I haven't written in awhile and I'm not exactly sure why. I also haven't written much to Marcellus either lately (we have a journal where we write letters to Marcellus). I think it's because I just don't want to. I don't want to be writing a blog about how my grief journey. I don't want to be writing letters to my dead son. I don't want to! I want to be cradling him instead. I want him here so bad. How did it turn out that instead I have this blog and that journal?
This week has actually been pretty busy and I have so much I could write about. I went back to school this week. I started working on research (well if you can even call it that). All I did this week was figure out the data set I was working with. I tried to take a class and I taught. I don't even know what I want to write about, it all sucked. It all sucks so much. It's so hard pretending to be normal.
I guess the research part was ok. I sit at a computer by myself and usually don't have to deal with other people. The hard part of that is staying focused enough to get anything done. To stay off the internet looking up infant loss related things. I work slowly, very very slowly. But I got something accomplished this week and it was good enough for my advisor at our meeting on Thurs. I guess that means a success.
I went to class on Thursday. Even though I don't need any more course credits I thought this one could be useful for what I do. I figured I'd give it a shot and maybe it would be helpful to have something structured in my day. I was wrong, it was horrible. I didn't know I would react the way I did. I thought I could do it. Right before class started I got really nervous and anxious. I asked a friend to make sure she sat by me. I felt needy, like it was pathetic I had to make sure I was sitting by my friend. But I did need it. I needed to know I wasn't going to be sandwiched between two people that I didn't really now. That didn't know it was hard for me to be there. Then like an idiot I forgot to sit on the end. Sitting on the end makes you feel less trapped b/c it is so much easier to get up and leave if need be. We got to class and I had to take a bunch of deep breaths. At some point I teared up. I'm not even sure why exactly. I was just so overwhelmed sitting there with all those people. I couldn't focus at all. Instead of taking notes for the class I was writing notes to Marcellus. I wrote his name all over my paper, including his nickname "squirmy wormy". By the end of the class I knew I would have to drop. What was the point of sitting in that class two times a week if I wasn't going to learn anything. We had an appointment right afterward so Mike came to pick me up. I immediately started crying in the car. It was too much to have to hold it in like that. To suppress the feelings I was having, it was suffocating.
My reaction to being in class made me really nervous about teaching. I teach the same class three times on Fridays. We only teach on Fridays b/c the class is partly online. While getting my materials organized before teaching the professor that oversees us was around. I told him I was nervous. He asked why b/c it's the same material as last semester. I just blurted out "Well, last semester my baby wasn't dead." I have a hard time not saying anything in situations like that. I don't know if it's appropriate to or not. I guess I don't really care. Marcellus is dead. That affects my every thought and every move right now. I don't think people truly understand that. I am NOT the same. I will not teach the same as I did last semester. I will not think the same I did last semester and I will not act the same I did last semester. I will never be the same. Marcellus forever changed me.
Again I felt needy. I asked a friend to walk with me to my class and stay with me until it officially started. I just felt like if I had been there alone I'd have broken down. My first class was ok. A little shaky at first, but I got the hang of it toward the end. I actually felt pretty good about. I had 15 min in between classes and called Mike telling him I thought the second class would go even better. Well, I think it would have. But there was a student from last semester retaking the course with me. There are 23 sections of this class, even two others at the same time I teach and she's in my section again. It was one of my biggest fears about teaching. That I would have a student from last semester. My students knew the baby was born early, but they weren't told he died. This particular student that is retaking my class might not even know he was born early. She dropped the class at some point. I don't know if it was right before Marcellus was born or sometime after. I mentioned this fear to a few people before starting teaching. They all thought it was very unlikely to happen.
But of course it happened to me anyway. I recognized her right away. The thought ran through my head "Maybe she has a twin sister that is taking it now." Nope it was her. We do activities in this course. The students break up into smaller groups and while they're working on the activities I walk around making sure they're on task and answering questions. She had a question about something else related to the course, I answered it quickly not acknowledging she had been in my class last semester. Well then she told me how she had dropped the class last semester and she thinks I was her instructor before. She said, "you had a baby, right?" Oh stab to my heart, my stomach drops, I had to remind myself to breath. I need to maintain the teacher/student relationship, in my classroom is the one place I really hope I never breakdown. At least she asked me a yes/no question instead of something like "how's the baby?". I answered with a yes and walked away. I had to walk back up to the front and catch my breath. I'm sure I was visibly shaking, but my students were working on their activity so hopefully didn't notice. In my head I kept going "really? this really happened?" but then again I shouldn't be surprised. My baby was born unexpected so early and unexpected died so early when the chances were so low. I shouldn't be surprised when things that have a low chance of happening do.
I was a bit of a wreck after that class. Good think there was 40 minutes between my second and third class. I was able to go talk to the faculty advisor about how I didn't think I could teach with her in my class. I would always be on edge waiting for her to ask something about the baby. Or waiting for a day when I would already be close to breakdown and just seeing her might be enough to push me over the edge. He was very accommodating as we tried to figure out what the best thing to do would be. He will move her to another section that meets at the same time. It won't affect her schedule at all and will ease my anxieties some. He's going to tell her that when students need to retake the class we prefer they take it with a different instructor. Works for me.
After getting that mess figured out I taught my third class for the day. It went so much better. I think being in front of the class and acting "normal" will get a little bit easier week by week. It's still exhausting though. It's exhausting to put grief in a box and set it aside. It's also exhausting to actively grieve. This is all just so exhausting.
I think I need to get better about writing more often. I have so many other things I could and should write about, but I'm running out of writing steam. Plus I feel like my posts are often way too long. Sometimes I feel like I write more about the events that happened and don't focus on how I'm feeling. I don't know I guess I kind of feel like I can't even do this blog right. Yeah, too much going on in my head right now. I will make it a goal to start writing more often again to help myself sort these things out. I will try to write again tomorrow, for Marcellus's due date.
Marcellus, I'm so sorry I haven't been writing more. That I haven't been writing about you here and that I haven't been writing to you as much in your journal. I feel like such a bad mommy for that. I'm a little shut down baby and I'll try to work at opening back up. I just miss you oh so very much. That's the only thing I can think most of the time, just how much I miss you. I love you so much my little squirmy wormy! xoxox