Ok boys and girls, it’s been a long time since I’ve put up a good rant on this blog. I figure it’s very much overdue.
But first, a disclaimer. I’m about to talk about things people in this community don’t like to admit – maybe not even to themselves – let alone in writing. Before I do, I want to make one thing very clear: I love and appreciate every single person who has ever emailed, commented, or even just quietly lurked on this blog. I know there are upwards of 700 of you out there, and I count this space as one of the most wonderful things I have done in my life, because of you.
Also, I would not have survived these last four months after losing Nadav without you. So please keep that in mind before you skewer me in the comments.
Ready? Ranty time!
WordPress’ site stat page has this handy little feature that shows you the number of views on your busiest day. Mine is 4,630 on February 22nd of this year.
That was the day my son died. And yes, he died. He was a stillbirth. He was not a “late term miscarriage”. He was my son. I gave birth to him, I did not miscarry him. I went through labor and delivery like every other mother out there.
Unless this blog goes viral due to an incredibly brilliant post I pull out of my ass one day, I have a feeling that this little site stat will be sticking around for a very long time. So if by any chance I happen to miraculously forget that date, all I have to do is to go to that stats page.
I used to check my stats every day. Just a curiosity, and I admit, a little for my own ego. I don’t check them that often any more because of this little reminder.
During the period of Feb. 21st – 24th, I had upwards of 15,000 visits to this blog. A lot of those hits were concerned readers, or followers of my friends’ blogs who came over to offer support.
But let’s face it – a lot of them were the equivalent of rubber-neckers to a car accident.
Look, we all do this. We don’t admit to it, but we do. When we read somewhere that some blogger we’ve never heard of has suffered a tragedy, we click over. Yes, to offer support, but also out of morbid curiosity. Just for the opportunity to think to ourselves: “Thank goodness that isn’t me. Please don’t let it be me one day.”
I’ve done it. Heck, I still do. Granted, I’m pretty close to getting as low as you can go in this community. But there’s always someone with a bigger tragedy. One we think we understand but we don’t. One person that we look at with pity, and hope against hope that we will never have to walk a mile in their shoes.
I’m not trying to measure pain by any means. We play the hand that we are dealt, and each person has their own difficulties. I thought I understood pain just with PCOS. Then with PCOS and one miscarriage. Then with PCOS, two miscarriages, and a mental breakdown. Then with PCOS, a mental breakdown and three miscarriages. I thought I understood pain at three miscarriages, a stillbirth, and two mental breakdowns. Then I started crawling closer and closer to Nadav’s due date (cruelly exactly 4 months to the day after he died), while having to face another failed cycle.
A new low. A new threshold for pain. A new form of agony that I didn’t anticipate.
I’m telling you this not because I want you to pity me. In fact, if you feel pity for me, please leave now. I feel sorry enough for myself. I don’t need others feeling sorry for me. That does me no good. In fact, I rather you flame me and hate me and you not pity me.
I tell you all of this to point out that pain isn’t comparable or measurable. But there are certain forms of pain that attract rubber-neckers. There are cautionary tales that make others say “thank goodness it’s not me.”
I am one of those cautionary tales. And those 15,000 + hits during those four days in February are proof positive of this fact.
I remember being pregnant with Nadav, being a rubber-necker. I could never bring myself to comment on the blogs that I lurked on as a rubber-necker. Because I was painfully aware of being one. Sometimes I would chime in with an “I’m so sorry for your loss.” Or some other empty sentiment.
Yes, I was sorry for “her” loss. I felt sorry for “her.” I said to myself “please don’t let this be me.” I said to myself “thank goodness this isn’t me.” I don’t do that any more. Not even with train wrecks that are bigger than mine.
I’m sure every single one of you (or at least most of you) who haven’t been in my shoes have thought these things while reading my words. I’m not angry with you. I don’t want you to feel guilty for feeling this way. It’s only natural. I was there. I also hope you never have to be in my shoes. I wouldn’t wish this agony on my worst enemy.
