As a way of reintroducing myself to my blog, which is mostly for me anyway, I will be spending some time this evening redecorating a bit. I realized tonight that I don’t write anymore because every time I come here, I’m catapulted back 2 years and wind up with tears streaming down my face, reliving the most horrible event I’ve ever experienced. As evidenced by the salty residue on my cheeks and the slightly stuffed up snot nose. Which is both sad and gross.
So I’ll be doing a little clean up, a little make-over, if you will, in an effort to redefine my purpose here. I don’t really need a soothing place to open my soul to these days. My feet are pretty firmly planted in the now. I’m not terribly interested in revisiting the past, reliving the pain, listening to that sad, old voice I developed while here. Though I must say, I’m sort of proud of the voice I developed. I’m proud of how I healed and I’m glad I have proof.
So, I hope you like the changes. I do. See? Here’s me happy…
Sometimes I feel like this is the only place where I can lament my sweet, non-existent Olivia. Most of the time I don’t want to share anywhere anymore. Yet, I continue to be surprised by the reminders, the things that sneak in my heart and hurt a little more than normal.
Like, Valentine’s Day, for instance. Not typically a day meant for children, other than the cute little Valentine cards they share at school. Today’s spark didn’t start with that, though. I was filling in some family info on ancestry.com for my mom and paused on whether to add all my children. I almost didn’t because I didn’t want my mom to be sad the next time she logged in, but that’s no reason not to acknowledge a life so I went ahead and filled in my sibling’s kids, too, to make Olivia’s date of death a little less shocking.
What struck me was the imagery of father and mother with 2 girls beneath our names. The little pink profiles of what should’ve been my family. Although I love the sweet little pink profile asleep in her bed right now, there should be another one nearby.
Oh how it hurts to be reminded so casually of what should’ve been. It’s so cruel, what happened to us. I of course had to go look at her photos and they’re just so…horrible. So ugly. So the opposite of that adorable pink profile on ancestry.com. It’s such an unbearable thing we’ve learned to live with, and I’m struck by how easy it’s become to just go about my day like nothing ever happened until something just sticks. And pokes at me until I’m curled up in a ball trying to remember how to forget again.
This is who I am.
I have been so fucking busy at work lately. Is that normal? Do people feel overwhelmed by their work? I try to compare the amount of satisfaction with the amount of sacrifice but I don’t know what other people think is normal. So, that’s just what I’m wondering. David has been telling me for years that I’m too into my job. But doesn’t that mean I like it? He bases his opinion on the precipice that I don’t like my job because it’s corporate. But I think I might actually like it, even though it’s corporate.
Anyway, I think I like it. Either that or I’m a huge narcissist.
I’m in a training position at a major corporation. I’m in a department of people who teach sales people how to do their jobs. I just got assigned responsibility for the Sales education website, but I haven’t really gotten a chance to totally focus on it. I’ve been working on an internal blog but haven’t presented it to our director yet. My boss just told me to, but I’m wondering about her motivation for telling me. I think it’s because she’s (the director) mentioned something to my boss about the new buzz phrase, “social media.” They are finally beginning to see the relevance and the opportunity to connect to people they’ve only begun to employ.
I’ve been working on the script for the online course that we’re creating about the new customer information tool they’re going to have to use. It’s my job to write the script for the course some other people will actually design. It’s a weird process. I have nothing to do with creating the visuals, but I’m responsible for writing the flow and the script of the course, and describing the visuals. Someone else might even record the audio. I think I’m going to, though. Honestly, it will be weird if they pick someone else to do the voice since I’m the one who wrote it. I mean, I’m working with this other lady and I got the content from someone else, but I put it together and decided what information Sales needs to know. And I wrote it.
God. Is this boring to you? I honestly really don’t know. I’m so in the thick of it that I can’t even tell if it’s absurd. The woman I’ve been working with is absolutely insane. She is this incredibly short. very weeble wobbly woman. She is constantly getting phone calls from her soon-to-be ex-husband and her crazy 17 year old daughter with bipolar disorder, supposedly, and apparently cannot be trusted. Everytime my coworker’s daughter calls, she has to answer the phone. And she answers it in this sticky sweet voice, so not matching the look on her face when the phone rings. She’s utterly exhausted. She told me she agreed to take her daughter on a cruise this summer and the daughter is apparently obsessed. She says the obsession is because she has bipolar but I’m not sure I’m convinced. I’m not an expert so there’s no way I could really know, but it sounds/looks to me like my coworker is the problem. She has raised her daughter to be completely co-dependent on her and she has no idea. She has no idea that she’s the problem. What is her daughter going to do when she dies? Her father certainly isn’t going to invest any time on her. It’s heartbreaking really.
