I’ve hit some good benchmarks in the last few days that prove my mental state is improving, but it is still a constant struggle.

I read the New York Times cover to cover yesterday and was able to pay enough attention to actually get what I was reading, instead of just staring at the words for a while before turning the page, like I have been recently.

I went to the eye doctor this morning and was able to get through all the “which is better, like this or like this” questions without flipping out on the deeper, transcendental aspects of that question.  Even managed to walk home past lots of mommies with their babies in strollers or toddlers leaping over cracks in the sidewalks without completely breaking down.  Tears were shed, but I kept it together.

The children and babies of people I do not know are much more difficult to bear than those that I already know.  I think it has something to do with the anonymity of those children.  Because I do not know Silas at all, it is easy to see him in each of those unknown kids.  With the children I already know and love, like Oren or our friends’ beautiful kids, I don’t have that hard of a time at all.  They are who they are, we love them, they are family or close enough, and because I know them I don’t find myself putting Silas’ memory on their living skin.

The waiting room was the worst, though.  I sat there waiting for my pupils to dilate, the newspaper growing increasingly blurred, and I could not stop my brain.  Or, as I have taken to calling it, my PPTD.  As in, Personal Portable Torture Device.

The images of Silas’ birth are searing themselves into my memory despite my every attempt to prevent it.  I nearly lost it in that waiting room as I relived each horrible moment from when he was born to finally falling asleep hours later on a cot in the hospital room with Lu, both of us in shock, beyond exhausted and filled with the vacuum of his unthinkable absence.

It was very strange to be so sad and broken in a public place this morning.  I felt like I should reek of grief, that people would notice the stench of my sadness and glace warily at me or give me a wide berth for fear of catching my devastation.  Of course, there was nothing of the sort.  People were friendly and pleasant.  They treated me just like I was a normal human being.  But I’m not. Not anymore.

I can feel a hardness forming within my soul.  A wall of defensive measures that steel me from the innocuous questions that are impossible to prepare for.  This hardness by turns makes me angrily indignant at the slightest setback, and then hopelessly resigned a second later because, really, why fight against the minor bullshit of life when we are totally fucked anyway?

I feel like we are so screwed, so messed up, that everything else in life pales thoroughly in comparison.  But at first there is this feeling of “how dare you mess with me after what I’ve just been through!?” followed quickly by, “ah fuck it, I’m so far away from you and your crap that I can’t even feel it.”  We are hurting so much that pain can’t be added.  We are so far lost that we can’t be pushed off track.  I feel like I am beyond the reach of normal anger.  I can’t even get up the gumption to get pissed at poor drivers these days.  I just let them sail by into their own dangerous future as I carefully pick at the mental scabs forming in my psyche.

The scabs are good, though.  I need them to form so that I can fully heal.  It just scares the hell out of me when I’m sitting quietly alone and the ichor of grief wells up and starts to ooze through my mind, unstoppable, unthinkable, and endlessly awful.

But Lu and I are holding tight to one another and are slowly standing back up in the world, supported by the love of friends and family, and by the words of everyone that have stopped by here to give us comfort.  Thank you all so much.  Your tender care is blowing sweetness back into our souls, one gentle breeze after another.

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