TW: flashback aftermath

So we are still wondering when our brain will stop throwing unpleasant realisations at us all…

We thought we had miscarried earlier than we had because we thought, somehow, that there was no way we could have done all that dancing in Paris whilst pregnant. Turns out we did- that flashback was vile.

(MAJOR TW HERE)
Hands red. The grinding pain. Silent scream, jaw wide, eyes rooted to the red palms in front of me. Agony.

(END FLASHBACK, thank god)

There was something bothering me, 19, about the dates. It all made sense right after that flashback. July is the month. We estimate that we were about five or six weeks pregnant.

The Dutchman has spent the past two hours comforting us. We all love him so much.

Fay? We miss you.

Something monumental.

Possible TW- miscarriage mentioned, abusive relationship, sex briefly mentioned.

 

Well, something monumental has just happened.

 

So, as some of you know, PTSD is responsible for messing up timelines, and DID doesn’t help (the dissociative element screws with time, too!). Also, as some of you also know, we have been dreading July because we thought that is when, at age 21, we lost a baby we weren’t even aware we were carrying. We had broken up with the abusive ex-boyfriend we’d been dating for 6 years, and the stress made us stop taking our contraceptive pill, along with the fact that we had goodbye sex (one of the times we actually wanted to have sex) and didn’t use any other protection. As a result, we must have been pregnant for a while, but lost the baby.

 

Something Dr K mentioned in therapy today- about did we have a date for the miscarriage- rang a bell. We realised that we all WANTED a date. We wanted to remember the baby properly, as a real little human being who would, by now, be four years old and proud of it. So we went home and began trawling through emails, Facebook timelines and messages, and trying to piece a jagged puzzle together.

 

We worked out that the audition we went to take when we stayed with the ex was on the 15th June. We stayed with him possibly for about five days or so, during which he told us he couldn’t be with us any more. We had, ironically, the best few days of our relationship whilst we were together, and then on the day we headed home, he left us crying on the underground after one last kiss goodbye. After that found emails from us to a teacher talking about arriving in Paris to perform as if nothing was wrong, dated 3rd July. We stayed in Paris to perform until the 10th July, when we went home again.

 

We had always thought it was July where we lost the baby because there’s a poem we wrote, partially about breaking up with him and partially about losing the baby. That’s dated the 21st June 2011. We thought it meant that we had miscarried about then, but that, we have realised, doesn’t seem to be the case.

 

We realised, whilst talking to the Dutchman tonight, and whilst reading the journal that 26 wrote back when she was 23, that actually we miscarried right before we flew out to dance in Paris. We miscarried in June and pretended everything was completely fine in Paris, and grieved like hell all July. We left Facebook for a few months, only returning in September, but we saw various posts on our timeline in June and July. They’re all wondering where we were.

 

We were grieving, trapped in our minds and wrestling with the fact that there had been a baby in our womb and now there was nothing. We were probably anaemic, we were exhausted, we were running purely on adrenaline in Paris. We pushed the grief aside, loved our stay there, then returned to the horror that waited at home- grief denied, held back, becomes at least twice as strong.

 

We talked all of this out loud and the Dutchman listened. We cried, a lot. We realised that our timelines have been upset because trauma does that to you, so it is in fact this month where we lost her.

 

Yes, her. We think our baby would have been a girl.

 

A few months back, when we were fit and well at the Gym, we had befriended a cleaning lady. She was absolutely lovely, and had found a ring we lost. She knew that the Dutchman was the right person for us because she said she “had a good feeling”about him, and that he was lovely- not that he looked lovely, that he was. It was just as we were about to leave that day that she said, “Stark, do you have kids?”

“No,” we replied, puzzled, “why?”

She said, “Well, I’ve got the second sight, me. I’ve always seen things that aren’t there. I just asked ‘coz every time I see you, I also see a little blonde-haired girl with you. She’s about four, and she’s got blue eyes and she’s wearing a pink dress.”

We were, of course, floored. Nobody knows about the miscarriage but a tiny handful of people. This lady is an acquaintance we have met at the gym. She knew next to nothing about us, but yet…

We let her know that it was lovely, and we hoped it was a future child she saw, when all of us just knew that she was seeing the child we lost.

 

We told the Dutchman this story too and his jaw dropped for a couple of seconds. He seemed both pleased and shocked. He asked us if we had a name for her, and we said we never gave her one. I think that’s because 19 and I have locked the hurt away in us for such a long time that we didn’t want to let it out again, because the grief we feel when we think about our baby is wild and untameable and will ravage us if we let it. We have always kept the fierce love and the grief that goes with it locked up. Fourteen and Fifteen are different, they’ve always talked about their desire for children and how much they love them. The two of us thought that it was too painful- we all dealt differently.

