I know what you think

  

You think I am moody, or selfish, or maybe, you just think I’m a bitch. You think your announcement has nothing to do with me, and therefore should not affect me.  That I should respond appropriately and smile and congratulate you, then ooh and ahh along with others.

You think it’s personal that I could not get more than one word out of my mouth, or even smile. It hurt your feelings when after sitting for as long as I could – which felt like days had passed to me – I excused myself and not only left the room, but left the office.

What I want you to know is I may be moody.  I can be selfish.  I often scold myself for being bitchy. I want you to know that I know your announcement has nothing to do with me.  And I want you to know that my reaction to your announcement in kind, has nothing to do directly with YOU.

What I want you to know is that more than a year after I was told I can not have children, I am not regularly able to watch television.  I go days & weeks away from social media and decline most invites from friends to avoid announcements like yours, photos and videos of babies & children.  

I want to tell you that I cry more than once a week – like last Friday night, at a busy restaurant, while having dinner with friends and their 3 month old.  And that more than once a week is an improvement from more than once a day. 

I want you to know that while I can be obsessed about my young nephew, I sometimes am not able to spend time with him because his little face and sweet voice hurt me deeply.

If I thought you could even remotely grasp the pain I felt ripping through me when you called an “office meeting” to announce you are pregnant with your fourth child, I would tell you that my entire body began shaking.  That I began to sweat. That I needed to run, but that I couldn’t move and then, when I could move, I knew I would be thought to be the asshole, so I sat and I endured for as long as I could. 

If I thought you could fathom how I struggled to breathe, or how I barely made it outside of the building, dropping my cellphone while trying to place a call to someone to talk me off the ledge, I would tell you that it was then that I sobbed.  Hunched in the corner of the downstairs lobby near the bathrooms.  The tile floor was frigid cold, but all I could think of was laying down there.  So I fled to my car, and sat crying on the phone with my husband, knowing there was nothing he could do but desperately needing the sound of his voice.

I want you to know that I cried again when another co-worker sent me an email later, acknowledging how shocked they were with your news, how it was delivered and how they said they were praying for me

I want you to know that I cried my entire 50 minute drive home. And that I went straight to bed when I got there.  Drenching my pillow in tears.  Then sleeping.  Then waking and crying.  And waking and crying. Cursing God.  Cursing my body.  Cursing the hand I’ve been dealt.

I want you to know that I’ve been up since 3am drinking coffee and looking for a new job just to avoid being in the presence of a pregnant woman while at work, 5 days a week for the next 34 weeks.

I know what you’re thinking about me, you think I am jealous and you wonder why I can’t just be happy for you.  

I want you to know that I AM jealous.  And while I think your news is lovely for you & your family, saying I am “happy” for you would be wrong.  Because I can’t remember the last time I was happy about anything.  

I want you to know that moving on with my life as a non-mother is not enough for me. Having the freedom to do whatever I wish with my time & money because I’ve no one to care for or plan a future for, brings me no consolation.  That going to work and returning home to care for only my husband – no matter how deeply I love him – and our home, does not completely fulfil me.  And though I know there are temporary things I could do or participate in to try to fill some void, they will not replace the longing in my heart to be a mom.  To have a child to love & care for forever.

So while you think I am jealous and moody and selfish and bitchy because your announcement has nothing to do with me, please remember that I know it doesn’t.  Which is why it does.

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4 thoughts on “I know what you think

  1. After my first miscarriage one of the ladies announced she was pregnant. We weren’t close but we had to work together and she was friends with some of my close coworkers. She was in her early 20’s and unmarried. It made me angry. She didn’t stay with her boyfriend and he had no interest in helping raise her baby. So I sat there and heard her daily talk about how difficult it was to be a single mom. And all I could think was how unfair it was. That this total blessing came her way with little to no effort. And all I had ever wanted to be was a mother. It’s rough to just sit there and smile. But it also is wasted energy to give this other person so much power over you. Is it hurtful to not be a mother? Of course it is. But the world isn’t going to stop because you are hurting. You have to move along the best you can so please keep talking it out. And I hope that at some point you find comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone in your raw emotions. We who struggle with never being a mother salute you. You keep fighting the good fight to keep close to the good things in your life. And if you ever need to reach out to someone who still struggles like you do….I would be happy to hear you out.

  2. I have similar feelings of devastation. I have always wanted children more than anything and am terrified that may never happen. I don’t know what to do with that. I too feel profoundly unfulfilled without that experience of motherhood and family. I’m sorry that announcement was so painful for you and I hope you’ll find some comfort and strength to get back up and continue on. I’m going to take a grief class to help deal with my feelings. I wonder if something like that would be helpful for you too. I feel for you sister. Take good care of yourself first and foremost. You really can’t worry about what someone else thinks. Often, what we think they’re thinking is wrong or if we think they’re thinking about us, they’re not. Whatever they think is up to them. What matters is what we think and especially what we think about ourselves. Having that self acceptance and compassion is so important. You’re doing the best you can in heartbreaking circumstances. I often feel that just continuing to live is a huge victory for me, just getting up in the morning, going to work again, all with this intense well of sadness, are all big victories and I need to be gentle with myself throughout my day. I don’t know if any of those ramblings will be helpful for you. I hope so! In any case, your sharing has been helpful for me and I thank you. Wishing you well!

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I can completely relate about being proud of myself just for getting out of bed and going to work sometimes. Isn’t it odd that feeling of wishing people knew how hard it was, and wishing that they would give you some credit just for showing up, and yet at the same time wishing no one would notice how hard it was just to show up? This announcement in particular hit me harder I think, because, I had shared these exact feelings with this person just a few short months ago. I do not think she delivered the news in this way specifically to hurt my feelings, but I feel myself not able to let her completely off the hook I guess. I think the grief class is probably a fantastic idea and I will look into it. I wish you all the best please keep me posted on how things are going for you!

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