the divorce papers say.  It just makes things, like continued communication with your ex-husband who walked away from the freaking house leaving you with all of the stress of paying for it, annoying.

I suspected he really wanted to just talk.

He suggested Sta.rbucks, but I like that place so I suggested a bar that I don't really like going to (why risk creating bad memories at a location you like?).  It started out well.  We met in high school and were married for 11 years (that's 19 years of nearly daily contact) so there is a huge feeling of comfort just being near him.  On some level he probably gets me more than anyone else does.  But it was also uncomfortable for both of us, which makes me feel like a bar was a good choice (even though anything in excess of moderate drinking is not good) because I WANTED him to say all that was on his mind that night; I didn't want this to be a conversation that extended over time.

On our second drinks, I ask why he just signed another year's lease on his apartment when he wants to move to be near his mom.  He'd been seeing someone (for 6 days), and they were really hitting it off, until the weekend of the March for Babies when he had some sort of breakdown about Toren and freaked out the girl.  He made it a point to tell me that one main "flaw" with her was that she was not able to have children - why he thinks it's ok to tell that to the person who failed at making a baby that can live is beyond me.  And, that he considers this a negative point in the person he is seeing is insulting for all women who struggle with family building.

Eventually, he asks me about the "elephant in the room", which I couldn't guess which elephant he was talking about so he asks "How are you and SnuggleBunny doing?".  I hadn't mentioned my boyfriend to my ex-husband, because that seems rude, so I tell him we are doing well, SB is probably the funniest person I have ever met, and he is living in the house now.  It seems totally inappropriate to tell the person I was last planning a family with that SB and I are hoping to have a baby soon, so I don't mention it.  Saying something like that could be hurtful.

Then he says "You probably know I was seeing Karen*".
* = names are NOT changed to protect the innocent

At which point I order a third glass of wine.  I didn't know he was seeing Karen.  Why would I know that?  Karen, the female part of a couple we used to spend time with; a couple that split up soon after we did.  Karen, who has two adorable young sons who I played video games with and watched movies with on mornings when we stayed over at their house.  Apparently they got pretty serious for a while there.  Serious enough that she and her family are friends with his family on FB, while his family have never wondered if I was doing ok (although, he probably didn't say that he dumped my ass and instead he would have spouted off some victimizing lies and implied that our separation was mutually decided upon).  He probably tucked those boys into bed.

A week later it still makes me angry that he thought it was ok to tell me about a relationship he had, with one of our mutual friends, with a woman who can make living baby boys.  There was so much more involved, but basically he left me and hooked up with a woman who has living, beautiful sons.

Giving birth to a dead baby is so unattractive.

Soon he starts to do things on his computer, preparing to email the mortgage information to me and I'm freaking out and self conscious so try to look important by sending a text to SB letting him know I'll be home soon and then to Debbie, admitting that I need to look busy right now and thanking her for her support.


At home I pour another glass of wine, talk to my dad on the phone about my plan to start prostitution to afford this damn house, and then I go quiet and SB looks over and I tell him about how sad something I'm reading is and I start to read aloud Mandy's words from this post and then I'm sobbing.  SB then makes me go to bed, which was exactly what I needed, and he hugs me for hours.


Yesterday, four years ago, I graduated from a masters program.  I felt like we were so put together.  Ex and I had a house (2 spare bedrooms and a big backyard), cars, and my education was done for now.  We had come MILES from where our own parents were.   I wanted my children to be WANTED, and although Toren was conceived several months sooner than expected (I planned a few months to get the hormonal contraceptives out of my system), he was planned for and there were years of preparation for HIM. 

"But the diaper bag remains untouched."

I don't think there is anything I want more than a family of my own.  But it's more sick than that ... there is part of me that needs to pick up where the ex and I left off ... I so want that decade of preparation to lead to something other than a broken heart.  I can't imagine, or really desire, a pregnancy leading to someone other than Toren.  And there is no way to express this to SB without hurting his feelings. 


Divorce is hard.

But not nearly as hard as walking out of the hospital while your child's body is taken to the morgue.

One foot in front of  the other until it's been almost 4 years and you wonder how it's possible that so much time has passed.  He was so precious ... how has time continued without him?  Part of me is still there waiting, arms held out waiting to be given something other than a memory box.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My response

Thank you for your note.  I'm not sure what to say.

Out of the thousands of feelings from the last 3.5 years I never once have felt like an amazing person.  It's more like I am just a person getting through an amazingly bad situation through any means available.  Grief is hard and processing it is rarely pretty or nice.  You and I took different routes in dealing with Toren dying, and it kind of is as simple as that. 

I hope that you have resources for getting through your grief.


I decided that there was no way that I could write anything eloquent as a reply to his message (prior post) while avoiding my usual pitfalls of manipulation, pity-parties, rancid bitterness and over-sharing so I just wrote a reply, deleted half of it, then clicked the send button.

Being called "amazing" makes me very uncomfortable because I'm not sure there was one positive "amazing" aspect about dealing with Toren's death and then that lousy, drawn-out divorce.  Amazingly angry, amazingly hurt, and amazingly lonely all fit.  An amazing amount of wine was consumed for a while there...

Participating with the March for Babies is a good thing, but also mixed up with the wish that the money raised will lead to fewer deadbabies I used it to let my friends and family know that I was still hurting and each donation and lack of donation has been tallied.  I used fundraising as a tool to gauge who I could depend on for emotional support.  And perhaps at the very same moment that the ex was thinking that I was "amazing" I was choking back tears and thinking about how I will not participate in the March for Babies next year unless I have my rainbow baby.  In all reality, I'll be too strung out from the illicit drug habit I'll be developing over next Christmas, because I cannot face another fucking family oriented holiday with just Toren's memory, to show up on time for the walk anyway.  AMAZING!!!

The March for Babies is about hope and it's inspiring to see so many people out there walking with their strollers and children.  I am not strong enough to face another March for Babies with unfulfilled hope.


Thank you all for your comments and texts.  Seriously, with all my heart, thank you.  I'm not ok right now, but I will be later.  I really wish divorce came with more emotional relief.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Was he drunk?

 Perhaps.  This was send to my phone and email during the noon hour on Saturday, from my ex-husband.

"Thank you so much for walking for Toren today. You are an amazing person. I am so sorry things happened the way they did. I never wanted to hurt you. I am sorry. Thank you for being amazing. Thank you for remembering when i worked so hard to forget."

It will take about a year for me to figure out a response. 

I am both filled with compassion and compassionless; both filled up to the brim and devoid of patience.