I also know that most of you, even ones that initially came here as rubber-neckers, are no longer that. I know every word you write to me, even the occasional “I’m sorry for your loss” when you can’t find better words to say is a genuine virtual hug. I love you guys for it.
But here’s the kicker. Though I know there are HUNDREDS of you guys out there that are supportive, amazing, loving people, there always are a few rubber-neckers in disguise. There are always those few that write lovely comforting words, but their pity and their hypocrisy shine through their well-wishes. Under every word they say I can read that “thank goodness this isn’t me” undertone. I can read the pity. It’s hard to catch sometimes, but after two years on this train, I can spot these people.
And that pity hurts. That undertone of “oh lord don’t let me be this woman” hurts. It hurts more than silence. More than hate. It hurts more than the asshole who came on this blog three days after Nadav died and called me a murderer for some unknown reason (yes that happened and I deleted the fuck-face’s comment immediately).
Why does it hurt so much?
Because I am not a weak person. I am not a person who is to be pitied. Be on my level – heck – envy me- but by pitying me you make me feel small. Like my entire world is defined by my loss.
I am not small.
I am a strong, smart, talented, funny woman.
I have an amazingly strong marriage with a really hot, funny, talented, and brilliant man.
I have a wonderful loving family (hi sissy! Hi sissy-in-law!).
I have absolutely unbelievable friends both in real life and in my virtual life.
I am loved and I love ferociously in return.
I paint. I write. I think about movies I want to make, and sometimes even take pride in ones I’ve already made.
I rock out to awesome music.
I work really hard at my job and all of my clients respect what I do and pay me a nice salary to work for them.
I’m an amazing cook.
My dog is the smartest, cutest dog in the world.
I dye my hair awesome colors.
I teach twice a week and my students freaking love me.
There is nothing to pity here. If it weren’t for my effed-up plumbing, my life would read like an unbelievable fairy tale.
I know this and I am learning to be grateful for it every day. By pitying me, you are helping me ignore the good parts of my life. You are enabling my self-pity, rather than encouraging my growth.
Don’t cry for me. Cry WITH me.
Don’t feel sorry for me. Feel empowered by my experience.
As some of you amazing ladies have written in your comments on my heavier posts: Abide with me. Endure with me without yielding.
That is what gives me strength, and I hope it strengthens you as well. This is the essence of the best of our little online community. This is what we should all strive for.
In my final goodbye post to Nadav, I posted the song “Twinkle” by Tori Amos. This was not a random choice.
I want to call your attention to a particular section of the lyrics:
But I can see that star
When she twinkles
And she twinkles
Those lyrics for me are about triumph. About overcoming loss. About growing from loss. That is what I am doing, and it’s what I intend to continue to do.
I sometimes dread going out because of the sideways pity glance I get sometimes from people who know my story. In life, I compensate for that by making jokes and blatantly and openly talking about my losses. I may as well wear a T-Shirt that says “Please! Ask me about my uterus!”.
Like Chandler from Friends, I use humor as a defense mechanism.
I do the same thing here. Here I compensate by using funny pictures with funny captions. It’s my little F-YOU to anybody who dares to question my strength.
Because for me, pitying me means questioning my strength.
Dammit I am fucking strong.
Deal with it.
Two days from now is Nadav’s due date. I will not be acknowledging it on this blog. Nadav was born. He was born 4 months too early, but he was born. And he died. June 22nd is not his. February 22nd is his, and always will be.
I have had an enlightening couple of weeks. I haven’t shared most of that insight yet on this blog, because I’ve been processing it all. I think I’ll use that date to tell you guys a little about the way I have grown by leaps and bounds in the last couple of weeks. About the revelations I have had and that I am processing. Or maybe I’ll need a few more days to process it and I’ll post a freaking lolcat. Who knows.
Either way, I hope you stick around to read about it.
To abide with me.
But if you intend to feel sorry for me, please do me a favor and go feel sorry for another train wreck.
Cause this train may be bruised and battered, but this train keeps on fucking chugging.