 

We also let the Dutchman know all of this, and also that we probably would have had a set of names that we would have chosen from once she was born. We thought we would have three names, maybe, and choose the one that suited her best. He has been experimenting with hypnosis with us for a while, because it eases our anxiety (and helps with other things too) so he asked us if, using hypnosis, we would like to see her face and try and name her. We readily agreed, through our tears.

 

The Dutchman put us under, a sensation that’s pleasant and calming in equal measure. We began to stop crying, and breathe deeply. He talked to us until we were far enough under that he could begin to ask our subconscious mind to imagine that there was someone else in the room: our daughter. Not only our daughter, but a four-year-old version of her.

 

Immediately we were in floods of tears again. We described her to him. She had strawberry blonde hair, and thank gods, she’d turned out with hazel eyes and not the ex’s brown. She had freckles, a few on her cheeks, and thick dark lashes- also his, but more than that, it didn’t matter. She was ours.The minute we saw that cheeky face, we knew her name.

 

Fay Alice.

 

The Dutchman got us to imagine that our little Fay climbed up onto the bed to cuddle her mummy- us!- and then, she had to go. It wasn’t too awful to let her go. We had a potential date now, for when we lost her, and now she has a gender and a name. We have decided to celebrate her life when Monday night next week comes around. The Dutchman told us he was so proud of us, and he was incredibly honoured that we seemed to be able to take huge steps like this, based on the foundation of the relationship that we have with him. He’s not wrong. He makes us feel incredibly strong and powerful, as if we can achieve anything because he will always support us.

 

Nineteen and I have been moved by this. The younger two are thrilled- because, it seems, Nineteen and I have reached a decision.

 

We had been trying to decide between the five of us whether we were going to have kids or not. Nineteen and I had been trying to draw up a rational explanation for having kids, and one for not having them. We thought that if we had a morally correct reason for having children, we would be ok and we could have them.

 

What we both forgot was that behind the locked door with the grief and pain was intense, overwhelming love that literally obliterates any obstacle. We adore that child that never was, our Fay. We love her so much it would burn stars to black holes. That would be the last thing in the equation- we would love her so goddamn much. Having kids IS irrational, it’s the best kind of irrational. That irrationally strong love for her will guide us through.

 

The Dutchman said that if she had made it, he would have loved her too, and helped to raise her.

 

That settled it for the two of us. Nineteen near broke us all (in the best way) when she told the Dutchman we could at least try to have kids.

 

Fourteen and Fifteen haven’t been this excited for such a long time. We were all in floods of tears of happiness, they were too, whilst jumping up and down and being insanely happy. They just have always wanted to be a mum. The Dutchman cried. He told us that we keep making him cry, but that it’s a good thing because it helps him feel the depth of his love for us. At this moment, though, he was crying because he was thrilled to bits. He has also always wanted kids.

 

So, my little Fay, you are precious and special. You have a name. You are a human being that we got to have in our lives for the smallest amount of time, but you have made a huge impact on your grieving mothers. We saw you in our mind’s eye, and you have made us remember the incredibly overpowering love we have for you. We wanted to watch you learn to walk. We wanted to sigh, wipe banana from our clothes and try again. We wanted to brush your hair and kiss your little head and post you through the school gates, trying not to cry. We wanted to see your first tooth, your smiles as you watched that video you liked again and again and again and again. We wanted to count your toes, read you bedtime stories, prepare you for life… and, even though you’re not here, we have realised that we can have all that. It may not be with you, darling, but we will remember you if you have a little brother or sister. We will see you in them.

 

Thank you, little Fay, my ethereal Will-o-the-Wisp. You are so incredible. Mummy loves you very much- mummy 14, mummy 15, mummy 19 and mummy 26.

TW: little one.

I barely have words for this.

I’ve been doing better- dissociative, absent-minded maybe, but better. And now it’s nearly July and I had my miscarriage then, and I am currently bleeding because I forgot to take a pill two days ago.

It’s bringing back memories of the horror of realising I was pregnant and pretty much immediately after that realising my marble was dead, my baby was gone. I have that hollow emptiness between my hipbones again where life should have grown. I am not cradling a three year old girl or boy in my arms, soothing my little one to sleep. I’m ragged and in pain, bleeding just like I did then.

