Fragile

Sharing this is healing for me. So if your bothered by sad stories or TMI then don’t read it because I refuse to apologize for finally acknowledging my feelings.

I have suffered two pregnancy losses.
My belief is that I have not properly acknowledged these losses. Which if you knew me wouldn’t seem that surprising. When it comes to pain, sadness, loss, or vulnerability I tend to push these feelings deep down where no one can see them. I pride myself on being strong, level headed and rational. For whatever reason I categorized my pregnancy losses into the ‘frivolous emotion’ category and down they went into this box in my body where I keep everything that makes me uncomfortable.
But I am not sure I can hold it in anymore. The problem is holding in some emotions means they just manifest into other emotions. For me its anger, bitterness, jealousy and for those who don’t know what I went through I look like a psychotic bitch.
So it’s time to tell my story…
I met the love of my life when I was 15. I’m a lucky bitch right? We have now been together for 11 years, living in sin for the past 7 years, and I wouldn’t change a thing (but don’t tell him that).
We like most couples want to start a family, we also wanted to be a younger family, so we started trying to conceive when we were in our mid twenties. A couple years of trying and nothing was a bit discouraging but I could agree with the old adage “a baby will come when the time is right”.
I believed that was true so when one Friday morning before work I realized my period was pretty overdue I took a pregnancy test. It was positive….
If you have ever been pregnant I am sure you will understand when I say I was a mother the moment I saw those two little lines. Because in that moment everything changes. You want to be the best person you have ever been so that you can give the best to the tiny life growing inside you.
It was my 26th birthday.
I went to work made up an excuse to go get a quick blood test to confirm that day. I was already acting pregnant. I spent the whole weekend pretending nothing had changed when in reality EVERYTHING had changed. I celebrated my birthday with my friends and family all the while glowing on the inside believing next year I would have a new little person to celebrate with.
Unfortunately that wouldn’t happen.
I waited to tell my fiance because I wanted it to be special. I set a camera up, threw a couple of blue and pink paint swatches on our extra bedroom wall. When he came home from work I asked him what color he’d like to paint the walls, his face was priceless when I pulled out the positive test. We took the next day off to relax and enjoy our new reality. We shopped for the best pregnancy food and I made my first prenatal appointment.
Everything was perfect.
Almost a week after my birthday I woke up to pain in my abdomen and some medium bleeding. I rushed to google (which I wouldn’t recommend) to confirm what I already knew was happening. Panic set in because I hadn’t even met my Dr yet how could this even be happening. I hid in that extra bedroom with the swatches still stuck to the wall while my fiance got up and unknowingly started his day.
After his shower he found me on the couch in tears. I couldn’t even look at him when I told him what was happening. I am the strong one, I am the logical one and I didn’t want him to see the fear and embarrassment I was feeling.
Yes, my first reaction to my pregnancy loss was embarrassment. What kind of woman was I that my body couldn’t keep this baby alive. I assured him I would be ok I called the Dr office and they said I could come in right away. But I wasn’t ok and he wouldn’t leave so he called my mom. She didn’t even know I was trying to have a baby let alone that I was pregnant. I hadn’t had time to tell her I wanted it to be special. Instead she found out she could have been a grandma from her future son in law while her only daughter broke to pieces in bed unable to speak.
Some of the best things about my mother is that she knows when to just be there but not say too much. Her being there for 10 minutes reminded me that I wasn’t raised to lay in bed and cry. I was raised to get up, get it together, and get some answers.
So my mother took me to the Dr who confirmed what I already knew. I listened as she told me she was sorry and what I needed to look out for as my body ‘passed’ the pregnancy. I made an appointment to get my blood drawn in a week to confirm my body was returning to its pre-pregnancy state.
As usual I acted like I was fine. I told the Dr as she said for the third time how sorry she was that ‘it’s fine’. I went with my mom when she suggested getting some food and going to a nearby mall. Mostly because I didn’t want to go home.
So I never let myself fall to pieces. I couldn’t because I told myself these typical things:
 
You are young, you have time.
 
Well at least you know you can get pregnant. 
 
It’s not like the pregnancy lasted that long. 
 
Other women have it way worse.
 
Don’t tell anyone. They will only look at you like a victim, like there is something wrong with you.
 
That was the BIGGEST mistake.
The lack of acknowledgement, the lack of grieving has festered and made me angry. I can’t find joy in others pregnancies or even their children. I get angry so easily around people who treat their pregnancies like the easiest thing in the world. Like it has somehow enlightened them to a place I could only understand if I was a parent. I cringe when people bring up having babies, especially when they refer directly to me having children. It’s not their fault they don’t know. But it hurts, every time, and that is why I wrote this.
Here is something I want everyone who has ever been pregnant to know: we became mothers the moment we became pregnant. Motherhood didn’t end when my pregnancy did. Nor did it the second time this past February. Motherhood is creating a life and knowing in your deepest heart that you would do anything to protect that little light inside you. Motherhood is grieving that little light when it is gone too soon.
One day we will all be able to hold our light and watch it grow. But until then I want everyone to start treating pregnancy with a little more care. You don’t know what your friend, sister, cousin or co-worker might be going through. Some words that seem harmless can be extremely painful to someone who has experience a loss like this.
We are fragile. I am fragile and I am no longer embarrassed to be.
– Kassandra
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Cutting the Red Thread

Recently I was introduced to the “red string of fate” or “red string of marriage” which is an East Asian belief found in both Chinese and Japanese legend. The legend basically states that the gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way.

