Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I threw a fit

No, really. In trying to think of a title for this post, that was it, the one that works, I did in fact throw a fit. I am actually a little embarrassed to share this story. Last night I had one of those, "I am totally out of control" moments, and nothing I felt or was doing bore any resemblance to sanity or rationality. I'm trying to forgive myself, and remind myself that this entire pregnancy I have been very fragile, and doing my best to hold it together.

It started last night as Mr. g and I were doing laundry. Remember this neighbor? Oh yeah, it was her again, SHE'S BAAAAACK!!!!!! It started the same way as last time, with me hearing "Excuse me!" behind my back. Mr. g was a few feet ahead of me on our walkway, and this time, I completely ignored her. She had to say it four times before I finally, reluctantly turned around. Mr. g started to turn at the third time, but as soon as he realized she was talking to me, went ahead into the laundry room. (yes, I was annoyed at that, but we will get to that later)

She started to ask me about baby things, and what I needed etc. I really tried to just be vague and not say much, but I swear I am so unprepared to discuss this pregnancy in public with people, my brain and my mouth don't cooperate with each other. Basically, I was just feeling trapped and uncomfortable. Remember, this girl DOES NOT speak to me at any other time. She has a little girl, maybe 2 years old. So the gist of the conversation was her trying to give me stuff. I basically did say, "thanks, but no thanks" but somehow she was still going to offload her carseat. In the end, she brought it into the laundry room while we were still loading up our baskets. I quickly grabbed the baskets, so that Mr. g would have to take the seat. I was feeling like I was having an out of body experience, and had been ever since the conversation started.

We head back up to the house, with me feeling 12 kinds of awful.I was hurrying to get up the stairs because I could already feel my tidal wave of emotion. As I was stepping with Mr. g behind me, another neighbor actually came out of his house to ask Mr. g if we had had the baby! That turned into some conversation where Mr. g was telling him how we had to get ready, etc. I didn't hear all of that because I had reached the door and went inside.

I felt sick. Especially at the last part, where they thought we had a baby because of Mr. g holding the seat. It was the tone in the voice that got me. Happy, expectant. Inside, as we started to fold, the tears came. At this point, I wasn't sure exactly what my feelings were, just that they were starting to overtake me. The tears led into a conversation with Mr. g about what was bothering me, at first I told him I wasn't going to talk about it because I knew he wouldn't get it. At this point, I was thinking of throwing the damn seat in the car and driving it over to my mom's. I didn't even want it in the house. After some prodding, I finally told Mr. g some of my feelings. Let's just say that didn't go well. He loves when people are "positive" for us. I want them to leave me and my pregnancy alone. One good thing that came out of our conversation was I got in touch with some specifics of feeling. I started to feel anger. Raw, out of control anger. When Mr. g said, "people are just trying to be helpful" my response, "yes, and those same people will say nothing to me if she dies, they will feel so uncomfortable, I will have to deal with their silent pitying looks just like when M died. I will be the lady who lost the babies, but now, oh when its happy, they feel free to talk!" Bingo. There was a big part of my rage. Like I said, the conversation didn't end well, it ended with me shouting, "I knew you would not get it! Next time I tell you I don't want to talk about it, let me be!"

First, I spent some time in the bathroom crying. I knew I was quite literally out of control, emotionally that is. I could feel it. I don't claim any rationality here. After a short bathroom crying stint, my rage was still bubbling over. I put on a huge sweatshirt, (thinking I would go back to trying to hide the belly, HA HA) grabbed the seat, took it the garage, and....are you ready for this? Threw, yes THREW it across the garage in fit worthy of most of the four year olds I know. Then with door slightly propped open, I pulled out one of my beach chairs and watched the night through the garage door for awhile.

I eventually calmed a bit. So many things were going through my mind. I already knew why I was angry, and in the conversation with Mr. g I figured out a few other things too. I tried to tell him, I just need to do things on my own time, I don't need people (whom I barely know) to force me into anything. It's different when discussing *hope* with Mr. g or family, they will be there no matter the outcome. I was also mad at myself. Why didn't I just say the shocking truth? "I'm waiting to make sure my baby will live before I start getting stuff, but thanks!" When I was crying, it was also just all my sadness over losing M, and all my fear of losing his sister bubbling to the top. I keep it together the best I can, but basically, I think losing him and being pregnant again....well, lets just say I'm not the most well adjusted person I know right now. I couldn't help it, I kept thinking, and what if she doesn't come home, do I give the seat back? On top of that, I am a very private person, if I want to talk about something with you, I will bring it up. This whole neighbor thing is driving me crazy. We don't talk, even about innocent topics like the damn weather, but you want to talk about my baby? Note, singular, baby, because god forbid I upset you by bringing up my dead baby.

