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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fair

It's easy to get depressed.

Just stop in the course of your Blackberry-Scrolling, Iced Chai-Swilling, Windows 7-Was-My-Idea'ing day. Just... stop. Just be a little still for a moment or two, maybe with your eyes closed (ill-advised if you're driving, operating a wheat-thresher, or negotiating a spiral staircase in a pair of stilettos or mukluks or, worse, stiletto mukluks [patent-pending]) and, if you just think, honestly, about your place in the world or your family, or your aging loved ones, or your job, or your long-dead grandparents, or about Israel, or about the oil spill, or about young widows, or about children without mommys, or about British cars from the 1970s, or the violence in the Sierra Leone, well, you'll get depressed pretty much in no time.

Though my blog may have successfully concealed this fact, I've been in an incredibly depressive funk for the past several weeks. I don't know if it's Depression, the kind that middle-aged women have in TV commercials-- the kind of Depression that's pronounced "Fibromyalgia"-- but I definitely am depressed. Little d.

The lowest point was when I called my mother a couple of days ago, just to yell at her about how selfish and disgusting my middle sister is, and how I hate her for what she's doing to our family-- having a baby practically out-of-wedlock, married to a man she doesn't love, and using my parents as full-time baby-sitters, and expecting everyone to wait on her hand and foot. My mother, dumbfounded and blindsided, didn't say much. Not getting the reaction I desired, I suppose, I hung up. She called me back later that night, because she's my mother. Anybody else would have stopped speaking to me for at least twelve years.

"You know," she said, "I don't really believe that's what you're upset about."

"Oh, really?" I replied, challenging her, "I'm upset about fuckin' everything-- so, pretty much, if you pick something, you're bound to be right. Better odds than the Roulette Table."

"Well," my mother began, in an unusually deliberate, careful way, "that may be true, but I still don't think that's what you're upset about." She took a breath. "I think you're upset about your miscarriage."

For a moment, I said nothing. And that always says something.

"Well that may be true," I conceded dryly, flatly. My tone belied the rage-tainted blood pounding through my veins. My head hurt and I wanted nothing more than to hang up the phone and not have this conversation. It was a taboo conversation to have, and my nine-month-old nephew's very existence made it taboo.

"It just isn't fair," I said to my mother, like a little boy might. "Why should she get to have a baby? She's got a shitty apartment in the city, she hates her husband, and she never, ever wanted a baby, and she barely gives a shit about him now that he's here. It's just not fucking fair," I whined.

"Fair doesn't even begin to enter into it," my mother said, sighing. "You have no idea how my heart breaks for you. And I know what you must be going through every time you see your nephew. I know. And you see us all with the baby-- and you're not pregnant yet-- and it hurts. But you will have a baby, and it will be wonderful." She stopped, maybe waiting for me to answer, maybe to gain her own composure. I don't know. Then she went on. "I know it's very hard for now-- and this is around the time you were going to be due, and I think that's really what's going on. Don't you?"

"I don't know," I said softly. And, really, I don't. I don't know if it's our miscarriage, or the fact that my time at my current job is dwindling down to nothing, and I have no solid leads on a job. I don't know if it's the curse on my head that fates me to be doomed to make $30,000-a-year for the rest of my life, in spite of a Master's degree and a nice vocabulary and a respectable haircut and a closet full of ties. I don't know what it is that has brought the little d to visit me whenever I have a moment to stop and sit and think. But it's here. And it hurts.

The miscarriage hurt-- no-- hurts. I know it happens. I know it wasn't a viable pregnancy. I know I know I know I know I know I know. I know it happens to lots of people. I know it might have even happened to you and, if it has, I'm very sorry and I'd hug you if I could. And I know it isn't fair to take it out on my shithead sister or her stupid, worthless husband. And it certainly isn't fair to take it out on their baby, with whom I love to play on my parents' living room floor. I think it's fun when he uses my finger as a teething toy, and I like to feed him his bottle. One time I almost fell asleep feeding him as the warmth of his body against my chest just lulled me away. He's pretty funny, and he is a brilliant mimic, just like his uncle. If you curl your fists and grunt, he does it, too. When he does this, my eldest sister calls him "Frustrated Frankenstein."

I remember the only other time my mother and I talked about the miscarriage-- well, we didn't really talk about it, we communicated about it. It was shortly after my nephew was born, maybe two months or so. I came over to their house to see him, and he was sleeping. And my mother and I stood by the carriage together looking down at him, watching his chest rise and fall so rapidly the way they do at that amazing young age and I caught sight of my face in the wall mirror-- on the wall of my own childhood bedroom-- and I saw my lower lip curl and I wanted nothing more than to look away from that, but I just looked down at the baby again, and these crazy, hot tears just started streaming down-- they were everywhere, on the arm of my shirt and racing down my nose and my fingers, and my mother was just standing there next to me and she put her hand inside mine, her dry, skinny hand and I could hear that she was crying too, but I didn't dare look at her-- I just didn't dare because, well, then it would have been real. It would have been not just me, it would have been a real, real thing, and I thought, well, if I can just keep it to me, it will just go away.

