April 24, 2021 at 11:55 am #378633
Hello, I’m new here and hoping to gain some insight from others.
I am trying very hard to accept the series of events that have happened in the past 5 years but struggling! My first two babies were stillborn and my third lived only for a few days after being born very premature. Then my husband left a year ago without any real discussion or attempt to work on our relationship. He basically just physically ran away from the pain and loss and left me standing there stunned.
Obviously the feelings of grief and loss as well as the lasting trauma are difficult to cope with and I am finding it hard to accept what life has dealt me. I’m angry, heartbroken, traumatised and hopeless all at once – and I feel this is mostly due to my trouble accepting the unfairness of it.
I know I’m not the first person to have a bad thing happen and people deal with much worse. How can I find the grace and courage to accept what has happened without crying ‘why me!’April 24, 2021 at 12:57 pm #378642
I am so sorry about the series of tragic events that happened in your life. I wish none of them happened to you. I understand your trouble accepting the unfairness of it.
I would like to return to your thread and reply further in a few hours when I am thinking more clearly. I hope other members reply to you before I return.
anitaApril 24, 2021 at 3:00 pm #378649TeaKParticipant
I am very sorry about what happened to you. It’s a horrible loss, and on top of that, your husband couldn’t deal with it and left. It happens sometimes that marriages fall apart after tragedies like that.
I haven’t been through anything similar, but perhaps a book by David Kessler “Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief” can help. He’s talking about going beyond the usual 5 stages of grief and finding meaning and giving the tragedy a silver lining, I suppose (I haven’t read the book but I suppose one way of finding meaning could be to do volunteering work to perhaps help women and families in a similar situation). I know it’s easier said than done, but there might be something that resonates with you in that approach.
Also, are you seeing a therapist specialized in grief work? Perhaps that would need to come first, and then finding meaning as the next phase of the healing journey.April 24, 2021 at 8:14 pm #378679
Dear Lana: I will reply further to you in about 10 hours from now.
anitaApril 25, 2021 at 9:24 am #378708
You wrote that by posting, you were hoping “to gain some insight from others”. I will try my best.
In the past five years, you gave birth to two stillborn babies and to a third premature baby who lived for only a few days. A year ago, your husband left without any real discussion or an attempt to work on the relationship.
You feel “angry, heartbroken, traumatised and hopeless.. mostly due to my trouble accepting the unfairness of it”. You asked: “How can I find the grace and courage to accept what has happened without crying ‘why me!’?”
My suggested insight: there are natural rules that govern life, but fairness has nothing to do with these rules. In nature, when a mountain lion (a predator) is hungry, it will kill and eat a weak baby deer that is left unguarded, or an injured or old deer (prey). The natural rules are that (1) predators feed on prey, and (2) to minimize risk of injury and to minimize energy loss, predators choose the young, weak, injured, or old, because these animals are not likely to successfully run away or fight, and therefore, the mountain lion does not have to run after them, or risk injury in a fight of any kind.
These two rules are not fair to the individual prey animals that get killed and eaten.
In human society, there are efforts to move away from these natural realities toward a cooperative, peaceful human society. Laws came about to make life fair for humans, and for the animals and plants we interact with. Examples: (1) It is punishable by law to physically assault another person because it is not fair for a person to be assaulted. (2) People who feel that it is not fair for animals to be eaten become vegetarians. (3) People who feel it is not fair for animals to lose their natural habitats to human construction became activists for the right of animals, (4) People who strongly feel that it is not fair for children to be mistreated, become activists for the rights of children, (5) People who strongly feel that it is not fair to discriminate against disabled people become activists for the rights of people with disabilities.
Fairness is not part of nature, it is not a natural idea. It’s a human idea, a human endeavor, something we humans came up with. Every day and every night, all over the world, many people are trying to make life fair for themselves and for other people (and animals, even plants), and many people, unfortunately, are making life unfair for themselves and for others. It takes good people trying their best to make life fair that makes a cooperative, peaceful society possible.
