Saturday, December 31, 2011

Good Lord.  I just tried to go back to see what I wrote last new years even on this blog.  I forgot it was not even around yet.  Last Dec 31st None of this year had happened yet.  I was pretty much as happy as they came.  Even if the coming year is the best one ever I can never go back to the person I was then.  I will stall have buried a child and a parent.  Still dealt with non stop pain chronic pain for a long, long time, and still spent this year learning who my real friends were.

I want a TARDIS.  I know changing the past is a no no, but I want to at least be able to remember what it looked like.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Historically the eighth night of Chanukah has been referred to as "Zot Chanukah" (lit. "This is Chanukah).  Channah and I were talking about it and she asked why.  I will be honest and admit that, while I am pretty sure I learned somewhere along the line in my Jewish education, when pressed for an answer I had absolutely no idea.  What I did have was a smartphone with unlimited data, so I was able to look up a few answers to satisfy a seven year old on the spot.

According to the traditional story, along with deconsecrating (is that a word?) the Beit Hamikdash, the Yevanim in the story leveled 3 decrees against the yehudim.  They were not allowed to keep the shabbat, not allowed to learn torah, and not allowed to preform a brit milah on the 8th day.  There are various reasons listed all over the places for all of these, but for myself I am going to say that, on the whole, these 3 mitzvot set the Jews apart in a way that could not be overcome- something that was the polar opposite of what the Yivanim wanted.

It is said that throughout history, as much as the Jews kept the shabbat, it was the shabbat who kept the Jews.  In the case of the Chanukah story I can see how this would be the case.  The idea of Hellenization all of conquered ancient Greece meant a total immersion  into their culture.  The idea was, in some ways, rather nice.  If everyone would be exactly the same, there would be no more need for fighting.  However, if there was one day in seven where you returned to immerse yourself in your "old" beliefs, you would never truly come to be one with the civilization around you.  By disallowing shabbat the Yivanim were trying to ensure a quick and complete immersion into the new society.

Those who pray each morning recite a long list of mitzvot, and finish by saying "and learning Torah stands against them all".  While there are many ideas behind this single line, I like the simple explanation the best.  If you do not learn, you can not do.  Forbid the learning and teaching of Torah, in concepts, rules and ideas quickly fall by the wayside.

The simple reason for outlawing a brit milah is that it set a physical mark of separation on the body that could not be removed (at least not easily/painlessly) I presume.  The idea I found though connecting it to ZOT Chaukah, that really put me on the road to this post, was that for culture that believed in the perfection in nature (with 7 being representative of that perfection as there are 7days of creation, days in the week, seven planets [that they knew of at the time] etc.), it was on the 8th day when Jews ADDED to that perfection (well, according to Jews anyway) that took them out of the realm of nature and placed them into the realm of Godliness and holiness.  The 8th day of Chanukah is meant to remind those celebrating that THIS is to what we are rededicating ourselves- the ideal of holiness and Godliness and being above the laws of nature.

Take it or leave it, that is what I got.

Well, tonight my family and I spent the evening in the Old City of Jerusalem.  (we had planned to come back home after a late afternoon appointment to be at a local rally but traffic was not moving so we eventually just gave up an went out to dinner.  The reason for the rally is a whole 'nother ball of wax.  I will have post on it at some point on our aliya blog should you care to read about it.)

Being in my year of mourning for a parent, one of the things that I need to try to avoid is live music.  It did not occur to me that on the last night of Chanukah in the old city that would be practically impossible.  It was the first time I felt like my presence In the Old City was unwanted.  Suffice it to say that, as I am seriously struggling with my beliefs right now in the first place, this had me in somewhat of a bad mood to begin with.

We went down to the kotel (where incidentally I totally chewed out another mother and her kids who were there with her whose kids who were SCREAMING for her but she was too busy in her own prayer that she seemed to feel it was okay to let them destroy everyone else's.  First I told off the kids, then the mother.  She just rolled her eyes at me.  Let me tell you I was in a real winner of a mood by that point.

In any case, I sat in front of the kotel with Channah.  I looked up at this wall where I am supposed to be able to pour out my heart, and instead started to pour out my eyes.  Last Chanukah we were there too.  I was so happy.  We had only a few days earlier found out Gabbi was a girl.  I prayed with all my heart for a healthy, little girl.  I didn't know yet that my father was sick.  I prayed for long life for my family, for my friends.  I remember standing there and just being so content and happy with where I was in life.  I had a great husband, an amazing little girl with another on the way.  A family who loved me from across the ocean. A home in a great area where people all got along.  I was generally healthy.  I had a great business that was growing and student who I really enjoyed teaching.

Less than a month later I learned of my father's cancer.  A month after that I had Gabbi literally cut away from me in some of the most horrible days of my life- putting a huge, unscalable wall between me and the rest of the world- inclusing and sometimes especially my husband.  I lost friends because apparently it was harder for them to learn to deal with grieving friends than for us to learn to "get over it".  I have had a far too close for comfort brush with breast cancer.  I've spent so much time in and out of hospitals and the doctors offices for headaches and depression that I am pretty sure the secretaries know me not only by name but also by social ID number.  My beliefs have been run through hell and back again.  Ok, maybe not back again yet.  My city is being taken over by zealots who believe that they are "above nature" and that it is normal to find females so enticing that even 7 year old's need to be spat on to cover up rather than keeping their own sick "nature" in check (ok, I did say I would avoid that topic but it snuck back in.  Back to the point at hand.)  It is only in the last few weeks I feel like there is any light at the end of the tunnel and "God" decides it is time for my marriage to hit the rock in a big way.

Granted I have recently self weaned (cold turkey style) myself off my loony toons medication, so I am sure that is making this all a whole lot worse, but there I was.  Sitting there looking up at this wall.  I miss my friends.  I miss my family.  I miss my life.  But most of all I miss the me from last year.  Crying.  Hugging the only great thing left in my life so tightly she is reminding me I need to let her breath.  Realizing that on this ZOT Chanukah, on this night where I am supposed to be remembering that God cares for me specially, that I am separate, that I am "above the natural order" of things and in his hands alone.  At a time of year where I am supposed to be filled with a light that should bring me to rededicate and reconsecrate my life to God and Judaism and holiness.  By going to Jerusalem on this, the "brightest" day on the calendar, I was left to feel more alone and in the dark than ever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Feeling a little blah tonight.  I remember lighting candles last Chanukah and thinking how wonderful this year would be once we were a family of four.  Most of the time I really am doing much better, but once in a while I just have a moment where I remember how excited I was at this time last year.

It just seems a little hard to say shehechiyanu after a year like this one.  Even sheasah niisim laavoteinu... bazman hazeh seems like it does not really apply to me right now.

Maybe next year...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I guess that between September and December a lot can happen- and did.

I buried my father 2 weeks ago.  I flew home on almost no notice to try to say Good Bye, but it was not to be.  I got the call as I was checking in for my flight home.  I never got to say good bye; but I did get to mourn.

I have gone through a lot of this year hating God and religion in pretty much all its forms.  I did what I needed to do in order to maintain the facade for my husband and daughter's sake that I still believed, but those who know me best knew it was all a sham.

What I saw two weeks ago when I went home for the funeral and shiva was the amazing roll religion and ritual can play if/when they keep up with modern science.  Being allowed to mourn in public for someone I loved together with other's who loved them had a certain cathartic element to it.  All of a sudden, I looked up and it was a week later.  Time was passing without my loved one but while it seemed to take forever it was also flying by at a rate that can only be compared to warp drive on Star Trek that he enjoyed so much.

There is also a certain sense of calm in knowing that he will never be forgotten.  I will light a yahtzheit candle each year and yizkor will become a part of my life.  It is not just me who will remember him in these ways, but also many others who loved him.  We got to see first hand through the funeral and shiva how many people he had touched.  Some of the goodness and light he brought to the world.  We got to share stories about him at different ages and stages- nothing needed to be hidden.  No one was ever told they were not allowed to speak of him, to know where he was buried, or even to think of him ever again.

This is what was denied to me in a religious framework back in February.

To me, while the shiva was most definitely centered on the recently deceased, it also helped me add a sense of closure to my trauma earlier in the year.  When I said Kadish, it was for both.  I can now stand publicly and say yizkor- and you better believe it will be for both.  Before I could only mourn my loss in private, but with the loss of a parent comes the "right" to mourn in public.  And there is something to be said for people knowing you are remembering.

There is much I won't write out of respect for the rest of my family who would not have it online, but I will say that when I went to visit over the summer, it was the recently deceased who tried to make sure other's gave me the space I needed.  He seemed to be he only one to realize that I was not the same person I had been before the loss.

When I saw him lying there cold and still I panicked.  This looked nothing like the man I had known and loved.  Someone close to me held me while I sobbed and said "that's not him.  His spark, his essence, his soul, whatever you want to call it that made him who he was, that part of him is gone.  What you are looking at is just the shell that held it.  Of course it is going to look different.  It is like looking at half a picture and expecting to see the whole thing."  Sometimes people can say just the right thing at the right time.  His "soul" was gone.  To where?  I have no idea.  But if I believed his spark lived on somewhere, then I have to believe that so does my Gaby's.

