“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.
“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.