Monthly Archives: January 2009

Scotch and Vampires

First thing, I think I did a poor job explaining myself in the last post. I am well over my past traumas, well over them. All I meant was that I’m very familiar with how my body and my mind respond to trauma, and it irks me that in some ways my response to Natan’s death has been a familiar one. Not that it has returned me to those traumas.

I was thinking last night, as I was walking home from a friend’s house with a quarter-full bottle of Scotch, first of all that I’m quite the adult now, not afraid to walk through my neighborhood with an “open container.” I hadn’t been drinking from it, it was just the left-overs from a recent visitor and my friend hates Scotch and we like it so she sent it home with me. But I was also thinking about how when I’m out alone in the dark, I’m not afraid of any person.

I’m rather tough and trained to defend myself. But I am inexplicably afraid of vampires. Even as I know reasonably that they don’t exist. But my inexplicable fear of them is great enough that in college I developed a statistical model for why they couldn’t exist to help me overcome my fear. Nevertheless, whenever I’m outside alone after dark, I can keep myself brave until the moment I get to the door and have to fumble with my keys. Then terror overtakes me, because well, in a horror movie or book I suppose that would be the moment the monster would choose to attack the heroine.

As I was walking along thinking about that, I realized something. I realized with much more specificity why a person had annoyed me earlier in their day with her Facebook status, “J…is going to drive through the snow to visit her sister! Please pray that I make it safely.” First of all, if it’s really so dangerous out that you need Gd’s help to get somewhere, and it’s just for an afternoon of fun, shouldn’t you just stay home? I mean, really, is a social visit so important that you need divine intervention? And then, I got silly. Hey, it was snowing pretty hard the day Natan died. Maybe so many people were out unnecessarily driving on the roads to visit siblings and praying about it, that Gd couldn’t hear me above all that noise. That must be it.

I think some people think they live in a novel, and that they are the most important characters in it.

Another post, an anniversary post, on just that topic is brewing.

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Thanks all

Really, thanks for your kind words. Unfortunately we had a professional conference this past weekend, and I had three interviews on the 3rd. Hence no time to think, but I have much to say. Such as I better get a job soon because this particular field always has its major interviews over this particular week when I am most decidedly not at my best and I can’t do this multiple years in a row.

I hate January

The first hits me like a deep kick in the chest. December 31st 2006 was the last night I had real hope, bleeding stopped, JJ and I prepped to relax in the hospital room over pizza and video games. I’d been moved to a room for more stable patients. But then right in the middle of pizza came more blood, and they said for staffing reasons, another new room. On the first we discovered Natan had turned again, to breech position, his feet in the cervix. Upon reflection, no one seemed hopeful anymore about reaching the ridiculously modest goal of 28 weeks.

I cannot stand being a prisoner to this grief. Natan’s death stands at the forefront of the bad things that have happened to me, not only because only it seems like something that will never cease to hurt, but because a part of me can’t tolerate classing it with or below other “bad things.” That comes up with me again and again because the other bad things include two of what we generally accept as the worst things that can happen to girl. And I think I struggle with thinking that I’m trapped by this pain in any way similar to that other pain. I have also had to let go of those things, and deny them the power over me, as part of my healing. And that’s not where the few brief memories I have of a child of mine should have to go.

But two years’ on, in some ways the similarities are undeniable. Lack of choice, lack of control over my body, intense physical pain, an inability to deny it and the constant reminders that come with forms at doctors’ offices.

I don’t think I have to spell out what I’m talking about but I want no search terms here.

I don’t want any child of mine associated with those feelings. Those feelings that make me feel like an alien in my body.

The signs of my alienation are too similar, though. A weird, unfamiliar lack of control over food. A need to stuff myself. I am 15 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight. I know that’s not bad, but I seem seriously unable to control the food I put in my body in any other way than just not having it near me. I can feel myself trying to stuff a gaping hole. Especially this time of year. And I know the holidays are a generic place of blame for this behavior, but in other periods of my life, I haven’t liked those foods. You could put a million spritz cookies and donuts in front of me and I wouldn’t need to eat a one. Not now.

It’s time I realize that the portion of this grief that makes me hate myself needs to be cleaned out, boxed up, and stored away with the other bad things in my past.