The Other Thing
Yes, I really did crank out 4 articles on Rennie subculture so that I could avoid talking about The Other Thing. Although, two of them were at least half written, so it was more like I cranked out two posts and gave two others a swift kick to get them moving.
For the most part, the answer lately has been “I don’t want to talk about it.” Fortunately, very few people have pressed beyond that, and everyone who did took my very best glare as their second answer. Mostly I’ve been spending time with people I can trust not to ask and generally dodging calls from my family. But every now and then I’ll get blindsided by someone who doesn’t realize what happened or who never knew in the first place. One of my coworkers asked when I was due. Considering I’d told practically the whole department at another coworker’s retirement party, I figured that was going to happen eventually. It still hurt. And though I know she was trying to distract me, having her sit in my office and make small talk about other things only made it hurt worse.
I feel this… turmoil when I see another pregnant woman or a baby. It’s like envy and rage and a desire to lash out all bubbling up together in my head, poisoning me. A few weeks ago I had joined the ranks of some very dear friends who were either currently pregnant or recently pregnant, and now I have trouble interacting with them. I avert my eyes from women in grocery stores because it hurts to see them. I very nearly ran out of an office lunch because two coworkers were cheerfully going on about a recent grandchild. Fortunately, I think the coworker next to me realized something was wrong and got me talking about something else. I could barely speak to a woman who I haven’t seen in over 20 years because she’s pregnant and even though I really wanted to reconnect with her, it hurt to look at her.
I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay to feel this way. That even though it feels like it has been a long and hard road from that dark Sunday night, it has really only been a few weeks. Not even a month. Not all that long in the scheme of things. It’s getting better. I’ve found that my tolerance for anything even vaguely irritating is pretty low, but it has also grown easier to remove myself from the causes of those sorts of things. And while I still have trouble dealing with it in person, I can at least tolerate seeing babies and pregnancy on TV. I have never noticed before how often pregnancy is used as a plot point. Even in shows that you wouldn’t expect it.
That all of this comes immediately after a major low period is both a blessing and a frustration. On the one hand, I have basically spent the past four months isolating myself from my usual outlets. This blog, The Other Blog, Twitter, Tumblr… If it weren’t for my job, I probably would have dropped off of Facebook, too. Maintaining our social network forced me to stay connected. And Facebook is easier. Short. Painless. Easy to ignore the things that hurt, and pass along the things that helped. Easy to put on the mask of being okay. On the other hand, the low period forced me to confront a major problem I had been denying and get real help for it. I cannot imagine how hard this would have been without that.
So there you have it. After my unexpected burst of creativity, this is pretty much all I have left in me right now. For now, it will have to be enough.