Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Monday, 15 November 2010

A New Me

Losing Anabelle has changed me. I know I have said this before but I’m really not the same person I was. I’m still getting to know this new me – and there is still much yet to learn.
I think the most obvious thing I feel is age. I feel so much older than my only 25 years now. I struggle at the moment to identify with some in my age group; the evident stresses that they feel they are dealing with seem so inconsequential to me, trivial in the greater scheme of things. While some people worry about where to go and what to do at the weekend, whether to buy a new car or not, or if the RSVPs will be returned in time; we deal with the full force of just surviving each day, possible further life-changing test results on the horizon and the fact we have to start thinking about a headstone for our daughter soon.  
I know this is all slightly unfair. 18 months ago some of those trivial things would’ve seemed important to me too. But my experiences in life since then have shown me what is really important, where priorities should really be, what really matters. Jon nearly dying, Anabelle actually dying and Jon’s sensory problems and what they could mean have aged me considerably.
I think I used to be quite a ‘people pleaser’ – I cared a lot about what people in my life would think and would be quite happy to go along with things whatever my feelings on the matter if it kept other people happy and avoided any confrontation. This element of my personality started to change slightly while I was pregnant, Anabelle became my number one priority, and rightly so. Since her death it’s continued to change some more. There is still that bit of ‘people pleaser’ in me but its waning swiftly. I think it will continue to wane. I’m so much more inclined to put Jon and myself first now, what we need, us being happy my first priority.
In all honesty, I think this is a positive change in me.
There the not so positive changes too though – but I know they’re part of the grieving process and hope they will change back again in time. I’ve always been a worrier, but the anxieties I feel daily now are tenfold what they were. I’ve blogged about feeling fragile previously. Some days are better than others, some days I can keep myself together, others it all comes to a head and I reach a crisis point. A meltdown. It is difficult to believe good things will happen; if I was a worrier before I’m downright pessimistic now. I feel constantly vulnerable to more bad things happening. Will this stay with me life-long, or will I settle back down to just being a normal worrier? Only time will tell I guess.
It is not unreasonable for me to feel this way. After all, Anabelle’s death was completely unexpected. My trust in doing things the right way has been shattered. It made no difference. I’d done everything expected of me while I pregnant and Anabelle still died. It is not unreasonable for me to feel unsafe.
I’ve realised for much of life there is no control. It’s a realisation that makes me nervous and only compounds my feelings of being unsafe. I don’t like not being in control. I’m a person who has always needed organisation, planning, knowing what to expect. My Dad even called me a control freak in his father of the bride speech! But a massive part of this new me is out of control and everything is blurry. I’m living through something I cannot change. Life is so up and down that I cannot plan too far ahead, I can never know what to expect from myself anymore.
I’m not going to come out of this part of my life unscathed. It would be foolish to expect me to. I will live part of this forever. Anabelle will have influence on all that I do for my life.
I survive the days slowly, one at a time; it is all I can do. But I’m a different me now, with new expectations.  
And so I wish for today that you understood that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to ""normal" you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the new real me - maybe you'll still like me.


jo m x said...

i could've written this myself... But not nearly so poetically. I think that the reason we are so anxious now is because what we have been taught our whole lives has been reversed. For us, birth is no longer the creation of life we once believed and expected. We have been cruelly shown otherwise. I think this leads us to question our expectations in every other aspect of our lives. I think you are very brave to express your feelings this way. I would not have had the courage. Thinking of you, jon and your beautiful belle always x

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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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