Guilty trip

I haven’t been having a good week. Being back at work doesn’t help. It’s every bit as stressful as I feared. Not to mention the energy required to pretend, to smile, to act normal, when I just want to stay in bed. 

The worst about trying to work while grieving is how I get all worked up over nothing in an instant. I feel as if I’m not in control of my emotions and I end up overreacting all the time. It’s not that I’m disrespectful or call people names, far from it, but I do tend to says things too bluntly and too loudly. And I hate it. I hate this person I’ve become. Seems like a shred of the bubbly, outgoing girl everybody enjoyed working with. Am I becoming the image of the bitter old barren woman of our society’s collective consciousness? That’s certainly not who I want to be.

I talked to my mom a few days ago as it was her birthday. She then told me that my cousin, whom I love deeply as if she was my little sister (she’s 28), has just found out she has a tumour in her pancreas and surgery has been scheduled to next month. Of course this broke my heart. My mom said the doctors are feeling confident it’s benign but they won’t know for sure until it’s operated. They believe there’s only about 10% chance of being cancerous. As soon as I hear this, my reaction is: that’s a huge chance (being in the below 1% side of statistics a few too many times – ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous ovulation during IVF, recurrent miscarriages -, I have a different idea of what a small percentage is)! 

My mom immediately proceeded to calm me down and say I should not project my fears into my cousin’s condition and finishes off by saying: after all, if the worse happens in her situation, it’s way more serious than your issues; pancreas cancer has very high mortality rates

My mom is right. My cousin’s situation is a lot worse than mine, but hearing those words I felt my grief and pain being minimised and dismissed, as if my suffering is not valid. If I’m not allowed to feel pain because someone else is in a worse situation, then basically no one will ever be allowed to feel pain. We can always find a worse case than ours. Is that even realistic? I don’t know if this make me selfish, but if I can’t be sad over the death of my babies, when will I ever be allowed to feel sorrow? Why make such terrible comparisons to begin with? It probably wouldn’t make my cousin feel better and it doesn’t take my pain away to see her suffer…

I’m so sorry for my cousin and I know she must be so worried and anxious, but I should also be entitled to feel what I feel. Of course that’s not how it goes, so now I add layers of guilt to my grief and feel forced to be grateful for being alive and ‘healthy’. I’m grateful. I’m also grateful for the possibility of trying, the possibility of maybe in the future having a living child. Unfortunately the gratitude feelings don’t erase the grief. I can and do feel both things at the same time. I feel all of it, sorrow, shame, guilt, hope, gratitude. Pretending the feelings are not there doesn’t help, I’ve tried that before.

I wrote to my cousin and told her how sorry I felt for her, how much I love her and that I’m here if she needs someone to talk to. We are all trying to stay positive and optimistic for her. Hopefully the surgery will go fine, she will recover fast and that’ll be all. I really wish so. 

I’m starting to get tired of giving in to grief and want to enjoy my life again. In an attempt to do just that, I’ve booked a romantic getaway weekend for my husband and I for next month. It will be our wedding anniversary and the last two have been marked by loss and anxiety, so I really want us to reconnect and have a good time this year. 

The other good news I got this week was my beta result. It’s very low, at 230, so I’m pretty confident there’s no more retained pregnancy tissue (or whatever horrible medical term is used to describe my dead baby).

I’m glad to have booked that getaway, it gives me something to look forward too. In the meantime, I’ll try to find activities that bring me joy. I want to be happy again, despite everything. I will find a way to be happy…


11 thoughts on “Guilty trip

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. I hope that she will be ok and make a speedy recovery… I totally understand where you are coming from with worrying about her level of risk – especially given your experience of being told you have a low risk of something happening and then have it happen to you. I can see why you are worrying – it’s because you care… And don’t be hard on yourself for how you are feeling about all these different things that are happening – I think you can be sad for her and sad for yourself & you shouldn’t feel guilty about this. I hope she will get well and I hope you will have a baby. Hang in there xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So glad u and hubby are getting away next month for QT time. I am sorry to hear about your cousin, and wish her nothing but the best. I know what u mean about your feelings being dismissed with what is going on- a lot of people dont get that IF and RPL are diseases since they wont kill us. It doesnt make it hurt any less though and u have the right to feel however u need to feel about your struggles no matter if it could be worse or not 💗

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have to agree with the Ladies above. Of course you feel horrible for your cousin and of course, facing a possibility of a cancer with a high mortality rate is awful, but that doesn’t take away that you lost your babies and grieving. The two things are not synonymous. Praying for you and your cousin. Hugs, Friend!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are entitled to your feelings each and every day no matter how bad another’s situation is. Grief is just awful…like a big heavy cloak that you can’t shake. I get the fear regarding not letting it change you and being afraid of being the bitter woman…I think we have all been there and spend time as that person for a while. But it’s only for a while. I do hope you find joy and connection on your anniversary. Fight for your right to happiness that day – take it back and make it yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so sorry about your cousin, but also sorry that your mother had to make a comment to diminish your experiences and grief. I have never had the horror of having to survive cancer treatment, but the sum total of my pregnancy losses (which include a potentially cancer-causing partial molar pregnancy) have been horrifying. “At least you have your health” is not a helpful statement, and you have every right to experience bitter feelings. Telling me to be thankful I don’t have cancer, or the bubonic plague, or that my house didn’t wash away in a hurricane is NOT helpful.

    That said, I think it’s great you are planning a getaway. My husband and I took a weekend trip after our fourth loss and once we got there we understood how much we needed it. I am also so happy your hcg is going down. Huge hugs to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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