As I sat in the garage, I sobbed out apologies to M for not being able to keep him alive, for not even knowing when he died, even though he was right there, inside of me. I also ended up apologizing to baby girl for behaving that way, as though she wasn't coming home, and throwing something that could be *hers*. That isn't uncommon for me to turn it all into my sorrow and guilt over losing M. Whenever something happens that brings the emotions to the surface, I start to think maybe there is a lot I haven't dealt with. A lot I still need to get out about M dying. All those feelings are always right under the surface. I also started to think about how ungrateful I was. There are people out there who can barely afford a carseat, and here I am being given one, and I behave that way. However, I will say, emotions aside, I am not one hundred percent comfortable with a used carseat whose history I don't know. Now I don't know what to do with it. Use it or no? Honestly, everytime I think about it I feel way to emotional, but that seems like such a childish reason not to use it.

*Sigh* I knew it would be hard to admit to my *craziness*.

When I finally went upstairs, Mr. g was doing dishes. He always does housework when we have a tiff, whether to get on my good side, or because he just doesn't know what to do with himself, I don't know. We didn't really talk too much about it except he apologized for not understanding. I told him I didn't really care, but I didn't want to sit and explain it either. Oh, and also from now on, if he was so gung ho on this crap, he can talk to the damn neighbors and leave me out of it. Easier said than done, since generally people want to talk to the woman.

Our neighbor right next to us has never said one word to me about my belly. I love her.

I miss M so much, how do people go on with this as their life?


meg said...

Oh ms. G., this is so awful. I can feel the fear and terror in your words.

I wish I had an answer to "how do people go on with this as their life?" If I come up with anything I will certainly let you know.

Take good care of yourself.

Monica H said...

I sorry you had to deal with her again. I know she's just trying to be helpful in her own wierd, nosey way. Use the carseat after having it professionally cleaned, or donate it. It's yours now so you can do anything you want with it. Take care of yourself and don't beat yourself up for having a fit. You're in a very vulnerable state right now and you're allowed to do that.

Take care

niobe said...

Well, I understand why you don't like it when people are positive. And I totally understand why you felt so angry.

You weren't asking for advice -- but here's some anyway. Feel free to not read it or to read it and reject it.

Maybe you could rehearse in your mind exactly what you'll say the next time a neighbor or anyone else starts talking about your pregnancy or the baby. If you practice it enough, it will probably just come out automatically the next time you're in the situation.

And if you say something about how you don't like to talk about this baby because your last baby, M, died and you're afraid this one will too, the neighbors will probably shut up and not bother you again.

Beruriah said...

Niobe has some good advice there.

I so, so, so understand this. I know what it's like to be trapped by some happy person wanting to know my baby's sex and prospective names and oh have we set up the nursery yet? And when that happens, I can hardly breathe. Because you're right - they want to hear our giddiness but heaven forbid we violate some social comfort level by being honest.

I have yelled almost the exact same words as you at my husband. I don't want to presume, but I think unfortunately the next few weeks might be very difficult, first you have to pass 34 weeks and then still make it to term. Be very good to and easy on yourself - I'll be thinking of you.

Catherine said...

Thank you. Thank you for throwing a fit. Thank you for throwing the carseat. Thank you for pinpointing the source of the anger for me so clearly. You have helped me understand some of myself in sharing your "fit."

Lori said...

I can't think of one piece of this story that you should feel embarrassed about. It all sounds completely logical and justified to me. That neighbor sounds bizarre. Who is that insistent about giving their things away to people she barely knows? And I think you have good reason to be wary of a used carseat (if nothing else, you will always remember where it came from and probably not enjoy it much). It can be difficult to find places that take used carseats but there are some hospitals and church organizations that will take them.

My experience is that men just don't view these things the way we do. Sigh... one more way we get to feel like we are a total nut.

I'm sorry this happened...

froggy mommy said...

Ditto Catherine - I actually feel like I know my own anger a little better after reading this. And I do understand throwing the fit - my husband has now declared our home a "no-hamburger throwing zone" for similar reasons.

Hope said...

I just found your blog tonight and when I read this first post I wanted to jump out and hug you. As some of the other ladies said you also helped me out with my anger as well.

Carole said...

It's so true. These same people that want to strike up a happy conversation about a baby are the same ones that will never look you in the eye or even attempt something to say when we've lost a child.

Rosepetal said...

Man, I would so have reacted in exactly the same way including hurling the seat across the garage.

I am not prepared to get anything prepared until the baby is born alive at the hospital. Then DH can get everything ready at home and my mum can wash the baby clothes. I do not want any gifts from anyone. first or secondhand. It's not like we need to get everything ready, we've already got EVERYTHING and it's all UNUSED.

I have a neighbour who has not send hello to me since V died and I have planned many cutting and downright mean remarks in the event that she should try now.