Sometimes my coworker puts her soon-to-be ex on speaker phone so I can listen. I frantically put my ringer on silent when she does this for fear what he would say if my phone ring while he was whining about not having enough gas money to pick their daughter up from school every day. Not saying outright that he didn’t want to do it; he simply couldn’t come up with the money if he wanted to eat. He said he was counting crackers.
Although she did hear me getting into an argument with my husband last week. It was weird because I could tell she could hear but she wasn’t saying anything and then when I said something she was so quick to take my side. People so want their misery to be accompanied by everyone around them. She doesn’t understand, though, that I don’t think I’m miserable, I’m just imperfect.
Aren’t we all?
Well, I made it. The long anticipated weekend of sadness has passed without much ado about something really big to me. We were originally going to go out of town and hide, but we decided to be thankful after all and stay in town only planning to see one family per day. The idea was to spread the love out as much as possible so as to enjoy our time here and there rather than everywhere all at once but nowhere that matters. Hair standing on end, screaming from one suburb to the next.
I can’t believe it’s been a year. Last year I was sitting in this same living room with this same damn Christmas tree thinking about things like thank you cards for the checks to help pay for the memorial service, and how I was going to fall asleep without crying. This year I’m thinking about how to get Lily to fall asleep without crying and how much I love where we put the Christmas tree this year. I have changed over the course of the year, though. Somehow I’ve come out in the end – or more like just barely into the beginning – less predictable emotionally, more emotionally disruptive and wholly unstable than I was before. I’m less willing to be nice for the sake of being nice, much more willing to be angry. I’m often flustered, irrational, at fault. I said bitch on the phone to my mother the other day. I wasn’t calling her a bitch, but I said the word. And I wasn’t just repeating something someone else said – I meant to say bitch and I said what I meant. Because that’s what I do now. That’s how I roll. I say what I mean because…I mean it.
I raked and bagged up leaves in the front yard today, all by myself. Lily helped me, but I’m taking all the credit. David and our neighbor did it last year and I remember looking out the window at them like it was yesterday. Why does that day stand out? I was at the kitchen table, blogging, occasionally checking the soup I was cooking (or maybe it was bread I was baking), Lily was playing in and out, I was 8 months pregnant and browsing Etsy for new prints to hang on the wall in whichever room we ended up choosing for the baby. I could see them through the front window and remember feeling so safe. It was very sunny and crisp outside and so warm and cozy inside. David would take breaks and come in to drink some tea, give me a kiss, see what Lily was up to. Olivia felt so natural to me in that moment. One of my favorite memories with her. As a family, we were happy that day. I can remember lots of other times during that pregnancy where we were not a happy family. The Holmes’ were having trouble many, many other days. I had a lot of guilt after we lost Olivia that I cried her away with worry about our future. I truly did not think David and I would make it if we had another child. I’m still not sure. Things were not good. We were frayed to what we thought were our edges (we learned they were not). We were tired of trying to make peace and we saw no end to the struggle in our near future. We were this close (fingers pinched together) to giving up.
She saved us, is something I would say if I thought about it that way, which I don’t. I don’t consider myself the type of person who could stay happily married to someone through our child’s death, but not through her life. What kind of backwards love would that be?
Today is Olivia’s birthday. I asked Lily what we should do to celebrate and she said we should blow kisses to the stars.
We planned to make a big breakfast together, go ice skating, make a cake, do happy family things to appreciate each other all day but I feel like I’m just trying to think of things I should be doing and then going through the motions. David and I aren’t in the same mood at all and Lily is somehow managing to be the opposite of us both at all times.
I just want to drink alcohol until I don’t feel anything at all because I can’t seem to feel what I think are the right feelings. Does that make sense to anybody? I’ve always had trouble with expectations for holidays but this holiday is really throwing me for a loop.
But it’s not over yet. I mean, her birthday’s not over yet, the holidays haven’t even begun. I think I’m just going to focus on being present and remaining calm. Slow and steady wins the race, right? The race to the end of this day and the end of this year. It’s almost over and then I plan on getting on with my life. Time to start using all this pain and unwelcome wisdom to my advantage.