Walking through the valley of the shadow of doubt

Anyone ever hear that Coolio song? For the longest time I honestly thought the first song line ended with “doubt” (the word is actually “death”). But for my purposes, doubt works better.

I’ve stopped writing. Obviously, I know, if anyone looks at the dates on here. I pretty much experienced a major slow-down with the written word for personal journaling too. My counselor was pretty quick to deduce this during my tear-fueled session last week. I’m not even sure I have a concrete reason for why I stopped, I just did. I think on here I might have been worried about the judgement of strangers — which I know is silly, because the entire point is that since I don’t know anyone here I should feel pretty free to write whatever I want. And in the real world I think maybe I was having a crisis of faith or something. Spending time in my own valley of doubt.

For some reason, in the past couple of weeks I started feeling, oddly, that maybe everyone (you know, the omnipotent unknown “they”) was right — that I was overreacting to losing Charlie. That by now I should be past it. And I hated feeling that way, because I don’t actually believe it. But doubt can be a powerful thing. It’s been three months since the loss, and most people have forgotten. Because Charlie was never real to them to begin with. And I started thinking about the multitude of women who go through this, and are “fine”. So I started wondering why I wasn’t. Why I felt this need to make sure the world knows my baby WAS real. I didn’t invent a baby, I lost one.

My counselor pointed out that it seemed like I was comparing my internal feelings to everyone else’s external ones, and how that wasn’t actually an accurate comparison. And she’s right. When I’m out in public I’m (usually) not crying or yelling angrily at the universe. I probably seem fine, too.

Maybe part of the doubt was fueled by my negative experience with the nurse practitioner at the new OBGYN practice. Yet another person who seemed to view my loss and subsequent emotions and fears as invalid.

Even months later, it would still just be really great to have someone acknowledge the baby and say: “This is hard, it is awful, it will always be hard and there will always be this hole. And I want you to know that I know that. And that your first baby mattered. Still matters. Will always matter.”

Y’know, something along those lines. Preferably from someone who isn’t seriously emotionally invested in me (like a family member, for example), but who is emotionally invested the the human experience of other people. Maybe that doesn’t make sense to anyone else.

For now, I guess I’m just going to try to start writing again.

And attempt to say peace out to the valley of doubt.

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