Joanne laid in the bed. Curled up in a ball. She looked at the clock. 4am. Another 36 hours without more than half an hours sleep. She lay very still, her chest hardly moving for fear of waking Tom up. She knew he had a big day at work today and couldn’t handle him knowing that she was not coping as well as she was letting on.
It had been three weeks now since a life so precious was torn away from her. Three long weeks of trying to keep her head above water and keep a brave face on for the world who always expected her to just be ok and cope with any of life’s challenges. She knew everyone was waiting for her to fail, to break down and lose it all but she felt like the only thing she could do at the moment was to stay true to her usual form … and that meant keeping up her strong exterior.
The truth was, she was destroyed. Inside and out. There was nothing in the world that could have prepared her for the amount of heart ache she felt. She felt so alone, so distant, so cold and just so damn tired and frustrated all the time. The worst part is there was no one to blame, there was no reason for this. But somehow, she felt this was her fault… like a long owed karma had finally paid off its debt.
The counsellor had told her to start her pottery and painting again as a means of release. Although her mind was swirling with a thousand images and ideas, she just couldn’t bring herself to even pick up a paint brush or touch a piece of clay in fear that it would form a shape that resembled the one she lost.
She spent days in the nursery they had prepared… just lying on the floor in the dark. She was eating a sandwich at most per day and dozing in and out of consciousness the rest of the time. She seemed to remain in a state of warped reality – not conscious but not asleep. There were days where she couldn’t sleep for fear of dreaming about the miscarriage of life. The doctor prescribed a heavy sedative and it seemed to help the night mares at first. For the first time in her life, her dreams were much better than her reality now and maybe ever again. After a while, the nightmares came back though and she found herself trapped – in fear of living this life because of her failure and the heart ache she had caused everyone, and fear of sleeping for nightmares of either repeated miscarriages or dreams of a happier time where the baby survived and grew and smiled that glorious smile of Tom’s.
A tear trickled down her face now, glistening in the moonlight. Although she had spent days upon days crying, she was careful to keep this to herself. If Tom was home, she’d have a long shower and sit naked on the tiled floor of the shower ground hugging herself to keep from falling apart, always ensuring she locked the door and remained as silent as she could while her anger, frustration and heart break fought its way out. If Tom wasn’t home, she’d spend hours reading children’s books to herself, looking at the scans, watching Nickelodeon or Disney Channel just remembering that precious hand she held for a moment in time.
She imagined everything that could have been. From the first steps, to the first words, to the starting of school, the first broken bone, the first pimple, the first love… the smile… He would have had Tom’s smile.. A beautiful beaming smile full of promise and warmth. A smile that she would never see or ever get to return.
As more tears silently made their way down her face, she decided to try and focus on what the day held for her. It was Wednesday which meant another session at the counselors. Another hour for someone to tell her it was okay to be weak and okay to get angry and okay to just let it all out.
In all honesty, Joanne just wanted to move on – she wanted to go back to work and just pretend like this had never happened. By now the whole faculty would be aware and would be creeping on egg shells around her. Anything had to be better than staying inside an empty apartment day in and out, fearing the outside, jumping at any noise that awoke her slumber.
Dreaming of children crying and screaming. She had to get out of this apartment, every part of it reminded her of the moment she felt her life moving forward. It reeked of promises that she could never fulfill because her body would never allow her to.
It was meant to be the best thing to happen to them.
How did it turn so horribly wrong? How did it suddenly bring on unimaginable pain? And from this, how was their relationship meant to survive such a tragedy? These were questions she knew she would never have the answer to, but questions that kept circulating in her mind begging for attention.
It didn’t matter now. She just had to keep pushing forward. And that meant returning to some sense of normality.
She was sick of being treated like an injured animal; she was a human, fragile, but still an average human like every other who walked the streets. This was her battle. This was no one else’s and no one else had the right to tell her how to feel or how to deal or how it wasn’t her fault.
They didn’t know.
They would never understand the amount of guilt that tugged on her heart every single waking moment.
So how dare they tell her she’s not alone.
When that was the one thing she was sure of.
She was alone in this moment; her heart had long left and her sanity hid behind the shadows of regret.