Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time to help myself!

I will go a little off track to share with you some of my actions in my early stages of grief. I will list some of the things I did and felt, but I did them because I knew no other way of making myself feel better and to regain some control of my life.
* Within the first few days of being home and when I had enough strength I cleared out my wardrobe. I felt that I had to rid myself of any and every item of clothing that I had worn at any point in my pregnancy with the twins. I mean everything down to my underwear. I felt that I couldn't have items that if worn again would trigger memories of being pregnant with my babies or worse cause what I thought could be bad energy for trying for another baby. I made DH go and by me countless pairs of fresh, brand new underwear. He watched me spend money to replace my wardrobe I only had a very few items that I hadn't worn during the pregnancy and actually fit my in between figure now.
* I avoided situations where I thought I might run into people I knew. I didn't want to have to explain myself. If I saw someone with a twin pram I would turn around and walk in another direction.
* I couldn't look at other pregnant women, I couldn't hear news of someone else falling pregnant. I could barely hear people talk about their children.
* I had the interior of the house painted because I needed a fresh start in the house.
* I made DH do things that I couldn't do myself (things that I knew would bring on trauma) out of the belief that I thought if I did it, it was going to cause me further sadness and bad luck.

These are just some of the things I did to name a few but the last point is a pretty serious one which had me confronting some truths about my whole life. I had read an article about a woman with OCD but her OCD wasn't an urge or need to clean. Her OCD was about ritualistic thoughts and urges that if fulfilled she thought would cause or bring bad luck to her or loved ones. I couldn't believe what I was reading, the article was talking about me. I had been much like her in many of the ways described in this lengthy article throughout my whole life. For me it had always been at a manageable level and no one and I mean no one not even DH knew of this issue in my life. The only times where it had been an issue was during stressful times and upsets in my personal life. During those stressful times if I couldn't fulfill tasks because of these thoughts other bad behaviours manifested in others ways to avoid the fear of being found out. After losing my babies all these issues started to manifest to such a point that I could no longer live with the amount it was consuming my life and the effect it was having on everything. I was relying on DH for everything and I had to admit to him that there was something about me after all this time he didn't know. The night that I had to sit him down and show him the article and tell him how it felt like me in the article and admit that things I had been asking him to do were out of fears that if I did them I would suffer. He was wonderful and supportive and said that we would do whatever it took to help for me. We addressed these issues with our grief counsellor who had some experience with OCD issues coming on after traumatic events. With her assistance and more reading and cognitive exercises I was able to get a handle back on things and was able to stop relying on DH so much and regain my independence. Sometimes even now 20 months after losing the twins, I have times when these OCD ritualistic thoughts and tendencies pop up. But now I am able to be open about these feelings coming on and we manage it together.

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