It hasn't, of course.

And I know it's not supposed to. I know. But thank God I have my wife, who is everything, and my mother, who knows everything, and my charming little nephew, who imitates everything. And you, who listens to everything.

Thank you.

12 comments:

  1. I knew you were depressed, kitten. I could tell in your writing.

    I am so sorry you have suffered, and are still suffering, from a miscarriage. I had one a couple of years ago too, with Mewtwo. Sure, it wasn't planned. But I so wanted that baby. And I still do, deep down, even though I say I don't want children right now.

    It's hard. And every few months, it will pop out of the blue and upset you for a while. I know I don't need to tell you how painful 'what if?'s can be.

    And the hardest part is watching friends (or in your case, family. Or in my case, a sworn enemy) having babies and taking it for granted, or taking advantage of people because of it.

    But you have to remember that at least you still have each other. And you can try again. And, you know, it might not work out that time either. But there is hope. Hope that one day it won't hurt this bad.

    I don't know how long ago yours was, but it does get easier, bit by bit. You will have your bad days, your bad weeks, but they pass.

    I wish you all the best, I really do. I know how hard it can be on days like this. I happen to be having one of my 'days' too.

    The best advice I can give is to take care of each other. Mewtwo and I weren't lucky enough to do that due to him being military and two states away, and that made it all the much harder.

    Please, do take care. I'll be thinking of you.

    xoxo

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  2. Not much I could say here that would mean much, but I almost cried.

    Horribly sad story, but great post.

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  3. I definitely feel you on the job leads. My husband's job ends in a few short months too, and he's shaking his head at all the education he busted his butt for, just to work for $11.25 an hour with the likes of Dwight K. Schrute in a temporary office. What else can he do but go back to school? I think a lot of people are in that position right now. And it sucks. Balls.

    I'm so sorry for you and your wife's loss. I have a few friends struggling with the anger and depression after a miscarriage, and I feel their pain as though it were my own. Ditto to what Shinxy said - take care of each other.

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  4. You are hilarious and real and raw all rolled up into one and I like your blog a lot.

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  5. Aww. I adore you both so much. I would hug you two, if I could.

    I only have one thing to say about the whole thing...

    You have every right to be angry. You have every right to hate your sister. Your feelings are perfectly normal and valid and logical and right, and I only wish that the world was like your feelings.

    I hate married people sometimes. I hate watching a girl lay her head over a guy's heart and let his breath and heartbeat calm her. I hate watching some stupid bitch treat her husband like shit in the grocery store. I hate hearing about engagements and weddings and pregnancies. I hate listening to people talk about what they're doing with their spouses over the weekend. I hate watching dumb whores destroy good marriages because they aren't getting enough attention. I hate watching man after man after man walk away from me because they just don't get it, and I hate the truth that I will never be as happy as I could be until someone DOES get it.

    So. You are normal and perfect and rightfully angry and outraged. If God gave people what they deserved, I would have an awesome husband, you and your wife and me and my awesome husband would have the cutest smartest babies ever born, and your middle sister would have herpes on her face.

    love and kisses and hugs to you both.

    xoxo

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  6. I am so, so, sorry. I had no idea.

    And here I thought you were sad because I am an email procrastinator.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about the miscarriage. It's awful. While we haven't had that experience, I understand the anger towards someone else who has something that you want and they don't even seem to care. It's so frustrating and you get upset because you feel like you shouldn't be mad at them, but you are. There's nothing that can be said or done that will make it any better except time.

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  8. Thanks for posting this... it's very real. Just because miscarriages are common doesn't make it any less devastating... My mother had a miscarriage before she had my brother and me, and it changed her. She was terrified of getting pregnant again, in case it happened again. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm sorry such a horrible thing happened to you and your wife.

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  9. Oh my God, Mr. Apron, I am so sorry. You have every right to be down. And you know what, you be down for as long as you please. It will happen but right now when things get super shitty, I believe it is because God is busy working on bringing something bloody grand out to the stage. Don't worry, it's coming. And as always, as your musician friend that you wrote to told you, you're a talented writer. Your blog is good and I am glad it's alive. I am glad you are alive and that you love your wife and I know it will work out for you.

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  10. Sending my love. What a beautifully wrenching way to put this all out there. You are such a talent — and I am still so sorry. Your mother's right, you know. About so many things. You WILL have a baby. And it WILL be wonderful.
    And if, by some chance, you never do make more than $30,000-whatever for the rest of your life, you'll get by. And your wife and child will love you no matter what.

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