Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Kind of Roller Coaster.

A few days ago, I thought I was doing better.  I felt pretty much at peace about the outcome of our referral, and I was glad to be on the tail end of those few weeks.

But then on Wednesday, I crashed...again.  I just crashed.  All of the emotional and physical exhaustion of the past month felt like they were suddenly crushing my shoulders and pressing down.  I looked at my messy kitchen, where the dishes were still lying from the night before, when I was too tired to clean them up, and I felt overwhelmed by a task that would normally have taken me twenty minutes to complete.  Just looking at the dishes on the counter made me want to cry and I somehow didn't know where to start.  All I wanted to do was to crawl into bed and lie there and cry.

Thus, in a move that was the antithesis of my usual parenting style, I told Matthew that he could watch tv...all afternoon.  He couldn't believe his luck, and he whooped and hollered as he ran for the remote.  I went upstairs and lay down in bed - another move I never make.  I tried to read, tried to doze a bit.  Nothing worked.  I ended up just lying there, thinking about how sad I was.  I cried.  I cried for those two beautiful children that I miss so much, and whom I'll never get a chance even to meet, much less parent.  I ignored all of the logic that I've been applying for the past few weeks, and let myself feel the loss, and grieve it.  I felt so empty.  I ached for them.

For three hours, I stayed in the bedroom and mourned, while Matthew watched tv downstairs.  He regularly ran upstairs to touch base.  For the first hour, he thought he was in heaven, being allowed to watch so much tv.  The second hour, he was still pretty happy about it, though more restless.  The third and final hour was hard for him.  He came upstairs every ten minutes, wanting to be with me instead of watching tv.  But I just couldn't engage him well, so I kept inventing excuses for him to be downstairs watching tv.  I stayed in my room.  I came out after three hours, when it was time to take him to hockey.

I felt like a horrid parent that day, though a friend assures me that kids also need to learn to deal with the hard times that we have, as parents.  I get that, at least in my head; but my heart still knows, and doesn't like, that I sucked at parenting on Wednesday.  I haven't really recovered from it yet, either; I'm still not in a great space.  Though I've cleaned up the kitchen, and though I've been able to put up a better front, the truth is that I feel fragile, and it takes next to nothing for me to feel overwhelmed and tearful.  I'm still not sleeping much, and I'm exhausted.

I get that all of this sounds like I'm depressed.  I am.  I don't think that it's a long term issue, but I'm clearly manifesting some of the signs.  On Monday evening, I went to see the therapist that I started up with last year, and I'm going to continue to go for a while.  It's so good to be able to talk with someone about things that I can't seem to verbalize elsewhere.

Walk with me through this part of the journey, too, ok?  Challenge me on the good front I'm putting up.  There are going to be better days, I know that, and there are going to be good days even in the midst of this hard time.  But I think I need folks around me...despite my desire to isolate myself.  I'd appreciate your company.


  1. *ginormous hugs*

    I've spent a few afternoons in my room ignoring the kids lately myself, depression'll do that to you. Your friend is right, Matthew will be fine, and so will you in time. Glad to hear you're getting some help.

  2. I'm here, Ruth. We all have our parenting days where we don't earn a gold star, but actually, I think you did the best thing for Matthew. It would have been far more traumatic for him to see you crying and in that kind of grief, than an afternoon of tv. I remember seeing my mom cry because she fell down some stairs and hurt her ankle (I was about 6) and I still remember how scared I was. Moms are supposed to be invincible. You need to take the time to grieve and Matthew will survive. You have to take care of yourself! I am glad you have a therapist to talk to, and I find blogging is such a good way to vent. You have a lot of people in adoptionland who care and are here for you. Take care, friend :)

  3. Oh Ruth, i'm so sorry, i wish i could do something for you!! You are right, there are going to be better days and you will treasure those! And you will see one day there will be more better days then bad ones and then you know you gave this journey in beautiful place in your heart and it will make you a even more beautiful person then you already are!
    Grieving is a long process so take your time.

