Natalie’s On My Mind

I don’t know if she’s here because I’ve been thinking about her so much or I’ve been thinking so much about her that she’s here… It doesn’t matter I guess.

It probably has a lot to do with the writing I’ve been doing. The sister piece last week and dealing with her loss for another project due Friday…

I had a dream about her last night. I don’t think it was a visit. It didn’t feel like one. I saw her, I hugged her, I yelled at her for making us all worry ourselves sick. Turns out she’d been lost in an oil field for 14 months (???) I cried so hard with relief and then, Justin (my brother) went missing. Once I noticed Justin was gone, Natalie was gone again too.

When I woke up, I had that moment or two of not knowing what was going on and that fleeting feeling that she was still here. I actually told my brain to keep it down because if I was allowed to fully think out that thought, I’d know it wasn’t true and I couldn’t pretend. Ugh.

Last night we didn’t go anywhere to see fireworks. Tayla didn’t care that much and I’m not dealing with traffic and mosquitos for myself. Don was actually home, I don’t remember the last year the three of us were together. We were watching Spongebob when the noise got SO LOUD. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw flashes of light. I went out onto the deck and we basically had a front row seat. There was a line of trees but there was a dip in the middle, right where the fireworks were! They were beautiful. I even saw a few red hearts! I’ve never seen those before… and there were four. Not all at the same time but still…

Today we continued to pack. We did the front hall closet today which was filled with jackets and vests of Nat’s. Tayla and I tried them on and boxed them up. I can’t bear to part with them yet. Not even the ones that don’t fit either of us or neither of us would wear. There was a wave of sadness.

Onto my desk… I have a corkboard attached to my desk and a lot of pictures hanging up. I started to unpin them and put them in a photo album. Flipping through the pictures, there were more of Nat and me as little girls than I remembered… Another wave.

A song on the radio. An old card she’d sent. Memories. Wave after wave. I couldn’t get away from it. Even when we went to Don’s mom’s house. “Johnny Dangerously” was on TV. She loved that movie and we would quote it a lot.

God, I miss her so much.

I’m supposed to write about persisting and overcoming and I feel like a hypocrite whenever I start to write. I don’t feel like I’m overcoming this grief. I wonder every day if this will be the day and get swept up in the waves and carried away… I am persisting, I guess. I don’t feel very triumphant but I probably never will. Not when it comes to this grief. I’ll never overcome it or get over it… I’ll just have to continue living with it. Hopefully. it will lessen. I’m sure it won’t ever go away and I don’t really want it to.

“Grief can only live where love lived first”.

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Bridging the Gap

via Daily Prompt: Record

I had an amazing dream Saturday night. I’m writing about it in conjunction with the daily word prompt because I want to remember this, I want to record it, so I’ll have it always.

I normally remember my dreams and they are always vivid and detailed… they were nothing compared to what I experienced Saturday night.

It started with me waking up (in the dream) in my bed at my parents’ house because I was going into labor.

I ran up the stairs to Natalie’s room because she’s the loudest. I whispered her name as I shook her shoulders.

“Nat… Nat… Hey, wake up. I think I just went into labor…”

She layed there, unaffected.

Then her eyes opened wide and she flew out of bed.

“Ok, ok, don’t panic. I’ll tell mom and dad, you get to the hospital.”

Next thing I knew, I was in a bed in the hospital with a doctor who bore a striking resemblance to George Gaynes (the dad from Punky Brewster and Cmdt. Eric Lassard in the Police Academy movies).

Everything I did was wrong. I showed up to early, then I was too late. He wanted to do surgery, he wanted to send me home… I was so stressed out and overwhelmed. Luckily, Shar was there and she took me and my bed for a stroll around the hospital. I called my therapist and weighed the pros and cons of each possibility and by the time we hung up, I felt much better.

Then it was time to go back into the room. I felt sick.

By the time we got there, though, it was time for shift change! I didn’t see the same doctor. This one was much younger and looked a little like David Caruso, from CSI Miami. I don’t even watch that show so I don’t know why he’s making a cameo…

Anyway. Doctor David did an ultrasound. Because the previous doctor did not but knew enough that my baby had no heartbeat.

“Here it is, see? That pulsating color around his body, that’s his heart beating.”

I started to cry.

“Would you like a picture?” He asked

“You can do that?”

“Sure, let me show you.”

He connected a small camera wire to one of my IV’s (?) and feed it down through to my stomach.

“There he is, see?”

And I saw him. Tiny, pink and perfect.

“He just waved at you” the doctor said.

“Now, for a more serious subject. Do you want to have another C-Section or do you want to try to give birth to him naturally?”

