Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Scream

Have you ever had one of those days where you wanted to just walk outside, throw your face up in the air and scream as loud as you possibly could and didn't care if everyone in the rest of the world could hear you? Well, that kind of day turned into the next couple of years for me.............
My internal version of this kind of screaming began to bottle itself up inside of me shortly after I returned home from the hospital. I had barely escaped death and found it was not as easy of a transition back into my old life as I thought it would be.
My mind was still groggy, my body was undeniably weaker and I faced more demands than I had ever expected. Frequent check ins to the coumadin clinic, healing from a Cesarean section surgery AND a pulmonary embolism at the same time, a thriving newborn and a busy two year old, it was all just too much to blend into the life I was able to balance so well before.
So, I began to split myself into two separate figures that had no resemblance whatsoever to each other: Who I was (pre blood clot) and the person I had become (post blood clot). It was both amazing and disturbing to me what a little, yet, furious clot of blood had done to me.
Once the dust had settled from the whole experience that I had been through, the depression and the anger began to show almost immediately. It was not a soft "why me?" but a very hostile "why me?" that began to build up inside. Then, it turned into the harsh realization that it was not a simple injury that would eventually disappear with time. The sharp and jagged pain was, undoubtedly and unfairly, here to stay.
I felt robbed of enjoying the pure bliss you feel from having a baby since I was so rudely plucked out of his homecoming, the offerings of support became fewer as people had to return to their own responsibilities and I was STILL not able to admit that I needed help, even given the circumstances.
So, the internal scream I mentioned before began to fester inside of me even more......side splitting pain, shortness of breath, pressure to return to normal.....well, made me want to SCREAM.....feeling guilty for hating the way I felt even though I should be thankful for my life, work calling and telling me I need to return despite my injuries, you, guessed it, more SCREAMING.
Why couldn't I pull it all together? The old me would have booted feelings like this to the curb but not this new version. This wounded, bitter, and sad version wouldn't let me shake off the trauma or severity of the situation so I could return to normal.
Maybe I just needed time, but, life doesn't work that way. There is no grace period or pause button or even much compassion, for that matter, when you re-enter the world and realize that you are still not up to it.
I reluctantly returned to work, sadly put two children into day care, and I silently learned to ignore the pain....or so, it seemed. All the while, the world began to drastically change and I had, unfortunately, changed along with it.
Our glory days at work were over and the recession began to rear its ugly head. For someone already hiding an underlying pain and depression, the beginning of many lay offs were even more hard to bear. One by one, I said goodbye to dear friends and respected coworkers as I was always left to wonder when my inevitable turn would come.
Our youngest son began to show signs of a feeding issue and another scary and unknown chapter was about to unfold in our already disheveled lives.
I yearned for the old me, the stronger version, that could have handled this turmoil and stress, but, she was definitely gone, and, at that moment, it didn't feel like she was ever coming back. How could she leave me now when I needed her more than ever?
So, yes, I felt like screaming, a deafening and desperate and necessary scream, in the hopes it would shatter this ugly barrier and free the old me again. Was she still there, somewhere, trapped inside of me?

Image Credit: The Scream By Edvard Munch

1 comment:

  1. Heartwrenching. That postpartum period is so, so important.