Monday, August 19, 2013

FUBAR

In my last post I believe I mentioned that I wasn't planning to blog regularly until I had something good to write about.  I haven't written in over a year.  So... as you might imagine, I don't have anything good to report.

Believe it or not, things are worse.  I'm not sure how to begin, or what to say so I'll just put it out there. I'm single again.  I have not had any more kids.  I'm starting to lose hope of ever having a family.

I've been wanting to write for a long time, but for some reason I've been afraid to.  I somehow feel that by typing these words and letting all of you know what's really going on, I'm admitting defeat.  I also feel like writing about my life makes it more real.  I wake up and live this life every day, but I still try to pretend that somehow, someday it's gonna get better.  Maybe it's time to face the truth.  I don't know.

I don't want to give up, I really don't.  But I'm tired.  Not "I need a vacation and a script for Ambien" tired.  More like "I'm tired to the depths of my soul, I don't think I can continue swimming upstream anymore" tired.  

I'm almost 40, my kids are dead, I'm single and I need to find a real job.  I need to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Except I'm already grown up, and all I've ever wanted to be is a mom. That hasn't worked out so well.  My life is truly fucked up beyond all recognition (FUBAR).  What do I do now?  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  For real.

When I started this blog and wrote regularly, writing helped me get through the dark and scary times. After a couple of years, I thought things should have started getting better so it became harder and harder to admit that they weren't.  That's why I stopped writing.  Well, that and the fact that every time I updated my blog, my parents called me because they were afraid I was planning to off myself. (Listen, Mom and Dad -  I'm not gonna off myself.  Settle down now.  I love you.) 

I don't know why I thought things should get better.  Maybe because that's how it works in the movies.  Things get rough, the main character hits rock bottom, there's a music montage and everything starts to get better.  I can't tell you how many times I've wished for a real-life music montage.  As soon as I find the right song, a film crew and a good make-up artist who can make me look 10 years younger and 20 lbs. thinner I'm gonna get on that.  Maybe that's the key to turning everything around.  

I suppose there is some kind of lesson here.  Unfortunately, life isn't a movie.  There's no script (I wish there was so I'd always have something witty to say) and, sadly, there's no guarantee of a happy ending.  I love a movie with a happy ending.

I also love books with happy endings.  And I love memoirs.  I love reading about people's lives and their struggles and how they overcome them.  I especially love when I know things will work out in the end, so I can read the bad parts knowing that everything is going to be ok.  This will sound strange, but I've often wished I could read my own memoir and find out how it ends. Maybe then I could relax for a change.  Maybe I wouldn't lose hope.  

The truth is, I can't give up.  I still hope and pray and sorta believe that someday things will get better. Maybe someday I'll find some kind of happiness?  Am I being stupid and naive?  Sometimes I think so, but if I lose hope, then what do I have?  Why the fuck would I get out of bed every day?  There has to be some reason.

Maybe I can write my way through this and who knows... maybe someday I'll have something good to report.  There's no telling.  But don't feel like you have to keep reading.  If and when things get good, I'll make a big announcement  and you can go back and read the dark and scary parts knowing it's gonna get better.  ;-)  I really hope it gets better.

30 comments:

  1. Please keep getting out of bed. There's always hope and it always gets better in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are worthy. You are a good person. People care about you, and want you to be OK, to be more than OK. I care about you, even though I haven't met you and wouldn't know you if we ran into each other on the sidewalk: I care about you.

    Please write a tiny thing every day, and go ahead and make it the boringest thing ever. Please write about boring things. Please sit for 10 minutes every day and write something. You can post it on the blog or just write it in a notebook.

    The every day matters.

    You matter to me, lady I don't know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree with Cynthia - just write a little something every day. And as you can see, many of us think about you daily and check in on you even though we don't know you

      Delete
  3. Today is the first day that I read your blog and wanted you to know that you touched my heart. Please know that people who've never met you, care about you and know things will get better. Sometimes it's hard to see that but you have to believe.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Keeping you in my prayers. I'm sorry I don't know your whole situation, so offering advice seems rather unreasonable, but sharing experiences is likely one of the benefits of the online world, so I will share. When I was younger I was robbed at gunpoint and afterward had pretty severe anxiety attacks for quite a while. Finally I started seeing a psychologist who I trust and learning exercises to help deal with them and eventually stop them. That, and a big nudge from God, has completely changed my outlook in the past decade or so. I'm not sure if you've ever considered that, but it is kind of like blogging out loud to someone who will talk back in a productive way to work towards something better. Of course you have to want to do it or it doesn't work at all, so I'll leave that open.

    I wish you all the best going forward, whatever that might be. Sometimes the best looks not so great while we're going through it, only to come out on the other end shocked at how it all played out perfectly. I don't begin to guess why you've had to go through what you have, and what lessons and experiences have been set aside specifically for you, but I do know that the painful things I myself have gone through (and continue to go through) have helped me to empathize and help others in ways I could have never dreamed (or probably cared to) who also need support. You asked for suggestions, and while no one can tell you where you're being led besides God, I guess my biggest thought would be to reach out to others who need support just like you, and need help. As I'm sure you discovered being a mom, when you put others first it can sometimes heal yourself in ways you couldn't imagine. And the benefit ends up being bigger than just one person.

