My father called today. He said it has been a month since we have spoken. He asked about my health, and I get surprised when he does that because there is nothing wrong with my physical health. He uses the specific vocabulary as if referring to my physical well being, but actually asking about my mental state. Half of the time, I don’t know how to answer, I get confused and then I get angry. He is a fixer and he would like to fix this, “the thing about my pregnancy” as he called it today. He does this every time in a way and that’s when our conversation becomes really painful. I feel like a little girl failing to reach a milestone. I know the same question will always pop up, no matter what I say, and I also know that my patience will start running thin immediately after. This concludes my cooperation and willingness to answer any further questions. I am not sure what to do. I usually feel guilty after, but I also feel judged.
I have long learned that my grieving, the pace and progress is being measured and timed by my family without extra insight in what is actually going on or the wish to know about how I am living my life without one of my children in it. That every time I am not my optimal 100% smiling self, these questions will come. They will come but won’t really allow me to feel the way I am actually feeling. I don’t mind anymore but avoid these conversations and that is one of the reasons why they are so rare.
I am sure mine is not the only family that has issues witnessing the pain, being present in whatever form is needed and just listening. I have grieved that too, the support I thought I would have, the relationship with my family, the bond they do not feel for their grandson, the faith in their words that they are there for me and many other things. I know they love me, but not the way I need to be loved. Unconditionally conditioned is what they can do. And it is ok too. It needs to be ok. And the next time he calls I will say I am fine and continue the conversation until that one question that usually throws me off balance. In the meantime I will focus on navigating all the highs and lows the time in between presents me with and do as much smiling as possible, unapologetically.
With Love, Tina