Last night I had a terrible dream. I dreamt that I…

Last night I had a terrible dream. I dreamt that I was in prison for no reason. I dreamt that the guards and wardens were masochists and voyeurs, who inflicted pain and humiliation on the inmates for their own entertainment.

I had a lovely evening last night, at a bbq with friends. A few of these friends were among the core group of people who have made it possible for us to get through these awful months – the people who came to us immediately after Natan died, and have continued coming by. [Being here isn’t a condition for being supportive – I have on my to-call list other friends (and I suck at calling back I know – I’m just so tired after making it through the day so I’m better at calling those people I can talk to before evening), mostly my college friends, who have continued to call and think of us. ]

I created this blog for three reasons: 1) to have an outlet that is here when I need and want it; 2) to connect with other families out there who have suffered the death of an infant; and 3) to give selected people we told about this blog a window into our grieving.

I learned a few things that hurt and angered me deeply yesterday. At first I thought I was being unreasonable, but it seems I can’t get rid of these feelings today. First, I learned that my oldest “friend” is pregnant. Not from her, and I know she intended to tell me herself but there are no secrets in my family. I guessed anyway, no one told me. I’m rather intuitive. I learned that she’s due shortly after me, so this means she’s known for awhile and knew when I told her about my own pregnancy and my cerclage recently. I would have been happy for her, honestly, had I not spoken to her on June 4th, talked in detail about my own pregnancy, and not heard a word from her. Had I not been speaking to her for a year about our plans to have children and been told a number of times that they were waiting. I don’t need to know other people’s family growth plans, but I thought this was something friends talked about, and I for some reason must have thought that given the heartbreak I experienced in December/January, that another woman who knows me well might approach me more sensitively about her news. Because maybe I feel humiliated that my own pain and failure is on constant public display among our friends and family and YET SHE CHOSE TO WAIT UNTIL SHE WAS IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER, another measly 11 days from our last conversation, TO TRY TO TELL ME (I was napping Friday when she called). The reason for this I’m sure would be that social taboo against waiting to tell people until it’s “safe.” Well, I don’t care that I’m being unreasonable and unfair and impeding on other people’s right to their fantasies about pregnancy but that feels like A SLAP IN THE FACE. But when I do talk to this person, I’m going to reciprocate the non-communicativeness which I now realize characterizes the relationship, say “Congratulations,” and be done with it. And then get back to praying that I will not bury this child and have to contend with seeing a child just a few days younger than it for the rest of my life. Not that anyone should organize their life around my pain, but some sensitivity might be nice. I might seem bitter on this blog but that’s because I use it to keep bitterness out of my daily life. I’m damn nice and genuinely kind and smiley in daily life.

And I’m sure I must be “awkward” to talk to. Well, only because some people don’t want to take a step to get beyond their own discomfort. I realize that about my own reluctance to approach the grieving, why don’t many other people try?

And I’m sure I’m giving other people that I know more reason to “worry” about me.

9 responses to “Last night I had a terrible dream. I dreamt that I…

  1. I really am sorry that blogging has made you feel like this and I can’t say I blame you for feeling this way.

    I think people who don’t blog as a carthartic measure just don’t grasp how we can separate the really negative stuff from the everyday people we present IRL.

    Personally, I enjoy your writing very much. You are unique in the way you write analytically and emotionally all at once. I hope you don’t have to go PP, but can understand why you would.

    (PS, so glad your cerclage went well. Have tried to comment here a couple of times recently but have been thwarted!)

  2. Thanks, Jill, I honestly didn’t feel I was living my own personal hell in a panopticon until today.

  3. I think your feelings are entirely justified. It seems to me that the family members in question are satisfying themselves that you are “doing ok” without needing to messy themselves with actually talking to a grieving person. In my book, that is cowardly and small. Even forgetting for a second your specific request not to talk about this pg, anyone who can’t overcome their discomfort to actually talk to you does not deserve to have the right to brighten their own freaking day by telling anyone else your freaking news. A little worked up, I am.
    As to your friend… I think I have heard of her before, yes? The most insulting thing there is, I believe, that you have so unfortunately found out that second trimester is not really “safe” either. And anyone with a quarter of a brain should realize that. When you were talking to her on the 4th, how exactly did she think you would react “later” when she told you?
    A friend of mine told me she was pregnant at 5 weeks, before she planned on telling anyone at all, because she noticed my progesterone suppositories and I told her I was 9 weeks. That’s what friends do. I’m sorry, but I am so angry for you, I want to spit and kick.

    I would understand entirely if you chose to PP the blog, but I would be sad. For those who unfortunately but surely will come after us, it would be a loss not to be able to stumble upon your voice. But of course, your first duty is to yourself and your immediate family, and you must do what is right by you. Be well, my friend.

  4. I completely understand the impulse towards password protection. You don’t need to be so out there. As someone who goes in and out of lurking I would miss hearing your voice, but I would also think you were doing what you need to do to help yourself heal, and that was always your primary purpose.

  5. So prescient, Julia. Fortunately I am not blessed with many insensitive real life friends. And thank you, S. Really, both of you made me feel so much better, and less like a pariah.

  6. Reading this makes me so angry at your “friend” and family members. When you’ve chosen to share a part of your life and feelings — either through your blog or by talking to your friend about your pregnancy — it’s entirely reasonable to expect that people will deal with that information with at least a minimal amount of sensitivity and care.

    I know you’re fortunate enough to have other, more supportive friends and family members, but still, there’s really no excuse for the way these other people are acting. I am so sorry you have to deal with this kind of thoughtless behavior. You have more than enough on your plate already. I’ll be thinking of you.

  7. Although I did not lose my son, he was born at 28 weeks weighing 1.5 lbs. I had two different friends hide their pregnancies from me until I ran into them after they had “popped.” They both gave me the “We didn’t know how you would react” line. I guess I see their point…but how did you think I would react when I realized you thought me so childish as to not be able to maintain my composure and congratulate you? Get used to the idea that you were going to get to do all the things I didn’t get to do…like have a baby shower. UGH! Losses suck. My loss does not begin to compare to yours….please don’t take my comments in that way. But I do feel as if my DS being born early was a loss of what most pregnant women get to experience. Most women don’t have to deal with you have. I think people just plain don’t know what to say most of the time.

    I know my rambling probably doesn’t help, but I just wanted to say I can understand why you would be feeling the way you did.


  8. I should write a book entitled, “Just Say You Are Sorry.” Inside would be all the f*d up things people shouldn’t say, like mentioning G-d’s plan, the baby’s soul, or angels in heaven. People need a refresher course on grief or something. It actually makes me miss my old job, where everyone was so sensitive and nice when my mom passed away. One of my coworkers organized food for me to take home when I returned. But lately, it seems like the people around me, at my job, are complete dummies at grief. That’s what they need, a “Grief for Dummies.”

    I am so sorry that these few people are being ignoramouses. You DO have many friends and cyberfriends that understand and support you, don’t forget. I have totally abandoned 99% of the blogs on my bloglines; you’re still one at the top of my reading list.

  9. Pariah? In a panopticon?

    A very valuable blog, for us and for you.

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