4 weeks ago I gave birth. I wonder where I was in all this time in between. It seems that my body was moving through the e-motions and yet my memory is lacking. What just happened to me and my life? Nothing seems to be simple anymore. In some moments nothing makes sense.
I find it hard to find words when talking. Writing seems to be just slow enough so that the words can come into my consciousness but speaking seems far too fast for where I am. I also find it challenging to do the most simple tasks, like adding some data in a spreadsheet on the computer, and have to ask people for help where it was me that supported people before.
I sometimes look at myself like an actor in a serie that I identify strongly with, waiting for the series to stop – it just never does. It’s as if it’s my life that I’m acting in. It’s one of those ‘Private Practice’ or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ shows which I enjoyed so much before. Only now it has taken an odd twist of reality…
To the outside world I might look and act ‘normal’ but there is absolutely nothing normal inside. One moment I cry, one moment I laugh and I don’t even always know why.
I realize how I shock or trigger certain people as I share what’s been happening, how I feel, what I think etc. I had people in my contact list, which I informed about the birth and the celebration who simply sent an email back saying ‘Not interested. Take me off your distribution list.’ I guess I will never know what reverberated in those people when reading my news and many people simply don’t know how to react appropriately – probably even I didn’t know really how to truly be with someone experiencing this before my own experience took me on this journey.
I have now gone back to shops and restaurants where they knew about me expecting twins. As I turn up with a single baby the say ‘where is the other one?’ and once I told them the conversation seems to freeze and die off after ‘oh I’m sorry’. It just takes people’s breath away. A lady in the post office, once I started crying, said ‘you need help’ which was spot on.
So here I am, a counsellor by trade, needing help. Let me tell you we do need help once in a while and not just with something drastic like this. The social worker at the hospital, the midwives, nurses and doctors all were partly my counselling support network and I did not stop talking about what had happened to me and how I feel. These people were trained listeners and many counsellors and coaches could learn a lot from them. I spoke to the other women in the intensive care, I spoke to anyone who listened. Next week I’m starting a bereavement group at the hospital.
And I will continue being authentic with my process. There is nothing you need to do when you are with me and I’m crying – simple be there. No words are needed – just presence. Can you bear the silence as you are sitting with me in tears?