As we get closer to the official “holiday season,” I am finding it increasingly difficult to not be angry. Several people in my circle of friends have had babies in the last couple weeks, and my friends who had children early in the year are all happy-go-lucky, posting pics and videos of their infants as they are cooed over by extended family. I am finding it very hard to not be pissy at them. They are, after all, entitled to enjoy their children. They get to celebrate joyful Thanksgivings and First Christmases and gleefully go shopping for toys. Because their children lived. Which is as it should be.

But I am angry.

Last year, my husband and I used our Christmas Letter to announce my pregnancy to the entire family. What can I say this year? “We had a terrible year and our son died right after he was born, but Merry Christmas!!” Yeah, right. Who wants to be the downer for someone’s “most wonderful time of the year”?

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I probably sound ungrateful. I am not — I am thankful for my husband, the fact that I am healthy, the fact that I didn’t give up on my life when I most wanted to and came closest to it; I am thankful for our healthy cows and the warm house I live in and the fact that I can still play music. I am thankful we have so many friends who are more like the family I always wanted, I am thankful I am a productive individual. I am thankful — grateful and happy and blessed — for a lot of things.

But I can’t help feeling like I’m being targeted by the holidays in much the same manner Facebook has been targeting me for baby ads “for my 5 month old” (You suck, Facebook). Because the holidays are engineered to be child-centric, and this year, my arms are the emptiest they’ve ever been. True, I never had a child before and I still don’t have one, but my heart now knows what it’s missing. And I’m angry that we have to live through this, I’m hurt beyond words that there will be no First Christmas, there will be no happy Christmas Letter, and that there will be no family portraits and presents under the tree for my son. Oh, I am so angry that I am forced to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else have all the fun. It’s like gym class once again, where I am the last one standing and no one wants to let me play, or those early school dances when the boy I liked showed up with someone else. I am a wallflower again and I am oh, so angry.

When it’s gym class or a school dance, you can leave. You can walk away and cool off, and I think the fact that the holidays are coming whether I want them to or not is partially why I am angry. I can’t get out of this! I can’t distance myself from this, I can’t go “cool off”! I am trapped and there’s no way out. I am drowning and I cannot breathe.

And I am angry like a wild animal restrained behind the bars of a cage.

I want out. I want to not feel angry, because I haven’t the right to feel that way. I want to be past this part of it, because I am miserable and I hate myself when I am angry. I had been doing so well, I was honestly feeling alright and truthfully happy about my friends’ joys, and lately it feels like I’m right back where I started:

Trying to not feel the way I feel.

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11 thoughts on “Trying to Not Be Angry

  1. I wish I could offer a way around those feelings. We pretty much did as little as possible last year. Don’t beat yourself up for those feelings. They are normal.

    1. Thankfully, we don’t have too many engagements on the radar. That’s another blessing, I suppose.

      Thank you for your support. 🙂 It means a lot to me that you and your husband have been there for me, even though we’re pretty much total strangers. You both are beautiful people.

  2. just when the grief gets scabbed over, it gets ripped off again:((. Holidays are painful for so many, perhaps because all ads are all about happy, happy. You write for many who have been there. Am praying you will find some soothing ways to get thru the holidays.

    1. Ain’t that the truth! I hope I can get my head on straight here soon….

      As far as the online ads go, it is quite frustrating. They are so good at assessing what you like or may need (maternity things as soon as you search a couple times for pregnancy stuff), but they are absolutely LOUSY at assessing when these things don’t pan out and they need to quit the targeting.

      It’s like when my medical insurance company sent me a congratulatory letter on Michael’s birth. They should have known better, after all, they had access to the records!

      >

      1. Most of those Insurance notices are computer generated. I don’t think any human person checks before they go in the mail.

        your head does not have to get straight for the holidays. The only requirement is to breathe, eat, and sleep, and occasionally give the soul a hug.

  3. We actually skipped Christmas last year, and I don’t remember a thing about Thanksgiving. I remember that I wasn’t really thankful, but wasn’t going to write that in order to avoid another round of “is he going to hurt himself” questions or whatever else was coming.

    We may have shut down Facebook for most of the month. I don’t remember. I know that it was way too much.
    Praying for you guys a lot this season. Anything you need, really, just let us know.

    Oh, and congrats on the Top 4!!

    1. You mention a lot of the same things I’ve been thinking. 😛 My mother-in-law likes to do a round of “what are you thankful for?” during Thanksgiving dinner — and it’s an awesome, wonderful idea to audibly voice and share your blessings — but it is SO HARD for me to not want to stick my tongue out at that like a petulant child because my first thought is “I am NOT thankful because my son is dead.” :-/ And I don’t wanna go there!

      I have also considered taking a leave of absence from FB starting at the end of this month. Unfortunately, I don’t know that it would make it any easier, because it might just be prolonging my annoyance/irritation/hurt. Not sure.

      The good thing is that Christmas around our house is a very quiet affair. I’m actually not too worried about Christmas with J, it’s more all the hype/lead-up to it that sets my nerves on edge.

      And thanks for the congrats. 🙂 I’m pretty happy about it!

      And thank you for being awesome. You and your wife are Good People. 🙂

      >

      1. Thanks!
        You know, that was my worry about Thanksgiving. I really had nothing to say that I wanted to say out loud.

        If you really want a fun mourning Christmas, watch Les Mis. That’s what we did 🙂

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