I find it amazing that as his last gift to me he was able to give me the closure and inner peace for which I have been searching for so long.  I am still sad.  I am still angry.  I am still not ready to let God toy with my heart again.  But by the end of the week I was willing to speak to God without needing to leave the room.  I could hold my family and say kaddish and, for the first time in a long time, see that I *might* be on the road to recovery.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Holy Crow.  I knew I preferred to write over speak, but I did not realize how much I wrote.  I just tried one of those "print your blog" sites out of curiosity.  139 pages over the last 7 months!  Assuming 500 words per page  that works out to 69,500 words sprawled out of my head in random thoughts over 7 months.  That is a bloody novel   Imagine if I actually used my brain for something productive.
I was thinking about it last night as I was sending out some Rosh Hashanah emails.  We lost a lot of "good friends" this year.  People we thought would stand by us through thick and thin dumped us when we were not as much "fun" anymore.  I was shocked to find out how many "lifelong" friends turned their back when friendship became difficult.

Sure there were excuses.

We don't want to hurt you with our baby.
We don't know what to say
We don't know how to deal with someone so upset all of the time
We are tired of walking on eggshells
We were too far away to help
Call us when you feel more stable
Well what are we supposed to do about it
You should never have gotten so attached
I don't know why you are so upset- she wasn't even a real person anyway

and so many others.

Well you know what I have to say to any of you reading and "following from afar"  SCREW YOU.  You heard me.  If you can't be a friend when we need them the most, then I don't want you back if things turn around.

But you know what?  Our real friends found ways to work around it.  They visited or called when their baby was asleep.  They asked what would bother us rather than assuming they knew better than we did.  They got rid of the baby stuff we had on hand.  They arranged for help when I was at my lowest.  They were there with a hug when I needed it, and there with a shoulder when I needed that.

To those who have stood by us, to our friends and neighbours and family both close and far, to those who have answered a call at midnight or later, to those who held me while I cried, did not judge me for getting angry, and sat with me just to keep me company, thank you.  To those who called Jason, who offered to help in real ways to make life just a little bit easier, who called regularly, who sent kind emails or brought books or forced me out of the house.  Thank you for being real friends.

To the rest of you, just bugger off.
Tonight, for those of us of Eastern European decent, starts selichot.  A time period before Rosh Hashana where we are able to come close to God and beg forgiveness for the our sins of the past year.  Now, I am certainly not going to play the martyr and say I have nothing to apologize for.  I know I have hurt people.  Torn into people when I am in a bad mood.  Not been the best parent or the best daughter.  Certainly not the best sister and Definitly not the best wife.  Lord knows I have people to whom I need to apologize for horrible things I have said, done, inspired or any other pain I might have caused.

The call of the shofar throughout the month is supposed tot call me to do teshuva- to beg forgiveness for my wrongs both against man and against God.  Man?  Sure.  Each of the people who I can think of that I hurt will hear from me.  I offer a general if I have hurt you please let me know.  But you know what?  That call, the call I only heard once this year and that was by accident, that call to return to God is being ignored.

That I should have to stand before God and beg forgiveness for having my life destroyed?  Last year at this time I was happy.  I had no idea I was pregnant.  I was happy with Jason and Channah.  I was HAPPY damn it.  I loved where I was living.  I loved my life.  I had friends all the time.  I was working.  I WAS HAPPY.  He has to apologize.  He stole.  He hurt me.  No "father" would kill his own grand daughter is such a terrible way.  No  "father" would alienate his daughter so deliberately and so far that she would rather die than live under his roof.  No "Shepard" would willingly chase his flock up into the mountains.  How can I be such a hypocrite as to go into shul and sing his praises when the only thing I want to do is die to get away from him?

I should now have to stand in front of this God, this God who took my life that was fully devoted to him and turned it upside down?  I have no apology for him.  I have no emotional fortitude to stand in front of him and say I am sorry for spending every minute since February 28th cursing him and his name and wishing that I had never spent my life devoted to him.  I HATE this God that I have come to know.  He is not a God of mercy or of love or of any of the other qualities we give to him.  He is a God of pain and suffering.  A God who does not care who he hurts while he has his fun and changes the game as he goes along so no one but him can compete.  The truth is, I detest the God I have come to see this year.   The one who picks and chooses who he showers with love and praise and who he destroys from the inside out.

You will certainly not find me in shul this year.  Not for shofar.  Not for ne'ilah.  Not for community and not for my daughter who is not even old enough for her own seat.  Try the park.  No, better yet, try my bed.  That is where I spend most of my time these days.  The depression is getting worse.  I am so lonely most of the time it causes physical pain.  I didn't even know that was possible.  My heart is torn in two and my soul is damaged forever.  But you know what?  I don't friggen' care.  I did.  But I've stopped.  It's just not worth it.

So you win God.  Lord knows you make the rules so you always do.  I live out my life sad and lonely and miserable.  But I am going tot live it on my terms.  Those do not include worshiping a being who I see as nothing more than a child with nothing better to do but yank the strings on his puppets to put a grand old show for his other toys.

One more thing.  All you people on Imamother, I don't care what you are saying about me behind my back.  I am not there to defend myself and would not come back were my life dependent on it, I was thrown out a long time ago for not following the party line and don't regret it for a minute, but just think how you would feel having buried a child to find out that others were discussing your innermost feelings, your most painful moments and deemed themselves worthy to be judge, jury and executioner all in one.  Think about that and than think which one of us needs to beg forgiveness before any sort of court heavenly or otherwise.  You want to say something, say it here where I can answer you.  Not there behind some stupid anonymous pseudonym cause you are to afraid of what people might think of you.  I put my name on what I believe, why can't you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

This depression is going from bad to worse. I need more help than I am getting. I have not left my room in over 24 hours. I am spiraling into a black space. I am scared.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I have now been almost as long without Gabbi as I was with her and the depression continues to get worse. Lately I only get out of bed if I need to. I hate leaving the house for fear of seeing pregnant women, babies and strollers everywhere. My doctor is moving at turtle speed and does not seem to get how all this plays into my self worth and my depression. I am not going to Shul this set of chagim. If I am an apikoress for hating god so be it, I would rather be an apikoras than a hypocrite.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I really think that my depression is getting worse.  I spend more time thinking of ways I could, in theory, hurt myself, and no matter what time I gete in to bed am tossing and turning until after 5am.  This means that durring the day I am not bothering to get out of bed or get dressed unless I really need to and I end up spending most of the day asleep (even on days I do get up and do stuff I am so exhausted from not sleeping I fall asleep the minute I sit down).  I have tried breaking the cycle with a sleep aid early in the evening but it seems to do absolutly nothing!  I am just so tired all of the time lately.

I have mostly gone back to being really quiet- I only talk to anyone, even Jason and Channah if I absolutely have to.

The truth is, I have been taking less and less of the anti-anxiety medication even during anxiety "attacks", and I think that might mean I need more of the actual anti-depressant to make up for the difference.  Meeting with my phsychaistrist this week to talk it over.  I can hang on until Wednesday especially as I am seeing my therapist on Tuesday.  I made it a month.  I ought to be able to make it 3 days right?

In other news I have been starving all the time, and as such eating all the wrong things.  I had pasta for dinner!  Me, who no longer eats white flour had a bowl of pasta with sauce and cheese.  No wonder I feel sick and bloated.  I wish I could say I secretly have a good reason for being starving but I am pretty sure I don't.  At this rate I do not even think we get to try again until after succot which means I am in for the most miserable set of chagim EVER.  Oh well, not like I had planned to really leave the house much anyway.

I will just hang out here and continue hating my life.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Please note the addition of the new forum to this site. I am pretty sure that I have it set up so only members can read anything other than the description, and so that it is not searchable by search engines.  If you know anyone you feel might benefit from such a place, please feel free to send them a link.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just a brief summary of where I am in my journey.

I still cry.  A lot.  I am still furious with God for what he took from me.  I still firmly believe that it was my fault for not following my gut reaction earlier that night.  I am still apart from the rest of my world looking in- there is an unseen barrier between me and my husband, and sometimes even between me and my precious, vibrant ALIVE daughter.  She is my only real comfort though.

I am still seeing both my therapist and my psychiatrist.  Still on both anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills.  Still have days where I do not get out of bed or even out of my pajamas.  Basically, if I do not have a reason to get up and out, I don't.

I feel empty inside.  Believe myself to be more orthoprax than orthodox as I am not really sure that I believe in a God who could ridicule me so harshly.  I am going into the chagim with no plans to go to shul.  Before you ask, no tehilim or Iyov does not seem to help either.  Yes I tried talking to a Rabbi or mentor, but neither of them really had the time for me.

Like I said, I cry a lot.  Mostly in the middle of the night, but lets be honest, it can be pretty much whenever. A song can do it.  A kids book.  A family walking.  A green stroller.

I had hoped going home to see my family would help.  It didn't.  I had no reason to really think it should.  No matter how much other people may love me they can't fill the emptiness in my heart.  I think they knew that too.

While I was home I had all sorts of people talk to me about looking at my brachot (I do- that still does not ease the pain of the loss or the lighten the burden of guilt I am left with.)