I thought I had managed to put this aside a bit better than this, but I think that my body has not finished grieving yet. It’s still grieving for all the sorrows, crying out for all the times it was hurt and couldn’t do anything to stop it.

I hope I stop bleeding soon. I keep thinking that there’s something wrong, but what’s really wrong is that someone once put me through so much emotional pain that I lost my child.

I think I will have to ring the phone number the doctor gave me for the rape crisis centre near me. I think it’s time to find out what’s happening with my body, and to let myself continue to grieve for a dream that never happened.

Miserere Mei.

I never grieved.
I never did that. I was locked in my own agony for two days solid, wandering around in a sea of horror, but I never grieved properly. I was never allowed to feel bad with him so I was not allowed to grieve.
There was life sparked in me. I held it between my hips, I cradled it into life unconsciously, I breathed and fed it oxygen and love. I had a chance to do what I have always wanted to do- hear a cry and scoop my precious one into my arms, hold tight, breathe in that scent of milk and something special. I wanted that, and I couldn’t see that it had begun in me.
Instead of testing and realising, instead of counting missed pills and thinking of weeks, I cried. I was bleeding in my heart long before the real blood ever came. I was dragging my mangled self through broken glass, every one of his words revealed as a lie. My insides were bathed in acid and I wanted to scream, but shock placed its calm mask across this burning sea of torment and I was forced to smile by memories of his expectations.
Instead of growth, and joy, and calm, there was a withering and death. I remember thinking that the pain couldn’t possibly get worse, but it did. I remember thinking that I couldn’t keep losing all this blood, but I did. I wanted to scream and panic but instead I cleaned myself up, swiping bloodstains off my legs, and curled up in the corner of my room.
I was going crazy, wasn’t I? People like me didn’t have miscarriages because they didn’t deserve children.
But the symptoms fit. My laptop’s cold screen told me so. I stared.
It was pain worse than the break up at first. I went into meltdown in the corner of my room, rocking and begging something out there to please make it stop, because I couldn’t hurt any more. The pain in my heart and the pain in my womb conspired to make the agony worse than any I’d ever had. I wanted an end and nearly considered this being the end of me, but the vain hope of getting him back stopped that.
I went into shock the next day. I was still bleeding clumps of blood, stuff that had once been alive. I was so selfishly absorbed in my own pain that I couldn’t see my own child fighting for survival. I was a bad person and would have been an even more terrible mother.
I have a vivid memory of sitting on the couch in the living room and searching for signs of miscarriage on the internet. My dad was listening to something I’d never heard before- I know now it was Allegri’s Miserere Mei. I ached. I felt hot tears flow down my face.
How can I have not seen my little one inside me? How could I have not seen the first life I’d ever created? I felt almost like I’d snuffed it out myself, but I know that his abandonment and my grief played their parts. I did nothing wrong, but my little one knew they would never last in such a cruel world.
The music broke me, as it breaks me now. I can’t hear it without crying. I can’t be in the same room as it or I feel that pain again. I should have a three year old child now. I should have this little crazy bundle of joy running around with dinosaurs and my puppy and missing his old dog and wishing that he was a horse or a wolf or wanting to be in space. She might have been a little girl, watching Noggin the Nog for the thousandth time and pretending she was following them into the cave where the dragon hid, or flying kites with me, or cuddling with my sister as she read her a bedtime story. I would have told my child stories of London, where Auntie R lives. My child would have seen videos of me dancing, taught Juno new tricks, refused to eat her or his greens and lived and breathed and loved.
I have empty arms and a heart that misses what I never had and never will have again. I can’t afford to have children, suspecting as strongly as I do that I have bipolar disorder and knowing that my PTSD can send me spiralling into despair. I don’t want to put my child through watching mummy suffer and then experiencing the same thing. I don’t want to watch my child for the mania, the depression, the self harm and the pain of bullying. I know life is full of all sorts, but I don’t want my child to get the same end of the stick as I did. No more.

Even so…
My baby, oh god. I miss you. I wish I could have kissed you. I wish I could have counted my little one’s tiny fingers and toes, played hopscotch in the rain just for the hell of it, put you to bed and cuddled you. I wish it was possible to just experience that with you. Even the frustrations and sadnesses of watching you grow up… I want that right now and I will never have it.

I hurt so much right now. I am still crying and I want to know whether I will ever feel any less tormented over this. It’s as if I opened a raw wound in my heart and it’s bleeding fire into my throat and lungs.
Inside, I feel so empty. I feel empty and lost. I still want to scream, but the house is silent and everyone is sleeping.

