Thursday, September 25, 2008

reckoning

The other day, Mad wrote a gorgeous guest post over at Slouching Mom's place, in which she looked back at this last year -- a wrenching one for both her and Sarah -- and looked forward to an uncertain future, to a life remade in unwanted image.

The worst is not so long as we can say: this is the worst. And reading her post, I found myself thinking that if I had to pick my single worst year, even limiting myself to relatively recent ones, I’m not sure I could decide. Was it 1995? 1996? 1998? 1999? 2000? 2001? 2002? 2006? 2007?

There have been sleepwalking years of vacant darkness, years like an endless drowning, years when I looked out at a failed harvest, gritted my teeth and plowed it in. But, so far, anyway, it looks like this particular year is not going to be one of them. And, right now, that seems like more than enough.

What was your worst year ever?

36 comments:

thordora said...

You know, I've had some pretty shitty years....and this one has been fucking rotten, but I have learned from everything-every bad moment, even single time when I thought I just couldn't do it. I've come out stronger and changed.

So I can't really say. 1989, when I lost my mother-that was horrible and changing in all the ways no little girl ever wants, but if it made me who and what I am, is it truly horrible?

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

2006. That's when I first realized that we were dealing with IF and that I was going to have to confront the pregnancies of all of my friends while we struggled.

I would also include 2007 when we lost the twins, but I also got PG with Lemy in 2007, so it wasn't a completely awful year. Just particially awful.

Karen said...

2000-2002 - sorry I have to include all three because every damn day was the same the whole time. It was really indistinguishable.
The year 2004 is a close second, very close.
Right now it is pretty rotten, but not in a misery inducing kind of way - 2008 has been more about stress then just deep down misery.

LawMommy said...

1990-1991. I wrote about it in vague terms in my most recent post:
http://adventuresoflawmommy.blogspot.com/2008/09/alma-mater-wise-and-glorious-shrine-of.html - although I don't really talk about how grief~stricken I truly was. And it seems silly for me to admit, in this place, that that was my worst year, when so many others have lost so much more so much more recently...

Martha said...

This one. So far, worst year ever. 2008 has exactly 3 months to redeem itself.

Martha said...

This one. So far, worst year ever. 2008 has exactly 3 months to redeem itself.

Tash said...

Last year, definitely '07. Losing Maddy, turning 38, drifting aimlessly professionally, my foot crapping out, family treating us like shit . . . no contest.

Before that though, is tough. '00 really sucked -- my worst job evuh led to mild hypertension and some health probs, three moves. I did get engaged, though, so I guess that was nice.

Funny, before that the bad just punctuated years, but didn't really "spoil" them. I miscarried in '02, but overall the year didn't really suck too badly. Ditto for some family deaths and other bad yuk. None of it really dominated our lives to the degree that we had to write the year off. Next year I turn 40, and I have a sinking feeling '09 may rival '07 for most depressing year in my existence.

Which Box said...

You may or may not remember that we commented back and forth about this months and months ago. Like you, I have a bunch of contenders. 1992. 1993. 2003. 2004. 2007.

Can we throw in the entire middle school experience? Though time has softened those years, 1977-1981. Some near misses, probably because I've forgotten enough - 1990. 2002. Years I thought were ok but my life was really a fake sham? 1999-2002. 2006.

For sheer unrelenting awfulness, plus immediacy, plus still suffering repercussions, 2007 is definitely the leading contender.

Elizabeth said...

1998, and 2005.

leanne said...

2006-2007: all it took was about 2 months for my life to feel like it completely went to hell. Thought I was cursed, like someone was trying to tell me I shouldn't be a mom. First, my 2 year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor (though fortunately, it was the "good" kind if you are inclined to think that way -- operable, removed entirely in surgery, benign, no need for chemo or radiation, no signs of any problems in nearly 2 years). Then just 2 months later I had a miscarriage. Life pretty much sucked back then.

docgrumbles said...

I have way too many contenders. I almost said 2005-2006 (starting with Katrina in Aug 2005)... but I had some pretty good moments in there, even with the hurricane, the miscarriage, the dissertation, and the job from hell. I think of misfortune in latent themes that surface from time to time but don't necessarily engulf a whole time period.

Mad said...

The year following my mom's death was bad: 2000. I went through a bad relationship patch in 1998. And this year, of course. All in all, my life has been good and as I look back on the bad years I've had I know I emerged stronger for having lived through them. The difference between the past and now is that back then I knew I was having a bad year. This time around the fear and grief feel more chronic as I move into the future.

Thank you so much for the compliment and the link.

Eva said...

