A Simple Truth?1:16 pm
For some months now I've been avoiding something, I've skirted around the issue, dipped my toes in the water, but hastily withdrawn again.
There is a fine line between grief and depression, I know from experience. My Dad died suddenly in his early forties while my brothers and I were at school.I was a month off my 18th birthday, my brothers were 16 and 15. My Mum was widowed at 35. None of us coped terribly well, but that's a whole other story.
I remember sitting in the hospital after Florence died, holding her in my arms and telling Woody I couldn't do grief again. I don't know if he remembers that or not.
For some months now I've been stepping carefully along that fine line, keeping, or so I thought, just this side of depression.
After Ernest was born, and I met our health visitor for the first time, before anyone had a chance to brief her on our history. I explained about Florence, ignored the head tilt, and tried to ignore the little alarm bells going off in her head. I vehemently denied I was a candidate for post natal depression. I had PND with Eden, I knew what it was, and it wasn't the same as grief. I reassured her, I would know if I was depressed, and I thought I would.
Am I now? I don't know.
I'm physically and emotionally exhausted, but show me a Mum of a baby that isn't?
I'm managing my anxiety better, the flashbacks are less frequent.
My house is as clean as you might expect, the children, are fed, and clean, and loved.
I shower, put on make up, blow dry my hair.
I make things.
To a casual observer I'm fine, I even smile and laugh, make eye contact and small talk....
....but inside I'm hollow, and I cry. I cry every day. Sometimes silent weeping, sometimes howling breathless sobbing. Mostly I cry in secret, when Woody is at work and the big ones are at school. I cry when I'm busy, and when I'm still...is that normal?
I admitted my secret crying to Woody the other day, a first step maybe? a first step to what though? Getting better? I'll never be better, I don't want to be. I have so very little of Florence, that this pain sometimes feels like the only connection.
I suppose I know I need to seek some professional help, but I'm not quite brave enough yet. I'm so terribly afraid of a diagnosis. I don't want to hear "post natal depression" , it seems too trivial to fit (And i know PND is not trivial at all, I've been there.). I want to hear "heartbroken", because that's what I am, even that phrase I hate so much, mentioned by my lovely friend in the early days, "complicated grief" would suit me better. (sorry K, you know I love you.)
But you see, I'm fine really. I'm crying now, but I'll dry my tears,re apply my mascara and head out to school. I'll smile and wave at the lollipop lady, I'll buy treats on the way home, then come home and hoover the floor, do the laundry...I'm fine.
But the simple truth? I miss her.x