“So wait.  What you’re saying here is that I will never get over this, there is nothing I can do to fix it; it’s just a matter-of-fact part of who I am now, so I might as well own it and go with it?”

“That’s right,” my therapist said gently.

“Dammit.”  Even from where I was sitting on the couch, I stomped my sandaled foot for emphasis.  “Dammit!”

She had been telling me, again, to tap into the sad place; she had been prompting me, again, to try to express my truth, rather than dealing with the expectations of what we are “supposed” to say when someone gets pregnant.  And suddenly it just hit me: my pain is un-healable.


I guess I should have known this all along.  I mean, it seems so obvious.  Things happen to us, and we can’t undo them.  And so it follows that they affect us in ways we cannot change.  And so, I guess I’m doomed to be uncomfortable around pregnant women forever.

“Well that changes things,” I told my therapist.

“How so?”

“I mean, I might as well just have a kid now.  Because people keep telling me that the only way to really heal after a miscarriage is to have a successful pregnancy, so you can change your associations with the subject or something.”

“Wow.  I completely disagree.”

I laughed.  “I guess I do, too, on some level, or else I would have tried again right after it happened.”


So this is my fate, then: to spend the rest of my life uncomfortable around pregnant women.  To spend the next few years quietly agonizing over how I’ll react when I am the pregnant woman; will I be happy and excited, or will I try to avoid myself for nine months, too?

I told her about Hillary and John, and how I want so badly for them to succeed in their quest to conceive.  I want so badly to know what it feels like to be normal again, even if only for one moment, even if only for one person.  Because Hillary and I have felt the same feelings; we are on the same team.  How could I be anything but happy for her?

Good news for Hillary might also give me a preview of how I’ll react to my own, eventual, positive HPT.  I don’t really believe that I’ll dislike myself when I become the physical embodiment of my emotional enemy, do I?

“But normal people don’t do this, do they?” I asked.  “I mean, I got divorced, and I don’t get all freaked out and refuse to acknowledge when other people get married.”

“But that didn’t affect you as deeply,” my therapist said.

“Okay, but…  There are people that do this?  There are people who, like, can’t go to weddings or…  I don’t even know what else somebody might get all freaked out about.”

“Oh, yes!” she exclaimed.  “You don’t know any of those people?  People who are so traumatized by something they’ve experienced, they can’t handle parts of their everyday lives?”

I shook my head.

“You need to meet those people!”

“But I work with the public,” I protested.  “I meet tons of people every day!”

“But they probably don’t go around talking about that stuff in the grocery store.”

“I know.  Dammit.”

She laughed.  “You want them to?”

“Well, that’s not realistic.  But I like connecting with people.  On the other hand, I’m also really careful about what I say to the customers – I mean, we have some cashiers who just talk and talk about themselves, their spouses, their kids, their pets – and I’m really careful not to do that, because you never know what buttons you might be pushing for someone else.  I mean, I don’t want to accidentally traumatize someone, when they just want to buy their groceries and go home.”

“Wow.  So think of it this way,” my therapist offered.  “You are a deeper, more sensitive person because of what you have lived through and what you have experienced.”

Well, okay, that part felt pretty good to hear.

But seriously…


This entry was posted in miscarriage, negative thinking, therapy, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Dammit.

  1. Dani says:

    I disagree about the idea that you’ll never get over this or always react to pregnant women this way…”we can not change the past, but we can change our attitude towards it”- in changing our attitude or thoughts about the situation, we change our emotional reaction towards it. You may still feel some sadness or a sense of loss, but it may get to the point where it’s more manageable and interferes with your life and relationships less. For example, you may have the thought, “why me?” which would lead to anger and resentment. But if you believed in a thought like “25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and this happened to be one of them” or “my body may have miscarried because the baby would not have been healthy enough to survive” you may feel acceptance and even gratitude. Tough stuff, I know, but not impossible!
    Saw this and thought of you…

    • Marie says:

      Sure, those statistic/factoid thoughts are there, and they’re helpful inasmuch as they can be, but they fall into the practical side of things. It all comes back to heart verses head.

      But I did forget to mention, that with that “deeper, more sensitive person” comment, I was reminded of you suggesting there might be a way my grief is serving me.

  2. Jason says:

    I was reminded just this last weekend that there are some things we endure that we never truly get over. I have come to terms with having been in prison, but it was still a traumatic series of events. I was reminded of this in a very silly way when we were at the zoo. At the Elephant exhibit, they have this large series of cages with hydraulic, sliding gates, the whole thing looks like a large prison. I started to panic. It’s not like I was in any danger there or was going to be locked in, but it still brought all those feelings to the surface.

    Yes, this will stay with you forever, but you will come to terms with it and things will be ok…. until you go to the zoo 🙂

    • Marie says:

      Jason, I LOVE the zoo, and the elephant odyssey especially! Specifically, I love it because there’s an unfit-mother lion up there, who totally makes me feel better about my situation. (I’ll have to write about this, but first I’ll have to go to the zoo again.)

      And I never noticed the big, hydraulic gates. Funny how the same environment can get to us in different ways. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      • Dawn says:

        Andrew loves ths “ele-fents”. We have free passes (do you have a membership?) for you and Doug. We’ll have to set a date to go. xo

  3. slcurwin says:

    I dont believe you ever get over it, and why should you? I’ve had two miscarraiges and people who haven’t experienced that forget that it’s not just an aweful event that happens, but you lose a child each time. A child that you should be able to hold and watch grow and have a first day of school / kiss/ child of their own…

    There is no “it was for the best” because the best would be that baby healthy and alive in your arms. And statistics can be comforting from the “it’s not likely to happen again” stand, but that’s not always the case. It’s a part of you now and it is horrible. But like anything else that happens you have to take it with you and keep going. you have to deal with it, but the end result is not to get over it. you learn to live with it, and if you’re lucky, you may find something productive to do with your grief.

    It’s not wrong to feel uncomfortable around pregnant woman, and if that woman becomes you, it will be terrifying. But we are human, and we hope, and that keeps us trying.

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