They talked about moving on- not even halacha prescribes a set period of mourning for a child- how can a person who has never been there?  At the time it had only been 5 months since some man, who I will never know, buried my little girl in some place I never know.  5 months- less time than I had known her for and I should already move on?

The inside of my head is hell. I  hate myself.  Nothing ever completely breaks through the darkness that surrounds me.  It is always there like a thin surface keeping me from the rest of reality.  I think that is what the drugs are supposed to take care of.  I guess they are not working quite the way they should be.  I am using less and less of the anti-anxiety, but I suspect I need a higher dose of the anti depressant.  The level of tears is going up weekly.
This "breast cancer awareness" meme going around face book "I'm __ weeks and craving ___ ." Is driving me insane.  As someone who has had both a breast cancer scare and who has dealt with stillbirth and infertility I can promise you that one did not make me more aware of the other.  Who the heck comes up with these things.  I am not sure who came up with this bright idea, but seeing half the woman on my friend's list posting about being pregnant when I would kill for it is just about more than I can handle.

For a long time now I have felt literally subhuan because of the way that I look.  Try as I might to accept the Health at any size position and to love myself for who I am, I just have not been able to believe that anyone ever saw me as anything other than a fat slob who, on occasion, might be able to put together a decent wardrobe.

So I don't know what to make of a recent story.

Not to long ago I was at a party for someone I love.  I took the same level of care with my clothing and makeup as I would for any formal, special event.  I even put in my contacts.

As a part of the party the guests were asked to provide the entertainment.  Not being one for singing or dancing, I went with what I know- I wrote.  I wrote a poem using jewelery as a metaphor for the sparking guest of honour.  Even I will admit that I thought the poem was pretty good, but I figured it would end at that.

I come from a family of beautiful people, and generally prefer to hide in the background as much as possible, so as soon as I was finished I gave the guest of honour a hug and sat back down at my table.

Shortly thereafter another guest, one who I would consider among the most beautiful of the beautiful people and I were chatting.  "You know," she said to me "when you were standing up there reading that poem with the light on you, I realized I must have never really looked at you before.  You have such a beautiful face".

And there is it folks.  I got the exact same comment a few days later from someone else.  Because of who the comments came from I am taking them as genuine complements, but the truth is that the line "you have such a beautiful face" just makes my head scream "if only you would lose the weight."

So now I am trying to figure out what was different that night.

Was it that I have lost a fair bit of weight in the last 6 months?  I would guess so except no one except one aunt seemed to notice that I was "a shadow of my former self".  In fact, there were a number of times I was reminded of exactly what I looked like and what I "should" be doing about it.

Was it just that normally I hide behind my glasses and everyone around me and this is one of the only times I stood there on my own apart from everyone else- I would love to believe it and am really trying- but wasn't that also true on my wedding day?  No one said anything then.  Was it that I was speaking from my heart to someone I truly love?  Also would have been true on my wedding day.

So why now?  Why now when I feel worse about myself than I ever have in my entire life.  I feel ugly and sad and broken.  The compliment was amazing- made me feel like flying for a little while- but the more I go through time as a sadder me, the more people seem to be attracted to me than they ever were to the happy me.  I see it everywhere I turn.  People are more helpful.  More polite.

Are they trying to help me feel better about myself in their own way?  Or just being honest that something really looked different that night.  I wore the exact same outfit to shul that week with nothing remarkable happening.

Every time I say something along any of these lines I get told how beautiful I am on the inside.  Another line that starts my brain screaming "but that outside- YIKES!"

On the other hand, if I am so beautiful on the inside, than why do I always feel so ugly and shamed.  Clearly God decided I was not worthy of any sort of beauty, for me or for the life that was inside of me.

Maybe I should just learn to make everything match and turn my insides ugly as well.  At least then you can tell at a glance what I am.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A comment a friend made on my last post made me realize something.  I am living my life as an orthodox Jew, believing in God and abiding by his rules, but I in no way trust him to look out for my best interests.  Seriously, in no way.

It was God who decided it was in my best interest to take my Gabbi from me.  After all the love and all the work I put into that pregnancy, it twas God who decided to send me hell on Earth and a nervous breakown.  Sure it was also God who sent me a fabulous community after the fact, but I would rather live in a neighbourhood filled with thugs and drug dealers with my baby in my arms than in this fabulous area with my baby in my heart.

I now go out of my way to plan everything down to the tiniest detail- checkig and double checking everything two, three, even  four times.  I have started making packing lists months in advance- sure God can still destroy my plans, and in many ways I expect him to, but I can no longer trust him to look after things for me so that they will all work out in the end.

It is funny, living in Toronto we always assumed nothing would work out, but since we made aliya we have to accept with ease the idea that God is in charge and it will all work out in the end.  It is amazing how easily and quickly I through that idea out of the window.  Almost 3 years of learning to trust God's hands out the window in a single missed heartbeat.

I will never, never NEVER forgive God for what he took from me.  We learn in various places that for stealing the punishment is to pay double, quadruple or even quintuple times the amount stolen in payback and so far as I can tell GOD OWES ME for what he stole.  God should be found guilty in beit din shel malah and forced to repay what he stole from me.  Until such time he should be considered a rasha who does not follow his own rules.

About a rasha one can speak lashon harah, he ccan be banned from the kehillah, and one need not associate with him.

But I like my life.  Other than the constant pain in my heart and in my soul it is comfortable.  So I continue to abide by his rules and pretend that I believe in a God of kindness and love and fairness.  A God who listens and loves his children like a father.  Who hands out reward and punishment with equal fairness- but in my heart, the same heart that pains for eyes I never saw open, for hands I never got to hold, for diapers I never got to change, while I continue to believe he created the universe and controls every minute aspect of it, I do not believe he has, for even a single moment, my best interest in mind.

I live by his codes and I follow his rules, but like an abused child who listens out of fear and not love, I hate the God I have come to believe in.  And no one who ha snot been in my position, no one who has B"H never had to sign chevra kadisha papers for a child, who has had to go through life not knowing where their child would spend their days until mashiach arrives, who ever got to hug each of their children and watch them grow into beautiful, beautiful people, can even think to  tell me otherwise.

God is a big boy.  He does not need anyone to protect him or speak for him.  As for me, I am much smaller and yet still stand on my own two feet and speak for myself.  And I am saying, Until God pays up what he owes, he can put tme in whatever book he likes, he is on my !@#$
Well, I am back from my summer vacation.  My daughter is back in school full time.  I have a few weeks until the chagim.  All of my friends are pregnant.  And with nothing set to do most of the time I just find my mind wandering to how busy my hands "should" be if I had a happy, healthy 6 month old.  She would be smiling by now.  Rolling.  Maybe laughing or making other noises.  I should have something taking all my extra time and mental strength.

Not that summer was not great or that I do not recognize Channah and Jason for the wonderful brachot that they are.  That is another issue entirely.  I just can't help but think about how excited I was to be a full time eema again come this September even once Channah was back in school.  I remember last simchat torah thinking how happy Jason would be dancing with a baby this year, and the whole thing just makes me so sad that all my dreams from a year ago have turned to garbage- not worth the mental energy I spent on them; or worse yet making me sadder for having had them.

I try not to think about it it, but everything reminds me.  Pregnant women.  Small Children.  Siblings playing.  I was okay and holding it together relatively well while I was forced to be dealing with a million other little details of being sick, than going away, and keeping a 7 year old busy over the summer.  But now I am at loose ends.  Piano lessons do not start again really until after the chagim.  I also will not have a lot of work in the studio until then and with the current price of precious metals I am not really going to play for fun.

I am working on slowly cleaning up and out our apartment, but most of those are jobs that leave me lots of time to think.  How much brain power does polishing silver or folding linens really need?

Truth is, I just want to get in to bed and stay there.  No real reason to get up it seems.

Not planning on getting a ticket for shul this yom tov.  Seems silly to go to talk to someone you hate- or worse yet might not believe in at all.  Right now I am working under the title "Orthoprax"- I do everything I have to, but don't really believe God, if he exists, cares one way or the other.

Meantime we are moving forward with trying again.  But my confidence in that is about as high as my confidence in myself.  I hate the inside of my head.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Latetely I am once again finding myself answering the question as to why I have made something so private so open.  I am also finding more and more people asking me how it helps to rehash what is going round in my head and recieve what could be negative feedback that might keep feeding the cycle of pain and derailment.  To them the first thing that I ask is that they read the tab about why I blog.  The second thing I beg them to remember is that we each heal in our own way.  If I find this helps, why in the world would someone find it necessary to stop me.

The truth is that for the last few weeks I have been a fish out of water.  Very much away from my natural habitat and trying to make do under unusual circumstances.  I was terrified going in but thankfully things have worked out much, much, better than expected.

Except when they don't.  Thursday night I had a major, major breakdown.  As bad as any I had just after Gabbi died- worse even that some.  For only the 2nd time in this 6 month long depression I seriously considered looking for ways to harm myself.  I didn't- but only because I let Jason hold me together.  But I thought about it.  The worst thing is that the sparking point came from something I trusted 10000% and never thought would hurt me.  I guess I should have learned by now that I need to protect my heart even from things that are as safe as can be.

