Don’t Be Afraid Of My Scars

I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edges
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin.

-Excerpt From: Mouthful Of Forevers by Clementine von Radics

I have to admit, this is the third or fourth attempt I’ve made at “planning” this upcoming wedding. Truth be told, I’m not wild about the idea of getting remarried. It’s a scary place to navigate, knowing so intimately the destruction and devastation of separation and divorce. I tread timidly, only to be startled into sprinting the other direction.

It’s not that I don’t want to be with Aiden. I do. I don’t think that a split, even when unmarried, is easier or less complicated. Our finances are already tangled, which as it turns out is the least of the difficulties (Jack and I sorted the money and debt between us in less than a day or two of negotiating). It’s like I have a mental block. Every time we move towards the proverbial alter, it’s as if the flaws in our relationship become magnified and insurmountable. And there are flaws. We’ve been going to couples therapy (again) since August.  Not because we are at the end of our rope, but because we wanted to improve our communication and uncover any residual difficulties before they got out of hand.  It’s been a really positive experience for us, and while the miscarriage was one of the most difficult things we’ve gone through, we turned towards each other in our grief, not away.  It cemented us together, and things have been actually quite peaceful ever since.

The tragedy of it all actually brought out a part of Aiden that I’d never witnessed before, and melted away many of the doubts that I had.  He stayed by my side for hours while I suffered and labored and nearly had to be rushed to the hospital for loss of blood.  He was so gentle and careful, making certain I had water, pain killers, a heating pad, and whatever else I needed.  He held me while I cried and cried, soothing me quietly, promising me it would be ok, even though neither of us could really know that for sure.  We were at my mothers when it happened, and since then even she has been different towards him.  She remarked to another family member (who related it to me) that she hadn’t expected it from him, and that she could see how deeply he wanted that baby, but how selflessly he sheltered me, in spite of his own very visible anguish.  He was my champion, and it did not go unnoticed.

So it was, in the throes of our mourning, that I suggested we should get married this summer.  I needed something to look forward to.  Something else to focus on, to drown myself in.  My mother, at one time our biggest detractor (she knows all about the poly, the open marriage, the full-meal-deal regarding how Aiden came to be in my life) is now our greatest cheerleader.  She’s been absolutely amazing when it comes to wedding planning, throwing herself into helping me with an enthusiasm I never could have imagined.  It’s likely the main reason I haven’t spooked this time.

I haven’t quite put my finger on what scares me so much.  All the divorcees that I know just nod knowingly when I express being a reluctant second-time bride.  It’s difficult to put into words, and yet it seems to be a universal truth among us.  Maybe it’s a fear of failure, or of being judged for not being able to hold it together.  Nobody wants to get divorced once, let alone a second time.  I’m mystified by people who seem to think nothing of walking down the isle a third or fourth time, I don’t think I could do it.

Marriage is important to Aiden, and I can’t fault him for that.  Despite my scars, he remains adamant about pledging his heart to me for the rest of our lives.  Fear isn’t a good enough reason for me to refuse, it’s simply an obstacle that I will overcome.

There Aren’t Any T-Swift Songs For This

I would have been 23 weeks pregnant today.

Instead, I’m struggling to lose the weight I gained during my two months of depression, grief, and emotional eating. I’ve had a “normal” cycle since the emergency D&C, but we aren’t ready to try again. I’m not. I’m afraid. When the miscarriage initially happened I wanted to try again right away. Anything to distract myself from the agony of loss. Now, I just have residual fear and reluctance. With the wedding looming, I’m using that as an excuse to postpone, even though my 35th birthday is just around the corner.

Aiden is working away, and I’m ovulating today, and I’m almost relieved that I don’t have to worry about how good his pull out game is. Maybe dropping an egg is why I feel so emotional, not to mention sexually frustrated.

I do want to try again. I’m just afraid. The miscarriage was traumatizing, basically every single bad thing that could have happened in that event, did. I never want to go through that again, but I realize every pregnancy is rolling the dice, with an ever-increasing chance of failure.

Also, I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about my grief. Aiden and I have been so content lately, which I just really need right now. I don’t want to keep bringing it up. My closest friends have their own struggles with infertility (not uncommon in a group of ladies our age) and it feels unfair to be sad when I already have two children. Also the D&C was over a month ago, I don’t feel like I get to keep being upset. Truthfully, I don’t think about it most days, but sometimes I do, and I feel very alone in those moments.

Thankfully, I always have this little piece of anonymity that I can dust off when I need it.

I Have Died Every Day Waiting For You

Maybe I will muster up a visit every three years, just to let everyone know that I’m not dead.

I had hoped that I would begin writing here again, just for my own sanity, but…it’s hard, ya know? I’m not really “Shasta” anymore. I don’t really identify with that person, or that part of my life at this point. It seems like such a distant memory now.

Aiden and I have settled into a comfortable life together. In fact, after nearly two years of being engaged, we have finally decided to pull the trigger and get married this summer. I put a deposit down on my dress today.

I was also pregnant, briefly, in November. We found out at eight weeks that the pregnancy wasn’t going to be viable, which was a devastating disappointment, considering we had been planning for several years. We intend to try again once my body recovers from what was a horrendous series of unfortunate events, that culminated in an emergency D&C just last week. I had my IUD removed in September and caught almost immediately, so we are optimistic that it won’t take long the next time around.

So, yeah, I would say that we are signing on for the long haul with each other.

My children with Jack are turning into young adults. 12 and 14 now, and it feels as though time passes more quickly each week that goes by. Speaking of Jack, he is well. Still single, as far as I know, but he dates quite a bit. He just hasn’t found the right woman yet, and I do hope very sincerely that it happens for him. We remain a close family. We continue to have holidays together, and to participate in each others lives. We collectively attend sporting events, parent-teacher interviews, and Christmas concerts.

The Infamous V and I remain the best of friends. We are attending a bridal show this weekend, and she will stand next to me on the big day, filling that role for the second time.

K and I worked at the same company for nearly two years, after he helped me get a job there. Unfortunately due to the economic state of our province, and the nature of the industry, I was laid off in the fall. So, one of my other closest friends and I decided to start a business together, and thus far, it’s quite rewarding and our potential seems very promising.

It might seem mundane, from the outside, but life is good and calm and exactly what I want just now.

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