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.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Exasperated

Yesterday I posted this to my facebook wall. I read in disbelief that this woman could be so dramatic about her adult son daring to have a tattoo. I mean come on, in the greater scheme of things a tattoo is such a trivial thing to be getting yourself worked up and 'devastated' about. 

I then had it pointed out to me that it wasn't really about the tattoo at all; rather what it represented and the realisation that her son was indeed an adult now and didn't need her or her permission for anything at all. That was what she was really 'devastated' about. He was grown up. 

Now I was just exasperated. How can you be devastated that your child has grown up? Have you even considered the alternatives? I would give anything for one of my children to grow up.

And this is where my perception of what 'devastation' means differs from so many others.  So I wrote my response, and I believe my response got me deleted off facebook by someone. Not that I meant to offend anyone with my opinion you'll understand. Just as I wasn't offended by anyone else's differing opinion on the matter.  

I argued that words like devastated and heartbroken are becoming grossly overused. They are losing their true meaning, they are becoming just a word when so easily people will say they are devastated about something. I too have been guilty of this in the past, sometimes even now I will slip up, most of the time I catch myself and realise I'm not really devastated at all.  Not over something so trivial, or indeed something that should be celebrated. 

I argued that I won't be devastated when Xander grows up, that I will be relieved. What a celebration that will be; my now infant son making it to adulthood without anything happening to him.  I added that I won't be devastated when he stops breastfeeding, or becomes more independent; that I will be sad but not devastated. 

Maybe I also should have added on further example where I won't be devastated. For example when his body becomes flawed and he gets scars from falling over, or chicken pox, or any other disease, or breaks a bone. I may very well be upset for him, of course I will be if he is hurting, but mostly I'll be relieved that they are only scars and that he comes out the other side with nothing more serious happening to him, that he comes out the other side alive. 

Because there is only one thing I am truly devastated about; that my daughter didn't get the chance to do all these things. That is why I get so exasperated with people who do not appear to realise just how lucky they are to have their children and how lucky they have been to escape such an awful thing happening to them.

So I argued that this woman might need a bit of a reality check. I think it is appalling that she said (and to her son no less) she won't look at him in the same way ever again. Whether that be because he grew up or because he got a tattoo, whatever the article is really about. So I said she needed to sit down and ask herself if this truly was the worst thing that could happen to her, and when the answer was no that she should give herself a kick up the bum. But then she already knows she is being unreasonable verging on ridiculous. 

Maybe this person who has deleted me thought my reply was to get at them. It wasn't. Inadvertently I've obviously offended them, or hit a nerve. I apologise. It was a hastily written response in the couple of minutes the baby was entertaining himself. I didn't mean to upset anybody or appear hard hearted or whatever. I'm accepting and respect that people are allowed differing opinions to me, just as I'm allowed to feel the way I do.

I wonder how screwed up I am sometimes. Should Anabelle's death be colouring our lives and my reactions to things quite so much now?  Should I be getting wound up by articles like this just because my daughter is dead. Maybe, as someone else suggested, instead of being exasperated about her I should be pleased for her, that this, her grown up son and his tattoo, is her only experience of devastation. Maybe it is time to work on my instant reactions to things. 

I'm obviously winding people up with my reactions now. Maybe people think I'm a woman obsessed. Obsessed with Anabelle, obsessed with stillbirth, stuck in June 2010.  Because that is what it nearly always boils down to with me. How I react to situations, how I parent, how I even think; its because she is not here, because two years on I hurt every day that she isn't here and everything else often just feels so trivial.  I don't know how to move on from here. Should I stop writing, stop sharing, stop trying to raise awareness of child bereavement? 

So getting back to the point. The only expectation I have for Alexander; please baby boy, don't die before me, don't do anything to yourself that could kill you or get involved in anything that could endanger your life. Please don't smoke, take drugs, drink alcohol excessively, visit dangerous countries, get involved with extreme sports, drive vehicles recklessly, join the forces etc. Because I'm terrified enough I will bury you one day as it is. 

But remember Mummy will always love you, will always look at you exactly the way she does now regardless of your life decisions, because you are here with me and nothing you do in life could be as bad as losing you. 

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Caz
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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