Part of me wanted to call this post "dat waterproof mascara lyfe," but I decided that sometimes it's okay to not put up a front about things. I've realized over the past couple weeks that more and more I pretend I'm okay when I'm not, and I think that's largely due to the fact that more people are reading everything I write. It's easy for me to write how I'm actually feeling when I don't think about the audience, but I think I worry that no one will care to read if (most) every single post I write is deep and emotional. If you still care to read, then truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
About thirteen months ago, I wrote a post on my old blog called The waterproof mascara days. I wrote it the day before we moved to Salt Lake, and I remember the three weeks prior to that day had been so hard, living by myself while Brandon started his new job, packing up our house alone, and saying goodbye to a house, job, and town that I loved so much.
Have you ever just wanted to kick yourself when you look back on something that you once thought was such a big deal? I look back at almost 25 year old me and think, you poor, sweet, thing, you have no idea what's coming.
For those three weeks, and a couple weeks after, I wore waterproof mascara nearly every day, just in case of spontaneous crying, which didn't actually end up happening as much as I'd anticipated. After we lost Carter though, I started wearing waterproof mascara yet again. And then I noticed I was wearing it so much that I actually wanted to invest in a better tube than what I had. I spent an actual amount of money on waterproof mascara, and I've been wearing it every single day. And unlike the days leading up to and following our move, the waterproof mascara has served its purpose. On a good day, I will cry for maybe a minute. Or sometimes it's just a few quick tears that never end up running down my face. But on a bad day, it would be easier to tell you how much time I spent not crying. And I really don't tell you these things to make you feel bad for me, I just feel like being transparent.
The past few weeks I have been angry and moody and sad and okay, and I don't know how to control it anymore. I don't know how to control my reactions or how to not get upset at people for stupid things. I think the bigger part of me gets upset at myself for getting upset in the first place, over petty, stupid things that don't actually matter. And then I get upset because, if we had Carter at home, maybe I wouldn't get upset about those things in the first place.
I told Brandon yesterday that, if people asked me to rate my days on a scale of 1-10, my entire scale would be the equivalent of what a 1-3 would have been before our loss. The highest I can go on any given day is a 3, and on a day I'd consider a 1, I'm hardly keeping my head above water.
At this point, nothing seems important except for Carter and Brandon, and I feel like sometimes maybe that's not an acceptable thing to feel. Especially since we got the autopsy results back. No one had said or even hinted at feeling this way, but I feel like now that we have the final autopsy results, people will expect me to be okay and move on. Kind of like when you wait days and days for a test result, then you find out your grade and move on. But just because we got the autopsy report doesn't mean this is over. It's not something I can think about and say "okay well I got an F, but I'll just try again next time." I legitimately lost my baby a week before he was supposed to come home with me and I can't have him back. It's not something I will ever get over, but I'm afraid people will want me to. I'm afraid people will forget about Carter because there aren't pictures of him plastering my Instagram feed like a living baby. I scour the internet daily to try and find airplane things to put in my house and on my body so that when people see them, they are reminded of our boy and how much he is still a part of our lives. He might not physically be in our house, but I can still feel him there all the same, and I want others to feel him too. What if people forget and don't count him in the number of children we have when we have other kids at home? What if someone tells me it's dumb to celebrate his birthday every year, or to buy him something for Christmas, or to make him a Shutterfly book every year like I had planned to anyway? I'm so legitimately terrified that people expect me to be over losing him and I can't be. I can't be "on" every day, I can't even be okay every day. I'm afraid of letting people down because I still cry every day.
A friend shared a picture with me of a biplane sticker she saw on someone's back windshield today, and I can't even begin to explain to you how much it meant to me. To know that at least one person, even four months since our loss, remembers Carter when she sees an airplane. To that friend, thank you. You honestly have no idea how much your post this morning meant to me.
I won't ever be as good as I once was. There is always a part of me that will be broken, and I hope that's okay. I miss Carter every single day, but I'm terrified I will forget just how much I miss him, and I'm terrified that other people will just forget him altogether. Life is moving forward for other people, and even for me and Brandon, but I can't decide if I'm okay with that or not. I know good things wait for us in the future, but most days, I'd rather be stuck and lost without my boy than not thinking about him at all.