Miserere mei.

Scream.

I am really fucking struggling at the minute.

I nearly had a panic attack in a restaurant tonight. I am so wrought and wrung out that I am at flipping point, and I could feel the old, sickening paranoia crawl up my throat and make its home in my head, my chest, my hands. I had to go outside to calm down, and I cuddled my friend’s baby boy to keep it at bay. I think I’m going to have to start taking more of my meds, but apparently I have to have a medication review soon and will not get prescribed more until I go and tell the doctor I need to stay on it. So irritating, but I guess it’s to check I’m not getting worse on it.

I heard the dark passenger the other day. I heard his voice first, and I knocked it down, but the taunt that he vanished with was, “You can medicate us into silence if you want, but we will always be here for when you get off it, waiting to make your life worse again.”

I told them that whilst I was in therapy I would be fixing it so they would never speak to me again, or hurt me again. I’m so tired, though. I am  having trouble concentrating, and my dissociation is back really badly.

Thirteen year old me hates the arguments that are happening in the house at the minute. They are only small, insignificant squabbles about who put what costume where or what was supposed to be printed out when, but I feel frightened and am inclined to stay out of the way as much as I can whenever there’s one happening. My pulse races and I’m terrified that I will somehow be found to blame.

Dr K and I were talking about my marble last session. She is worried that I never grieved for him or her, my baby-that-could-have-been, and I am sure I never did properly. I know that I was suffering from the breakup with my sociopath ex, and unable to deal with that grief too, so I buried it. Now, it is all flooding back and I feel desperate for the beat of a small heart in my arms, tiny waving fists next to my cheeks, and a pain of eyes to stare back into. My arms are empty. I am alone, with a hole inside where that child should have been and a hollow dryness in my eyes where tears should be.

I would have been so mixed up about having that baby. I would have never escaped my ex- he would have used that child as leverage, he would have tried to twist and taint my baby. I would have had to fight for my rights as parent every single day. I would have watched my child grow up and have to wonder whether the eyes looking back into mine were his, housing all that warpedness, or would my child become like me?

I know logically that overall I have been spared something really horrible in that my ex would have wanted sole control of both of us, but holding my friend’s baby has made my heart and arms and womb scream out for mine. I want him or her back. I miss him or her, I miss my child.

The scream inside me is louder than words. It is the scream of the mothers of Sparta, of the Somme, of Iraq and Afghanistan. It is the scream of failed childbirth. It hoarses my throat and burns at the corners of my eyes. It sears inside me and I can’t escape when I am alone. Putting the happy face on it hides it from my mum, who I never told, and the rest of my family, but I need to scream and I can’t.

Interlude: wishes and dreams.

I was helping a friend out with her three year old daughter’s birthday party today. My friend has just had a little one- he is nine weeks old, adorable and perfect.

I had a lot of time yesterday minding him whilst his mother and my sister baked cakes. Today, I minded him whilst family helped bring in presents and sort out the house. He did cry a little, as all babies do, but mostly he was content to walk around the house in my arms and suck my finger if he felt restless.

Looking down at him, as I have done before with his brother and sister, I felt that same overwhelming sense of love for him, the urge to protect, and a chord of bitter sadness that split me in half.

I have vowed not to have children.

I can’t risk passing on my bipolar, my anxiety or depression to someone that innocent and lovely. I don’t want to do that, and watch the child grow up, suffering as I have. I have no desire to burden someone else with inherited crap- life has thrown enough crap at me already.

Thing is, though, I was recently told I’m a natural with children. I love them. I love taking my friend’s children out to have fun at the zoo or playing silly games with them to entertain them. They ask me questions, they have good imaginations, they insist they are big… when really, they are small and sweet, and they are growing fast. I could see myself being a parent, helping them grow, and teaching them everything I’ve learned. I have always wanted children, to experience having them, and I know that I cannot have them.

Depression runs in my family- I’m slowly piecing a family tree of mental health problems. I have it. My sister has OCD (never diagnosed but definitely OCD), there are several family members with depression. I would pass it on for sure. There is a heartache inside me for the child I lost still, too.

So, you can imagine, that today as I gazed down at the little baby there were tears in my eyes. I told him that I didn’t want him to end up like me, and that I hoped he would never feel the pain I’ve felt. I told him he was special, and I said I was sad to never have one of him again. I listed a future that my marble would have had, and he gurgled and smiled unwittingly at me.

It’s like a thorn in my heart. I want to write it here, in this disjointed fashion, so that I will forget it for a while.