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, 14 January 2013

#7: People


Can people change? 

Yes

Of course they can. Whether it be through growing up and maturing, changing attitudes or circumstances, significant life events; happy, tragic or traumatic. Our lives continues to move along and our experience with it. Some people change for the better, some worse. 

I've written twice before, sometime ago now, how I felt Anabelle's death had changed me; and it has, parts for better, parts for worse. A New Me - November 2010Changed - February 2011. Those posts may be old but for the most part they are still absolutely true. 

Back then I wrote how I suffered with anxiety and worry, that I felt pessimistic, old before my time, that I wasn't so much of a people pleaser anymore, more selfish I suppose, my priorities were different, that I felt out of control, I struggled to concentrate, that I was so angry all of the time.  

Things have moved on from those posts, in that I don't feel this way so constantly. Some sort of new 'normality' has resumed, but there are waves, when I feel low, when I feel exactly how I described in those posts. 

Previous to Anabelle's death I had still been a worrier, but nowhere on the scale I've been since. In the early days I used to get quite beside myself with Jon was out at work and hadn't let me know he had got there safely, or didn't respond to a text within 10 minutes, or didn't answer his phone for the umpteenth time in a row, I would convince myself he was dead. For most of the time now I do 'have a grip' on those thoughts now, but sometimes when going through a particularly anxious period those morbid thoughts take grip on me again. These days I convince myself he's had a motorbike accident, so I guess that is improvement; I don't jump straight to death, not all the time anyway. I'm anxious in the morning if I wake before Alexander. I don't like waking before him, I like him to wake me. If I wake before him one of my first thoughts is 'I hope the breathing monitor hasn't stopped working, I hope he's still alive' and I work myself up about walking into his room incase I find him dead. Yes, my 15 month old son still has his breathing montior and I've no intention of removing it for a long long time to come. It is my reassurance. 

I'm still quite pessimisitc much of the time you see, in a 'well it is bound to happen to us because that is what our lives are like' kind of way. I'm not surprised if something sad or terrible happens to us, I'm not surprised when something happens that sends me off in a spiral wobble. 

I'm definitely more selfish now, a bitter streak runs through me. Definitely less of a people pleaser. I don't run after people anymore. My feelings and my little family come first. If I don't feel up to doing something, we don't do it until I am feeling up to it. I've learnt to practice self-preservation in many ways, different priorities and situation avoidance has made me less and less a people pleaser. 

The out of control feeling is less constant but still there. Often the world feels out of my control now; things happen around me that I cannot change, cannot influence. I suppose it was always like that, but normal life things didn't hurt me quite so much before. In the second half of 2012 I had lots of moments where everything felt like it was spiraling out of control again, so full of anger, not feeling quite together. So far this year I'm trying to pull it together again; focussing once again on my blog, joining a rainbow babies mother and tots group next month and when I pluck up the courage; counselling again. 

So I've undoubtedly changed. Young and carefree taken away from me before my youth was really done.  Do I still feel old before my time? Lots of the time; but equally now the other part of the time I feel my age I suppose. When the weight of grief is lifted by the joy of my son. Alexander who, more than anything or anyone else, has allowed some of my raw edges to heal and soften, made me less sharp all around I imagine. Even on my darkest days now, he gives me a reason to smile. 

There we are; another change. Becoming his mother too changed me again, for the better this time. 

So what do you think? Do people change or were they always really like that deep down somewhere? Has there been a point in your life where you feel you undoubtedly changed? 


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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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