Triggers, Triggers Everywhere
Triggers can come in the strangest places. For me it can be a comment on FB, a FB post of someone else's, or it can be seeing something that fills me with a memory and then the realization that it will never be the same again. I struggle each and every moment but keeping busy does help me to at least focus on the other things that are happening in life and not the tragedy that is my life. So, here are some of my triggers and what hurts the most.
Perhaps the worst thing through this all has been how these triggers sneak up on you. It has been how I can be fine one moment and literally a second later, I am trying to hide my sobs by covering my face with a blanket or by burying my face in Shane's shoulder. I want to just cry and scream all day long. I want to beg and scream and plead to God that I need my baby back. I know that both of these are useless. There is no hope for my greatest desire. The one thing in life that I wish to have will never happen. I know that people keep asking me what they can do...unless you can raise the dead, there is nothing that you can do that will help me with what I am going through completely. Please don't take this the wrong way. I appreciate you if you have reached out. I know that I need good friends who will reach out anyway. Know that I read each and every single message even if I do not respond. Sometimes there is no response that I can think of. Other times a response would just be too painful. Know that I am here and that I am struggling through things and that your comments and checking in really do help, even if it might not feel like it to you. I appreciate all of the effort to take care of us, to help us through this time financially, and to be here as emotional support, but most of the time I can't even begin to describe what is happening to me, so I don't know how to tell you what I need. I know what I want. I don't know how to figure out what I need right now.
I also have people asking if there is anything that I need help with. The things that I need help with are going to require a professional. I need help healing the gaping wound that used to be my heart and soul. I need prayers that I can somehow move past some of my triggers to eventually be able to live a life that is a part of my new normal. I just struggle with everything because it is not what I wanted, it is not what I felt was meant to be. It is not what I needed. All of that has been taken from me and it can never be back.
Memes About God
So many memes about God are awful to see after losing a child. The ones that speak to how God will answer your prayers....well, he didn't answer mine. (2 prayers in the past 17 years, that I would live long enough to see my children become adults and that I each of my children would outlive me) I don't understand why my prayers went unanswered and I hope that God explains it to me one day. I also get highly upset with memes that talk about faithfulness. I know that I was not the most faithful person, but is this the punishment for that? Did God take my baby away because I did not have enough faith? There are people out there who do horrific things, murder people, assault children, rape, etc....and somehow these people manage to go through life without losing a child. Why did this have to happen to me?
Stores and Talking
I don't like to talk anymore most days. I prefer to type and text. I feel like it is so hard to talk. I keep trying b/c that was me, I talked a lot and all of the time. However, I don't feel like I'm really here. I don't feel like me. Stores are a constant struggle. I can't grocery shop. I can't go into a store for essentials. I can't imagine ever shopping again because the pain of seeing things that she would have loved and knowing that she should be there with me is so great. How do I keep being the fun mom who loved to shop and talk and giggle with my kids when I have lost one of them? How can I ever be the same? How will I ever be able to go into these types of places without my beautiful daughter's memory flooding me?
Comments About Strength
I Know that I am strong, but I did not choose to be strong. It is so hard to hear all of the time how strong that I am. I know that this is being said with good intention from everyone. I know that this is meant to be affirming, but inside it makes me want to scream. I didn't want to be strong. I never asked to be strong. Why does God feel that I needed the ultimate lesson in strength? This is not what I prayed for. This is not what I wanted.
Perhaps the hardest thing that I have to go through are the constant realizations that Adeline will never be with me again. The fact that Adeline will never again ask to go through McDonald's for her favorite French fries and coke. The fact that Adeline will never again ask for Lucky Charms to eat a little cereal and mostly pick out the marshmallows. The fact that Adeline will never again ask for a box of Sweet Tarts. Each one of these realizations floods me constantly. I am in a constant state of panic and worry that something will happen to someone else and I can't even begin to imagine that this can ever be better. I know that people keep telling that over time it does get easier, but it never goes away. This basically tells me that you just learn to live in this much pain and that is how you are going to keep going for life.
For me, being alone is one of the greatest triggers. I can't be alone with my children, even Andrew who is 17, as I struggle and worry that something will happen to one of them with me. I failed to save Adeline. I failed as a mommy and I lost her because of my own inadequacies and failure. I literally have a racing heart and panic attack anytime that I am alone with one of them. I can't imagine things like going to the dentist, driving a car with them without Shane, etc. I just can't handle the overwhelming sense that something is going to happen to one of them too because of me.
The Blame Game
Again, I am going to say that fire safety is something that is taught in second grade in the Spring. Since COVID happened Adeline did not go through any of these simulations in person. She missed these opportunities to understand what was happening and how she needed to get out of the house. I don't know why she didn't follow us down the stairs. She had ran up and down the stairs a million times, gotten caught sliding down the banister, etc. She could have come down those stairs, so why didn't she? I run the scenario through my head a million times where I could have saved her each and every day. I failed. I failed and it is my fault that she is not here. I know everyone keeps telling me that I can't blame myself, but we all know that I am speaking honestly when I say that there are so many things that I could have done that would have saved my sweet Adeline. Perhaps this is the biggest trigger of all. This is the one that I can't move past and the one that is a part of each and every other one on this list.
This morning I am feeling sorry for myself. I know that this is an unattractive place to be. I am mad. I am angry. I am sad. I am filled with sorry. I am a shell of who I used to be. This is all due to the fact that my sweet Adeline is gone. I have missed so much without her in just a few weeks. I missed getting to celebrate one of the last Christmases where Santa was still real. I missed getting to make our Ginger Ninja cookies that we were so excited to do on Monday. (Our fire happened on Sunday.) I missed getting to do all of the fun gingerbread kits that I had purchased for this year. (For the first time, I purchased all 6 of us our own Gingerbread kits and my mom purchased ones for herself, my dad, and Tyler. The plan was for all of us to do them together on Christmas Eve.) I missed our typical NYE where we watched the Phish show and danced under our disco ball light. (That's right our entryway had a spinning disco ball light that we would turn on so that the kids could have dance parties with us!) I couldn't even watch my favorite band on NYE because the show reminded me too much of Adeline. It reminded me of what I am missing and what I can't have in this lifetime anymore. I am thinking about everything upcoming that I will miss out on as well. I am thinking of each and every memory and moment that I should have with my sweet daughter and how all of that was taken from me.
Don't worry folks, I spoke to an amazing grief counselor yesterday and got recommendations for an amazing therapist that is actually on my EAP list so I am giving her a call today. Prayers that I can be scheduled soon. I know that I can't afford to go too long without that b/c I am so broken on the inside. I miss my sweet angel with my whole soul. Last night the realization that she didn't get to turn 9 years and 1 month old hit me hard. It made me almost numb, I feel like some days I slide back into the shock that this has happened and that my life is never going to be the same. Oh sweet Adeline, mommy misses so with a fire and a passion that I can't even begin to describe. I miss you with my entire being and wish that there was any way that I could do anything, give everything, and be with you. I can't believe that this is my life and my reality is one that is going to be one that does not have your smiling face, your beautiful eyes, your amazing giggle in my future.