keeping the worst to remember the best

This week we asked our members at Write on Edge to write about their worst memory and whether they would forget it if they could.

I’ve already written about the time we found out Cort’s dad’s cancer was terminal.

I wrote about the first miscarriage.

I shared about how badly that due date passing hit me (and how it was probably the start of my depression).

I wrote about the second miscarriage.

I’ve written countless times about my stupid depression and once about how I tried to go off my meds.

I could pick any of these as worst memories.

I could pick all of these as worst memories.

But there are things I haven’t written about yet…bad memories that are still rolling around in my head.

If you’ve been hanging around you know I am dealing with some depression with this pregnancy.  I am struggling to get through each day, only holding on to the hope that this will all be better in a couple weeks with my second trimester rolls around.

Not letting myself think what the next course of action will be if it’s not Ok.

Not letting my mind wonder if this is the last time I can handle being pregnant.  If my own mental health will be what decides how many children we have rather than Cort and I making the decision that we FEEL complete.

Anyway.  There are memories that are all mine and they suck the big one.

But you know what?  I wouldn’t choose to lose those memories.

As much as I hate remembering what it was like to lie on the floor writhing in pain from a miscarriage?  It also made childbirth somehow less scary.  And it made me realize how powerful my body is.  And it made me never, ever take Eddie for granted.

As much as I can’t stand remembering what it was like to watch my father in law go from a healthy, robust, hilarious man to a gaunt, sick, pale, fraction of himself?  It also made me closer to his family.  And it meant that I was there when Cortney needed me the most.

We all have terrible memories.

But being able to recall my terrible memories here…in my space…with you has been healing to me.

And it’s been good for many people who have gone through the same thing.

If I were to lose those memories, I would have nothing to remind me why I am so blessed.

And I am so very blessed.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl…wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. I like your rule-breaking post 🙂 I was thinking about this exact thing when scrolling through my memory bank this week; each of our memories is a part of who we have become. Even the painful ones, and maybe especially the painful ones, are catalysts in making our lives what they are. And I like the life I have.

  2. We all have bad memories. I know I definitely have my share. Sharing these stories can bring us closer to those around and help with the healing process.

    On one hand I would love to erase some things that have happened in my life, but at the same time those things contribute to who I am today.

  3. Hi. I’ve been reading you for a while now, but recently started commenting. I was most interested in the way you framed the idea of your mental health having so much impact on whether or not you can have more children.

    I have one son. There are reasons for this. The particulars are not important, but at the time I was devastated. Now, I truly believe there is a plan. You don’t have to like the plan. Or understand it. But eventually something happens where you go: “Ohhhhhhh! I can’t imagine having a baby and going through X.” There are many blessings in having one child. That was not my plan, but I see I was built for one. Hopefully, the rest of your pregnancy will be easier. Be gentle with yourself. You will have the blessing/challenge of two. And then you will need to focus on getting back to where you need to be so you can be the best mother you can be. And you will be! 😉

  4. It’s so true. Life without loss is somehow less. It’s tough to be thankful for the bad times, but if we aren’t, it just keeps us from being able to truly live.

  5. I think one of the best things about blogging is that it can help you let go of those kinds of memories. It also provides a place for people who are going through the same thing to see that they’re not alone. I know when I was miscarrying and dealing with my infertility BS, the blog A Little Pregnant was my free counseling center. Bloggers are often where modern folks turn to know they aren’t alone. I think it’s a bit of a service we provide. And you do a particuarly GREAT job of it.

  6. I am currently writing my “WORST” post and because I also have talked about my dad dying, my FIL dying, the temper tantrums of my children and the physical abuse I suffered at my dad’s hands I choose not to go there again. I am going to write about something else….another time when I was at my worst and I knew it..

    but that aside, I love that way you wrote this, what you gave us with it. I recently wrote “REMIND ME” all about how much I have to be thankful for and how I try to live that every single day….it’s all about being grateful I think. It’s hard to be grateful in those icky, soul sucking times, but when I choose to be, I know that it’s the RIGHT thing to be, the feelings that help get past the black clouds.

    I am wishing you bluer skies….and lots of hugs

  7. Sometimes in suck ass situations there are silver linings. We learn. We grow. We survive. Would I trade in PPD? Fuck yes. But would I trade in what I have learned about myself? Would I trade in my strength and courage and my ever growing passion of reaching out to other women (and men) struggling with a mental illness? Never.
    You are a beautiful soul Katie. I hate, HATE that you are going through this. If I could take your pain away so that you can enjoy growing a human, I totally would my friend. Besides I’m on a shit ton of medication that can take care of the sads and plus I can drink my face off and you can’t. nah nah nah…kidding. Maybe.
    Love you hard.
    I’m here for you always xoxo

  8. I could not write about my worst memories in a public forum. Partly because they are too painful personally, but also because they involve other people.

    I admire the bravery of those willing to plumb their depths, to share their innermost fears/feelings/hurt with their readers.

    I sometimes wish I could be that person.
    But there are things I cannot share.

    At least not yet.

    But you, Katie? You do give me courage. Maybe more often than you realize.
    You have so much strength in you.

    Whether you always see it or not.
    And part of that comes from the dark places.

    Good for you for embracing all the aspects of your past – for realizing that they have shaped your future.

    And what a beautiful future it will be.
    Promise.

  9. It is because of your honesty, and the honesty of other bloggers, that I fear less and write more. Your ability to be completely transparent is inspiring. Hopefully being surrounded by the strength and encouragement of others will blanket you in hope and a vision for tomorrow.

  10. I loved this. I feel so deeply the truth that I experience the good in my life more deeply because of the bad that was in it. And that surviving our bad moments, and thriving afterwards is a great testament to the inner strength, the inner steel of our very selves.

  11. You’re right, our past experiences, even the negative ones, bring us to where we are today. That’s great that you can see what you have gained from them. :>

  12. Memories, good and bad make us who we are today, they mold us to help us deal with our tomorrows, and they give us experiences to help teach our children.

    You are such an amazingly strong woman and I’m honored to read your words.

  13. It’s so hard not to go back to those memories when they’re triggered and picked at daily.

    You are right: the bad, mixed with the good, is what makes us the people we become. Remembering that is the most important part, however, because the bad is what is always trying to pull us down.. and we mommas have more important things/people to tend to. xo

  14. Yes. And this is why I thanked you and the other ladies for doing the Remembe{RED} prompts. Remembering those worst memories is what makes me appreciate where I am, who I’m near, the life I am living. The bad makes the good shine more, and how can you see that sparkle if you have nothing to compare it to?

  15. Thanks for sharing your posts about your two losses to miscarriage. I’ve been there, and yes, like you, “If I were to lose those memories, I would have nothing to remind me why I am so blessed.” It’s kinda one of the reasons for my blog.

    I’m glad I’ve started reading your blog; it’s real! Just like Miranda’s 🙂

    Prayers for a healthy pregnancy!
    ((hugz))
    Jamie

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