I don’t wanna do this anymore

I have, like, six weeks left in this project, and today I feel like quitting.  I feel like people are judging me, or like I’m doing something wrong and not making myself understood properly.  I feel like it was a mistake to let anyone read it, but the whole point of it was for people to read it.  Maybe nine months was too long to keep it up.  I’ve lost my audience, or at least their sympathy.  Who fucking knows.

After I posted yesterday about how, despite some evidence to the contrary, I am not miraculously healed from the trauma of my miscarriage and still hurt when I hear about other people’s pregnancies, I got an anonymous comment basically telling me that an important part of the healing process is to learn to suck it up and deal with it.  Which was not on the list of things that had made me dread writing the post in the first place, but certainly should have been.

Then this morning, I was chatting with an old friend, who told me that I only seem to focus on wanting a baby, and have done nothing to actually prepare my life for one.  She told me that my desire to stay in my current job, rather than finding a higher-paying, temp-to-hire office job, in which I would undoubtedly be miserable, is “selfish.”  She told me that just because there are all kinds of “unprepared” (read: lower income, non-home-owning) people having babies, doesn’t mean that I need to model myself after those people.*  She told me that the plan for me to stay at the grocery store part-time, so I can focus more of my energy on raising our kids, while Doug finds a way to make more money to support us (when it becomes necessary – because for now, just for us two, we’re fine), is “unfair to Doug.”

“It’s not selfish,” I told her.  “It just is.”

And then I spent the whole day miserable.

Because I have no desire to start another flame war or get anymore “advice” from anonymous assholes, let me assure you that my friend’s intentions on this one are pure.  She has a very strong set of beliefs about what a life should be – she always has: when we were eight, she tried to tell me that “writer” wasn’t a practical career choice, and that I should find a back-up plan, like “doctor” or “lawyer” – and she wants to see me achieve that life.  So she’s trying to help, trying to get me to think about what I need to do next to achieve her goals.  Am I mad?  Fuck yes, I am.  But I’ll get over it, just like I got over it 20 years ago.

Here’s what worries me though, with regards to the blog: yesterday, I was given the impression that I’ve made myself sound too well-adjusted.  And today, I’ve been told that I am too focused on having a baby and seem to want nothing else out of life, ever.  I never intended either of these interpretations of my project, and so I’m starting to think I’m doing it wrong.

Yes – I’ve come a long way, baby.  But I’m not completely over what happened to me.  In fact, I’ve been told, by a professional, that I never will be.  And yes, I dwell on the baby thing a lot here, because that was the whole point of this blog at its outset.  But there are other aspects to my life, and there are days where I feel like I’m stretching to tie it all back to the original point.  (Tuesday was one of them – remember that nice, happy-with-my-life post?  It was just three days ago.)  If I wanted a baby that badly, right now, I would fucking have a baby right now.  What’s stopping me, really, besides myself?

So for the first time in seven months, I feel like my project is working against me.  It’s not facilitating my healing; it’s not making me feel sane.  And if this is going to be the trend from here on out, then I don’t want to do this anymore.

*I’m not fooling myself into thinking that I’ll raise my kids in a rich suburb, like my parents did.  However, I don’t think my kids are going to starve, either.  And when I called my parents tonight, and cried, my dad told me that one day he’ll die and then I’ll be rich (this is not reassuring), and my mom told me that she will babysit my kids for free (in the rich suburb, no less!), and they both told me that I can have whatever the fuck kind of job I want.  And I can’t help but think that it’s this kind of support – not, in fact, a fat paycheck – that great parents are made of.

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12 Responses to I don’t wanna do this anymore

  1. Natalie says:

    Sorry for the lack of comments from my end, I wanted to start at the beginning of your blog to get an actual idea of what this project was really about and who you are, before I said anything…..but unfortunately it might take me a while to get all caught up. In fact, I might get fully caught up just in time for your project to come to an end :(. It stinks that you are feeling deterred from reaching your set end. I don’t think you should quit. It is obvious that you are still working through things, but you could be right that people view you as being more healed than you really are.
    It sounds like your parents are amazing, that you and Doug have something really strong and I agree that it doesn’t matter what job you hold or where you live. I grew up poor and I couldn’t have asked for a richer childhood.

  2. Dad says:

    I don’t know who Natalie is but I know she is a smart lady. On her last sentence – we have something in common, and I bet she didn’t know she was poor while growing up.