I'm gonna go with 2005. Depressing and boring job, the last of 2.5 years of not getting pregnant, anxiety, overweight, bored, not too close to friends. Blech.

Heather said...

1996. Without a doubt. There's something about CPS investigating the abuse in your family that pretty much sucks the life out of you. Knowing my sisters were still at home. Having absolutely no one to fall back on. Having my mother not believe me. Nearly failing a class to go with my straight-A record.

2004-5 sucked too. We call it the "emotional affair" followed by the worst depression I've ever had to witness. I'm pretty sure I almost became a suicide widow a few times in there.

I don't have any deaths that ruined years for me, but there's been plenty of bad. And, like thordora said, I wouldn't give any of it back, because it's made me the person I am today, and I like that person.

Kathy McC said...

I would say 2004, as that was the year I lost both of my girls. But honestly, I think 1999 was worse. I was 25 and it was horrible. I can't really say why because it's too personal...it was just...bad.

Grad3 said...

Mine was Nov. 2005- 2006. I lost my mom and my first pregnancy within a day of each other. My devastation continued that year as I lost more pregnancies.

When the 1st anniversary of my mom's death came around- I was still in the exact same place as I was the previous year- no mom and no earth baby.

Magpie said...

1975.

painted maypole said...

2003

Aurelia said...

Every single year of my life was shitty until last year and this year.

The exception would be when the kids were born healthy--that was awesome, unfortunately the rest of those years were terrible.

Anonymous said...

The worst year was the year our twins died. The saddest year. The stab yourself in the heart every five minutes year.

The hardest year was the year our sub baby, born two years after the twins, was about 15 months to 2 1/2. He was a, defiant, irritable toddler no matter what I did, with frequent meltdowns and tantrums, until he learned how to talk in complete sentences. I was still mourning my babies, and was depressed. Everyone thought I should be happy now, and were more judgmental of my grief. I think of it as "the year I tried, really hard, to be happy". I was not successful

Angela said...

The year I was seventeen. It was a slugger. Lots of problems at home with my parents, lots of stress at school, a really fucked-up relationship, the slit-wrist-psych-ward debacle, losing the baby, all slathered on top of the worst my depression has ever been. Even though there are some things I would like to have done differently from that time, even if I could I would never, ever, ever go back. I don't think I would survive it.

flutter said...

1992. but 2008 is pulling up nicely.

LAS said...

2006, the year I had breast cancer.

Topcat said...

I love this question.

I have been through crap - suicides, deaths, abuse, heroin addiction ....

... but this year? Hands down, the most awful. Most traumatic. And no, having a baby did not make it better. It made everything worse.

Angel Mom said...

Definitely 2000. The fall of 2006 wasn't all that fun either though.

c. said...

Although this year comes in a close second, 2007 was definitely the worst it's ever been for me.

Christy said...

October 2004-August 2005.

CLC said...

My first instinct was to say 2007 because Hannah was born in December. But it's been all of this year that I hav been dealing with the aftermath. So I should probably say that 2008 has been the worst. 1982 comes in a close second!

Anonymous said...

1998,the year I graduated high school.
My best friend killed himself,and I got mono.

Anonymous said...

1994 - my mom was murdered and my family totally dropped the ball

Rosepetal said...

Not a calendar year but from Jul 28th 2006 to July 30th 2007. When I V., my father and A. all died.

Galen said...

2007 for me. My former husband committed suicide in early September of that year. My son who had Asperger's found his father shot through the head. Two months later, my son committed suicide, at which time my two adult daughters simultaneously estranged themselves permanently from me. Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, my husband was diagnosed with lung cancer. Robert Frost was correct, "Life goes on."

Happy Birthday weekend, Niobe. Treat yourself very well. You deserve it.

Anonymous said...

Fall 2004 when I lost my baby boy. There was a year in the mid-90's too, 1995 maybe?, when I dropped out of grad school, was hospitalized for 10 days, moved back in with my parents. That year sucked, but it was transformative in a positive way too. Whereas absolutely nothing positive came out of losing my boy.

Kymberli said...

The 1988-1999 school year, hands down. Sixth grade was the single most traumatizing experience of my life - bullies, culture shock, isolation. It sounds fairly stupid in comparison to what previous posters mark as the causes of their worst years, but this is the year that sucked out a lot of confidence from me and injected in its place a certain type of fear.

Janus said...

Happy birthday Niobe!!!

Here's hoping this year won't make it onto your worst list.

Kami said...

2005 with no year even close. It was the year following our only child's death. Although it took nearly another 4 years to have a living child, I was better at coping after 2005. There were still lots and lots of sad times in the following years, but nothing as continuously dark and barely survivable.