    I hope you'll continue the journey openly. It's a long, tough road while we're here. It can also be bright when we share it with others, even if those others aren't the people we thought would be alongside us. Some of the people who have helped me the most have not been my "family" in any traditional sense of the word. I don't doubt for a second (and don't say that lightly) that there are some people, perhaps kids or maybe older than you even, whose lives you could touch in a supremely meaningful way if you seek them out. Who knows what they look like, but they are there, wanting love and needing a relationship you could provide if you want to. You could limit that giving of love to "my kids" only and no one would blame you and it would be completely understandable. If you chose to extend that "mom-ness" to some kids who don't have a mom themselves (whether they are not present physically or just emotionally) who knows the lives you might change?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've never met you before, but started reading about three years ago. No joke, I've stopped by every day to see if you've posted. I was pleasantly surprised to see you had! I can't imagine the world you're living in, but know that there are people out there who care. I think it's great that you're writing, good news or not. I will continue to read regularly. I wish you nothing but the best...I wish for you love, happiness and peace. Keep writing and keep treading. Things WILL get better!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Amy, I pray for you quite frequently. I only knew you for a short time at Lydia Wright. I think about you a lot and ask God to bring you peace. You know, God can handle your anger. He's not surprised or upset that you are angry. He wants to see you through it. Psalm 27:13. I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Martha Root Dippold

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am glad to see a post from you - you've been in my prayers and I was wondering how things are going. While of course we all wish that things were going better for you, it is good to hear from you that you are surviving. I think the fact that you are reaching out here again is a very good thing. Hopefully it helps to talk it out.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Amy, I'm a friend of Carley's and I've been reading since she asked us to pray for you when Peter and Kate died.

    I think you should foster parent. You need kids, they need you. They come with income. Think about it.

    I still pray for you, and while I was glad to see you post I'm sorry its not better news. More people are pulling for you than you realize.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I saw the FUBAR and had to visit! I'm sorry things have taken another negative turn. I understand that being suddenly single and childless when you have the soul of a mother is just a whole lot to handle right now. I love that you went to culinary school (do you remember - that.... um... I am too chicken shit to do so?:) - think that is such a positive, interesting side to you. I have always been in awe over your strength - your need to give back when you had lost so much. I have often thought that you would be good at starting a memorial fund that gives back to the community. I also think you would make a great adoptive mother (I'm adopted - thank God somebody found me :). And.... you should write a memoir - find your new stronghold and pour it all out into helping others cope - or not cope - or both - ride the up and down. I ghostwrite self-help type books for people - find their one great thing (or more - or one good thing - whatever works for them) and expand on it. Very therapeutic, and you do have so much to offer - truly.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amy, please consider adopting older children. They need you, and you need them. New babies of your own is ideal, but sadly as you (and I, different story but trust me it sucks too) know all to well, we do not live in an ideal world. Older children who are available for adoption have usually come out of difficult backgrounds. With your life experience, you would be able to provide them with empathy and compassion that few other adults could. Maybe you could find children around the ages your children should be?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh gosh - I know you probably mean well, but I find children who are the age my daughter should be pretty difficult to be around - let alone bring one into my house to cherish. I know you mean well, but bereaved parents are carrying a lot of their own pain - it depletes your ability to cope with stuff - and dealing with an often challenging child who has grown up in difficult circumstances who happeend to be the same age as Catherine would probably tip me over the edge! Like most mothers, I think no one deserved to live more than my precious child - and although it is tidy to believe you could throw the energy you had for your dead child into another, I think in reality it is a tall order... but other bereaved mums might feel differently :(

      Delete
    2. Sorry. Didn't mean to offend. I am a bereaved parent too. I succeeded in having another child and often look longingly at other children the age my child should be.

      Delete
  11. Like many others, I've never met you, but have followed your blog for a few years now. I was happy to see that you wrote again, but so sad to hear things have been shitty for you. Hang in there. You have so many people who care about you and are pulling for you. Maybe looking into fostering or even adopting might be a good thing for you. Only you can decide that, though. I think you have a lot of love to offer and there are so many kids in need of a love like that. Ah, well...you'll do what's best for you! If you're ever in Bethel Park and want to grab a brew, shoot me an email. Keep looking for that light at the end of the tunnel...it's there :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I also check your blog regularly looking for something new. As time went by, I was worried what happened to you. So very sorry to hear that life is still so difficult - understatement of the year.