How can I live in a world where "safe" no longer exists?  Thankfully I had Jason to hold me together this time, but what if it happens when he is not around?   Once I get home my support network will not be the same as before either.  Babies, school, moving- these things all impact everyone but me.  Me?  I am stuck in a rut.  My Baby is dead and lately it hurts more and more each day rather than slowly dulling to an ache I can manage.  I spend my life with a giant hole in my heart.  Kids I used to babysit for have 2-3 even 5 kids and I am still alone with my golden haired princess.  And she is growing up so incredibly fast.

I am having fun being a bit of a fish out of water, but I can't wait to get home.  To the safety of my room and my bed.  I spent most of this weekend in my bed here in tears and no one really noticed.  There no one will really notice either but at least it will be familiar.

Now to go put on my rest of the world face because no one here aknowledges my living nightmare.  I need to move on.  More forward.  If I just keep going and get off the medication it will not be able to catch me.  I don't know if they are right or not, but I am pretty sure their not.  In any case, I am not ready to find out.

But for those emailing, yes I am fine.  I am alive and well and pretty much the same as I was last time I wrote.  Sad and tormented by what I should do about my relationship with God and no one to talk to about it.  Broken inside.  Not trusting anyone at all. And mostly just feeling alone no matter how many friends I have around me.

I just want what I had worked for and expected to get.  Even Yaakov Got Rochel eventually, and Rochel Yoseph and for Binyamin she gave everything she had.  When do things start to work out for me?  When do I get to stop crying myself to sleep?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This year I am not "doing" tisha b'av,  For various reasons I am not fasting, and the truth is, I m doing enough mourning this year I don't feel like I need to add anything else to it.  I am generally miserable enough.  I did not go to shul to hear "Eicha" because I have spent the last 5 months asking myself that very question.  Eicha?  God how could you do this to me?  How could you take the holy spark you sent me to care for and leave me broken and alone?

This year I do not need the wailing of kinot to remind me of what has been lost- I know first hand and I have felt true wailing from deep in my heart and not the sort that some wrote for me hundreds of years ago.  I have been a mother wailing for her child and I have seen sisters torn apart.  I have felt that which I loved wrenched from my arms.  What do I need today for?  To remind me of the pain of this last year?

Thanks, but no thanks.  I'll pass.

Today I am in pain- but not for a holy temple that was destroyed 2000 years ago.  I am aching for a soul that was destroyed 5 months ago and totally and completely as any that were lost fighting the Romans- the difference is that the lost soul took mine with it.

Look how she sits alone and forlorn.  No children playing in her streets.  No sounds of simcha in her alleys.  Does it speak of the old city left silent and alone one day to be rebuilt or the barren mother crying herself to sleep months later once the world has forgotten and gone back to its routine?  It does not sound like the hustling Jerusalem I know now with people going every which way.  It sounds like my home as my daughter grows up and shouts less and reads more.

So God, today, like most days, I mourn- but not for what you lost by taking the temple- you could give it back whenever the hell you want.  The only reason you have not is because you are behaving like a selfish child- "play by my rules or I am taking my ball and going home!"  You don't care how nice people are to each other.  How much we invite others over or try to help anyone in need.  You don't care if we learn and cry and pray- you can withold whatever it is that we want for reasons as simple as a school yard bully.

You want my attention?  Give something back for a change.  You want me to believe?  Show me that you are there and can do more than just take.  Show me that you can do more than behave like a toddler and for once in 2 millennia  show us you are listening to those who try to live good, moral, decent lives.

Lets play tit for tat.  Give and take.  You want me to care about what you have taken from others, lets see you care about what you have taken from me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I have been in the hospital for the last three days with major migraines and apart from the pain alone sucking big time, the whole experience is more than I can bear. Same sheets. Same pillows. Same chairs. Same curtains as after we lost gabby. It is like being forced to relive the worst nightmare of my life over and over for eternity.

Still having the same trouble with painkillers too. Even though one of the biggest reasons that I here is for pain relief, because oft allergies I can be left feeling like the entire right side of my head exploded for hors after begging for relief sobbing in my bed.

I have stopped trusting anyone in a white coat. I definitly sinking back into my depression- this time with a paranoia component. Oh and on top of that I am feeling horrible for being irresponsible and not wanting to go along with a plan to send shorty to Canada to make life easier for me and to skip the London component of our trip as it is now too dangerous.

So on top of feeling like crap I also feel like a terrible and selfish parent. I did even ask her if she wanted to go. She said no but I was accused of asking leading questions. How in the world is " would you like to go on vacation early and have fun sooner in Canada?" a leading question?

I feel like throwing in the towel and giving up. Learning to live with the migraines or die trying si to speak.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today I had a visitor.
The Sad had come to stay.
to remind me of the pain inside 
Here's what he had to say.

How could you think of going
to the beach and having fun?
Don't you know your daughter's rotting
that she'll never see the sun?

Can't you feel the giant emptiness
that hole inside your chest?
Don't forget that you are different?
You can't have fun like all the rest.

I lay on my bed thinking.
"But it's chofesh Hagadol"
How can I tell my Channah
That she can't have fun at all?

And so I told my visitor
it was time for him to go
I then reframed my thinking
and got my stuff ready to go.

But on the way out my front door
I saw him sitting there
The Sad stared at me accusingly 
and said "you just don't care".

And then I almost lost it
the strength that I had won
I held my head up high and said
There are things to be done

Although I miss my Gaby
and I know I always will
My Channah Rifka needs me
She's is a child still

I kicked The Sad out to the curb
The KO shot was mine
And so we went out to the beach
and had a grand old time

Of course I miss my Gaby
The Sad will always come
but I need to go on living life
I need to still have fun

For my husband and my child
I must keep marching on
I kicked The Sad out to the curb
For this morning I had won.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts this week.  Was in and out of the emergency care centre and the hospital for an insane migraine.  I will continue regular posting next week- especially as there is quite a bit to post.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

If you pray, can you please have me in mind this morning?  rachel armel bat mindle hinda chaya.  If you don't pray can you at least some good vibes in my direction?  Thanks.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Channah  puts me to shame.

I am sitting her watching her daven shacharit- something I stopped doing many years ago.  Not because we make her.  It is now chofesh Hagadol (summer break) and she WANTS to do it every morning.  All of the Tefillah that she knows, with tehillim, with all the kavanah she can muster.

Me, I have so much to ask for and feel like I never want to speak to God again.  I am not even sure he exists let alone that he is listening.

I would never break my daughters spirit by telling her I don't believe, but I can not believe that any God would be so cruel as to send me everything he has sent this past year- and continues to send.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

It has been just over 4 months since I lost my 2nd baby, and almost 7 1/2 years since my first one was born.  Today she finished kitah aleph.  I never thought I would have a child going in grade school before having another.  Of course, I never thought I would be married 13 years with only one precious little girl.  I am so incredibly proud of how she is growing up- but it makes me sad that as each stage passes I don't know if I will ever see it again.

One of the reasons I was so incredibly excited for Gabbi was that it would take the bitter  out of the bittersweet moments I have as Channah grows up and moves on.  I would have had only the sweetness of watching her grow up without the bitter taste of knowing it is the last time xyz will happen.

I am watching her clean out her school bag from the year and it is making me a little sad.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What do you do when you just can't stop the tears from coming? Where do you turn when you feel like even God has turned his back? This is not rhetorical. I am looking for practical suggestions. This has been the worst 4 months of my life and it just keeps going downhill, and I am not sure how much more I can handle.

Yes I know I have the hugest of brachot in Channah and Jason. And I know I have friends and family who love me. But that does not help at 1 in the morning when I can't stop The Sad no matter how I dress it up.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Someone told me early on that there were two sorts of pain.  The early pain that burns a hole in your very brings you to your knees with heart rending agony.  And the later the pain becomes a dull ache that lives with you the rest of your life like scar tissue that never really leaves you alone.

Today while talking to my therapist I realized that I still have a real problem that comes and goes and that I need to deal with if I am going to be able to move forward.  I have chosen to call it "The Sad".  The Sad is moments of that first burning grief that come out of nowhere while you are working on living with the dull ache.  It is those times where you are overcome and inconsolable and can think of nothing but what you lost.  It is an entity of it's own and has its own timetable and until now I have been unable to contain it.  In fact, until now I did not even recognize it for what it was.  It is the essence of the pain of what I lost.

Bear with me.

There is a scene in Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkaban where professor Remus Lupin intruder something called a Boggart to his Defense against the dark arts class.  Nobody really knows what a boggart looks like, because the instant a boggart sees you in takes the form of your worst nightmare.  It becomes that thing that scares you the most in an attempt to scare you off.  But that is it's only trick.  It has no other way to save itself from being thrown around by wizards.  The minute you are no longer intimidated by it, it is forced to bend to your will!

So what does one do with a Boggart?  One turns ones fear into a ridiculous satire of his or her greatest fear.  Scared of giant spiders?  Pictures it on roller skates with all its legs going in different direction.  The same hold true in the real world.  Intimidated of speaking in front of a group of people?  Pictures those stiff necks in their underwear.  The more ridiculous the image, the better it will work.

So I am thinking that now that I have identified the pain- now that I have given The Sad constraints and made it into something more tangible- an almost physical something I can fight- well now I just need to dress it up in it's best clown suit to be able to keep it under my control.

