I sat in my chair the other night and for the umpteenth time silently asked myself where I went wrong. I lay witness to a household in complete disfunction, a household filled with so much anger and hatred, kids out of control, no emotion, no love, no unity, a completely empty house despite being full of people and things. I ask the question, where did I go wrong despite knowing the answer. Maybe every time I ask the question I can persuade myself that the answer is different, maybe if I ask it often enough, it will be different. The answer isn't different but my approach and my process are, as I dig deep and get real with myself, I know the answer isn't nearly as cut and dry as I've been thinking.
Loosing a child causes a shift in the world as we know it. Things change in an instant and things never go back to the way they were. Attitudes change, philosophies change, approaches change, outlooks change, relationships change. I remember the first few weeks at home without the baby. A house full of baby stuff, a car full of baby stuff, kids who were excited about a baby, no baby, no reason why. I remember the kids fighting and not doing anything about it because that fight was so small in the grand scheme of things. I remember the back talk and not caring because in the grand scheme of things it was so small. I remember asking for things to be done, to have them not be done, and not caring because in the grand scheme of things it was so small. My parenting style changed in a minute and sadly it didn't change for the better. I slowly became a non-participant, not caring what they did or said because there were bigger things to be angry about.
I became withdrawn, little by little. Stepping out of their lives a little bit more each day, shutting them out a little piece by piece. Today, I can sit right next to them, hear them talking directly into my ear, and have absolutely no idea what they said, often times not even aware they were speaking to me until someone yells, "Mom, she's asking you a question" or "Mom, did you even hear what I said". I'll move my head and say I'm sorry what. Sadly, even then as they begin talking again I zone out. One would think after loosing a child the other children would be embraced, smothered, held onto so tightly they couldn't breathe. Not so, when your mind constantly reminds you that they could die tomorrow. Not so when you tuck them up and walk out wondering if they will be dead in the morning. Wouldn't that be reason to bring them close because tomorrow isn't a guarantee for anyone, logically yes? Sadly, illogic takes hold and in the back of the mind all you can think is I can't bare it, so it's better to be distant, to be away, so if they do die I won't miss them as much. It won't hurt as much.
There isn't a day I don't imagine my own death. There have been many nights I've gone to bed certain I would not wake up. I wonder if anyone would even miss me. I know my passing would not be too hard on my family as I am not really here anyway. I'm protecting them from any more pain. There are days I pray death finds me. I wonder if it would just be better for everyone all the way around. I wonder if my leaving with all the sadness, anger, and hatred I carry around would bring joy and happiness into our home. There are days I pray for a long life so my kids get to practices and concerts and field trips. If I don't run the calendar who will? Men and calendars don't go together, do they. I am so broken. I am so broken but the cracks started long before Liliahna's passing. Her death, was the final crack that caused me to completely crumble.
I have begun the process of taking responsibility for the broken me. It is easy to point fingers and blame others for my broken self and yes, others have played a huge roll in this unhappiness, this bitterness, this downward spiral. Ultimately, it is the decisions I've made over the past 20 yrs that brought me to this place. Those decisions, many of which I knew were wrong at the time, are what they are. I have to yet master the art of listening to my gut, I lack the strength to do what is right for me. I have not yet figured out how to let go, but most importantly I have not yet figured out how to truly forgive. My daughters death shattered my world, but my world was not put together, it was already cracked and chipped and broken and barely being held together. I am not ready to put myself back together. I am not strong enough to do what is necessary for that to happen. I lack the faith necessary to believe I can put myself back together. I am not worthy of being together, being complete, feeling whole.
I have tried to forgive and I can't. I have tried to trust and I can't.
I adore my kids. I am fully aware how blessed I am to have them in my life. They are better people than I could ever dream of them being, but they too are sad and broken. I turned my back on them when they needed me the most. I am not fully here ever. They get bits and pieces of a happy, playful, fully engaged mom, but this me shows up so seldom. It is so dysfunctional-it is so strange to be a part of-to stand on the outside looking in to my own family, to my own life, because being part of it is something I just can't do. It makes no sense, but that's what it is.
As I sit in my chair and wonder where I went wrong, I know the answer. I stopped caring and I don't care that I don't care.