Back to your personal story: (1) Giving birth to three babies who died at birth or a few days later is a very painful experience for a mother, and you are a mother who lost three babies.
(2) I assume you weren’t aware of any significant physical/ medical problem that caused your first stillbirth, and that following the first stillbirth, you were examined thoroughly by a medical doctor, and no significant physical problem was found to explain the stillbirth. Therefore, you got pregnant again. After the second stillbirth, you were examined yet again, and no significant physical problem was found..
– before I continue, are my assumptions correct?
anitaApril 25, 2021 at 9:54 am #378710
Thank you very much for your kind reply, and for the book recommendation. I will check it out.
I have been in therapy on and off over the past few years but I found it didn’t help much. I know that this is probably down to not finding the right therapist and sometimes I am guilty of feeling too low to keep searching.
Thanks again, I do appreciate you writing backApril 25, 2021 at 10:03 am #378713
Thanks Anita for your considered reply.
I completely understand where you are coming from with fairness being a human construct. I know this is true – but I find it hard to accept. It’s my inner child screaming ‘but why isn’t life fair?!
Your assumptions are partially correct about my children. My first was put down to a one-off after tests came back clear. After my second stillborn, doctors did further in depth tests and concluded that my cervix was probably incompetent and so I have surgery in my third pregnancy. This did not work as expected and I went into labour with my third child prematurely. He then died. I have since been told that I would need more invasive surgery to have a chance at a successful pregnancy.April 25, 2021 at 11:43 am #378717
You are welcome. Thank you for your explanation in the second paragraph.
You wrote that the unfairness is hard for you to accept, that your inner child is screaming “but why isn’t life fair?”-
– When you were a child (when the inner child was your outer child), did you scream your outrage over life being unfair, do you remember it happening and in what circumstances?
* I will soon be away from the computer for hours.
anitaApril 26, 2021 at 5:47 am #378749TeaKParticipant
you’re welcome, I hope the book will provide some suggestions and hopefully, some relief too.
So if I understood well, the condition that caused your babies to be stillborn is called cervix incompetency or cervix insufficiency? During your 3rd pregnancy, they did a procedure to prevent the cervix from opening prematurely (was it cervical cerclage?), but it didn’t help, and you still went into labor prematurely. Am I guessing this right?April 26, 2021 at 11:21 am #378750CharParticipant
Dear Lana, I’m so sorry you had to go through these traumas and are still living with the emotions they bring up. It’s very easy to ask, “Why me?” We’ve all been there. Any many of us still are with at least one of our past traumas.
Unfortunately, that question keeps us stuck. We end up in a rut while our mind tries to blame us/make logical sense out of what happened. And there is no logical sense to it. Bad things don’t just happen to good people; bad things happen to ALL people.
So now what? You can’t change the past. But you can let go of the emotions that are still coming up. A really simple and powerful tool to do this is to ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” You can ask yourself this question every single day, over and over again. You can say it aloud. You can write it down. If you are persistent, the answer will come. Asking this question will help connect you to your soul, and it will give you the guidance you need to understand why the emotions are still there and what is needed to let them go.
You will need to listen for the answer and trust when it comes. But don’t worry, if you’re unsure, the answer(s) will keep repeating until you get it. It may guide you to a new therapist, a course on inner work, a friend to talk to, a new career, visuals or words that help you process the emotions… the options are limitless. Your soul knows the best options for you.
Letting go of the emotions is not easy, but it is necessary if you want to heal. You don’t have to forget anything that happened. You simply need to forgive yourself and let go. Asking, “What can I learn from this?” can open you up to get there.
I pray you are able to let go of the emotions and baggage so that you may begin to live freely and connected to your light again. If there’s anything else you’d like me to pray for, please feel free to let me know.
CharApril 28, 2021 at 8:09 am #378860
How are you, Lana?