I picture The Sad as a giant grey cloud that comes and hovers around my head.  There are lightening bolts and thunder booms and maybe some small dark flies for good measure.  Pictures something like a bad guy in a Rainbow Bright Cartoon.  Now in my head I am making it into a little Mr. Potato The Sad.  I am giving it 2 little white arms, one holding a red balloon.  I am giving it a top hat and a pair of Groucho Marx glasses with attached mustache and cigar, I am giving it the pink converse high top sneakers I always wanted but my mom would never let me have, and a flour on it's lapel that shoots water.  How can I be sad about a cloud in a clown suit?

Ok, so I have not yet had a head on meeting with The Sad since I had this idea, but next time it shows its fluffy little face around here I am sure as hell going to try it.  Hell, it can't be any worse than some of the other stuff I have tried.  I am going to bring The Sad under my control and tell it that I am in charge of my emotions and while there will be times I will let it out and times I will need to see it and remember, those times are going to be on my terms!

When I do take out The Sad I want it to look like a beautiful little girl playing on a fluffy white cloud holding her arms out to me.  When I can look at The Sad and see that, I will know I have really started the road back home.

Monday, June 27, 2011

For all  my years growing up I learned that every yid, has inside of them, a single point of light that is there connection directly to Hashem.  The pitele yid so to speak.  That tiny spark of a soul in a Jewish neshama that no matter how far one pulls away from God, no matter how non-connected the soul to any form of yiddishkeit, no matter in how deep of a hole the light's owner might be- that tiny spark of a soul never goes out.

I spent a lot of years believing that this tiny point inside each of us that is the essence of who we are- some call it the pitele yid, some call it a shakra, some call it a spark, but a tiny point from where our entire being emanates.  I believed that from that one tiny point came everything about who we are and what we become.  

I believed God wrote our whole lives into that little point.  Our hopes and dreams.  Our wants.  Our needs.  It was the basic building block of every single person in the universe- Jew or non-Jew a like and when a person dies it is that tiny piece that returns to our maker to be judged based on how well it utilized it pregiven tools to fulfill a complicated series of tests and programs.

I believed God took out each tool one at a time and examined them.  

"Ah, a good heart- you used it well to help those who needed it.  You never let anyone struggle if you could help it.  You gave of yourself whenever you could spare it- and sometimes when you couldn't.  You used this tool well.  

"The gift of music- you used this well to cheer the elderly and to teach the young.  You enjoyed it.  It made you and those around you happy.  Yes, little spark, this tool you used well.

"A strong family name- you could have used this much better my little spark.  You could have used the schlepp with this name to help more people to build greater things.  This tool, my little spark you did not use as well as you could have.

And so on and so forth.  Once the value of each tool was added up, God would look at the sum total of you did with what he gave you and your lot in the next world would be set based on his weights and measures.

I feel now as though I have lost that spark.  Like I have lost that little package of tools that God gave just to me that was the essence of who Rachel was.  I have spent  32 years learning how to use those tools to the best of my abilities, and now I can't figure out where I put them.  It is like losing my port in a storm after running the same river for 3 decades.

For 30 odd years I was strong and tried to help others.  I ran to do favours even if they made my life harder or took time from other things I needed to do.  I stood up for what I thought was right with every fibre of  my being that I could muster.  I could go days on no sleep if it meant getting a job done for a good cause.  I loved to read, to sing, to work.  I was creative and aware of the world around me.  I saw God's hand in nature and in everything I loved.  Those were my tools.

Now I don't know where they have gone.  I lean on others for support, and have no will to put effort into anything.  I sleep to get away from my life, but in sleep I have dreams that make me want to run.  I don't read.  I barely play music.  I feel like God is a million miles away and that he has no interest in me.

So who am I now?  In 120 years how will I be judged having lost my toolbelt?  Will I find a new set somewhere along the road that I will learn to use to do good things in new ways?  Will someone come chasing me down one day to hand me my old worn out tools that I know how to use and tell me I just forgot them at my last rest stop?

They say there are many stages to artistry.

A bad artist will do bad work with great tools.
A mediocre artist will do mediocre work with great tools
A good artist will do great work with great tools
A great artist can do stunning work with bad tools.

In my day job I am a mediocre artist who can do good work with great tools.  In my life job I am now an out of work artist with no tools.

Tomorrow looks like it is CD1.  Ick.  I never thought I would be doing this again.  exactly 4 months from losing my baby.

I never thought I would bury a baby either.

Today is not a good day.  And it is not over.
I want my baby.  I want my 3 month old.  I want those tiny arms around my neck and that head on my shoulders.  Why did God do this to me?  I want my Gabby back.  Please God send me my baby.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I am finally starting to put myself back together- gluing together the fragmented pieces of the outer shell that used to be Rachel. The problem is that the inner spark, the piece of my soul that made me who I was is sputttering and does not want to light. I am in desperate need of a spiritual recharge and have absolutely no idea where to turn. I suppose if I were of a different sort of sect I would be looking for a mashbia or some such thing, but I'm not and I don't have one.

I feel like the bulb is slowly coming back together, but the filament is burned out.

Please DO NOT just send me divrei Torah as no matter how wonderful they are I can pretty much promise they will not get read. I need a real live person, or place or some other proper noun I can turn to for advice and recharging. 
Almost 4 whole months now since I thought my life ended.  It didn't, I'm still here.  In theory at least.  A lot of who I was died that day- an innocence and invulnerability that comes with youth.  I call my Bubbie almost every day now.  I hug my daughter more.  I have learned not to take a single minute with anyone for granted.

But in essence, really, really, really deep down inside, I am still me in a lot of the way that are important- and those ways are slowly starting to show themselves again.   Sure there are still days where I do nothing by cry that I want my baby- but there are more and more days where I get up, go to work, and in the quiet moments shed tears over what will never be.

We did make the hard decision to jump whole heatedly back into treatment.  I can't stand the doctor in charge- too slow and methodical- I have no patience for it- but that is what we are stuck with so long as we stay with our current kupah in RBSA.  I have no idea how we are going to meet the costs and whatnot, but we have both agreed that living on pasta and petal is better than living with the hole in our hearts.

We also took a leap and filled out the initial paperwork for adoption.  We have to photocopy a few documents tomorrow morning then it goes in the mail.  Supposedly we should hear from a social worker within a month or so, but the process itself can take up to 5 years if you are a stickler for a perfect newborn.  We're not so who knows what will be or how long it will take.

Channah is doing perfectly well.  You would not know anything happened except for sometimes when she says something or does something she worries it mimght upset me- like telling me a girl's mother had a baby.  She still gives me double kisses only instead of one for me and one for Gabbi they are now both for me because "sad immas need lots of extra hugs and kisses".  It kills me that someone so small should take on such a huge responsibility.

Slowly but surely I am out and doing more and more.  I have no idea how I will handle Toronto.  I am terrible with crowds.  Anxiety attacks have become my new best friend- but somehow I will manage.

Other than that, stuff is pretty much the same around here.  The baby stuff is still at friend's of ours.  I told Jason to bring it home and to put it in the machsan sometime and to just not tell me about it.  For all I know it is already there.  Channah's room is back to being all hers with no room cleared out for anyone else.  For the most part daily medical stuff is, at least, on hold temporarily.

And I am ok.  I am not good.  I am not terrible.  I am just OK.  It is like floating somewhere between this world and the next, between heaven where my little girl is, and hell where I was and knowing I can't get to either one so I just need to find a way to get comfortable where I am.  I keep looking for a nice fluffy cloud around the midway mark- maybe with a couple of friendly care bears for company, but so far I am mostly still just drifting aimlessly.  I stop and reevaluate my direction when I hit something, but for the most part just sort of go where the wind takes me.

Is that good?  Is that bad?  I don't really know.  I know my therapist and my doctors tell me I am doing really well and that I like to please them.  I know I have gotten back enough of myself to argue with them when I think they are way off the mark on something.  I know I have gone back to shopping doctors until I find who can answer my questions to my satisfaction.  And I know all of those are very much "old me" things to do.

These last 4 months have obviously been the worst 4 months of my life.  I look back at them and time seems to warp and stretch with it sometimes seeming like forever ago and sometimes seeming like yesterday.  It is as if time is made out of silly putty and I can stretch and twist it however I want, but theend result is still always the same.

Me here.  My arms empty.  My soul black.

But even the blackness is starting, little by tiny little bit to lighten like the slow coming of dawn at midnight.  A sparkle here from Channah.  A twinkle there from Jason.  A flame in the darkness from a good friend- and lots more good friends reflecting that light a million ways with mirrors trying to get me to find my way out of what seems eternal darkness.  And I think it is slowly starting to work.

I am still sad a lot.  And I am still angry a lot.  But I am also remembering how to love a lot.  How to care a lot.  How to give a warm hug to an old friend getting married.  How to snuggle my 7 year old under the blankets.  In short, how to be me.