The two people connected by the red thread are destined to be lovers, regardless of place, time or circumstances. The red thread can be stretched and tangled but can never break.

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The Red String of Fate by Kassandraleigh

This concept of the “red string of fate” or what us Westerners like to call “soulmates” is a concept I have given a lot of thought to. Having met what most would call my soulmate at 15 in high school I have spent many nights over the last ten years pondering our connection and the circumstances that led us to find each other.

If you asked me if I thought we were “meant to be”, I would say no. Being a very logical and practical person I think the idea of David being my soulmate is an insult to the time and energy we both have put into ensuring the growth and success of our relationship. I also think telling someone who is struggling to find their life mate that they just haven’t found “the one” yet is complete fantasy.

Yes, David and I were lucky enough to find each other at a time in our lives where we both were amenable to the idea of forever with each other or even with someone else. We happened to believe in the idea that dating in pursuit of marriage and family made more sense than dating around. We are always told that when we get older we will be able to make the big decisions about who to marry, where to live, or even what type of job we want. There are some of us who just know from the beginning. There is no magical string connecting us. Just a belief in our own futures and the strength to go forth and accomplish what we want.

My love for David has nothing to do with an invisible red thread and if I was proved wrong and could see it surrounding us, connecting us, I would cut it just to prove what we have is so much more than fate.

What do you think? Do you think there is someone out there at the end of your red thread waiting for you? Or is life and love what you make it?

Life is Short…

So we have all heard the old adage “Life is Short” and while I live by this mantra every day I wonder if the way I interpret this age old saying is correct.

I have always lived the way I have wanted to. I do not typically do things I don’t feel like doing and if I want to purchase something I typically do, after paying my bills first. I live within the boundaries I set for myself and no one else’s. If someone is a jerk and doesn’t deserve my time well then they don’t get any of my time. No one is an exception to that rule, that includes family, blood or otherwise.

There are many of you out there that I am sure do not agree with my take on this. But let’s pretend for a moment that you do. Our time spent living on this earth is short. A hundred years when you are 10 seems like a long time but when you are 40? Now that seems like no time at all. So why spend it doing something you hate or spending time with people who do not appreciate you?

I am sure that each and every one of you has been in a situation with a ‘difficult’ family member. We make excuses for them time and again because well ‘they’re family’. This is all well and good, no need to disown someone over a broken family heirloom or a missed birthday, but what about those family members who really screw you over? The ones that steal from you, abuse you mentally or physically, destroy your future, and/or stand in the way of your happiness? What do you do with those people?

My knee jerk reaction is to get as far away as possible. Just because you’re my family doesn’t mean you can treat me badly and then say sorry and everything will be alright. It just doesn’t work that way. Not in my world. So here is what I fundamentally do not understand. Your family can screw you over, mother, father, sister, aunt, brother and then you forgive them because ‘they’re family’. Why? What does that mean? Family shouldn’t mean a free pass to destroying your loved ones lives and getting to go on like nothing happened.

Family is about love and support, and to a certain extent forgiveness. But there are times when forgiveness doesn’t include continuing along with the unhealthy relationship. So how do you tell a family member ‘it’s over’? And how do you know it’s the right time? That the last straw has finally broken the camels back?

That is currently what I am struggling with. Because after all “Life is Short” and you can’t replace your family.

Feeling Really Lost

Lately I have had some major writers block.

A lot of what I do at my day job revolves around creativity in writing, graphic art and brainstorming new unique ideas. As my job demands more of my brain I find my myself unable to accomplish all I want to do with my blogging.

I never want blogging to become a job, or something I feel guilty about walking away from for a few days. Unfortunately my inner nature does not allow me to avoid this guilt so when I missed my first Sephora Saturday post last week I have felt miserable ever since.

This week my effort outside of work has been to keep moving on a story I started called Call Me Ishmael. This story developed from a Daily Prompt and has become a real creative outlet for me. After getting some really useful feedback from Izzy Grabs Life I have felt compelled to write more and write better. I want to be deserving of the time and effort other bloggers have put into reading my posts and writing comments to help me grow as a writer.

If you have experienced this same writers block please let me know how you’ve handled it. Are there any particular tricks to getting the creative juices flowing when they have basically run dry?

Thanks so much for all the feedback, I appreciate all the comments, as each one helps me become a better blogger.

Call Me Ishmael Part 1
Call Me Ishmael Part 2

Shiny Copper Penny from 2008

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Buffalo Nickel.”

“What was I doing in 2008?” I thought after actually finding a penny that was minted after I was born.

It took .5 seconds for me to feel ridiculous because at 25 years old 2008 happened to be one of the most important and transitional years of my life.

