The past week or three has been pretty good for me. I never thought I’d be able to say that again. But here I am, looking at Betsy’s photos with her friends and feeling sadness, but not overwhelmed right now. I’m very proud of myself for the work I’ve been doing to get to this point because it hasn’t been easy to get to this point. I know I’m still a work in progress, but I’m much stronger mentally than I’ve ever been in my life.
I even gained a bit when I went to Weight Watchers this morning and didn’t feel devastated by it. I tried to figure out what I did, I knew some things but had forgotten others because I didn’t track everything. That’ll teach me not to track. I just realize it’s just a number, I’ve made some big changes and this isn’t the end of the road for me, I will lose the weight and get to my goal. I knew I was hungrier this week, so I ate. Also got my period, was hoping to skip like last month, but I didn’t. No biggie, I can’t control everything. I don’t have control of most things but have to be able to cope with what comes at me. That is the key.
I’m also learning how valuable it is to put the past behind me. While I chose to honor those experiences, I do not need to focus on the negative events and let them shape my now or my future. For example, I don’t need to think about exactly what injuries Betsy had after her accident, because as her mother it is torturous for me; I can’t change it; and isn’t the way I want to remember her. If I allow that moment to be placed away somewhere inside of me, I can have more space to remember the interesting, amazing, humorous, frustrating, confounding things she would do. She would amaze me every moment of every day of her life. Those of the times I would like to remember, not that one memory. I know I’ll never forget that pain, but I don’t have to relive it or focus on it. And I also know that sometimes I will cry like my heart is broken, because it is. But it’s not broken every day, I’m starting to be able to live a bit again and I’m content with that.
Thursday marked another sad day for me, remembering another month that Betsy’s been gone. I miss her more and more each day, although I’ve found a group online that is for parents who lost all or their only child, I still wish I had someone to talk to more often about her. Someone who knew her and could laugh with me about things we did together. Or just about the times we had or they had with her, she was really so special.
I’m also learning that I need to really stop talking to my mom, either all together or about anything that matters to me. She just isn’t the kind of person to really be concerned enough about me and what I want to say things that are supportive or offer advice. She still won’t talk about Betsy and with many other things she cuts me off and gives some bullshit response that is fake. I’ve finally realized that my hope that she can listen will never happen even though I’ve asked and keep trying. So, it’s me driving myself insane by doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
I’ve sat here for a large part of the day, thinking about her place in my life. I can feel respect for her for giving me life. But we really don’t have a deep connection with each other like she assumes we do. This is hard though because it’s my mom, however, my entire family is split apart and for many reasons it’s due to her behavior. I really don’t want to allow myself to be adversely affected by her behavior any longer. I’m not angry any more, nor sad, just done with it. I don’t want to play that game anymore.
I need to be connected with people who can be honest with their feelings and can give to others, not just take. I want to be like that, I don’t want to be like judgmental or bitter but long experience tells me that only I can change. I want to be able to live my life with real people. So, I’m glad I’ve found an online community to share my thoughts. And I need to recommit myself to my BB lessons again. Betsy is always with me in some way, I can feel it. Additionally, I need to connect with those who do care and support me, not just stay isolated.
June 23, 2015 marked five years since Betsy’s fatal accident and I think I find myself in a state of shock all over again. I’m stunned to feel this way, but I just can’t believe that she is gone. And it’s so unfair. She didn’t deserve to die so young, she didn’t have an easy life, having her dad not around and just me. We loved each other so much, but that didn’t make things perfect all the time. Now, my life feels like it has no meaning at all. I try to get through each day, but I struggle to really care about things that are truly important and focus on dumb things that don’t really matter to me personally. Things that I can’t change or have any involvement about. I’m so tired and so lonely. I wish that I could still talk to her about my day or hear her talk about her day. People just can’t understand how difficult it is to one day have a child and the next she is gone forever…my whole life was built around my daughter, to have her gone is still shocking to me at some level. The depth of missing her is like nothing I’ve ever felt or experienced before in my life. It’s just horrible, I feel like I’m just existing, not really living. Something has to change, because I can’t stand this.
So, today was the 4th time I spent Mother’s Day without my dear, fabulous daughter being physically with me, I miss her exuberance and joy and deep love we shared, but I found myself touched by lovely messages from unexpected people who let me know how much they miss her too. And I also received some mother’s day greetings from those people and my sister, they understand that I’m still a mom and can be wished a Happy Mother’s day. The other’s in my family, whom I desperately want to acknowledge my motherhood and loss, are not able to do that, and I can’t be angry with them, they are grieving in their own ways too. However, they just keep disappointing me because they cannot support me or treat me like I’d like to be treated, even though I’ve asked.