A final change- a huge one that is ongoing and I suspect will be for a long time, is my relationship with God.  Early on in this blog I tried to define his roll.  Was he my father?  My king?  Now I know he is both and neither.  He is only what I let him be and right now, until I heal some more he is nothing to me.  He exists only in an existential way that has nothing to do with me- sure he makes it rain and keeps the mosquito buzzing- but when it comes to me I am using my sechel to make my own decisions- no one or nothing is going to decide what is best for me but me.  I had too many doctors, doctors who play God every single day of their lives tell me "well God knows best".

I believe God might know the outcome, but I do not believe he is working for my personal best interest.  If that makes me a bad Jew so be it.  But as of now, almost 4 months after losing one of my biggest joy's, that is who I am.

I don't know what will be- no one does- but maybe there is a special child already out there waiting for an imma and abba with just our set of skills.  Maybe there's not.  Who knows?  I just know that one way or another losing Gabbi has lit a fire under me to grow my little family into a slightly larger one- and however that is meant to happen it will.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hardest day in along time. Did not. Get out of bed. I just want my baby. Not a millionn to. Findout why. It takes so long. We know how to get there just fix me damnit

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I don't even know where to begin with today.  Like I said, saw the fertility expert.  She thinks I will get pregnant on my own before she finishes running all the preliminary tests.  Not looking at any sort of treatment cycle until September.  I feel like I am staring into a summer made up of that giant black hole in my soul that sucks all the energy out of me.  I wish there were some sort of magic pill where I could just turn into a robot until I have a baby in my arms.  No need to  think or feel.  Just do what I am told and not feel the humiliation of being a broken machine every single day of my life.

We went to a wedding tonight for an old friend from Toronto.  I am so happy for him.  He looked so thrilled and full of hope.  I remember the day I got married.  I was so happy and hopeful.  I did not think I ever wanted kids- now just look at me!  I remember my dreams being big enough to fill the social hall, the whole shul and even the whole world.  I remember picturing my future as so full of hope and promise-

And yet here I am.  13 years almost to the day later.  1 child and desperate for more- but not a very good imma to the one that I have.  The hopes and dreams in my heart have been replaced by a giant black cloud that leads me like the cloud used to lead the people by day in the desert- but there is no fire to lead me through the night.  I just wander in smaller and smaller circles until I stand in one place for so long the desert sand blows over me and buries me in place.

I have tried so hard through all of this to get better.  To keep my spirits as high as I can make them- and today I feel like they were smashed to earth like a piece of old pottery that no one is going to bother even thinking of trying to put back together.  I feel like my heart shattered to learn I have to start from scratch.

Sitting in those offices where I was once so excited hearing about my next selection of hell on earth is/was just so much more than I can bare I don't know if I can do it.  I need to- unless she is right and we conceive on our own- yeah right.  Gabbi was my miracle child and I don't expect that to happen twice.  I would like to think that going on vacation to Toronto again will somehow magically do it, but I am not naive enough to believe that.

The truth is, the process is going to break us both emotionally and financially- yes even here.  The rumour that it is free is not exactly true- not even close- cheaper than in North American maybe, but lets not forget for one moment that we also earn less than most North American's.  I don't know how I am going to get through this. Maybe I should just quit while I am ahead with one precious little girl the the memory of another sweet tiny face I only saw for a few minutes.

I just feel so lost and broken again right now.  Our anniversary is Friday.  Last year we didn't do anything special.  We had no idea yet the roller coaster the year would bring.  This year I think I plan to just stay home and cry and wish that God will let me forget a year I wish never happened.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I remember being so full of hopes and dreams at my own wedding. So much I wanted to do- to accomplish. My hopes and dreams filled the whole world. What happened to me?
Just came from the fertility specialist. Basically we are starting from absolute scratch. She thinks I will be pregnant on my own before we are throu all the preliminary testing- yeah, as if. 13 years and it will all just magically come together now? So
Somehow I don't think so.

Everything is done in the women's centre of the kupah. Sitting in those same offices where I was so incredibly happy going through this is just more than I can bare. I really don't think I am goi g to be able to do this and survive.

I know they are all trying to help and to make things as painless as possible- the problem is there is no such thing.

This is going to be expensive and draining and I just don't know how I am going To make it through- never mind pay for it all! The genetic testing alone looks like it could run in the thousands of shekel And the will not move forward without it.

All I want is my baby.

And it ain't gonna be this Month or next Month either save by the grace of god and I do not trust his grace as far as I can throw it. Looking at possibly getting around to cycling once we get home- next fall :(

Now off to a wedding where I need to nehappy and on the ball for an old friend.
Back to living in pure dark hellish hopelessness.
I was not expecting tonight to be nearly as hard as it was.

At dinner I almost started to cry a few times thinking how much happier we were last year on our anniversary before any of this had happened.  It got me thinking, would I have been happier had I never had the chance to "get to know Gabbi"?  I don't think so.  I know now that in the next world I have a 2nd beautiful little girl waiting for me.  It also served to remind me that I want more children and get my tush in gear.

I hate that God took her from me, but as the hitchiker we picked up tonight reminded me, there is nothing we can do but to be happy with our lot from God.  Not like we can change it so we might as well get used to living with it.  Can't say I like it, but I can sort of see her point.  It is not "it is all for the best" and trying to cut out the pain- it accepts the pain and says we have to learn to live with it because there is no other option.  A subtle difference but a big one.  It has given me something to think about.

The Jerusalem festival of lights was lovely but much, much harder than I expected it to be.  The last festival we went to in the old city was with a rather pregnant me.  Through the Jewish quarter where I go all the time it was no problem.  Through the Christian quarter where I had only been that one other time it was like a mockery of my former happier time there.  The festival itself was so, so much better than the last one, but I was miserable to the point of a fairly major anxiety attack.  I took a full 2.5mg dose of clonex- something I almost never do, to try to calm down.

Once it started working I was able to relax a little bit and enjoy myself- especially once we got into areas I had never seen before.

Until I sprained my ankle.  Tripped on a wobbly manhole cover and bashed my shoulder into the wall.  I managed to stay upright, but my ankle went right over.  Icing it now and we will see how it looks in the morning to figure out what I should do next.

I think I am going to take tomorrow morning to sleep in and spend some time thinking.  Then I will spend the afternoon panicking over the appointment with the fertility specialist and if she will take one look at me and write me off.  Oh, and trying to figure out what to wear to a wedding tomorrow night.

Basically, a day to just go where my brain leads.  I think I have earned it.

I made it through a hard night tonight and even managed to enjoy myself a little.  Some people will complain I am too slow to come back to my normal fun loving self- personally I see getting through the panic attack and going on to have a decently good time as a huge step in the right direction.

But then again what do I know?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

We are going out for our 13th anniversary tonight (although our anniversary is not until Friday).  I know I should be grateful for everything that I have received in those 13 years, but all I keep thinking is that I should have had to plan tonight around a 3 month old in a stroller.  Instead this morning I went for bloodwork again to see "how I am doing".  Got the results back and I have no idea what they mean.  I hate the stupid 2 week wait.

In any case, while I wish I could be looking back on all the good things of the last 13 years, Channah, a lovely home always full of guests, amazing friends and neighbours, better relationships with my family, Channah, living my childhood drream having made aliya, a closet full of gorgeous Israeli style clothing that I love, a husband who has stuck by me through thick and thin, star trek -like technology on my iphone, kosher grape flavoured Popsicle  Channah- the only think I can seem to focus on today is what God took away.

Maybe I really am too negative.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A comment a friend made on my last post made me realize something.  I am living my life as an orthodox Jew, believing in God and abiding by his rules, but I in no way trust him to look out for my best interests.  Seriously, in no way.

It was God who decided it was in my best interest to take my Gabbi from me.  After all the love and all the work I put into that pregnancy, it twas God who decided to send me hell on Earth and a nervous breakown.  Sure it was also God who sent me a fabulous community after the fact, but I would rather live in a neighbourhood filled with thugs and drug dealers with my baby in my arms than in this fabulous area with my baby in my heart.

I now go out of my way to plan everything down to the tiniest detail- checkig and double checking everything two, three, even  four times.  I have started making packing lists months in advance- sure God can still destroy my plans, and in many ways I expect him to, but I can no longer trust him to look after things for me so that they will all work out in the end.

It is funny, living in Toronto we always assumed nothing would work out, but since we made aliya we have to accept with ease the idea that God is in charge and it will all work out in the end.  It is amazing how easily and quickly I through that idea out of the window.  Almost 3 years of learning to trust God's hands out the window in a single missed heartbeat.

I will never, never NEVER forgive God for what he took from me.  We learn in various places that for stealing the punishment is to pay double, quadruple or even quintuple times the amount stolen in payback and so far as I can tell GOD OWES ME for what he stole.  God should be found guilty in beit din shel malah and forced to repay what he stole from me.  Until such time he should be considered a rasha who does not follow his own rules.

About a rasha one can speak lashon harah, he ccan be banned from the kehillah, and one need not associate with him.

But I like my life.  Other than the constant pain in my heart and in my soul it is comfortable.  So I continue to abide by his rules and pretend that I believe in a God of kindness and love and fairness.  A God who listens and loves his children like a father.  Who hands out reward and punishment with equal fairness- but in my heart, the same heart that pains for eyes I never saw open, for hands I never got to hold, for diapers I never got to change, while I continue to believe he created the universe and controls every minute aspect of it, I do not believe he has, for even a single moment, my best interest in mind.

