Oh yes yes yes, I have *always* had anger issues. I get angry when people are late, I get angry when my dog pees on the floor, I get angry when people throw the cheap cliches at my losses (yes, I am young, and yes, I can “try again, but no, that doesn’t fix the fact that MY SONS DIED). That being said, I’ve actually gotten a lot better about recognizing, understanding, and handling my anger since I met Jason (bless up). But I still have my moments, and since losing Omie, it feels like those moments happen a lot more often. Grief is a crazy thing and sometimes it leaves me feeling physically angry, like that anger that hurts in your chest to the point where you can’t do anything but just be angry. So let’s talk about that today because apparently anger is another one of those “stages of grief” everybody talks about.
A few days after we got back home from the hospital, without our baby boy, I was hanging out in bed and I started thinking about the timeline of everything that had happened. Check out Omie’s story under “Our Sons” for the play-by-play but essentially I spent the majority of my time from Monday night to Thursday morning waiting for the MFM on-call to decide whether she would place a cervical cerclage for me or not. And as I sat there thinking about every moment of those days, I got so, so angry. All I could think was, “If she had just placed the cerclage on Tuesday morning, maybe I would still be pregnant.” Now, a lot of this goes towards guilt & blame (which I’ll tackle next week), and I cannot know whether placing that cerclage would have changed anything at all – indeed, the procedure easily could have ruptured Omie’s amniotic sac or introduced an infection, and brought on his birth much sooner. I don’t know and I can’t know and most days, I recognize that going down that road of what-ifs is not going to help me, and doesn’t honor Omie’s memory.
But in that moment, I let myself go down that road, and I blamed that doctor for my son’s death. And in that blame, I became so passionately angry that I felt like my chest would explode. I felt like I needed to punch something – or someone, if we’re being honest. I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t write it out, I couldn’t do anything in that moment but be angry. So I talked to Jason and I explained how it was all her fault, how I would NEVER consent to treatment by that doctor again (I still stand by that one), how I was so angry that I felt like screaming.
And Jason did what any sane person faced with my anger would do – he just let me vent. He didn’t try to reason with me, he didn’t point out all of the things that I could see when I wasn’t in such a blind rage. He didn’t tell me that it would all be fine (because nothing is ever quite “fine” after losing a child) and he didn’t try to placate my anger. He let me vent and let me feel and eventually, when I had shouted it all out, he held me close as I cried and cried and cried for our sweet boy.
Jason isn’t always here when I’m angry, because he has a job and a full course load of school work and hobbies and friends, so I don’t always get such an easy way out of my anger. Sometimes I have to find other outlets, like listening to music or playing video games (Kingdom Hearts III, anybody??) or eating too much chocolate. And sometimes I don’t get an outlet at all, I just have to just let myself be angry, shut my door and turn off my phone till I find clarity.
I don’t really have a point for this post other than to say, it’s okay to be angry. If you’re going through any sort of loss or trauma, don’t worry when it isn’t all tears and self-blame. Sometimes you need to be angry, at someone or something, or everyone and everything, and that’s okay. Be angry because this shit sucks. But please, don’t let that anger take you down a road you can’t return from. Feel that anger, put it out there, work through it. But please find a way back, find something that helps return you to calm, clarity, or really any state of being that you can work with in whatever journey you’re going through.