Monday, January 22, 2018

Sharing memories when you have none

One of the things about me, a good indicator of my OCD, is that I have to be even with all of my kids. My mom was even with my brother and I and I just never want one kid to feel more special.

They drive me nuts equally. Penelope a little more most days.

Each one of my kids have a scrapbook detailing their first year. I documented my pregnancy, how Matt and I felt, pictures of their siblings getting ready, labor and delivery, and then every month until their birthday, ending with their first birthday party.

It's a pretty extensive project but it was important to me that my kids know how they began. I want them to be able to look back and should they not have memories themselves, it's OK because I did it. I documented those big moments and maybe someday their spouses or partners will love it, or their kids will think it's cool, or they'll know how much I loved them when I'm gone.

Except Lucy.

Lucy doesn't have one. I'm just starting this for her and I've only got my belly photos done but it was then that I realized I can't remember my pregnancy. I don't know if I had morning sickness, when she moved, what I was feeling, Matt's reaction to her coming, nothing. I can't remember labor and delivery and each month? Forget it. I can't tell you when she walked, sat, ate solid foods, rolled over, none of it. Looking at these photos and having it driven home that I don't remember and those likely aren't coming back is a trigger, and it's upsetting.

I am so upset that Lucy is going to get the left overs, the crappy end of the stick, the lamest of everything because I just can't give any more. I am really angry that this has happened to me and I don't understand why. The greater purpose isn't here and I am so angry. I really want to get passed the angry phase but I feel stuck.

I am so tired of people comparing their normal memory loss and forgetfulness to what I've got going on. I know they do it to make me feel better or convince me that this is normal, but I have had countless doctors tell me it is not, it's not going to get better (most likely), and that I'll notice I'm losing memories I'm forming now, I just won't remember what I can't remember. It's frustrating. I can't remember last week, when I try it's just a weird void of blackness. I know I did something, but I can't remember any of it. How am I supposed to live like this? What's even the point of trying to find joy if I won't remember any of it when I need it the most?


Krystle Rae said...

Yep... all the feels...

Remember, this is NO FAULT of your own, absolutely none.

Would it help every day before bed, or maybe at nap time and again before bed, to document your days? You don't necessarily have to make them public blog posts, but maybe writing more or every day would help you look back down the road?

I know it doesn't help for Lucy's first year, but maybe going forward?

Hugs to you my dear... <3 I'm so proud of how far you've come just in the last year. And, doing scrap books for 4 kids? Jesus. I last updated Ella's baby book (store-bought, fill in the blank kind) when she was MAYBE 10 months. And even at that point, it was sketchy. Lucy is just going to be thankful growing up, that you're HERE! AND, maybe beginning now or to her 2nd birthday - you can slowly start documenting more now , and the first year or two of her life, do what you can, but she'll understand.

A friend of mine, their house burnt down to the ground a few christmas's ago... she had photo album after photo album for her kids and growing up. Gone. Poof. All of them. And the kids now are in their early 20s. I know they have the memories - BUT, what mom documented growing up, and all the pictures as babies... GONE.

I guess what I'm trying to say is... you just keep doing the best YOU can... sometimes you can't control what happens (obviously you're well aware of that). I know your OCD wants to be able to control it, but make sure you're giving yourself enough credit. You've come so far, and done so much - and most of all, you're here.

And we're ALL thankful for that. Especially your babies and Matt.

Kim {Hope Whispers} said...

I am so very sorry you have lost these memories. One of the results of my Hepatic Encephalopathy is memory loss. While it isn't the same, I know the feeling of wanting so badly to remember these moments. I know that anger! I have notes written all over the place and so many times I can't even remember writing them. I have lost whole conversations with my boys and then seen the look on their faces when they realized I don't remember. You are doing great Mom! You are doing your best and that is what matters! Know that you are not alone. Here if you ever need to talk!

amotheradaughterandlife said...

I can not imagine how you feel. Prayers for you to not get worse and to get your memories back. I agree with one of the other commenters about writing down things every morning and evening so at least you can look back and know even if you don't remember.

Beth (Coffee Until Cocktails) said...

My comment appears to have disappeared, so if this is a repeat I am so sorry. I just wanted to tell you that your anger is valid and your frustrations over comparisons are valid too. It sucks what happened and it's ok to say that out loud. So many hugs to you sweet lady.

coach-daddy said...

It's hard to have multiple kids, period. I can't even divvy up the mac-and-cheese evenly, let alone equalize all their experiences. Here's what I would do: Think of something new and different to do for Lucy. I've done things like save the newspaper from the girls' birthdays, or ask for people's pages from daily calendars from that day.

Start an email account for her and write to it whenever you can. Give her the password when she's 10 or 12 or 18.

Find old photos of her and try to reenact them.

I'm new to you and the blog, but I can see you're a loving and creative parent. Turn to those traits and find a new way to document your love for Lucy!

mypixieblog said...

Oh man... this breaks my heart for you. I remember your last pregnancy and how fragile and scary everything was but to know that memories are disappearing and that there’s seemingly nothing you can do about it? That just tears me up for you :*( I think sometimes people want a way to relate so often we do and say things that don’t often make sense to the person on the receiving end (as family/friends are doing to you now). It’s frustrating, even when intentions are good. Sending all my love and think that what you’re doing—by documenting what you can and writing your words down here—is so beneficial for you. I’m certain your daughter will never feel neglected or uncared for, because you are such a wonderful mommy <3

Kismaslife said...

I heart you my friend and totally get where you are coming from. I think a lot of moms do.

I have a journal that I kept for my two so that after they were in bed and I was finally sitting down, I wrote about the day. The two will have a lot of the same letter simply with the exception of the events that they each went thru.

As moms, we have to do a lot in a days time so that fact that we really remember anything at all is amazing.

You are doing great and you will find something that works for your sweet Lucy, I have a feeling it will just come to you.

Great post my friend, thank you for sharing.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

God, this is so not fair, and I hate it so much for you. I like the idea already mentioned to do something different for Lucy- you can only do what you can and I think she'll grow up and appreciate that. I can't even imagine not remembering so much...or still losing my memories. I'm sure it does make you angry, and scared, and that probably won't go away, but I DO HOPE these emotions aren't what rules so much in the future.


Julie H said...

You did blog most of it though. I bet you can get all the before stuff for her book from your blog. Even after you blogged what she was doing milestone wise. You are super hard on yourself. I haven't scrapbooked in years.