I toyed with the glib title for this subject heading, which is fare more intense than the heading implies.
Coming out of a useful therapy session yesterday, I tried to talk to the viking about, well, everything.
He was getting visibly frustrated, which in him displays as shutting down. Seriously, all of the emotion dissolves from his face, like some weird automaton, and he starts to physically check out. And then walks out of the room.
Me being me, I started in on him, trying to demand of him that he accept why I need to talk about our dead babies, and frame them as babies, something he has been reluctant to do for all of these years.
And then he said this:
If I were to do what you do, if I were to remember their due dates and think about them and grieve them as our unborn *children* I would go insane. Literally insane. Like, I might not make it out the other side.
And that's when I finally understood. Something clicked.
We are very different, the viking and I. Yes, he supports me, he understands quite clearly that what I have experienced is hell on earth, he knows that when I use the letters P-T-S-D I'm not fucking around. I can cry on his shoulder and I can depend on him to pick up my slack when I am M.I.A. from life because I need a ballet class, or a zumba class, or a massage, or acupuncture or therapy (Jesus, I sound like a basket case).
But we are hard-wired quite differently. I willingly go to very (very) dark places, and then fight like hell to pull myself out, looking at the fight as a challenge to conquer. It helps that I am genetically blessed with little predisposition to addiction - I have little desire to pick up an old college smoking habit and I'd rather take a dance class than reach for a glass of wine when I'm down. And then another. The viking, well, eh, he has not been so genetically blessed. He is a careful study in control in many things.
I have my therapist, I have my readers, I have a few close friends whose shoulders I can cry on when this shit feels like weight pressing down on my chest. But in the act itself of grieving, in my own feeble attempts to honor my lost babies as babies, I do not have my husband. I have his support in a million other ways, but I will not have him by my side in mourning. I understand why.