I am angry.
There I said it.
Did you know there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance? These are supposed to build the framework of how we grieve and learn to live with the one we lost. I thought I was doing good. The only one I didn’t hit was anger and I figured after 21 months I was free and clear of that one.
Why after 21 months did I think that this thing manifesting inside of me, this ball of fury, pure rage, would come out now? Well, it has, and I can’t seem to make it go away. It seems the more I try to squish it back down, the angrier I become. And the tears. Holy crap, I cannot stop crying.
I am angry at myself.
In educating others on mental health and suicide prevention I have also educated myself. And with all this knowledge, I now realize even more so that I was not enough for Nikolai. I was a failure of a parent and I want to literally throat punch my own self for not seeing things differently, for not being the mom he needed me to be, for not questioning more, loving more, talking more. I kind of loathe myself a little bit right now.
I am angry at the world.
Why aren’t more people out there fighting for those struggling with mental health and suicide ideation? Why is this not at the forefront of everyone’s minds? Why is it that every time I post something about another youth suicide, I must fight someone on my page who clearly, in my mind, does not have the best interest of children in theirs? I try to always make my FB page a place where anyone can post and I will not bully, shame, or ridicule you, even if we think and believe completely opposite things. I pride myself on that because I think it is super important that we all be able to civilly talk to each other and respect other opinions. But I am telling you right now, if I post something about youth mental health and suicide and you think differently, I will fight you on it, every single time. And I probably will not use my nice words.
I am angry at our leaders.
Advocacy is my number one priority right now. I cannot even tell you the number of legislators I have reached out to, both on the state and federal level, asking them to support much needed mental health legislation. I have called and asked for meetings, written letters, sent emails and I feel like it’s falling on deaf ears. Partly because (and I know this deep down) they are swamped busy and probably receive a million emails a day; however, I perceive that as not caring. Maybe this is true and maybe it isn’t. Maybe youth mental health isn’t their top priority, like I think it should be. I feel like I am in a losing battle – a war I just cannot win.
I am angry at my friends.
Grief is the most ridiculously lonely thing you will ever go through, ever. It tears your heart in a million pieces and creates such a black hole of despair. And on my worst days I want you to sit in my space with me. I do not want to look at cute puppy pictures and hear about your kids’ awesome goal save in soccer. I don’t care. Is that fair to you? Nope. It’s not. Yet I can’t apologize for it because it’s how I feel.
Anger. This is my truth right now. It is all the pent-up pain in my heart. And I find myself not knowing what to do with it or where to go with it. Suppressing it clearly isn’t an option but how do I stop myself from spewing forth ugliness? Because this rage I am filled with, it is oozing out my pores at this point and I am spitting venom to even the most well-intentioned people in my life.
I have been told this is normal. Just like there is no timeframe for grief, apparently there is no timeframe for the five stages of grief either. I am late to the party on anger.
I read a quote recently that said, “Grief looks a lot like anger on the outside. Sometimes it seems simply like unmerited rage, but it’s really the frustration the heart feels when it finds itself in trauma that it can’t make any sense of.” – John Pavlovitz
I can’t make sense of it. My brain and my heart feel like they are always working against each other. Grief is hard and it doesn’t play fair.
What I have realized though is that trying to squish the anger down isn’t working, which means it’s time to put my big girl pants on and sit in it. It’s time to lean into it, own it, feel it, work through it and not apologize for it. God grant me peace.