    Oh, by the way, on the rich suburb… every so often I drive by my non-rich suburb and reminscence and realize I was also happy then.

  3. Nicole says:

    Hey lady…I have known you for a while now and I remember one of the first real conversations we had. It was a 5am shift I was working cheese and you were working pre-pack, and you opened up to me about your past, current situations, and hopes for the future. We all have things that we are sensitive too and will be and that is fine. It is ok to be upset. Work has a horrible way of making bad days even worse days….after you left I left work crying…again :(. Like you, people joking about a certain topic or acting like something is no big deal was hurtful and I just couldn’t take it. I do not think you are baby crazy by the way. See you soon 🙂

  4. Kathy says:

    I think you have indeed made progress. But I’m not surprised that certain incidents can still be hurtful; feelings are irrational things, but are certainly valid.
    I also think you have a perfectly acceptable plan (as far as one can plan) that works for you and Doug. You seem to have achieved a balance that I work at, trying to follow my new mantra for 2011–“my life is more than my work, my work is more than my job”.
    Hope the bunnies are doing well. And I just have to say–you have a COUCH in your break room?!

  5. mommyodyssey says:

    Reading this made me sad. Ok. I’m not being completely eloquent with that. Let me try again:
    There will always be people who don’t get it. There will always be people who pass judgement on your life choices. Sometimes those people may even be lifelong friends or even family.
    My Dad, for example – knows about my blog, but has not received a link from me to view it.
    He thinks that me writing so often about my miscarriages and being a part of this community is “wallowing”. (on that note – Hi Marie’s Dad! I think you’re pretty great!)
    Don’t stop. Because what you’re doing is precisely for days like these.
    I understand why your confidence level has been shaken – two days in a row of dealing with people who “don’t get it” can sometimes overshadow the amazing amount of people around you who do.
    You’re an amazingly brave woman. I don’t think you understand quite how brave you are. Your openness, your candor, and your vulnerability in the face of your situation just proves that you are stronger – probably than you know.
    The worst thing you can do for yourself in this project is judge what you write in terms of how others perceive it.
    Part of the “healing” roller coaster is that we have days that we seem happy and well adjusted, and then, at the drop of a hat, we collapse. Just look at my blog. I can swing from one to the other in less than 24 hours. If that means that there’s something wrong with me, so be it. But I think there isn’t. I think I’m doing what’s right for me. As are you.
    That’s all I have to say, basically. Except of course for stating the obvious – which is that you’re awesome. *hugs*

  6. Elphaba says:

    You can’t stop Marie–that wouldn’t be fair to me 😉

    No I’m serious. Mo is right–you are SO incredibly brave to be putting these words out there for everyone you know to read. No one except my husband knows about my blog in my real life because right now, I’m not brave enough to let everyone in. That you did it from day one, makes you very courageous.

    I know it’s tough and you’ve had a bad couple of days, but please don’t let that stop you. I know it’s your dream to be a writer (and I have no doubt you’d be a great one), and part of writing is letting it all hang out. You’ve mastered that skill very well.

    I’m not sure what your friend was trying to accomplish by telling you that. (And trust me, I’m all for tough love when it’s actually warranted.)

    You are making the choices for your life and she shouldn’t be judging them. And it’s not selfish for you to want Doug to provide for you and a baby–isn’t that how it works? Someone has to care for the baby and someone has to make sure you have a roof over your head. And whether that roof is a fancy house in burbs (blech) or a small apartment in the city, doesn’t matter.

    And finally, I don’t think you obsess about having a baby. Of all my bloggy buddies, I’d say you’re the least obsessive about actually having a baby. You’re focusing on healing and dealing with your divorce. The miscarriage is part of that, but it’s not the only thing.

    I’d say don’t try so hard to tie every post back to your original intent. You started the blog for a reason, but you’ve changed and therefore your intent will change too. Write about what’s happening, and don’t worry if it connects to some distant goal.

    Write from your heart Marie, because you do it so beautifully.

    • Marie says:

      Thanks. I talked to my friend (well, emailed), and I think there were misunderstandings on both sides of the chat yesterday. And I was already upset, so I was extra sensitive.

      Sometimes I wonder about and judge my own life choices (obviously). It may not be anyone else’s place to judge me, but it can be their place to try to get me to think about what I’m doing verses what I want – which is what this particular friend has been so great at for the past… since college, probably. I just couldn’t take it yesterday, so read everything as an attack. Not that my feelings aren’t valid. Just that maybe they were a little misplaced. I already apologized to her.

