What a completely *mad* few days. As far as rollercoasters go, the last week has certainly been one of the most extreme. My emotions are all over the place; recovering from the last sudden fall, hopeful for the climb, tearful one moment and laughing the next…stressed beyond measure but also loving the sunshine and music… ahhhhhhhhhh!!
Memories are continuing to smack me in the face, and as ever each time I think “it really can’t get any worse than this. There could be nothing worse.” And every sodding time, I’m proved wrong, and find myself paralysed with grief or fear or utter sadness. I’m still struggling to break out of the “bottle” everything mode. I remember something horrific, cry my eyes out solidly for a while…then take a deep breath, tense up, and hold it all in. I know in a few days time it’ll bite me again, but I’m still stuck in “must not cry must not cry” mode. If any of my past abusers are reading this: f**k you…I cry now. You didn’t win.
It’s also gig-season. Gigs everywhere!! Which means a lot of fun, and lots of music…but also lots of stress. Inevitably things don’t go to plan.
But mainly I’m struggling a lot with grief. Every hour of the day I wonder how different my life would be had I been brave enough even just a year ago… I should have a 9 month old baby girl. I should have her. Instead I lost her brutally very premature because I wasn’t safe yet. The grief for this seems to have been somewhat delayed. I don’t know if I simply didn’t allow myself to feel it properly a year ago because I couldn’t cope…but it’s coming in waves, for each baby I’ve lost…but currently especially for that little girl. It took me a while to come up with a name for her: I nick-named her “Hiccup” due to the slight random foetal movements which kept me company when I was sad. But I called her Lila Grace. I made a little memorial page for her where people can light candles if they want: http://lila.grace.muchloved.com/
I miss her each day. Some people don’t understand; I met her for a few brief moments in the most traumatic and lonely situation I believe possible for anyone to go through. How could I miss someone I hardly knew? But she was my baby. She was innocent, and I was supposed to protect her. Losing your baby at the hands of abusers; being alone except for men smirking at you…being in so much pain and so grief-stricken…there is nothing so lonely and heart-breaking. I see my tiny tiny baby in my arms and wonder what their life would have become had I been brave enough at the time to get myself safe and speak out. A year seems too little too late sometimes. People tell me I’m brave…but I only feel guilt; if I’d just spoken out even a year ago, a little girl could still be alive.
I wonder always what my life would be like. Even now, when I’m about to go on stage to do a gig. It would be nuts, and clearly I’d probably be more of an audience member. The maternal bond is a very funny thing; she lived only seconds, and yet I was more than prepared – even begging – for them to take my life and spare her. I re-live that moment quite often, not in the form of flashback so much anymore – at least not a violent one – but simply staring into space and the emotion from that moment where I lost her churning around inside me like a fiery monster. Hearing a scream and realising it was my own, a harrowing scream…the scream of a mother losing a baby. It’s quite something. Their eyes as they mocked me, and the indescribable emotional pain. I’d lost my little girl. I’d felt her kicking. At night if I lay there crying, I’d feel her just nudge – I’m still here. Stay strong Mummy.
And then she was gone.
I look back to that event barely a year ago… and then look at life now. I should just be happy. There are still issues, there are still dangers…there are still flashbacks and traumas…but largely I’m far safer and stable than ever. I have a wonderful girlfriend, and the most amazing friends. But sometimes I struggle to see the positive of such a quick jump through recovery. Sometimes it feels like I’ve come so far in such a short space of time, so why didn’t I just be braver sooner…and save my baby in the process?
It’s very hard. And sometimes I feel like I can’t say to my friends, despite knowing they’d understand, that I’m missing my baby who I barely knew. The grief just comes in waves, and is still as raw as when I first lost her…and on top of that life isn’t really doing “pause” very well at the moment…
Hey ho. Sleep sweetly Lila…