I received an email from reader EM asking me a few questions. I emailed a response but I'd like to talk about those questions here in public too.
Q1) I am SO angry at every woman under 25 who has an infant, especially ones closer to 20. I want to slug them. I feel I am WAY more deserving to be a mother. Did/do you ever feel this way? Would you label me a horrible person? Would you just go ahead and punch them in the mouth?
A1) Nope, I don't label you as a horrible person. Because if you're horrible, than I'm horrible too and I don't want to be considered horrible.
Feelings have no right and wrong - they are what they are. It's how we respond to them that determine right or wrong. As for being angry, wanting to slug them, feeling like you're more deserving - those are feelings. They are not wrong. Actually acting on those feelings and slugging the person? Ok, now THAT would be wrong.
I feel this way all the time. I followed the life path that I was raised to believe was the "correct" path in life, and the right order to do things before you make yourself responsible to a child. Made it through the teen years without getting pregnant, got my degree, made some career progress, married a mature and gentle man and we have a strong relationship, bought the house, we aren't rich but we aren't afraid of missing a mortgage payment either. And isn't that what you're supposed to have in place before having a child? Well, I did all that, don't drink, don't have a mug shot. So HELL YESSSS I have anger towards everyone who gets to have exactly what I've always wanted and hasn't done the life work that I've always believed you're supposed to do before you're ready for kids.
I've done a lot of life work to prepare myself to be a mother. Yes, I'm very angry that so many people get to have kids before they are ready either by society standards or by their own personal standards. And I was a very mature 25. But I would not have been as good a mother at 25 as I now would be at 36. So, based on my own life experience (because it's the only knowledge I have), I do get angry that a baby is given to someone who might not be as able to do well by that child as I believe I could.
So, sorry young ladies, but yes, I do feel more deserving than you right now, and resent that you get to have one or more and I don't. Not your fault. Maybe you're the most perfectest mother in all the world, I have no way of knowing that by looking at you. All I can see is a pregnant belly attached to a young naive face and project my own deservedness at that age onto you.
Q2) Can you ever really forgive yourself?
A2) Yes. I've looked back on every moment of my pregnancy and I can't find a damned thing I did wrong. In my personal case, it's just one of those random, totally unfair, and unpredictable/unpreventable things that happens to some of us. If crack addicts and abused women who take beatings every day are able to deliver healthy babies in spite of everything they endure during the pregnancy, well, that good outcome seems totally random. So I'm starting to really come to terms with the fact that my bad outcome was just as random. If a woman can work in the fields in 110 degree heat and a healthy baby is delivered in spite of what she put her body through, then I who lived 100% according to doctors orders, well my babies died in spite of what I provided for them.
Miscarriage is something that happens TO you, it's not something that you do.
Q3) Can you ever really forgive your spouse for not getting it? Not experiencing Loss in the same way?
A3) No, not really. He's trying. I know he's trying. But he just doesn't get it. It hasn't fundamentally changed him the way it's changed me. He's basically the same guy, but he gets a little sad sometimes.
I'm not the same person. I'm out of control. My emotions are completely on the surface. I don't even need a trigger, crying just starts now for no reason.
I'm not as bend over backwards considerate as I used to be. It's almost like I feel like I've bent over backwards enough for everybody else, people can fucking get out of my way and accommodate me for a change. I'm still polite, don't get me wrong. But I'm no longer the person that will offer my place in line at the grocery store if I only have one or two items. Screw you, I got here first!
So I'm this brand new person, still trying to get accustomed to my new skin, and he's the same man he's always been.
I don't want to downplay how horrible it is to be the helpless bystander when someone you care about is in pain. I recognize how difficult that is and it's a true pain.
But on the other hand, I'm the one who knows how painful contractions are when you have to physically fight them off and try to not allow them to happen. I'm the one with tactile memories of what it's like for your body to destroy two innocent victims that you love more than anything, completely out of your own control. I'm the one who now has to go on the hormone roller coaster to try and get pregnant again. I'm the one who comes out of the bathroom to report "I got my period" and dash the family hopes that maybe we got pregnant. It's my body that's either going to succeed or fail.
I know this whole thing hurts him. But we are both aware that it hurts me more. And I realize that I might seem horrible for thinking this, but if I'm going to hurt this bad, I'm angry that I look over at him and don't see the same pain on his face. Whether it's right or wrong, misery loves company, and he's just not here with me in mine. He tries to be, but it's not something he's capable of being.
If a man were capable of feeling this pain on the same level as a woman, I do believe he would be the man to feel it. But as much as I try to insist that men and women are equal, in this, not even close.
I waffle back and forth on forgiving him for not having to go through this like I do, and being really angry at him for getting off so easy.