      But you’re right in that my intent has changed. Or softened. I’m planning on doing a “What should I do next?” post in the next few weeks. (Keep the blog, ditch the blog, move the blog, etc.)

      And thank you for all those kind words. As always, it means a lot.

  7. Kira says:

    It’s amazing how a handful of crappy comments can completely outweigh all the good ones hu? For my part, I get it. I get how there are better days and worse day. That learning to live with a miscarriage can take a lifetime.

    And believe me – I definitely get people telling you that because you haven’t accomplished certain material things that you are unfit to be a parent. My in-laws were RELIEVED when I miscarried. How’s them apples?

    I grew up in a wealthy suburb of Seattle with a lot of Microsoft people. And I saw first hand that wealth doesn’t equal good parenting. Scott grew up on a cattle ranch in the mountains of Colorado. And he saw people who were poor be some of the most amazing parents.

    I know it sounds trite, but focus on the people who support you. It sounds like you have a great husband, amazing parents and some very understanding fellow bloggers. You’re not alone in this. And while I only found your blog a few weeks back, I for one will be sad when it ends. (Why does it have to end in April again???)

    • Marie says:

      I’ll see your apples: Doug’s mom was relieved when I miscarried too. She said to him, “Well, it’s a good thing, because it’s not like you were getting married anyway.” (We’d been dating for less than a year and had no intent of rushing into anything.)

      Redmond? Bellevue? Kirkland?

      My project ends on April 17th because that was my due date. It began on August 7th because that’s the day I found out I was pregnant – all two years ago. I gave myself the length of a gestation to obsess, heal, and get my act together. Despite the last few days’ evidence to the contrary, it’s been working very well. And this blog has to end because I can’t keep obsessing over these topics. It will have a reverse effect on my sanity. But I won’t stop blogging either. (See above.)

      • Kira says:

        I was born in Spokane, but lived in Redmond through second grade, and then moved to Sammamish, which is specifically where I was referring to wealthy crap parents…

        As much as I would never live in the Sammamish Plateau again, I very much miss the NorthWest, all it’s greenery, the ocean and temperate climate. Hopefully someday I’ll be back in the greater Seattle area…*wistful sigh*

        This month is what my due date should have been if I hadn’t miscarried in August/September. I’m been hit at sporadic moments about what all that means today. I understand needing to deal with, embrace and work through all of that and then needing to let go and move forward. I’ll be greatly interested to read whatever you blog next!

  8. slcurwin says:

    Ok, no one has the right to tell you what kind of life you need to live to have a family. That is between you and your man. People have good intentions, but it’s not up to them and no two couples are going to want the same things. If between you and Doug you decided to work part time and him get a higher paying job to compensate for you being home, thats your plan and there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s how couples worked it for how long? Ya, you may never be more than “doing ok” when your kids are young enough for you to be at home, but you need to decide whats more important to you.

    I think your dad is funny, but no, it’s not comforting. lol.

    And we know that having a baby isn’t the only thing that matters to you in the world, but that is what this blog is about, so people have to think in context. I think that we often sound more healed than we are (or whiney if focused in the other direction) and it’s hard for people to grasp the middle ground we are usually in.

  9. Saundra says:

    I remember hearing about a woman who blogged her way out of something like $35,000 worth of debt. And she did it in an anonymous community, and she felt she was accountable to them. Because they were supportive, but also because, like you, she had a game plan.

    But unlike you, she was writing for people she never dealt with 3-D.

    I think it’s more natural for you to want to do this in full view of your support network. They should be part of the journey, and it sucks to feel you’re hiding a project worth being proud of. But from that, you’re going to deal with criticism from people who feel they are valid critics, because they’ve known you for a while.

    I do get sad thinking you’re not writing for money lately, but you know what? I’m not writing for money lately, either. It’s a tough time, both economically speaking and age-wise (we are around the same age, if I remember correctly). If you give any credence to astrology, we’re going through an identity crisis that comes every 28 years, and the object is to use it to straighten yourself out for the next 28 years. But whether you believe in astrology, that is the truth — it’s a difficult time. I’m catching up on your entries and it appears you haven’t given up, but if you feel like ducking out from the public scrutiny (even temporarily), I advise you to keep writing, but save as drafts.

    We’ll all forgive you, I think, and even understand.

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