A best friend of mine forwarded me an article this weekend, and I found myself sitting, reading, and laughing out loud a little bit. It touched on a VERY touchy subject: People not being there for you after a child dies.
I have to admit, I've felt that sting. I think people at church totally failed our family. There were men in leadership that promised to be at Isaac's birth and funeral, and didn't show. Didn't show. The worst trial of my life, and he didn't show. A couple people made well-meaning attempts, but because we asked for our privacy respected, people thought that meant pretend I don't exist. Don't talk to me, don't talk about Isaac, don't send cards, don't phone, don't bring dinners in, don't email, don't remember my living children, and how they are hurting, too. Don't do anything. Such Christian love.
And then of course there were the friends that dumped me because I no longer make a good friend. I'm not thoughtful enough. I don't attend their family functions and remember their birthdays. No shit. Really? I buried a kid, and had two miscarriages after that. I can't make it to walmart 1/2 the time, let alone your family functions. So sorry. Next time I'll try to make it to your husband's surprise birthday party a couple weeks after I had bloody blobs of a pregnancy lost falling out of my crotch. I should have just put my big girl undies and pads on and went, right???
And lets not forget, not only am I dealing with loss after loss - - I am still dealing with a whole lot of shit outside of that. My life has been filled with suffering, people. Try parenting when you're grieving. The cycle of abuse is so much harder to break when you're in a world of hurt. While I'm trying to function for my kids, I've had to try even harder to be a "good parent". That doesn't come naturally to me, after being abused for years. It doesn't come naturally to anyone while they are grieving. And that's been a lot of pressure on me. Try living up to expectations that make other people feel better. So while I've wanted to crawl in my bed, haunted every time I close my eyes by the images I cannot erase, I've gotten myself UP to be a "whole" mother for my children, that have also sorrowed.
My side of the family? FAILED. Andrew's side of the family FAILED. People don't want to talk about it. They want to pretend it didn't happen. They squirm. They laugh awkwardly if I bring up Isaac. Then I have a brother that put me down over every single aspect of my life. Mocked the attempt I made to help my children grieve. Told me I brought this on my whole family. And of course, I don't have parents, they failed years ago with every punch to my body and moment of love with held. My biological parents failed when they gave me away to a CHILD MOLESTER and disappeared in the middle of the night. And then of course I have grandparents that intentionally missed Isaac's funeral, but after wards came for a visit. But even after the visit, I, if lucky, got an awkward phone call maybe once every 5 months. People just want to run the other way, and they did. They truly did.
People ran the other way when I needed them the most. So where does that leave me now? Alone in a new, protected way. With out a lot of friends, which I'm ok with. With out a lot of desire to put effort into getting to know anyone outside my tight circle. And still battling church attendance. I know I have to go back. For the kids, at least, but I can't stand it. I have a lot of harsh feelings towards most people at church. They've judged me before, they've judged my husband. I failed, I stopped going, my testimony must be lost, right??? WRONG!! I don't feel welcome. I feel awkward. I hate it. But it's something I have to remedy at some point, I have to go back to where church is a "get in, get out, don't talk to anyone" kind of affair. It takes an emotional strength I don't have right now. I truly don't.
So, in any event, if you're not easily offended read here:
While it's not exactly how I would put it, a lot of it rings painfully true.