The other night on my Instagram stories I held a night of “Family Q&A” or “Family Confessions”. Whatever you want to call it, we did it – It was worth it. The theme of it was if you feel supported by your family or if you are struggling with them and why. Lots of people took part which was actually amazing because we had everyone’s experiences we could relate too. Whether this be a negative or a positive experience. This post isn’t to bash people’s families or do the complete opposite and rub amazing families into other’s faces. This post in simply about talking what is good and what is bad. What we can learn from and what we can keep doing.
Some of the questions or statements really hit hard. I either related with them as it had happened to me or because I couldn’t even imagine how hurtful the situations are that these bereaved parents get put through. When someone posted something that I had gone through it was a relief. I’ve got shit for some of the things I have said on my blog by particular family members but seeing that I’m not the only one who has experienced this or is experiencing this right now. It made me realise that actually I am hurt by what people have done or are doing and it made me feel strong enough to realise that actually fuck some of you. I try not to involve my family or Phil’s family into my blog very much as it 1) I’m sure they don’t want to have their lives plastered on here. 2) Because I will always get comments about what I write. So I’ll be vague when I talk about what was brought up on the Q&A’s and I’ll share my experiences or my lack of experiences with them. So here it goes:
This was actually one of the most “popular” ones. It has always been brought up in conversation throughout many of these “Questions/Confession Nights”. I don’t know if it is more heartbreaking seeing the amount of people who this happens too or if I’m more angry at the people who do this to the parents. Being blocked has happened to me. I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the amount of people that have done this to me. It never fails to surprise me when I found out who has blocked me. Family members or Friends it is both cutting and a fucking hard hit back into the chair of reality that people are horrible. Being deleted and blocked out of people’s lives on social media isn’t just on social media it also affects every aspect of your life. Depending on what side of the family it is it causes arguments, hurt, anger and it puts up boundaries between everyone. Being blocked isn’t just as simple as clicking a button and that is it. When you are the only one deleted or cut out of someones life but no one else is, you punish yourself. I remember when family first blocked me and I broke down to Phil. I’d done nothing to them except have my son die. They made it about them but instead of it benefitting them it ruined everything. Whether you know that person your whole life or just for a few short years your relationship is gone and quite frankly if someone has done that to me I don’t want them to be in any part of my life.
How do you resolve this? There is two ways… Either confront them about it or cut them out completely. I know which one I have done. I have no time for that. But if you want to resolve it go for it. They will either be open to talk or they will not. I still think the best answer to being blocked by someone is because “I didn’t want to see their life”. I got the blame for someone blocking me and I just find it humorous.
Your Baby Not Being Recognised.
This is going to be covering everything from people not even calling your baby what relation they are to people and not treating them the same as living children. Right well here this one goes *Crying Face Emoji*
People not acknowledging your baby. Let’s start by people not even counting your baby as a real baby just because they can’t see them. It’s hurtful. Whether you have had a miscarriage and people don’t see your pain and don’t see it as a loss is bullshit. You have lost your baby. Whether your baby was stillborn and never took a breath so their life doesn’t mean anything or if your baby lives for a number of hours/days/weeks and people just choose to ignore them. It’s not just the baby being left out it also doesn’t make you feel like your pregnancy, labour, pain ever really mattered to anyone but you. I think the moment I felt this was when someone at work refused to even call Dexy by his name, or even my son and just called him “The Situation” or “What Happened” and then being told “It will be different when you come back after this baby and you’re a mum”. I think that was the single hardest thing I have heard since my baby died. Say that to me when I birthed him. Say that to me when you watch Phil build his cot and changing table getting excited for his arrival. Say that to me as I left my perfect 7lb11oz baby in a hospital room knowing that I would never see him again. Say that to me whilst I was sat in the limo following my Son’s tiny white coffin. Say that to me when I came home and had to pack up everything that was washed ready to be worn and to be covered in poo and sick. Say that to me when I have to bite my tongue from screaming at you that I am in fact a mother because I know it will fall on deaf ears. Say that to my son.
Another statement that came up a lot was surrounding families having photos up of the baby that has died and posting photos on social media. Most of which was to say their families don’t. How they have a wall of photos in their house with every grandchild on except the one that has passed away. How they post photos on social media of their alive children but never whisper the name of the baby that will never grow old or go to the park with them. I feel you, I really do. I see nothing wrong in posting photos of Dexy over social media and I would let people share his photos and talk about him openly. It’s important he is recognised. In fact I have to try harder to get him recognised. I will admit yes it is hard when you see people post photos of their family members alive children or their grandchild. Yes it is hard when you know your son will never be in their family members profile pictures. Yes it is hard when they don’t comment on photos of our son but do with other photos but I have learnt by now I can never change that. You can’t. You know from the outset if people are going to treat your son the same as every other baby or they won’t. You have to because if not it will consume you. Yes I think about it often and rage fills me but there is nothing I or you can do. All I know is the people I see have photos of him up on the fireplace, on their shelves and on their walls and they are the people I want around me.
Making It About Themselves.
One of the hardest ones I read the other night was about how someones sister had a go at them for their baby dying a couple of days before her birthday and called her selfish. Right now I know how mad this made me reading it but imagine living it. When your baby dies no one has a right to make it about themselves. If they do… Bye. I have people I refuse to see, I have people I don’t want to meet this baby or I don’t want to be there when they do because they have made it about themselves. You have to be so caught up with yourself to put yourself before a bereaved parent when they have just lost their child. Something that only they are going through. Yes they might be relation to you but you feel an ounce of the parent’s pain.
Something I haven’t spoken about publicly happened after Dexy was born and before his funeral that really put a spin into our lives. A family member caused a massive shit storm between Phil and I because they put their feelings first. We were made to feel embarrassed, isolated and left not knowing what “side” to be on. This is not what we needed 10 days after our son had died. We broke down. Phil broke down. I broke down. We broke down. All because someone only saw their pain and thought they should speak openly about something that was completely irrelevant to us but was due to our son dying. I thought about talking about this for some time because I do get asked a lot if anything pushed Phil and I apart after Dexy died and yes, this was the one thing that made us feel like we were on different islands and the sea was all this shit around us. We needed to focus on us and being together, staying strong but instead we were working out where the hell we go from there because of someone’s comment. Because of this my feelings towards such people have changed. I can’t help that. They hurt my husband, they hurt my family and they really hurt me. That has been the one and only moment where I have looked at Phil and thought fuck, can we deal with this? We talked about it and we got on the same page and to an agreement. Something that supports the both of us. Before anyone else our children and our relationship come first no matter what relation someone is or how long we have been friends for them. Even 10 months into the year that hurt is still raw and I’m still angry over it.
What I’m trying to say is if people don’t care about your hurt and feelings when you have just lost your child and put themselves first I think there is nothing you can do. I have let many people go in my life because of this reason. I will refuse to see or speak to people because of this and I think you do have to put yourselves first. If you don’t put yourself first over the loss of your child then you lose who you are even more. You lose the connection with your partner if they are around and you lose what really matters. What really matters is yourself, your partner and your child/ren.