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leaving the house and other hard jobs

I have never been a homebody. Even when I had three kids under five years old, we got out of the house almost every day, because I go bat-poop-crazy being in the house too much. I like to see other places, other people, do other things, even if it's just the supermarket, bank, or library. 

Suddenly, now that Desmond is gone, I don't want to leave the house. Not in a moping, depressed, 'I want to live in my fuzzy robe' type of way (though admittedly there have been days like that). This is more of a FEAR of what will happen when I go out. Fear based partly on actual events and based partly on worry of repeating or worse events.

Fears About Leaving the House

1. I will see someone I know, who will ignore me and the whole "dead baby" situation. This would be someone I know fairly well, whom I KNOW knows what happened, who would normally at least say hello to me, but because of the awkwardness, they will avoid eye contact and any speaking altogether. This makes me feel --
   - like a freak/outcast
   - crazy for being so torn up over something they can easily ignore
   - like he wasn't real

2. I will see a pregnant woman and/or a baby boy, and uncontrollably start crying in public, be embarrassed or ashamed, and make others uncomfortable. 

I have started to limit my outings, and when I must go out, I tend to visit stores at times when there are unlikely to be many people. This means 6 a.m. right when they open (yes Walmart is open 24 hours, but we don't shop there on principle!). This also means going to the store that is more expensive. So far, so good, with this approach, but it can't go on forever. We'll run out of money! 

Church is also a major problem. Desmond was born on a Sunday, and the next two Sundays I just could not handle going, physically OR emotionally. But yesterday David wanted to attend sacrament meeting, and I decided to make myself do something tough, so we all went as a family. It was ok at first. The bishop and stake president were both there and both know what happened, but neither acknowledged us. Then one member of the bishopric put his arm around me and asked how I was, which was nice and appreciated. He was the only person who acknowledged we've been through anything at all. (Last week when David took the girls on his own, the same thing happened.) At one point, Jacinda got crazy and I took her into the foyer to quiet down. There were a few people out there - people who know - and I just got "deer in the headlights" expressions. Extreme awkwardness. I had to duck into a classroom to cry quietly. That meeting could not end fast enough.

I do not expect people to fawn over us, to gush about things, to be overly emotional. I do expect our friends to speak to us, to give a hug or a squeeze of the shoulder or just ask how we are handling things, if they aren't able to bring themselves to talk directly about the baby. Just something. The nothingness is by far wore than any something they might do or say. I don't feel like I can go back to church any time soon. Not out of anger, but self-preservation and healing.

These are consequences of Desmond's death that I did not see coming. Sadness, grief, clouded thoughts, I expected all that. Fearing to leave the house and resentment toward people I once felt were close friends, I did not expect.

There is a support group for bereaved parents at the hospital next week. I think we are going to go. It may be helpful to be around people who "get it." 


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