Monday, August 2, 2010

Self pity

That has got to be the most destructive emotion there is. Sorry about the whiny, self indulgent post last time. I really hope I didn't hurt anyone, if I did I'm very sorry. Just to be clear, I'm certainly not jealous of my friend's most recent pregnancy, I'm jealous that she has two kids. I only wanted two and it feels really unfair that I only got to have one. Yesterday I was thinking about how petty that complaint was and realized that how I feel about my friend's two kids is probably how a lot of people feel about my one kid. Why am I so special that my first pregnancy ended in a beautiful, healthy child? Why can't I just be grateful?

I was feeling sorry for myself the other day. I had a tough week and was feeling very overwhelmed when my friend called to ask if I would watch her kids. I really, really wish there was something I could do to help my friend. I don't understand her desire to have eight kids, or to be pregnant with an infant at home, but I do understand her pain. I understand that she is angry with her body and feeling hopeless so I wish I could ease that for her. I wish she could have her eight kids. I wish I could have my two. I wish all the people I read could have their one. And I wish I could get rid of petty and hurtful jealousies and moments of self pity.

Fortunately I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut and just be there for my friend.
Even before I talked to her I was feeling bad for my reaction. After I talked to her I felt even worse. She kept apologizing, saying she knew her loss was not as big as mine (I don't agree and I told her that). I felt about an inch tall. I only have one loss to her more than a dozen. Who am I to be jealous? Idiot.

Anyway - I wanted to get that off my chest and talk about what happened last week that sent me into a tail spin.

I was taking the 24 hour HAZ.WOPER class for the oil spill stuff. It's your standard safety class that spends many hours telling you not to stick a fork in an electric socket. The instructor was interesting and had lots of "war" stories, which unfortunately involved lots of dead children. He was at the tsunami and nine eleven so we got a first hand glimpse of some of the really horrible tragedies the world has seen in the last ten years. It was really hard to hear some of the stuff he talked about. On the second day of class I asked if there was somewhere I could look for a list of chemicals and the long term health effects of exposure. Over my ten year career as a chemist I was exposed to some nasty stuff, in some cases very large quantities of nasty stuff. I wanted to know if any of them were mutagenic or carcinogenic. He laughingly asked me if my kids glowed. I laughed for a second and looked away. My mental reply was, "Well, no, but one died of birth defects." I thought about telling him he should be careful what he says, but I didn't think it was really worth upsetting anyone. And I find I don't like to share Aiden and his story with just anyone. That exchange and the horror stories really colored my whole week. I frequently found myself dwelling on the more painful parts of my loss throughout the week. It's good to finally be home and to not have anymore things to take care of.

Our first MAPP class is tonight so I should have something more cheerful to talk about next.


  1. That guy's response to your concerns sounds sooo inappropriate! I understand not wanting to call him on it (I wouldn't either), but wow. Insensitive.

    YOU on the other hand are not at all insensitive, and your envy of your friend's 2 kids sounds perfectly reasonable to me. I too wish that everyone could just get the amount of kids that they wanted, and that all would be born healthy. Sigh.

  2. Jesus, eight kids? NO ONE needs that many.

    i have a post drafted about why i want two kids, not just one. i'll post it soon.

    i don't think you have to apologise hon.

  3. I agree with Leslie, "do your kids glow", really? I can totally understand your concerns, as I worry that I caused my sons condition with too much cold medicine orthe sleeping pill I took before I knew I was pregnant. I think there is always this need to know the reason why and I hate that nobody can really tell us this. I can totally understand your feelings towards your friend, given what you have gone through it makes sense that you would feel this way. You are mourning major losses here, with Aiden being gone and now moving to adoption. It is a lot to take.
    I hope the next class is less depressing for you.

  4. Yeah, that dude. Good for you for taking the high road--his stupidity shows he's not worthy of knowing your son or his story.

    But really--your reaction to your friend's situation is totally normal--not sugar coated or idealistic. These are emotions that deserve to be acknowledged, and you did the right thing by still being supportive. She's lucky to have a friend in you.

    Hang in there--good luck with the classes :)

  5. Dang. That's rough. It's really understandable that you were knocked for a loop. I've heard the Mr. when he goes through them and if he finds them annoying, I imagine that they are 100 times worse than that. I'm sorry.

    Pity is bad and it sucks you in. It's like a riptide, though. You fight it and you drown, you go with it and eventually you get back to shore.

    Hang in there. Hopefully, that's the last damn class on that for some time. You've been armed with that fork and will go looking for light sockets.

  6. Thanks, as always for the wonderful support. Misfits - you made me snort my coffee, ouch! Thanks B, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks that's a little nuts.