Guilt


On Tuesday I didn’t vote in the primary.  There was an electrician here in the morning to do work National Grid had been promising to do for 2 months until they changed their minds and I had to be outside and hold Thomas for longish periods of time.  In the afternoon I had therapy and needed to get T to my friend’s house which required more holding.  By late Tuesday afternoon when I had time to walk to the polls the bleeding started to increase.  So I didn’t go.  Turns out the bleeding got heavy enough to warrant an evening call to the OB-GYN and some serious thought about heading to the ER, but I stayed still for the night and by morning it started to slow. 
I didn’t get a tattoo on my back of a flapper gal wrapped in an American flag with VOTE written underneath because I thought it would be cute, I got it because I knew democracy would be important to me for the rest of my life.  OK, and because I thought it was beautiful.  But I never thought I would miss an opportunity to vote.  I feel racked with guilt.
Yesterday my good friend came over, cleaned my kitchen, wanted to take out my trash, and used the dreaded double stroller to take her daughter and my son back to her house for more than 3 hours so I could rest on the sofa.  By the time T came home the bleeding almost stopped.  My friend has 2 other children, a job, and a home to take care of.  It was her birthday on Sunday and I have done nothing for her.  But time and time again she does so much for me.  I feel racked with guilt. 
When I hear an acquaintance is pregnant I feel no joy for that person, only jealously.  There are people in my life who are pregnant right now and I can’t even bear to hear about how they are.  I feel bitter.  I feel small.  I feel hateful.  I feel racked with guilt. 
A dear friend wrote me an actual letter that arrived from the actual post office and while emailing him to thank him (and it was sincere thanks, the letter gave me much comfort) I managed to go off on an unnecessary tangent explaining why I hate the phrase “everything happens for a reason”.   Guilt, guilt, guilt.
Many people who I love dearly have said “everything happens for a reason” to me since this has happened.  They were trying to make me feel better, and many of them succeeded.  I think that sentiment works if you believe in God or some kind of master plan.  But in a world with murder, rape, child abuse, AIDS I just don’t believe it.  I am not comparing my loss to those terrible things at all.  But I know someone who got pregnant a few weeks before me. For a plethora of reasons she was unable to care for a new baby.  She desperately wanted her pregnancy to fail on its own, but it didn’t and the last I spoke to her she was going to have to get an abortion.  Yet I wanted this baby so much.  We would have been able to love and provide for it.  If everything happened for a reason she would have had her miscarriage rather than face an abortion and I would still be pregnant. 
But life isn’t fair.  Everything doesn’t happen for a reason.  There is no master plan.  Bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people.  Don’t get me wrong, good things also happen to good people.  But it is arbitrary.  And I feel guilty for being honest about how I feel in terms of “everything happens for a reason” because I know it was offered to me with love and I don’t want to hurt people who love me.
Because I am still recovering from the D&C, because every time I do more than sit on the sofa with my feet up the bleeding increases Z is stuck doing everything.  He works a minimum of 10 hours a day and now he needs to grocery shop, make dinner, bathe T, put him in the crib after I nurse him, clean up, do the trash.  All while I sit on the sofa like a lily of the field.  He is understandably frustrated and annoyed.  I feel like dead weight.  And I feel hurt that this is so hard for him.  Yet I understand why this is so hard for him because if the tables were turned it would be hard for me.  More guilt. 
I am drowning in guilt, drowning in sorrow.  My promise of a funny story tacked on to the end of a sad post is hard to fulfill, but if I don’t there will be more guilt so here goes…
Back to my time at Whole Foods: The last time I was pregnant a team member informed me a gentleman had slipped some soap into his pocket.  So I followed him around the store.  He had some cold cuts in his hand and he headed for the exit.  I ran after him (a fellow manager yelled at me for that when he watched it all on surveillance video.  “Do you think you should be running after shoplifters while you are pregnant?  What the hell is wrong with you?”) and caught up at the entrance of the store.   “Sir!  You have not paid for what is in your hand!”  He acted shocked to see he was holding cold cuts and gave them to me without a problem.  “I’m sorry.  I remembered I needed to be somewhere and I didn’t realize I still had that.” he told me.  He then turned to leave.  “Sir!” I said, “I’m going to need the soap in your pocket as well!”   He sheepishly handed it to me and left.  Not sure if he had anything else or not, and the cold cuts were clearly a loss, but at least the soap got back on the shelf.
I can’t believe he was ever this little.  

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2 thoughts on “Guilt

  1. Two thoughts, and I apologize in advance for how kind of jejune these comments are. It's all I got.

    1) Marriage (as you already know) is a long-term proposition. Sometimes one person has to lean on the other, sometimes vice versa. Didn't somebody I know spend several years as the sole breadwinner for your family, so that somebody ELSE I know could spend a couple years making art and stuff? So. What goes around comes around, and it will all come around again, too, and again, and again. I bet Z is not as ticked off as you fear he is. I bet he understands more than you know.

    2) I avoided telling you “it happens for a reason” (IHFAR) because I always want to punch people when they say that to me. But since you bring it up, the “reason” in your IHFAR is not philosophical so much as it is medical. There are so many little tiny DNA strands that have to copy correctly that it's a miracle any of us exist at all. Sometimes I think that the world of pregnancy before ultrasounds was a much kinder place.

    I'm so sorry for your pain, both physical and spiritual. XXOO

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