This is a post by Princess Jo that I think everyone should read. This subject is very, very important and I think we should all be aware of how our words can wound. Please stop by and read it.
Ironically, I had an experience with another type of thoughtless joke today - not nearly as bad, but still painful.
I think even without the dead baby hovering just over my heart, today would have been hard. I'd like to say up front that I'm not angry or upset with anyone. Maybe the universe, because I am angry and upset. The guy in this story didn't mean anything; he just thought he was being funny. Unfortunately he picked a very bad joke with exactly the wrong person.
I had to go to an occupational health clinic today to get my knee checked. I twisted it falling into a damn gofer hole out in the field and am now dealing with worker's comp. The doctor was funny and indignant that I hadn't been treated 2 months ago. He kept joking around and was very upbeat. The problem came after he looked at my x-ray. He said I already have arthritis in that knee (at 34 - fantastic), then he said this:
"There are no fractures, but you're pregnant."
For one tenth of a second I had this physical feeling that shot from my chest through my whole body. I think it was an even mix of wild hope and terror. Then before I could say "WHAT!" I realized it was a joke. He took a picture of my damn knee. There was no way he could tell if I was pregnant, which was the point of the joke. It was all I could do not break down right then. He quickly realized he had said something wrong. He stopped smiling and said it was a joke. Then he said "you're not laughing." I only said no and looked away so I wouldn't cry. He kept talking about my knee and I tried to hold it together. A little while later he asked if I was mad at him. I told him no without any other explanation. I thought about telling him why that was such a bad joke but I found I didn't want him to feel like crap for upsetting me. He was a really nice guy that said a really dumb thing. That didn't stop me from calling my mom and sobbing to her on the phone all the way to work.
God. I hate that I can't handle stupid jokes anymore. I hate that the most innocent comment or picture will ruin my whole day. I cannot imagine how my friends that have no living children can make it through even one day. I think I would have dug a deep, deep hole and never come out.
I just hope this shit gets better. I still feel like crying.