I did one just like this ages ago when Mad Natter was still my Monkey, and my uncle passed away - so, a year ago now. Almost precisely.
Now it's my turn. This past week, my circle of homeschooling families around the world was rocked by a tragedy in which one of us lost her young son - the same age as Mad Natter. This alone is an unbelievable tragedy, particularly in light of the fact that this little boy's elder sibling escaped the tragedy that killed the younger, meaning mother very nearly lost both. Being on the outskirts of this, I was mostly able to keep a distance from it, knowing how these things effect me. It was very difficult to sleep, particularly once it occurred to me what the child must have gone through. But, I was going to be okay.
The following day, Mad Natter started a new spiral of intensity. Each of these lasts about two weeks, and by the end has me wondering if I'm maybe not supposed to be a mother after all. It's extremely intense (obviously), stressful, and it tears at the very fabric of our family, trying to keep everything together well enough to actually parent... and exist as a person simultaneously.
Then the day after that, I found out that a woman I'd known the last five plus years had passed away. Nobody knows when, why, how, anything. We have a vague guesstimate range, we know that the police have contacted her mother, but nothing more. With no answers, not even to the basic fundamental question "what happened?" I have been a wreck. Dealing with the intensity spiral plus the death of a little one was going to be difficult. Add in losing a friend, and I'm now sunk.
I can feel it happening. My imaginational OE kicked in the first night, as I was picturing scenarios without intent. I was trying to sleep, but I kept thinking what this poor little boy must have gone through. How it would be fortunate if he'd knocked himself unconscious in the escape attempt... oh, but if he did, he might have been able to escape if he hadn't. Over and over, my mind went through scenarios, and by 4:30 in the morning, I was so exhausted and wrung out and unable to sleep that I dragged (literally, as he was a foot over my head) Mad Natter out of his bed, put him in mine, and was finally able to rest. During the following day, there was exhaustion of course, but also a very sharp increase in my perfectionism. I needed things to be just right, so I could internally deal with what was going on. But things weren't just right. With Mad Natter in the picture, things are never just so.
That night, I was going to be okay. Mad Natter crawled into bed with me just because, I finished reading a good book... and then I looked on Facebook, just to make sure. Only... Something was odd. On Tuesday, a friend of mine had been posting, and she put up a batman/catman pic that made me laugh and share... and that night people were posting sentimental goodbyes. Excuse me? I panicked. I wrote, apologizing for being creepifying, but what the heck? And then did some digging while I waited. I found out about 4 in the morning, again, that a friend had passed away. I'm not going to pretend I'm some kind of super-friend and that everyone I meet is the closest friend I've ever had. I knew Poxy casually, and over the course of five plus years. For a person like me - who usually has only three to five "friends" and a whole ton of acquaintances - though, being a passing friend is closer than it seems.
BAM. Intellectual OE in overdrive. When? What happened? How? How *could* this happen? She was only 31, how do you die at 31?! The next several hours were spent looking through police blotters, google searching, and trying to find anything there was to find to help me understand. But there was nothing to find. My mind is spiraling. I can't find anything, but I need to. I can't stop imagining, but I need to. I can't stop the overwhelm that is tugging at my heels, but I need to. And the first two combine to make the overwhelm even worse, and if I'm very lucky, I'll be able to unwind enough over the next few days to be actually able to function in the next week.
Grief winds me tight. My OEs kick in, and they run in circles, never fully satisfied even under the best scenarios, and my edges start to fray. And then there is the stress of raising a child even slightly outside "the norm" and the bindings I use to keep myself within an 'average' range start to split, and I feel like I'm going to fly apart, and I don't know how to handle it, or how to make things better. And what's all the more difficult is that there really isn't a way to make it all better. I just have to ride it out, try to meet the needs those OEs kick up, and hope like hell I can get myself back to reasonable before I have to deal with people in society again. Maybe I'll play a quick game or two, turn on a movie for Mad Natter, and read a book until I have to cook dinner. At this point, anything that helps will be welcomed. Just until I get back into my own variation of normal.