    I will be thinking of you and sending you lots of love


  4. Would love to come and do dishes for you or have Matthew over to play with my kids. These cyber friendships are a bit different from the ones I'm used to - where I can do something physical to help out a friend. But I will pray for you and cry with you. It's so hard to let go and yet this is being required of you. Take your time. God never gives you more than you can handle even if it feels like it right now.

  5. Ruth, I've said it before and I'll say it again you are a strong inspiring women. I think it's healthy to really feel the grief because if I've learned anything in my life it's that ignoring hard feelings means they will appear at an inopportune time and it can almost destroy you. I'm a big believer in being true to my feelings.

    Like you however I am prone to isolation. I said to Doug last night I just don't want to be around anyone right now. I think there are moments when people help and hurt.

    We are all here for you and I will do whatever you ask for. My prayers are with you all.

    Jessa xx

  6. Thanks for this post Ruth. I was wondering when I got off the phone with you this am how you were doing.

    I don't think you were a bad parent on Wednesday. I think you did what you had to do and you gave Matthew a "treat" that he enjoys in being able to watch extra tv.

    I look forward to our visit next week and will pray for healthy kids and moms so that we can make it happen. Big hugs and know that its ok to be fragile, to have a dirty kitchen and even to answer the door in your jammies without having had a shower.

  7. Hello Ruth, I am here with you and won't leave your side - I ache for your pain but I know it's what need to happens, it's real and it's hard. Thank you for being real on your blog, your sharing helps many ,including me (queen of hiding feeings but in recovery, lol).
    I am praying for your heart and for your children.


  8. Hi Ruth,
    Everyone has already said, so well, the things that I'm feeling for you. You're not a bad mom; don't add that burden to your grief. You know as well as anyone that you NEED to go through the grief to heal. Take your time. Neglect your blog if you need to -- we'll all live without regular posts, so don't feel the pressure of keeping up the blog. Do what YOU need to do... cry, scream, sleep, laugh, go out with real life friends. We're all here weeping with you, praying for you and hoping for a wonderful ending to this story. Hang in there... you're very loved. XOXO

  9. Ruth,
    I am so sorry that you have to endure this incredible hardship, that really, is just so unfair...It sounds to me that you are walking through grief, which, for better or for worse, just needs to be walked though. It's a long unforgiving process, and if you need an afternoon to let Mathew watch T.V., you are not being a bad mom, you are doing what you need to do to get through the day, which is far better than trying to fake it to Mathew. It's OK to say right now that you can't do it all. With all the people following your story, you are being covered in prayer from one end of this country to the other :)


  10. Hey Ruth, Hate to be a stickler for details and go technical here, but although this "sounds like you're depressed" this is very much grief. They overlap almost completely--(except, technically, depressed people can be suicidal, and grief generally doesn't have that component). There's something very appropriate about the symptoms of've lost the children you cared about them, you're sad for them, for you,for your husband, for your son. Grief, while very painful (and rather inconvenient when your aim is to be an attentive mom to Matthew and grief gets in the way) is very "right". Take good care of yourself.

  11. Ruth, we only really know each other virtually, but I get how you are feeling. Without going into a lot of "me" details, let's just say that dealing with grief hurts now, but not dealing with it hurts forever. You are getting professional help on the journey and that is PRICELESS. You will find your way back, but don't rush yourself and don't lay guilt trips on yourself either. Matthew watched tv all afternoon and likely noticed that something was different about you. Tell him how you are feeling, let him be part of the recovery. Make sure he understands it's ok for you to be sad, and that being sad now will help you to be happy later.

    Your comment about being a bad parent that day reminds me of something my doctor said to me when I was pregnant with my first child. I had a terrible cold and I broke down and took some Halls, even though a friend of mine told me her doctor said pregnant women should avoid them. I 'confessed' what I had done to my doctor and she laughed. She said, "Caitlin, we're talking about cough drops, not crack cocaine".