Alright. Triggers. Let us talk about triggers.
I think my biggest trigger is pregnant women and toddler little girls. It’s weird though because it’s strangers that get me, not friends. I have pregnant friends and friends with little girls. Totally fine with them. I guess it’s again a reminder of what was and then what should be. Even though I had her almost 7 months ago now it’s like whenever I see a pregnant woman walk by it puts me right back in the days before delivery. I see a little toddler girl and I wonder what my little girl would be like then. I’ll never know. I can speculate though. I’ll be doing that for probably the rest of my life.
Certain movies. How The Grinch Stole Christmas seems to be a big one. Remmie was and still kind of is big into that movie. We watched that movie obviously during Christmas time and real close before she died. I’m not sure if it was maybe even the night before she passed. Finding Dory. I put that movie on for Little Vinnie on December 26th right before I left the house to make some returns and use some gift cards. Ghost Busters. Remington was watching that movie a lot right before I had her so it throws me right back to that time. Charlotte’s Web. Little Vinnie was obsessed with that movie. On the rare occasion that he watches that movie now my memory plays back the times I would nurse him and Stella to sleep for the night. I can see everything so clearly. Where everything was laid out in the room. The lighting in the room. The smell of the room.
Smells. There is a certain smell that gets me. You know how you can’t un-see something? It’s kind of the same thing in this situation. It was December our bedroom is all the way on the top-level of the house. Some call it an attic. Ours is finished into two bedrooms. Given that it’s an attic it gets a little cold up there during the winter months so we had a little heater up there that we would run for a few minutes. This heater had a certain smell to it though. Not even really a bad smell. It was more of a moist heat smell mixed with warm attic smell. I’ve never smelled this particular smell until we used this heater. Now its like this smell is stuck in the room and comes out every now and then. I can’t go up there when it smells like that. It throws me right back. Sometimes the smell is stronger than other times. When its real bad I turn on my wax warmer for a little while until it goes away. It turns my stomach. For some reason it also kicks up the feeling of guilt.
My salt lamp. I love my salt lamp. Or rather I used to. The glow of that orange-red light kills me. I never turned my salt lamp off. I did however move it to Vinnie’s side of the bed at some point before she died. After we redid the room we set the salt lamp back up. I hated it but it made a good night-light. If anything, that sent me right back to that morning and I would pick up from when I was woken up to the words and a tone I will never be able to erase out of my head. Oddly enough the salt lamp stopped working one day and hasn’t worked since.
Ambulances. Though not so much anymore. In the beginning they were torture and somehow we always seemed to find one. I would catch myself saying “oh fuck you” when one would pull in front of me. I’m not real sure why though. The sound of sirens wasn’t easy to hear for a little bit either. Last time I heard one it was pulling up in front of my house.
Events. No matter how big or small they are bother me. Especially throw the word “family” in front of it. How is it a family event when a part of our family is forever missing? I’m sure I’ll make peace with this soon but for right now events can kick rocks. I remember the first time we all went to the store after she passed. We were going to Target mostly to escape the house. We all got in the car and it took everything I had to hold back the angry tears that were trying so hard escape. I remember telling Vinnie “this is such bullshit. We are missing someone. She should be here right now.” I remember that I didn’t expect it to suck as bad as it did. While we were at the store Veronica and I were looking at the five dollar movies. Movies seemed to be something we fell back on during this time. I’m not real sure why. As we were looking she said “oh my God. Mommy look”. I look up and what is it?…. It’s an Angry Birds movie called “Stella”. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? All I could do was laugh. If you believe in sings the way I do then this was no questions asked a sign from her. She was telling me ” Mommy I’m not missing I’m just not physical anymore. I’m always around”.
Wal-Mart! Anyone that knows me knows my love for Wal-Mart. I couldn’t bring myself to step foot in that store. My water broke there. It all started there. It wasn’t just that though. That was one of the last public places she was. One of the very few outings she had with us. Here’s where it gets odd to me. It wasn’t that specific outing that bothered me. it was her first time there that my memory choses to play back. I remember the way the sky looked. I remember the movie we were watching on T.V before we left the house. I remember coming home and the roads we drove down. When we drive down a specific road my mind always says “she was in the car when we drove down this way ONCE”. There’s a certain Walgreen’s that I drive by sometimes that gets me. We stopped at that Walgreens while we were Christmas shopping. When I drive by there I can almost see the car we were driving in the parking lot. As if I was someone passing by. I can see me walking into the store.
Lastly… The Safe Sleep Campagne. It only bothers me because it’s not fully explained on those stupid pieces of paper they shove down your throat. It basically says that its safest to lay them on a flat firm surface with no blankets or pillows or bumpers in the sleep area. It all makes sense obviously. Why though? See all of the ways they tell you NOT to lay your baby down is because it puts your baby at risk for suffocation. Suffocation is NOT the same as SIDS. SIDS has no explanation or no known cause yet. Suffocation is a cause of death. With SIDS there is no cause. The Safe Sleep Campaigne seems to aim more or less at suffocation hazards but doesn’t also explain that the trachea is also a big factor here. Look it up. Look into in-depth if you are expecting a baby or have a small baby. You will have a much better understanding as to why it is important. It’s so very important. Again if I were any good at explaining things I would break it down for you but sadly I am not.
Weather you bed share or put your baby in a crib or pack n play please do all of this safely. Believe it or not there are safe ways to have your baby in bed with you. Please do not let your infant sleep in a car seat after the car ride is over. Do not let your infant sleep in a bouncer or Rock and Play unsupervised.. Again look fully into the Safe Sleep Campagne. After you see all of the information and explanations that are NOT on that stupid hand out you will have a better understanding why back is so important.
My triggers also seem to change on a regular basis. Sometimes the usual things that bother me, don’t. Sometimes it’s something totally new. Sometimes it’s just a word that will send my mind in circles. Coping isn’t easy sometimes. Other times I literally need to tell my brain to stop. Cut it off right in its tracks. I’ve gotten pretty good at stopping them. Sometimes I can’t and I have to just let the flash backs or memories play out. As painful and terrorizing as it is I have to let it go. Sometimes. Often I find myself getting stuck in certain days. It’s kind of like, I don’t play back the actual event anymore as much I do the days she was alive and thriving. I’ll replay the same day in my head for as long as my memory wants to. It almost feels like in a way I’m making peace with her life. As if I already made peace with her death. Or I guess, made as much peace with it as I can anyways. I don’t think I will ever be ok with the fact that she died. I can accept it, but I don’t have to agree with it. Just because I have accepted that things needed to be this way for whatever reason doesn’t mean that I don’t think its absolute bullshit.