I graduated from therapy yesterday. The idea that I could possibly just be “okay” and not need to see a professional seemed kind of arrogant, but she said I am healthy and normal and have good coping strategies and a good attitude.
I know, right?
I haven’t been going much – in fact I haven’t gone since before our Costa Rica trip – because I haven’t had all that much to talk about and I haven’t been all that anxious, but having a preterm, stillborn daughter and then trying to get pregnant again just seems like the kind of thing you should need extended therapy for. But I suggested that I might, in fact, be “okay,” and she said, “I think you are.”
But what about the rage when I find out I’m not pregnant? Normal. “It sounds like you’re dealing with it in a healthy way, allowing yourself to have the feeling and then being constructive and positive after the fact.”
What about how angry I get when people suggest that I should just relax and that it takes lots of people a long time to get pregnant? “Those people sound very invalidating. You’ve been trying for a year, and you have this added terrible circumstance most people never have to confront.” (Can I mention, I love that instead of just saying people are jerks, therapists say they are “very invalidating.”)
What about how sometimes, I’ll be in my car and think of Amy and become so overwhelming sad that I’m sure I will collapse into hysterical crying when I reach my destination? Normal, apparently. “This is always going to be a very sad thing that happened to you. It sounds like you have done a lot to take the positives from it to memorialize her, though.”
What about my jealousy of naive, carefree pregnant women who will never have to deal with this? “Most people don’t even get to the point where they realize they’re jealous and not just angry at strangers.”
I pronounce thee properly grieving. Not “over it,” just, apparently, coping in appropriate ways. It sounds a little crazy, to be so screwed up but not actually screwed up at all.
When I talked about Costa Rica, and how happy we were there, she asked if that was okay, being happy. And I just thought, of course it’s okay to be happy – isn’t that kind of the whole point? The whole goal? Of living your life? Why would I want to not be happy, just because this incredibly sad thing happened to me? The only thing worse than losing your child might actually be never being happy again because you lost a child. We honor our daughter in a million ways every day, and I will miss her and grieve her always, but I still want to be – and get to be – happy. And mostly, I am.