I’m trying very hard this time not to be so angry. But sometimes I can’t help it. I become consumed by the gut-wrenching, blood-boiling fury that this has happened to us. That this is now the path of our lives. That even in years to come, this sadness will always be here, that we will always remember our children who did not survive. I want to scream at the people around me who laugh and joke and go along jauntily with their lives, as if everything is ok. And then I am angry at myself and I become deflated and feel sheepish – what do I expect them to do? Wouldn’t I feel uncomfortable if the whole world tiptoed around me? But then I see parents picking their little ones up from school, fathers slinging babies up onto their shoulders, mothers pushing pushchairs, looking as if they couldn’t care less about the amazing, beautiful, priceless thing they have right in front of them. And then the rage is back and I feel as if I could snap and scream and snarl at almost everyone I know. Sometimes, I feel as if the world is moving around me and I’m stuck on the wrong trail, as if two train tracks are set up near each other and sometimes they overlap, but mostly the trains follow their courses at different speeds, turning at different times, and there’s always the risk that at some point, they’ll crash into each other. I can see the other train, with all of the normal people riding it, but I can’t get on.
Last night I cried a lot. Today I’m cross. I’m cross because my eyes are puffy and sore from the crying. I’m cross that I’ve been paid a lot less than my normal, already small amount for the pleasure of being off work because of losing my baby. I’m really cross that there was nowhere to park at the gym so I had to come home. I probably could have tried to find a space in the ‘park and ride’ which would have meant a 5-10 minute walk, but I was too angry to contemplate it. And now I’m angry that I won’t have been to the gym today, and we go away to my parents’ at the weekend, so I won’t be going to the gym for a whole week. I’m cross that I said I would go to the school prom but really I don’t have anything suitable to wear and certainly can’t afford to buy anything. I’m cross that we can’t afford to get the air conditioning fixed in the car and I’m worried that it will be too hot on our 10 hour journey to Ullapool. I’m cross that I couldn’t find the things that my mum asked me to get to bring up for her; all she wanted was a garden netting tube and a bloody clematis.
I want to be the old me again, or at least a me who isn’t sad all the time and who whinges about being fat and lumpy, a me who isn’t broken, or faulty. I want to be the me who was happy and laughed and who people wanted to be around. In some ways I think I’ve changed for the better (not aesthetically though, that’s for sure). When you go through something like this, it’s like going on some sort of profound journey, and when you return, your whole outlook has been changed. It certainly takes the edge off any feelings of egotism that you might have, any feelings of invulnerability. You come back from your journey a different person – I know that I think more carefully before making judgments about other people and their behaviour, I know that I appreciate my husband more than ever before, I know that I feel like a very tiny, insignificant element of something much bigger; I am not important, I am not special.
At the moment I think I’m too far over the side of feeling completely worthless, but I’m hoping to reach a balance between feeling deficient, and realising that I’m just as much a part of the world as everyone else, and that I do deserve good things to happen to me.
I also want to stop being so cross.