In spite of that bit, I felt loved and cared for today. I feel grateful to have people who still think of Betsy, remember that I need to hear their memories of her and know that I contributed to her life. But, I really would have loved a hug from her today. She was a great hugger. The lack of human contact in my life is hard, especially from her, so I have to be content with doggie cuddles and kisses, and those from my kitty cat too. For now, they help, but nothing is like a Betsy hug. Love you forever Betsy <3<3<3
This will be the 4th Mother’s Day without my Betsy, so hard to believe. I worked today with a group of Kindergarten kids, helping them to make a small gift for their mom’s. It did help me a bit, but then my boss called and wished me a Happy Mother’s Day, even though she knew it would be hard for me. I’ve been trying to not think about the day, mostly because I’ve been so busy working, two jobs, but it really hit me , hard. My life has been turned upside down and I’m struggling to make my life work again, with the help of the Creator. I feel as I’m just on a treadmill going nowhere. I work hard to keep it inside, but I do miss her so much. I feel so lonely without her. I can’t even express how lost I feel nor how without direction I feel, I just wish I new how to get myself started with a new job that made me feel valued and purposeful again. I lost almost everything after she died, my career too, I’m just hanging on by a thread. I need help from above, big help. Hopefully, he will help me find my purpose in life so I can make meaning of it and not be here in vain.
But the big question I have, am I still am mom? What do I tell people when they ask if I have kids? I want to say yes, but I have to explain because then there are always more questions about the “kids”, another toughie that I just realized makes this hard. Because not only is it uncomfortable for me, but it gets uncomfortable for the others too. One of the reasons I stay isolated is because it’s hard for me to not be able to talk about Betsy. I feel, sometimes, like I’m losing my memories of her because I don’t feel free to talk about her. It’s a sad thing I’ve found about the death of a child, at least for me. Perhaps, I need to go back to the support group so I can learn how to deal with it or find others that I can talk with about Betsy. I need to do something because I’m not moving forward, just staying stagnant.
I find poetry can help calm my nerves and sometimes make me get my feelings out, but I don’t often write in any more because of working on my dissertation, perhaps I’ll get back to that someday soon. I’ve thought of Betsy so often in the past few weeks but still haven’t mentioned her to that many people because I don’t interact with too many who want to talk about her or those who will let me. But I do enjoy telling the kids stories about her and they always listen to me. Kids are great that way, they never tell you to stop talking about her because it makes me sad, they let me.
I also had a bit of conversation with a few co-workers about family things and they questioned why I still allow the family to push me into doing so much for them when it appears that I get little support from them. I realized that this is the biggest problem I have right now and probably a big problem with my weight too. I think I eat to fill myself up with something because over the years, I didn’t feel the love and support I needed but was able to get it from food. Both of these co-workers said that I need to value myself more because I have too much to offer, am too pretty, too talented and too kind to put myself through being like this.
This all connects to Betsy because of all the times of my life that I need support, it would be now as I rebuild my life, but I have to keep being the strong one in the family like always. As if after the initial time period, my grief is over and I can go on with my life and forget about her. But it’s not that easy, and thankfully none of them has lost a child so they don’t know what it’s like. It’s just made worse because I feel like I can’t talk about her without making them feel uncomfortable. While I’ve gotten more assertive, it’s just not enough. I do need to separate myself more and just be with people who are truly going to be supportive or just be alone and strong because they are just sucking life out of me. I deserve to be happy, talk about memories without shame, expect support from those I love, and feel accepted regardless of what I do or don’t do.
I taught my daughter to be like this, it’s time for me to learn the same thing. I love you Betsy, forever. <3 <3<3
Tomorrow will be 4 years, 8 months since Betsy died. Seems like yesterday but still so long. I’m leaving for the Outer Banks on Sunday with the dogs and wishing that she were here to go with. This will be the 2nd time I’ll have been there since she died, the first by myself. The first time we went there, it was with the entire family, the next time I was there, she had just died.
As always, I find myself missing and missing her more and more around the 23rd of each month, even though there are times I don’t realize that it’s approaching. My life seems to revolve around the memories of her and the times we had and how I keep going on. So much has changed for me, not only is she gone, but my job is different, I’m struggling to complete my dissertation, and feel as if I’ll always be stuck in this place where I am right now. I feel hopeless, which is a terrible place to be, but I just feel like each day is the same and never changing…my future looks bleak. Just solitude, more of this every day.
But then I know this is just my perception right now. I can change this perception by my actions, just one step at a time. It was easier to take those actions when Betsy was here, now without her, I feel like it doesn’t matter as much. I need to dig deep within me and do it for myself.