Baby Loss, Daily, Parenting After Loss

Fear and Loathing in Kansas City

I’ve been trying to explain my feelings lately. I’ve had a few who seem to think that at this point, nearly 2 years later and with Madeline here with me, that I should be “all better” now. Truthfully, some days, I feel like I am worse now at handling what happened then I was 2 years ago. It’s not just the grief that overwhelms, it is the fear. It is the complete and utter fear that something else will go wrong. I feel like I spend 99% of the time just worried, scared, anxious.

When your worst fear comes true, it is hard to get past the idea that all of those other things that you are worried about happening could actually happen too.

When I panic about driving in the snow, it’s not because I don’t want to go to work, it’s because all I can see in my head is another car crashing into us.

When I worry that Patrick hasn’t texted me back right away, it’s not because I’m being a nagging wife, it’s because in my head, their bank has been robbed and he is hurt and not able to.

Deep down, I know that these fears aren’t entirely rational.  I know that.  However, that doesn’t stop the fact that these fears often leave me paralyzed.  Unable to breathe or think or see past whatever nightmare is currently playing on repeat in my mind.

When the bottom drops out of your world, it is really hard to find your footing again.

So when you wonder if I’m just being dramatic, please know that I’m not.  I wish I had a way of controlling the fear and anxiety, but right now, I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

This article on the Huffington Post puts PTSD after loss into better words than I can.

“…And there it was, the haunting question: what else could go wrong? I struggled to put my 2-year-old in his car seat, worried about car accidents. All of a sudden I wanted my child to wear a helmet on the playground! I was scared of my husband being hit by a car on his road bike during his morning commute, my mother’s diabetes, my stepfather’s daily drive for UPS, the mental list went on and on. It seemed like everywhere I looked, all I could see was the worst possible outcome, and I wasn’t ready for it…”

“…We’re weird, over-protective parents. We have a movement monitor on her at all times. We wake up and jostle her baby just to make sure she is alive. However, we have felt an immense sense of relief and healing through parenting our baby. She reminds us that what happened to our son truly was not our fault…”

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