Monday, April 5, 2010

The way we were...

I've been working hell for leather the last two weeks and have wanted to come here and write too, but it's just been much too busy. Now however, I do feel I have to take just maybe an hour out of my day and put some things down because they have been affecting me very deeply.

Thing is, I've been feeling her. Josie I mean. She's older than she ought to be at the moment - I ca't put my finger on what she's trying to tell me, but it's something. Did I do something right, or is she here to help me through something completely unexpected. I don't know.

I've been working really hard - I've been wearing myself out to the point where my eyes both got smacked with conjunctivitis this past weekend - if that's not a symptom of a crumbling immune system, I don't know what is. Also I've been feeling very drained. My work consists of designing graphics and writing, both of which I love. Then of course, I clean the whole house whenever I can, cook, take care of the children and do all that stay-at-home-mum stuff as well. Not much time off at all really - and because of some difficult circumstances, it's all been a lot to bear lately - not that I am complaining or asking that anyone feel sorry for me...it's just...been a lot to handle, is all.

So in amongst all this extreme fatigue, where I'll be sitting there with aching muscles trying to get something right, I have this feeling of a presence. Josie's back and at the moment I'm not 100% sure what she needs. Not that she is unwelcome - not at all - but I feel I should be "getting" something, and I'm not.

Am I so far gone that I'm almost dead and she is there to help guide me through to the next world? Death is never really very far away, no matter how invincible one feels - and not to be morbid, but believe me, death can come unexpectedly. I have almost died three times in my life: once, by a near drowning; once at the hands of an ex and once at Josie's birth. We're very fragile. Have I overdone it too much? Am I very close to her world?

Am I supposed to do something? Am I not doing something I'm meant to be doing? Is she here to remind me? Is she here to remind me of her - because that would be strange, as I think of her every day. I haven't forgotten. She knows this, I hope. Should I talk to her more than I do?

Is she here to comfort me? I just don't know. I am confused by her presence as well as curious about her. But, this new feeling of her being there is accompanied by very strong memories coming into my mind of her when she was alive back in 2008...

Thing is, when I lost Josie...when she died inside me in labor like the flame of an oil lamp being extinguished...I went into complete shock and totally lost part of my memory from that summer. I think looking back, I lost probably 45 days or so of memory apart from the five or so very fuzzy days leading up to her birth. *Boom* - it was gone, I'd assumed mostly for good. But lately it's been coming back...with some force.

Memories have been hitting me like massive waves. I'm standing in the surf, on the sand with my arms out and they're coming and smacking me in the chest, winding me. The sand is slapping me like a big hand - saying "wake up and listen to me" - it's so shocking. Bam, bam, bam. Knocking me over, and I'm sitting there afterward like a puzzled child, startled into silence.

I'll be cooking dinner and then suddenly I'm back in the driver's seat of the black Dodge Magnum I used to run, listening to Frank Sinatra on the sound system, looking at the dark, heavy interior, feeling Josie in my belly. Driving down highway 169 late at night, 11pm, late again...late again. Feeling a rush of relief because finally I was allowed home after the insane day that might have started at 4am. Running the crazy store alone...I shouldn't have done it. I should have quit...I should have quit. She might have been alive today if I'd just quit and not let them tell me I was capable of doing it when I knew I wasn't...

I'll be watching a movie with Bella asleep in the bassinet and suddenly, I'm sitting on the floor of the Shakopee  *company* store rearranging batteries in my pretty maternity top. Or talking to a colleague and bending double from a sudden almost violent baby movement...

I'll be driving in my current car, going somewhere and the light will be just right, and suddenly it's a cool summer morning at 4am and I'm driving to northern Minnesota with Josie quiet inside me, turning left, then right again in the mist. Nobody else on the road...it should have been a clue...it should have been a clue...

Boom, boom, the memories come at me. Punches in the face with big hands. Talking to the inventory crew in Wisconsin after working endlessly to prepare a store that was handed to me to begin with in terrible shape. Knowingly working in that store even though it was riddled with toxic mold. Knowing that wasn't good for any of us. Coughing because it the air quality made our throats feel like they were raw. Failing at everything and being admonished by my boss... I should have quit before that. They shouldn't have made me go there. It's not fair... Josie was worth more than the value they put on her. She was worth more and they gambled with her without even flinching - they gambled with me. They knew what they were doing. We all lost. They all knew...they all still know. They all know what happened...

It hurts, and here she sits. She's behind me on the bed. She's been there for days in a white spring dress and a white headband, her hair curly. She's watching me work, watching her sister. She's haunting me. Her spirit is that of a child. She's little. I can feel her running her fingers through my shoulders, trying to touch me and it's...devastating. Mostly because I can't gather her up and cuddle her. She's made of light and air. We can't feel one another.

I've always been pretty undecided on ghosts in my adult life - at least when they apply to me. But now, there's something like one living in my house and I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm finally losing it... The "flashbacks" as I suppose one would call them, are just unbelievable. I can taste the air and feel the temperature when they happen.

I do love you Josie. You're here for a reason. Why are you here, sweetie? You don't seem upset. You're waiting. What are we waiting for, honey bunny? What is going to happen? What is happening now?

6 comments:

Liz said...

it sounds very very much like PTSD. all the flashbacks like that. that's how it works. have you tried seeing a therapist? i am so sorry you are struggling right now mama.

Emerging Butterfly said...

Oh Honey...

I've just got tears streaming all over the place. You've expressed it so clearly...and I feel it too...all the time. Simon and Alexander...just waiting. I want to hold them, but their elusive. I have no idea how to move forward, how to find out what they need....or what I need.

My therapist tells me the flashbacks are PTSD symptoms....and maybe that's just it. But what if it's something else too? What if....

((HUGGING)) I should have seen the signs too....I should have stopped pushing so hard....I should have....should have.....

because if I had, maybe they would be here with me now. and that is what I want more than anything.

Jeanette said...

Sending you so much love, sounds like PTSD to me too hun. Please talk to someone, and please try to slow down just a little, take a little time each day to just be, sounds like you need some mothering. x

Jay said...

I agree with you about the PTSD actually. It wouldn't surprise me - the circumstances of the birth were not at all wonderful. I OUGHT to have it really! But, I don't WANT to have PTSD. I know that it is hard to treat and often permanent. Then again I also know that it sometimes gets progressively worse...

I'm hoping this has been brought about mainly by stress actually, and might therefore be somewhat reversible with rest. The flashbacks are quite intrusive really and they make me sad. I talked to my mother and we kind of came to the conclusion that perhaps Josie's presence was to soothe me and calm me down, remind me to take it a bit more slowly perhaps.

At this stage I've been run down and a bit sick for about six weeks so I bet that isn't helping. Bella though continues to bring me HUGE joy - not a day has gone by that I've had any worries about that - she's amazing. :)

antigone1022 said...

Hi J
I am a little worried for you..you sound so low. Nice tho it is to have Josie with you its clearly hard too, and you sound run down and times sound hard. Do you remember when you were pregnant with Bella and you wanted to work at being in a good place while growing your lovely baby? maybe its time to work again at being in a good place now, resting more, letting those who love you look after you a little, taking the help thats out there? If theres anything practical you need, ask.
Anti x

Fireflyforever said...

Jay,

I don't know if you'll see this because I'm so late reading your post. I experienced some PTSD after Lucy's birth - and what you're describing sounds so similar. I do remember the three month mark being physically hard. I wondered, at the time, whether something hormonal was going on too. Everything sort of resetting after her birth. I've experienced the same this time too. Perhaps that is true for you as well.

PLEASE take time to care for yourself. You are so precious.