    Several people have suggested fostering or adopting. I would suggest maybe you start off with volunteering somewhere that interests you. Food bank? Homeless feeding programs? (thinking food from your cooking interests) or maybe local library?
    I feel like you need to find some stability for YOU before you take on a foster child. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe knowing there is someone depending on you would be the boost you need to find some small happiness. Then bigger happiness.
    Janet

    ReplyDelete
  13. oh fuck fuck fuck - I'm so sorry Amy - sorry that you're feeling so awful -and sorry that I didn't know and didnt' offer more support. We are always there (in the bar) y'know to listen, and like no other group on earth, we do get it.

    It's over 4 years for you now - but I don't think time just makes it better per se. I still find the pain of losing my daughter pretty intense - some days I feel like total crap, but my ability to cope has got better, and the joy has returned into my life. I still miss my daughter and life is often bitter sweet, but it is incomparably easier than 3 years ago.

    I don't think it's a huge surprise you're struggling because you've had a pretty rough ride in the last 4 years. You were divorced (not an easy place to start when your children have died) - you married again, and now you've split up. You wanted another child - and that didn't work out. The problem is it's a vicious cycle - once our child has died, so many of us find our relationships hard - and trying to conceive and being pregnant take on measure of complexity and trauma that few people could imagine if they haven't lost a child themselves.

    Yet if big things in your life are going wrong, you can hardly expect to feel better... simply because time has passed..

    I don't know what to advise - I think you have been doing great. Both your bloody gorgeous kids died, but you've been trying - you tried another marriage, you cook some fantastic cakes - you're doing some market selling?? - you want to get better.

    What helps me most is talking to other bereaved mothers. When I was pg with Madeleine, and everyone else thought I should be "excited" they were the ones who helped me realise it was normal-for-us to feel "terrified". I can voice the things that other people think are churlish and small minded to them - and they get it.

    Only you can work out what is right for you... I know bereaved mums who have gone ahead and had children on their own, because that was what they needed... people who have picked up the pieces after their relationships fell apart.. and bereaved parents who have adopted... (not children of the same age or gender btw!)... All I can say is - it is possible for things to get better. Please don't give up on that - you are a beautiful, amazing mother, and I believe you can turn things around xx


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well done for blogging again.
      Affie xx

      Delete
  14. oh man it's hard to know peoples stories in the bar. I'm so effing sorry your both your beautiful kids are dead. What an awful place to be in. It sucks so much and I'm sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  15. No words I can say will make your loss any smaller but please know there are people out here thinking of you, praying for you, and who care.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Maybe a change of place would do you good. Sometimes a new geographic setting can spur newness all around. I have found this to be true.

    You seem to be a writer at heart and I think you should pursue that professionally. Have you considered writing your story in a book?

    In terms of the career stuff, I know of an awesome career/life coach you might consider contacting:

    http://truenaturecoaching.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. You should write a book. As for foster care it might be a great way to move forward for you as caring for children "in the system" will keep you very busy. I am sorry things are tough right now and I wish you all the best for the future. You are obviously a very strong woman and things will improve.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I started reading your blog several years ago when Ginny posted about Kate and Peter's Treehouse project on That's Church. I followed your blog regularly, relating to how you talked about life after death; what most people ignore or brush under the rug. Putting one foot in front of the other is exhausting but you soldiered on--your culinary adventures were fun to read, and I was so happy for you when you talked about getting married again-- I was always rooting for you, along with lots of others here who follow but don't always comment. I thought since you'd stopped blogging maybe things had finally turned up more permanently and was sad to read that you've landed on another chute (not sure if you ever played chutes and ladders). We're all still here rooting for you, and sending extra good karma your way :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Don't give up! When you said about your blog when you first started "It may not be pretty, but it's honest." The truth is you are always going to miss your children and it is always going to hurt a little. Somedays you will be able to deal with it and somedays you won't, but it is not something that is going to go away because X amount of years have passed. Be kind to yourself. If it helps you to post on this blog good things or bad, then do it. If it helps to talk or not to certain people, do it. You don't owe the world anything right now. It seems to me like you've been doing this so long you're forgetting that there's a reason you are feeling this way, and it's a good one, and you have a right to be gentle with yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Are you in any sort of group or seeing a therapist? The losses you've suffered in your life are a big deal, and I'd be surprised if you weren't fucked up. If you're already in a group or seeing a therapist and it's not helping, go somewhere else. Look into career counseling or job retraining for options for employment. Carnegie Library has a Job Center that will help with resumes etc. Take whatever help is available to you.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I thought about you today. I want you to know that a stranger cares.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I was thinking about you today. You are so courageous and I hope you find some peace. I can't think of many people that could write so honestly about what you are going through. Please know that many more people than you may realize care and want you to find happiness.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Jesus loves you and has a special plan for your life. Seek Him with all your heart and know there are so many people who love you and are praying for you to have peace. Life is brutally unfair, but if we are of goodwill I believe the reward is so much sweeter! Blessings and love and prayers Amy :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thinking of you today and hoping you are finding peace for yourself...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Maybe you can talk to the Jan and Linton Weeks - they run the Stone and Holt Weeks foundation and they do amazing things.

    ReplyDelete