Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Stages of Grief: Anger

One of the stages of grief is anger. It can be anger that is aimed towards the circumstance or can be aimed at someone/something else. For me it is often followed by guilt. 

So last night was filled with excitement but not the good kind. I got so angry at my baby that I ended up just breaking down into tears. 

My daughter Charlotte, who is almost eight months, is still yet to sleep through the night. She wakes every two hours to eat. I allow her only because she is very underweight and can use all the time eating she can get. She has been much more attached to me the last few weeks ever since she was in the hospital. A lot of crazy emotional stuff has happened and I know that she feels the tension even if she doesn't comprehend it. With everything that has happened I was surprised how well I have been able to keep myself composed. 

My surgery to have my gallbladder removed a week an a half ago has left my side extremely sore, especially near the incisions. The other night we tried to get Charlie to sleep in her own crib or even in her arms reach playpen. After throwing a fit for a few hours I placed her back in our bed and all night she kicked and pushed into my side. When I would try to turn over my back would begin to ache from the awkward position. When we got up in the morning I was in more pain than I had been in several days. My husband was kind enough to sleep on the couch so I could have the entire bed to myself and then when I had to have Charlotte in bed with me she could have more room. 

So last night started like any other. She fell asleep next to me when I was playing on my computer and once my head hit the pillow she woke up. (An evil trick that I have never been able to comprehend how they do it... do they place secret sensors in my pillow so they know when I am about to sleep?... Any way she woke up and I fed her. She decided to sit up and talk for an hour while I tried to plead with her to sleep. She wanted to stay attached to the boob and I allowed her to eat again, even though it had been only an hour. I scooted her back on her daddy's side and she began to crawl against me. I scooted her back and she got upset and began to cry then proceeded to roll back to my side and scratch at me. I again placed her back in her spot and turned my back to her in hopes that she would get the point. I heard her wrestling around then felt her little finger tips scratching and pulling at the back of my shirt. She wedged herself right under me. Frustrated I placed her in her playpen next to our bed, knowing that if I took her to her room she would wake up her two year old sister and that would be an even bigger issue. She began to cry and whine. I hoped for it to stop but it continued for a couple hours. That's when the anger broke in. "Shut up charlotte... just shut up.", I pleaded with her. She continued. I could feel the anger growing in me and tried to calm down by placing headphones on with peaceful music. It seemed as if she got even louder. "Shut up.. I told you to shut up.", I said much louder than before. I began to contemplate my choices. Could I place her in her car seat? No, it was in the car. Could I line the bathtub with a blanket and place her in there? No, she would go from crying and whining to a full blown scream and it would echo loudly in the small bathroom and would wake up the entire family. Could I leave, just go and crash in the van or at my moms house? No, it wouldn't be fair to the hubby and she would need to eat again. I knew the anger was not from her actions alone.. it had been building up for longer than I had realized and so I began to feel guilty for feeling angry towards her.  I broke... I was overwhelmed with anger and didn't even want to touch her. So I sat on the edge of my bed and began to bawl uncontrollably. 

My husband heard me and came to my rescue. He tried giving her a bottle with a little water but it didn't soothe her so he brought the two year old into our bed to sleep and put the baby in her own bed.  This gave me enough space that I was able to place my headphones on to drown out her screams and was able to calm down enough to handle the situation again. When I was a little calmer I was able to go feed her, swaddle her in a blanket, and place her back in her bed where, thankfully, she fell straight asleep. I tried to sleep but still felt a pestering anger at her for me being still awake and took a late night hot shower. The anger seemed to drip right off me along with the streams of hot water. 

I lay down and prayed. I prayed that she would sleep for more than two hours. I prayed that the two year old would sleep. I prayed that I wouldn't be in pain. I prayed that I could be filled with peace... then I felt led to pray for others and not just my needs. I prayed for my friend who lost her dad. I prayed for the couple who lost a child to SIDS  just the night before. I prayed for the young lady I began to talk to and minister to. Through praying for them I was able to see outside my circumstances and how small my woes were in comparison. I felt thankful for all my blessings and I began to tell God just how thankful I was. I thanked Him for my three girls. I thanked Him for my healing. I thanked him for my support system. I thanked Him for sacrificing his son for me. With each word of thanksgiving my heart was filled with more peace and I was able to sleep. We all slept. I woke up five hours later and Charlotte was still asleep. The two year old was asleep and her hand was on mine. My nine year old was sawing logs in her room. They had all slept in for me. Now that is something to be thankful for. 

James 1:19-20 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

My nine year old suggested I post this video with the blog to make you all smile.