March 16

I hadn’t seen JW in a few weeks because she took a vacation and the snowstorms, school closings, etc. have interfered with our regular schedule.   I realize today how critically important it is for me to sit down in a safe place one on one to focus on my grief–without having to take care of anyone else’s feeling or worry about any judgment.

We officially started the EMDR practice.  I chose to hold vibrating gadgets. You can also be tapped on alternate knees or follow someone’s finger left and right and I’m sure other options.  At certain points in the conversation she would increase the speed of how quickly the gadgets would vibrate left hand, right hand, left hand, right hand.  Then sometimes she’d stop altogether for a bit and then resume the vibrations.

I’m not entirely sold on EMDR but I’m giving it a shot based on other people recommending its effectiveness and the importance of REM sleep, in which our eyes do dart back and forward.  I don’t think I have much to lose in giving it a go.

The shareable takeaways from today:

My grief is my grief– and nobody else’s.  I don’t have to protect anyone from what I’m experiencing or worry about how my grief is impacting them or what they think about my personal grieving process.

People that are out of touch with their own pain, the folks that avoid processing or dealing with their own trauma, do not like to be around people that are actively in pain.

My presence as a person who is inviting and welcoming her pain is fundamentally disturbing to people that avoid their own pain.  How my pain makes them feel is none of my business or my concern.

Our culture is messed up about grief.  “According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV (the psychiatrist’s bible), patients grieving the loss of a loved one are allowed two months for symptoms such as sadness, insomnia, and loss of appetite.  If their grief lasts longer, then they can be diagnosed with depression.”  THAT IS INSANE. Two months of sadness and then I am eligible for a diagnosis?  No.

In order to survive grief in America in 2018, I need to honor my own process and not give a damn what anyone else thinks about it, especially people that haven’t had a stillborn child.  How could they possibly know what this is like?  Don’t even spend energy thinking about them.

When I’m confronted with uncomfortable situations where I want to maintain my composure and sense of safety and self, I can imagine what’s unfolding in front of me is just a film reel.  I can lovingly remove/detach myself from the heatedness in that immediate experience by “stepping back” and observing what’s in front of me like I would watch a movie, with scenes just passing by.

Above all, protect my own heart and remember, I don’t owe anyone an explanation about any of my choices in how I’m honoring my daughter Tinsley.



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