I’ve been feeling really sad. I’m thinking about Isobel a lot – going over and over my Isobel memories. My pregnancy with her, finding out she had died, labour, my time with her and the funeral. I find myself looking at her pictures more again in recent weeks. I wonder if I’m trying to understand how this tragedy happened as if that might stop it from happening again.
Which leads me to the anxiety about the baby I’m carrying now. As his movements have become stronger, I feel this huge weight of responsibility to be aware of him at all times and be vigilant of his every move. I’ve read every piece of advice on tracking movement and I’m more confused than ever and terrified that I will get it wrong and he will die and it will be my fault. I feel so in love with him, I feel so needy and desperate for him. The force of it scares me. I’m mostly holding it together during the day but my nights are filled with the most insane of nightmares, waking up in a panic and then being too sad or tearful to get back to sleep. I’m exhausted!
I don’t think it helps that after working all week, most of our weekends have been spent with Simon’s mum. The supportive wife/daughter-in-law part of me knows that Simon needs to be with her as much as possible and that he needs me to be there for him. The exhausted and vulnerable bereaved and pregnant woman part of me wishes for once a weekend would be about looking after me and tending to my every need!
Although I must say that Simon has been a real sweetheart, a complete tower of strength and is considerate of my needs as much as he can be right now, I feel that it’s only right to get support from other people too as he has so much on his mind. As much as I think about how to let people (I’m mostly thinking of one particular group of friends here) know that I’m really struggling, I’m finding it really hard to just be open and ask for help right now.
For some reason instead of being explicit, I find myself so tempted to post sad or needy social media posts on Facebook or Instagram! “This will remind everyone how much I’m suffering” I think to myself as I word these attention seeking statuses in my head. I have resisted posting anything like this so far! It’s even crossed my mind to ask Simon to contact them saying I’m not doing so well and he is worried about me. Again, I haven’t actually done this. Drama queen in my mind but not in reality! If I’m honest, I’m annoyed that my friends aren’t asking me how I am and I seem to want to provoke a reaction from them. Normally them not necessarily asking wouldn’t stop me from posting in the Whatsapp group that I’m having a hard time, but I think maybe now I’m feeling like if they really cared they would ask, and if they don’t really care then what’s the point of me telling them? I’m trying to be a good friend and keep track of things in their lives and be interested in their important events. I’m so aware the world hasn’t stopped for other people and that everyone has their own challenges just as significant to them as mine are to me. I just don’t feel I’m getting the same interest in return. Here I am, going through the hardest time of my life, remembering (for example) to text my friend wishing her a happy one year anniversary with her boyfriend, and not getting a ‘how are you coping?’ in response.
A few weeks ago, I messaged the group after not seeing my friends since Christmas and explained that time was going really slowly and it helped me to have things planned to look forward to. We arranged a Friday night dinner which happened just over two weeks ago and was lovely but that’s the last I’ve seen of them and we have no current plans to meet until a lunch date three weeks from now. Is seeing my supposedly best friends once every five or six weeks normal? Bearing in mind none of these friends have kids, and all live within the same city as me. One actually lives about five minutes drive away and is also dating my husband’s friend. This is the most I’ve ever needed my friends and I’m just not feeling their presence as much as I would like.
As I’m writing this, I fully recognise that I could directly ask them again to make other plans to meet up or do something together. I know I was better at this a few months ago and felt happier for doing things regardless of the fact that it was always me organising them. I suppose at the minute I’m just feeling resentful that every text interaction I have with these friends is started by me and that none of them ever call me, or suggest meeting up.
I started this post with the title about why is it so hard to ask for help. I think as I’ve written more I’ve realised that it’s not just my ability to ask for help that’s the issue. Partly there is a resentment that support is not forthcoming without the need to ask for it and maybe I don’t even necessarily know what form of support I really want. I don’t know if I’m being fair on my friends or if I’m expecting too much for them to know what I want and when I want it, if I can’t be more explicit about that myself.