I’ve Had The Rug Pulled Out From Underneath Me

I was cruising along, having good days and bad, and then…….


I found some things that were helping me get through my days and then forced isolation changed everything.

I could no longer do the things that were helping me. I was forced to deal with the feelings that I hadn’t completely delved into. I had forgotten to tend to my grief while I was just trying to get through my days and it came back to bite me.

I’ve said this more than once, no one in their right mind would willingly sit in this kind of pain. I have had days that I literally feel like I could crawl out of my skin. It hurts way too much. Everywhere I look, I see reminders of Jackson. This social isolation has made his absence a million times more obvious.

Ivan has no one to play with.

“Ivan has no one, but us.”

And trust me, I guarantee they would be arguing, but at least they would have each other. Except now, Ivan has no one, but us. Thankfully, he has been okay with being at home and hasn’t been asking to play with anyone. But he does want us to entertain him all day. I couldn’t do that before Jackson died and I certainly can’t do it now that my grief is at an all-time high and the world is in chaos.

Quarantining from the COVID-19 has brought me back to the first month of my grief. I did not leave the house for an entire month. I didn’t have to but I couldn’t either. People were bringing me food, doing my laundry, helping us take care of basic life tasks. I felt safe in my home because it was familiar and predictable. Now I’m being forced not to leave the house and I am back in total shock and denial about Jackson’s death.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I went through a major trauma, which was completely out of my control. Now, our world, is going through a major trauma and I have been triggered.

I am working on ways to deal with my newfound anxiety and some days are better than others. Right now, I’m taking the days as they come. Some days, I may feel energetic and ready to tackle anything. On others, I just want to lay on the couch.

My family will do anything we can to get through our days.

What other option do we have?

On one distressing day, we pulled up our carpet, painted the living room walls, and put down laminate wood flooring. We needed the change.

I’m trying to learn to be more self-reliant because I depended on my community to do all of the things that I was unable to do. Well now, my community has their own life issues to deal with so they aren’t as readily available. I don’t believe they have completely abandoned me but I realize they have their own battles to fight.

Social Isolation While Grieving

I know I’m not the only one experiencing anxiety related to current affairs in the world, but I would imagine that my reasons are a little different than the average persons.

I am a self-proclaimed control freak. It’s probably why I don’t like to drink or do drugs because I am not in control. Losing Jackson was the ultimate “I have no control” over anything. Having a tidy home is something I can control. Being on a quarantine with my needy, grieving 4 year old, who doesn’t understand his brother’s death or the Coronavirus is making me nervous. He is an extrovert like me. He needs to be around people. He likes to be active and doing our normal routine. I will enjoy some of the time we have together but I am not going to sugarcoat things and act like we are going to be baking homemade bread or I’ll be teaching him math and making crafts. That is not reality.

We will have time together and we will have fun but the thought of being home, and not busy, is terrifying to me. I have chosen to stay busy and do very involved activities to honor Jackson. They have been great therapy for me. I have also found a few other things that have proven to be therapeutic for my mental health and I will do them to the best of my ability. Having to face the pain that I’ve been somewhat running away from, well let’s just say it has me in a state of anxiety.

No one in their right mind would just sit in the pain of losing a child. Numbing your pain is something I have chosen not to do with substances but I have used events as a distraction.

I am in immense pain.

“The trauma of his brother’s death … is immeasurable.”

But I haven’t had the option to sit around and sulk and cry and wail. I have a 4 year old child who needs me for his security. I can’t be away from him for long without him experiencing high anxiety that I won’t come back. When we are at home, he calls out to me sometimes every 20 seconds (this is not an exaggeration) to make sure I am still here. This is a direct result of his brother being seemingly ok and then dead 6 days later. The trauma of his brother’s death, for Ivan, is immeasurable. And while I can logically understand it, it does not make it easy. I am not functioning on all cylinders and I have to CONSTANTLY reassure him.

I will do that.

I do that but it wears on me.

Honestly, I need a break from him for my own sanity. Sometimes I feel like I might explode with all of the different feelings and emotions that I experience.

Our story is crazy enough that it being shared on sites likes Yahoo and SheKnows. I want the story to be told. I want to raise awareness. I will shout it from the mountaintops that we need to raise awareness, but realizing that our story is that drastic doesn’t really feel great.

“…we need to raise awareness, but realizing that our story is that drastic doesn’t really feel great.”

So needless to say, I am entering a time of what could be profound grief. The uncertainty is hard for me to handle. Ivan is hard for me to handle. I am hard to handle. I try to keep my focus on the gifts and how we have helped but I can’t ignore the pain and anguish that I live with and probably always will.