I live by his codes and I follow his rules, but like an abused child who listens out of fear and not love, I hate the God I have come to believe in.  And no one who ha snot been in my position, no one who has B"H never had to sign chevra kadisha papers for a child, who has had to go through life not knowing where their child would spend their days until mashiach arrives, who ever got to hug each of their children and watch them grow into beautiful, beautiful people, can even think to  tell me otherwise.

God is a big boy.  He does not need anyone to protect him or speak for him.  As for me, I am much smaller and yet still stand on my own two feet and speak for myself.  And I am saying, Until God pays up what he owes, he can put me in whatever book he likes, he is on my !@#$ list.
Ok, now what?

I woke up this morning with no motivation to do anything whatsoever.  Now that the two shoes are done I am sort of at loose ends.  I don't really have anything to keep my mind off what I wish I were doing right now instead of what I am doing- which is nothing.

Ok, so there are a lot of things I like to do and summer is coming so I can even do some of them with Channah which tends to make them more fun.  I can go to a museum.  I can go to the beach.  I could go shopping if I had money to blow which I don't because we spent it all on a pregnancy that went no where.  I could volunteer somewhere if I actually enjoyed being with people- which I don't really.

I could start looking into adoptions or seeing a fertility specialist (both of which we have already set up) but lets be honest, even if I do, please God, get pregnant right away, which I doubt, I am in for 9 months of hell as no matter what I do, and I could do every single thing right, it could still all end with me watching my husband hold a dead baby in his arms.

Talk about not willing to get attached.  I told Jason that if we are lucky enough to have it happen again I do not even want to know if it is a boy or a girl so I do not start dreaming about things.  Too dangerous.

I feel like I am at loose ends.  To soon to start packing for vacation. but nothing really to do until then but put up a new item or two a day into my web shop.

As always, please keep davening for whatever is in my best interest- hopefully an infant in my arms as quickly as possible.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Well, I guess even if my body and I hate each other I can take some comfort in the fact that I am good at what I do.  I had a sale tonight as part of a a local "MegaMall" and did better than I expected to.  My new animal line seems to be make people go wild ;)  Seriously, I just wish I could focus on my positives rather than my faults.  I guess it is hard to move past years and years of having thrown in your face.
Well, the last of the people due anywhere near where I was have had their babies.    I am the only one who struck out.  I guess in it's own way that is a good thing- I just wish it did not have to be me.Those who had just found out they were expecting when we lost Gabbi are really starting to show.  We are starting to consider other options.  Meeting with the fertility specialist this week for the first time.  Looking into fostering and adoption.

I just want someone tiny who needs me to love.

Feeling really really low tonight.  Low and alone.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sorry loyal readers, not much to report today.  Today was for the living and its posts can be found on our main blog at Moving on Up - Cherry Picking Festival

Suffice it to say I survived crowds, families, pregnant women, strollers, and all sorts of other triggers and I WAS OKAY!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Well this is another first. I am on the bus to Jerusalem for the first time on my own since the whole disaster. Not only that but I am going to meet the generous Neshama who helped us with a donation to help cover the shrink. I feel like I owe her my life! I was nothing more than a puddle of Rachel-goo before her assistance with seeing the right shaliach.

I wish I had what to give her to express the extent of my gratitude, but what on this world holds the value of even a damaged soul? All I can give is my Bracha that she always find herself in a position where she can help others.
Tonight Channah and I had a date to go watch Jason play softball.  It was a real treat since the game started half an hour after her bedtime.  I packed up lots of stuff to do for when she got bored (I figured the game would keep her occupied for maybe 5 minutes.  I think I overestimated), some snacks and we headed off.

We were in the middle of a huge open field.  No lights but the ones on the diamond.  We could see the lunar eclipse perfectly with no interference from nearby light sources.  We got to make the bracha ose maaseh bereshit  together while we watch the moon completely disappear from view.

And you know what?  I made the bracha without any resentment towards God that if he could create such amazing things why couldn't he have let Gabbi live.  It is a hard time, we have a number of friends due any day, but I was able to see the amazing feat of nature for what it was- an amazing feat of nature.

One small step for me, one giant leap for my recovery.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Well my therapist thinks I am one of the strongest people she has ever seen, but also that having to fight for every single thing all  the time for the last little while is taking a physical as well as mental toll on me.  She wonders if there is anyway I could just avoid the people who hurt the most- unfortunately once I explained she understood why that was just not really possible.

She commended me for not giving up, and expressed real concern over the damage other people can do to me.

She also told me that Jason is a really good guy who loves me a lot- as if I had any doubt about that part of the equation.  She thinks we are a really strong couple and will land on our feet.  That we are mostly there and the next step is to build a wall around ourselves so certain people can't hurt us anymore.  I hate to admit it, but I think in this case she might be right.  It is something I have been thinking about for years but I never really thought my therapist would tell me that sometimes it is a good idea to find ways to shut out the world when the world is too hurtful.  I just assumed that I always needed to deal with pain the way everyone else in my family does- head on and move past it and don't look back.

It never rally occurred to me that maybe for me there are other options.  Maybe for a lot of us there are other options- we just never really thought to go looking for them because we have been conditioned not to.

Starting next week she is going to work on helping me build a wall to keep out the hurt that comes from contact with certain people.
Had a long talk with one of the women I know who have gone through this and now help council others before I went to bed last night and, while I did drug myself to sleep for fear of never getting there on my own, I did feel quite a bit better afterwards.  I am really, really glad that I found this woman.  She is actually a longtime family friend who I never had much to do with on a one to one scale because she was my mom's friend, but the truth is that I have no idea how I would have gotten this far without her.

Anyhow, she reminded me that there are just some people who will never "get it"- and that even if they do they might be to overwhelmed with their own grief that they just look for reasons to put it out of their heads and not deal with it.  There are just those people who take an "ok, it happened, now lets move on and never speak of it again" sort of approach to life.  That is obviously not my approach at all and so of course I am going to find those people hurtful, and it will seem that they don't care.

Now, being a touch further away from the puddle of tears I was last night, I can also look at it a little bit more objectively and say that there are just those people for whom emotional pain does not "count".  So long as I was still recovering from the c-section, I "earned" understanding.  Now that it is "only" emotional pain, I should just get over it and move on.

The truth is, I was really hurt last night when I found out that someone close to me was given the opportunity to come be with me during those first few horrible days, and while all along I was being told there was no way, in truth they just chose not to take the option.  As it is someone who is supposed to care about how I am doing and want to b there for me, I am more than a little upset.  The truth of the matter is, as my conversational companion pointed out, she might not have wanted to come because she was worried that by being here she might make things worse.

On the other hand, even if they only came for a few days I would have appreciated it.

So I guess the long story made even longer is that I need to remember that there are those out there callous enough to really think I can just get over this and move on.  But that's not me.  The fact that they choose to handle their problems that way and that it might work for them, does not mean that it would for me.  If they can't understand where I am coming from, no amount wasting my breath trying to explain it will make one iota of difference.

Why is it that God chose to make it that those who love you the most can hurt you the deepest?

As always, please keep praying for Rachl Marmel bat Mindle Hinda Chaya for a speedy and complet pregnancy that ends in a healthy, happy baby.

Thanks for listening.
I quit. I need help. I am sitting here a puddle of tears on my couch. There are some people you can't avoid for various reasons and they never stop hurting you.  And you just keep going back for more and more and more punishment.  I am a freaking masochist when it comes to this sort of thing.  I don't know why I even bother trying.  

Lord knows I know other people have their problems, but that does not mean that mine are so simple that "things will get better" and that "I am a fully functioning adult with a family of my own" so therefore I do not need a shoulder, or attention in any way shape or form.  

I know I don't matter much in the grand scheme of things, but this is going to be the end of my undoing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I have decided that in some cases the side effects of the medication are not worth the good they do.  One drug in particular I am trying to cut cold turkey- the withdrawal effects may be awful for a few days, but today being day 1 of my experiment I have a supreme headache, but for the first time since I started taking it I can breathe without my mouth drying out, blink without pain, and was able to get out of bed without needing help because my knee joints were so sore.

I am not sure yet if I can expect the withdrawal effects to get worse or better, or at what point they will peak, but day 1 has me achy and shaky, but feeling better overall.  The only problem is that it was the one drug that actually seemed to be helping.

Had a huge fight with Jason over it, but I have decided that until someone is living in my shoes they have no right to judge my decisions when it comes to pain management.  I am not doing anything dangerous, merely possibly stupid, and I can always go back onto it if the withdrawal effects get to bad.

In other news I am not making any serious plans for the next few days.

This all started because my family doctor was unhappy with the drug and made me feel terrible for still needing drugs at all.  I asked her to help me deal with one of the side effects and she responded I should not be on it anymore anyway.  While technically I think that is between me and my shrink, it did get me thinking.  This is the result.

She was willing to send me for bloodwork to show me that what I thought was going on was probably all in my head.  She tacked on what I tend to think of as the "fat lady" panel.  Colesteral, tryglicerides etc.  Which I had done less than 6 months ago and were all fine.  I blacked them out.  I did not have them done.