I’m sure there are not a lot of people who sign up for going through childbirth when given the choice but I’ve always felt cheated, I guess by Tayla’s birth being an emergency C-section.

“If I can, I’d like to try to do it naturally” I said

He smiled and said he’d get a couple of nurses to help. As he turned to leave, I grabbed the sleeve of his coat. He turned around and sat down next to me.

“I just wanted to say thank you. You are the complete opposite of my previous doctor and exactly what I need right now.”

He patted my hand.

Then, I had to pee.

I hopped down and waddled off toward the bathroom. I don’t know how long I was gone but when I came back, he’d been born! Sort of.

I hopped back up onto the bed and the doctor asked if I wanted to see him.

“Yes!”

Shar gently picked him up, he was still in the amniotic fluid, the sac was still sealed and she placed him on my chest.

I could make out facial feature and then I felt something wet. The water had started to leak. It was draining so fast… I screamed for the doctor who reassured me it was ok.

“It will only break when he’s ready”

I tried to slow down my breathing and within a few moments, there he was. We were touching skin to skin. He started to wiggle and without using his arms, just arching his back, he looked up at me and smiled.

I lingered in that moment for a long time. Everyone just faded into the background until it was just the two of us. I remember thinking (in the dream) “is this Noah? If it’s not, can I still use the name Noah? Has he been reincarnated? Come back to me?”

I was pulled out of this dream state fogginess by Don asking me where the car seat was. People were coming and going and at one point I looked down into his blanket and he was gone.

I was hysterical. I looked all over for him and when I finally found him, he was in a hospital crib, where he was supposed to be.

At this point, I think I was starting to wake up because I had the thought that he was safe and where he was supposed to me and would be waiting for me.

In DBT therapy we talk about “what was the missing experience”? While my doctors weren’t quite as bad as they had been in the dream, it was so nice to get to “experience” a doctor who really cared, deeply. It was nice to have the option of delivery vs c section. It was amazing to see and feel this little baby on me, not having been taken away before I got a chance to see her. This baby was healthy. This baby was safe. This baby was… is waiting for me.

Unstoppable?

I’ve been keeping an eye on the word of the day prompt. The past several days have been as follows:

Sanctuary

Elusive-

Crisis-

and today’s word, Unstoppable. I’d been following right along, keeping up, mentally checking in and wondering “do I have enough to say about this?” Enough to post?

My initial thoughts…

Sanctuary? A holy place. A place of asylum. Where? There is no place left. No place to offer comfort and solace. Not the kind that can penetrate the deep layers of anger and sorrow that have cocooned themselves around me. Unless this IS my sanctuary. A place to run and “hide” from life and responsibilities. A cop out I can use to avoid engaging with other people… Well that’s depressing. I’ll skip todays prompt.

Elusive. Yes, much like my sanctuary. Elusive. Elusive… happiness? Elusive… purpose in life? Elusive… Natalie? Ok, this is going about as well as it did yesterday. NEXT.

Crisis! Yes! I have a lot to say about crisis. Cry-sis? Yep, lots to say… Right after I clean off my desk. And get caught up on the laundry. Finish the thank you cards. Do the dishes… Oh, and it’s Wednesday, so I already have to blog. Hmmm. Maybe tomorrows word will be THE ONE.

Unstoppable. Sounds inspiring, doesn’t it? I am unstoppable. Together, we are unstoppable. Know what? I call bullshit.

Even a train without brakes will eventually run out of steam and come slowly to a stop.

I understand determination. And setting goals for yourself. Pushing yourself through the hard stuff. Believe me, I do.

What I don’t understand, is hyping something so much it becomes unattainable. Speaking for myself, I have to be realistic. Would I like to run a marathon? Yes! Will I? Not a chance in hell. Play all of the Rocky theme songs you want, pump me up and still… I have physical and mental issues that are so great, it is not worth the risk of expending all my energy and ability to get there and then have nothing left over at the end of it.

I worry that if a person sets their mind to do something and then realize at some point before they’re finished that it’s something they can’t do… they will beat themselves up for “failing”.

I’m not one of those people who is overly concerned with other people’s feelings… I don’t think everyone on the team should get a “we tried” trophy or avoid cheering at a match (yes, they really banned cheering!) because some kids might feel bad…

I’m talking about the adults. Actually, I’m talking about me. Huh… Oddly enough, I didn’t see that coming!

I guess I want to tell whomever came up with the prompt of “unstoppable” that it’s ok to stop! Rest. Take a break. Abandon ship, if that ship is sinking. Doesn’t really matter what other people think anyway, does it?

Fuck no. So give them hell! Or … start and then change your mind. I don’t know. I guess what I mean to say is, if it’s important? I don’t need someone to tell me to keep at it or be unstoppable, I can do that on my own!