Sunday, August 26, 2012

Double Agent

I am a double agent leading two different lives. Just as I did not willingly move to Griefland, I did not knowingly become a double agent. It was all quite surreptitious, as these sorts of things tend to be.

To most of the world I am a young woman newly set in the adult responsibilities of marriage and home ownership. They see me perform necessary daily tasks without flagging. I purchase and haul groceries. I make small talk with the neighbors. I weed the garden. I ride my bicycle to the office. I chit chat with co-workers and volunteer to bring a dish to the potluck. For all intents and purposes, not much has changed in their eyes.

My alternate life is stormy and sullen. I struggle to accomplish simple activities like laundry or watering the houseplants. Nerves wracked, I teeter on the edge of meltdown constantly. Treacherous mood swings wear me down. I cry easily and feel hollow inside.

In the outside world my son is rarely mentioned. There are those who do not know he ever existed. There are those who know of him but still do not bring him up. In my dark, cloaked life, I commune with other babylost families. We speak of our children frequently and swap stories about traversing the impossible terrain of grief. I see a few of them at support group or in my community but most live in the supernatural world of the internet. Here we gather like pagans in the woods on all Hallows’ Eve to perform our rituals, memorialize our children and remember, always remember. Here, I am free to be open and honest. Here I do not need to put out niceties or think twice before I answer the question, "How are you doing?"

Obsessively, I check and read babyloss blogs, starved for the connection to others surviving this horrible nightmare. I seek the reassurance and validation that what I am experiencing is not insanity. I seek the camaraderie and companionship of those knowing souls. But wait, the phone rings. I stifle my sniffles and put on my real world face. Pull it together quickly and answer the telephone pulled immediately back to the world where I am supposedly "fine."

This double agent business is exhausting.


  1. I hear you loud and clear.
    It seems every life mirrors the next in the post stillbirth world we now live in.

    "I seek the camaraderie and companionship of those knowing souls."

    YES. I have no one else. Really.

    Its all so sad... but it helps. Thank you for sharing. Reassurance and validation. I hear you. I see you. I *know* what you're going through.

    Sending love

  2. Wow, I so get this. I feel like the outside world sees me being so normal when I feel anything but. This community really does help. Yes, it is exhausting and yet impossible to explain exactly why.

  3. It is exhausting and hard and sometimes I wonder why we do it. Why do we put on the 'normal' face for others? Thank goodness for this space. Without it I, too, would be wondering if I were crazy. Thanks to people like you, I know I'm not, really. At least not permanently. I hope. Love to you and to A and to the dragon within...

    1. Isn't that something? It's ingrained in me to be polite, to put on that face to the outside world. Even in the midst of this travesty I still expend energy and consideration of how I am perceived. That's f***** up.

  4. It is hard but we live in two worlds now. xo

  5. Wow yes some days this hits me hard too. After so many months sometimes I don't even realize when I'm acting...

  6. Its so exhausting yes, and something that only another bereaved parent can understand. Thinking about you and growing little one, and A always. x