I thought I had finally found a family doctor who accepted who I was despite the numbers on the scale.  I guess I was wrong.  I went to her for something totally not related, and she just decided, without discussion to tack on the flp even though it has been less than a year since I had it done and everything was fine.  Oh, and no, I am not still loosing weight, but I was stable, which I have been told on the drug in question is a minor miracle- so hopefully taking myself off of it will allow me to keep loosing.

In any case, between fighting with her, and fighting with Jason and skipping the first dose of the medication, lets just say yesterday was not my best day in a while.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Had a bit of a moron moment and thought today was Father's Day.  Sent out my father's day emails.  Gave Jason his gift (well, got it out, will wait for Channah to get home before he can open it, but now that he has seen it I am not going to take it back into hiding.  Good Lord what is happening to my brain.  It is like being pregnant but without the reward at the end.

I hate that.  Seems so often that line floats through my head.

In any case, I am doing a little better than last week.  It is a new box of the drug and I think something must be wrong with it as I am reacting really badly to it.  Going to see my family doctor today and have a call in to my shrink.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just took the resperidone.  Please God let it start working quickly.
Oh God.  Ran out of resperidone.  NOT GOOD.  Normally I take it at 7 am and it is now 12:45.  Eating everything in sight.  I am jittery and have 0 self control.  I have now noticed that I am shaking and that I am sad and that my brain is doing that running around inside my skull thing again.  Also, I am ready to scream bloody murder at anyone making noise.  I am biting my tongue so hard to keep from shrieking at Channah who is doing nothing more than playing nicely with her playmobile that I think I may bite it off.  Oh well, at least that way I will stop eating everything else.

Trying gum now.  Seriously, I must have gained 200 kg this morning.  This is NOT good considering the medication itself leads to weight gain and I had been doing so well.  Everyone knows a fat woman is worthless unless she is on a diet (or so I have been told by so many people so much of the time) that I seriously do not want to put any of what I have lost so far back on.  Maybe if I keep losing people will treat me like a normal human being instead of like some sort of hideous slob monster who obviously has no self control (which, this morning I don't so they are at least partially right.

Do you ever wonder if your family would love you more if you looked different.  I used to but I don't anymore.  Now I have no need to wonder because I know it is true.  Do you know that one person, one stupid, idiotic person made their first question to me after burring my daughter "so where is your weight holding now without the baby?

Ok so I just hung up the phone but that stupid moronic question is going to stay with me every time I see that person just like the person who told with with my first pregnancy that I was nothing but a fat slob and he hoped I died during childbirth.  Never have really looked at him the same way.

Oh lord I am rambling.  Have I mentioned any names?  No I don't think I have so I should be okay to post this.  The two comments above were not from the same person so do not assume you KNOW who must have made them.  Cause I can assure you that you are at least partially wrong.  Seriously, it is not necessarily who you would suspect.

Yeah.  I am fat so I deserve whatever I get right.  Losing Gabby was just a punishment in their minds I am sure for the way I look.  The medication is just an excuse for anything I do gain back because in truth I have no self control and never excersize (Even though I do a hell of a lot of walking and manual labour for a living!).

Great.  Ever notice how other people can make you hate yourself when they are not even there.  Ideas can worm their way into your head and become seeds.  The seeds germinate and take root and before you know it that tree of self hate has wrapped itself around your brain and you hate yourself even more than the other person hates you.

Funny isn't it how things said to you can hide in your head for years and only come back at the worst possible time.  I remember one relative telling me no one would ever date or marry a fat girl.  That I would always just be the fat good friend.  Well, I proved them wrong didn't I?  I got married to a nice guy who loves me for who I am and I do have friends both fat and thin and I still have that comment spin round in my head every time I meet someone new.   Are they going ot hate me just because I am so freakishly abnormal.

Do you have any idea how excited I got now that I can but clothing in real stores?  Ok, only some stores and some clothing, but I have bought so much in the last few weeks I think I am going to bankrupt us because it is just so darn exciting for me to find clothing that fits for a reasonable price at a normal store!!!

See what I mean by no self control?  I can't stop my brain from thinking of all these terrible moments.  Of all those people "just trying to help".  Now when I am sad and in withdawel those moments come back to me with all the weight they had the first time.  AND I CAN'T MAKE THEM STOP!!!

Good lord.  The inside of my head is one big fat Rachel Hate-Fest right now AND I AM ENCOURAGING IT.  What in the world is wrong with me.  I am a lazy brat.  Sat around all morning while Jason was at softball watching doctor who, sleeping and playing monkey bloons 4.  Yes I know bloons is spelled wrong but that is how the game spells it.

Ok, I think I need to sign off before I start pointing fingers and naming names.  God I hope Jason gets home soon with the refil on the medication.  Maybe then I can bury the self hate for a while until something brings it up and it becomes like the whomping willow at Hogwarts and kills my broomstick.  Who am I kidding.  It is never really burried all that deep that I can't find it with anything more than a broom.

Which I do not use anyway since I am such a sob and that is the reason that people will not come visit (ok, one person in particular, but it was enough to have it told to me that apparently I am such a terrible home keeper I am poisoning my guests with mould and dust.  I LIVE NEAR A FREAKING QUARRY!!!!  How in the word am I supposed to avoid dust.  And so sue me I would rather live my life than steralize it!  Come shabbat most weeks the place is in good order and everything is fine, no clutter during the week does not bother me.  Yes the toilets get cleaned regularly, so do the floors and the fridge and the stove.  Just maybe not to THEIR standards.

What is wrong with me?  I am like pouring out every vent I have ever had.  God hep me no one is ever going to speak to me again.  First I told them I was fat (it was a secret you know) now I am saying I am a bad housekeeper.  Wow, it is a wonder that I have any friends at all.

Now don't your worry those who actually do like me.  I am not planning to hurt myself (even though Jason just called from the pharmacy and they do not have the drug in stock that I need.  He is trying other pharmacies).  1) That would put certain people out of their misery of having to know me and 2) It would give all the pall bearers hernias.

AAnd people wonder why I am so bloody negative all the time.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Started real monitoring today for a new cycle.  Never thought when I pregnant with Gabbi that this is where it would lead me.  We had decided that 1 was enough.  But now that I have had the taste of two I am selfish enough to want more.

On the other hand, how can I want more when lately I am so short tempered with the one that I have?

I am so confused about my parenting it is an unbelievable mess.

On top of that my blood sugars are going insane, we are not sure if it is a result of my phsych medications or not, so I made an appointment with an endocrinologist.  I was supposed to wait 6 months before going to see the fertility expert but I made the appointment for early so we could at least talk before I go away.

On the whole, people seem to be right.  To some extent time does heal.  Then it all come landing back on me with one fell swoop and I am just as hysterical as I was that first day in the hospital.  I feel like why am I even bothering to try if God is just going to be able to take it away just as quickly.

I go for reasonably long stretches functioning normally- but then I fall apart.  It is like a row of dominoes or a house of cards- standing tenuously ready to trigger an epic collapse at any moment.  And I do mean at any moment.  Seeing a pregnant woman can bring it on, as can being in a store with baby clothes.

Do you realize that if everything were to go smoothly from this point out, and Iy"H I have a full term pregnancy, I would have been pregnant for 17 of the previous 21 months?

There is just so much random crud going through my head all of the time that I don't know where to stick it a. I guess that is what this blog is for huh?  All of you get to read the nuttiness that I normally keep inside my skull.

My gosh I need a Chaya Tova hug.  Or a friend.  Or just someone who isn't judging me based on any criteria other than "Hey look, you are managing to hold yourself together right this minute!  That's awesome!  No one expects anything else of you right now."  Except they do.  It has been more than 3 months.  My "mourning period" *should* be coming to an end and I should be rejoining the real world.  But how can I when the real world keeps throwing what I am back in my face?  Nothing is going smoothly.  It is like this nightmare just keeps going and going and going and there is no way that I can pinch myself to wake up.

Ever since February 28th it is like my brain has a mind of it's own (no joke intended) and I have very limited power over what it is going to think about.  It decides how I am going to feel and when.  It decides who will be allowed in to bring comfort and who won't.  Who I will trust and who I will shut out.  It has decided we are cycling as so we are- terrified as I am that it will be an epic disaster either way.

I was so close last time before God took it away.  Why should I think he would not do it again?

Someone please help me.  I am so miserable tonight and I really don't know why.  I had a good day.  I am catching up on work.  Jason and I are mostly getting along well.  Channah is thriving.  We have a great trip booked for this summer for a wonderful occasion.  I have a roof over my head.  Food on our plates.  Clothes on our backs- and yet I am still miserable.  Why?  Give me one good reason why I should be sitting here with silent tears running down my face.

Oh right.  God took my Gabbi from me without even letting me hold her.  Would it have been more compassionate to give me a few minutes with her?  I really don't know.  But either way he took her and every so often that springs to the forefront of my head and other people might have moved well past it but I haven't. I suspect I never will.  I don't think I even want to because then it is like she never was.

Dear God, what if I do manage to get pregnant and he takes another one?  The thought is enough to shatter me never mind going through 40 weeks of torture knowing it could all go bely up at any moment.

I will never, ever forgive myself for that night.  I will never ever forgive Jason either.  And I am terrified it could happen again.