Friday, August 26, 2011

PTSD

Sometimes I feel like I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  When I looked it up online, this is what I found:

PTSD can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as:
  • Assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Prison stay
  • Rape
  • Terrorism
  • War
I certainly did not experience any of these things, and yet they agony of carrying a baby to term and losing her, makes me think that I could have it to some degree.  I only hesitate as I do not want to offend anyone who actually does, like our brave men and women who fight for this country every single day…

Right before we went to Chicago, I treated myself to a manicure.  I went to a new place as I was worried that someone at my old place might ask me about my baby.  It’s really kind of silly as I never went to the old place that much and I doubt the people there had any idea who I was.  Still, I was worried so I went somewhere new and fresh.  As soon as I sat down, the woman started asking me all kinds of questions.  Normally, I am the kind of gal that can’t shut up, but on this day, I just wanted to relax and enjoy the pampering and not talk.  But my mom raised me to be polite so I replied to all her questions.  Did I just get off work?  Yes.  Did I work nearby?  Yes.  Was I married?  Yes. Did I have any kids?  Pause, pause, cough, mumble, stutter.  No.

Oh Allie.  I lied.  And I have been keeping it inside me since.  It was easier for me to lie than deal with the questions that would have followed. Where is she?  How old is she?  So I lied.  And I felt so damn guilty about it.   I now live in fear that someone else will ask me about my daughter and that I will not be able to answer them.  I so want  to answer truthfully.  But any time I am in a situation where I feel like the question is coming, my face gets hot, my hands sweat, my vision gets blurry and I start to panic.  Terrific.  I am creating my own panic attacks!

I read another blog where a dad also lied when asked about his daughter.  I guess it’s survival.  He felt his daughter knew and was not upset.  Allie, I hope you knew I meant no harm by it as well.

So what's the verdict? Is there a name for what we have?  Addi's Mom and Margot's Dad and Kayla's Mom and Leo's Mom and Collin's mom and all the new friends I have made since Allie died...do you know what I mean?  Is it PTSD?  I don't think so.  Maybe there is no name.  Maybe you do not know what I mean.  In either case, that is ok.  The less people that know this pain, the better.  

I had an x-ray today for a possible fracture in my foot (I still think it's just a sprain but it's been a few weeks so it was time to get it checked out).  The woman taking down my information asked me my name, date of birth, marital status and I waited for it.  ASK ME IF I HAVE ANY CHILDREN!  I was nervous and anxious and scared and I felt the familiar symptoms.  But I was ready to say YES!  Yes, I had a daughter.  I loved her like no other.  She was all that is good and pure.  But the woman was done with the questions.  She gave me my insurance card back and told me to wait till they called my name.  Next time, Allie.  I will be ready next time. 

4 comments:

  1. I am with you completely I wouldn't want to offend someone with PTSD either, but we definitely suffer from something...maybe PTDBD post traumatic dead baby disorder there is no cure and it effects everything on your life...yuck.

    As for lying about having kids...it's not lying it's just not sharing all your guts with someone who doesn't get it and isn't worth it. I always say yes but only because I think some small part of me is always ready for a fight...like I dare them to say something dumb wait and see what I say back! Depends on the day for sure. No one that knows you doubts your love for your daughter :)

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  2. I lost my first son, Ayden Parker, to preeclampsia brought on by a clotting disorder at 31 weeks on April 18. I really appreciate having found your post today because I am right with you. My husband and I continued onour path of moving across the Midwest to start a new job just a few months after losing our son. We've been met with the question about kids so many times! The first time we said no and felt bad, especially after the woman criticized us for not having any and buying such a big house (little did she know that we had planned to have already started to fill it up). Since then we have been bringing it up because it helps us to feel better.

    Concerning PTSD: I don't know what the medical definition is but the high risk OB we consulted with said that is exactly what I have and I will be treated accordingly for a next pregnancy - if we are so fortunate to have one.

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. I think that sometimes it is ok and our loved ones understand. I still have to stop and think about how I am going to answer if someone asks me if I am married because somedays I just can't seem to bring myself to say that I was and he passed away even after 17 and half years together.

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  4. Hey Sam--I usually "lie" to if it is someone I don't know at all or just don't feel like sharing. I know they just want to know if I have any kids here on earth with me, and the answer to that question honestly is no. I share only when I feel strong or comfortable with the person. Or when I have too, like if they ask me how my baby is doing. Hope your foot is ok!

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