In March my fiance and I got engaged. It was his sophomore and my freshman year and we had been together for 3 years (and will be celebrating 10 years this March). We still aren’t married mostly because we were focused on our educations and careers and partly because weddings are expensive.

That summer we both spent ninety percent of our time at the baseball stadium we worked at. Our days consisted of inventory, receiving concession stand food, and cleaning. Our nights were spent running concession stands full of teenagers who were selling overpriced popcorn and soda. We made a lot of money and we had a lot of fun. It was out last season working for the Sea Dogs and as much as we enjoyed ourselves we wouldn’t go back.

In September we officially moved out of our parents homes in Maine and into an apartment together in Boston where we both went to college. We adopted a cute kitten and named him Nelson. My mother moved from Maine to Long Island NY to move in with her now husband.

The first few months living together were tough but we bought an air conditioner and we got through it. We became best friends with Billy and now he is like family.

Thank you Daily Post for reminding me of an important time in my life.

Call Me Ishmael | Part 2

His silent departure no longer bothered me like it used to. The first time he appeared in my room did startle me and it took about two weeks and a few visits to a therapist to convince myself I wasn’t crazy. I turn back to the stack of cardboard boxes and resign myself to a day of unpacking.
My move to London about a month ago had been surprisingly smooth for a last minute decision. My family did not take the news well but they understood. My mother had been the first and only person, besides the therapist, that I told about seeing him again. It was my mothers idea that I seek the help of a therapist first and then when I found out about the dream marketing job that could take me across the Atlantic ocean and away from all my memories of him it was her who told me to go. I think she thought that I could leave him behind and I did for about a week and then he showed up again in my new apartment and I decided to stop running. His presence had become comforting even though I knew it was unhealthy.
The unpacking took the rest of the day and he didn’t come back until I returned from bring the boxes down to the recycling. He was sitting on my couch staring at the wall so I walked over and sat next to him without saying anything. We just sat there both staring at the wall, neither of us talking, neither of us needing to as we both just found comfort in the silence together. My stomach growling is what eventually broke the quiet and I got up to fix myself a sandwich in the kitchen.
“It is so strange never being hungry.” he says as I close the refrigerator. He has moved from his position on the couch to a stool at my kitchen island.
“I wish I knew what that felt like. I would be a lot skinnier.” I say trying to lighten his mood.
“You don’t need to be any skinnier you are beyond beautiful just the way you are. Besides you have lost weight this past month. I suppose that is my fault. You always forget to eat when I am around.” as I come around the counter and take the empty seat next to him. He turns so we are facing each other and smiles at my sandwich.
“Peanut butter & jelly?” He says with a smirk.
“Hey,” I say with a frown “ I haven’t had time to grocery shop and I only have this cause mom sent it from the states.”
He doesn’t say anything and continues to sit silently next to me as I force down the sandwich and a glass of water. Once I finish I clean the dishes and put them away. He follows me around the house as I get ready for bed. Tomorrow is Monday which means back to work so I take extra time setting out my outfit and organizing my bag. The firm I work for is full of young professionals, almost all from the UK and so I find myself attempting to blend in with them as much as possible. This means putting extra thought into my clothes and accessories so that I don’t scream American.
“You are working tomorrow?” he asks.
“Yes.” I say and see him frown.
I change into my pajamas and climb into bed, turning off the bedside lamp. He is barely visible in the dark laying atop the covers so I turn to lay on my side facing him. He reaches over and pulls the comforter up to cover my shoulder.
“Don’t go.” I say fighting to keep my eyes open.
He reaches out and tucks some stray hair behind my ear. I lean forward into his touch instinctively moving my hand up and over to where his chest should be and feel the top of my quilted comforter. I open my eyes and he’s gone.

If you like this post be sure to check out the Daily prompt post that started it all here “DAILY PROMPT | Call Me Ishmael” and be sure to follow Lost Girl if you want to continue the story.

An Uninspired Lost Girl

There are days, times where I have either been completely uninspired to write anything about anything and then there are days, times where I feel so lost in my own problems that I think writing and posting would be a complete mistake.

I’m afraid.

I do not want the blogging community to think I am negative, but I want to be real. I do not want them to only hear from me on my good days and think of me as someone who only has good days. I want to be able to share the good days, the bad days and the ugly days.

But I’m afraid.

I want to be able to share all of me. I want people to understand me and I want to understand them. I want to be able to share my ‘I’m sorry but I don’t feel like feeling that way today’ attitude without having to say I’m sorry. Because I’m not sorry.

I’m afraid.

I am just who I am on whichever day you find me. And Tuesday will be different than Wednesday which will be different than Saturday.

But I want to be brave. I will try to be brave because I know you are out there. You. The person who will find me in this vast blogging universe and read my blog and say “Yes. I am not alone.”

I will be brave for you. So come find me.

This post is in response to the Blogging 101: Be Inspired by the Neighbors daily task. I expanded on my comment on The Endeavors of Everyday Life blog post called “Having The Wobbles And Inspiring Blogs (While Feeling Utterly Uninspired)” which you can find here.