Like So

Ranting, raving, burning bridges and moving forward.

When Words Hurt

Ok so I really don’t know who I’m trying to kid by claiming I’m not going to talk loss in this space and I’m going to do some other posts right now. That’s just not happening.

Guys – it’s the one year anniversary of Nadav’s death on the 21st. That’s soon. And the truth is I’ve been feeling the burden of it heavily. So heavily that not only has it been clouding my emotions, it’s been clouding my judgement.

And you want to hear the worst part of it? The cerclage and the bed rest? They start at the same time as the anniversary.  I once thought that might be a good thing, you know – two birds with one stone or something. Now I’m not so sure.

Let me backtrack though for a second by telling you guys something I’ve never shared publicly before to give you a context:

Two days after coming home from the hospital after we lost Nadav, some psycho posted a comment on my blog calling me a murderer. He didn’t know what had happened. I guess he just assumed that I had had a late term abor.tion or something and he decided to advocate for a cause by tearing me to shreds. The psycho obviously was not there looking for context. He (or she) didn’t care to find out how loved, wanted and hard-fought Nadav was. He didn’t care that he was posting a lie.

I never published that comment of course, and over the course of a week or so a group of online friends did my moderation for me, just in case any more psychos wanted to come out of the woodwork. I pretended that I wasn’t hurt by this psycho. But the truth is that his (her, whatever) comment dug deep and haunts me to this day.

I know logically that I had no control over what happened with Nadav. But any woman who has had the failure of her own body cause a loss can relate to this: you always blame yourself on some level.

So on bad days – the ones that require a lot of anti-psychotic meds and a lot of tissues – I hear that word echo in my head: Murderer.

I wish I could say that this experience immunized me against hurtful words. It did not. And the circumstances have of late made things a thousand times worse.

Because I’m on seriously shaky emotional ground right now. The cerclage, the bed rest, the anniversary. Trying to prepare for all of it. A perfect shit storm.

So like every emotionally unstable person even the slightest provocation on my psyche sets me into a tailspin.

I won’t name names or link links, but in the last few days, some shit has gone down. I didn’t want to be a part of it. But then I was. And then I made things worse by losing my shit because I’ve been on such rocky ground to begin with.

Let’s just say things have not been pretty around these parts.

I’ve been wanting to come on here – to write ranty manifestos as I tend to do when I deal with conflict. But I find myself deathly afraid of what will come in the comments. I find myself deathly afraid of reading any comment thread anywhere for fear it will send me into a hysterical crying fit.

After all – a wise woman pointed out to me yesterday – you put yourself out there and people react. You are a public entity merely by having a blog.

My husband also painted a clear picture for me:

If I was in a room with 10 people, 9 of whom told me I was beautiful, and one who said that I was fat and ugly, what would I remember – the sea of compliments or the single insult?

Alas – these days I harp on that single insult. It sits in me and festers. Even well meaning people who simply want to have a discussion make me feel like a thousand knives are being stabbed into my body.

And yes – I know that’s a bit dramatic. Because that’s where I am right now. I’m falling to pieces at the slightest provocation.

The last 48 hours have brought up a lot of questions. Those of you who follow me on twitter know that there was a moment that I lost it and said I was shutting it all down: The blog, the podcast, everything.

But I can’t do that. The podcast firestorm happened on the ALI blogosphere. That makes up about 10 percent of our listenership. There are hundreds of women out there that have no idea what happened, and never will know. And they love the podcast and send us emails every day thanking us for it. I can’t just abandon that. And I can’t abandon this blog. Because I know that at the end of the day I need it – and I need all of you.

Like all of your amazing comments on my last couple of posts.I felt loved, held, and supported.

But there were still a couple of comments that gave me that stabby feeling. Still the assholes who decided that somehow I’m “lucky” to have a dead son. There is still all of this shit happening right now behind the scenes that I simply cannot handle emotionally. I find myself making bad decisions, alienating people I care about, and crying over this stuff way more often than any stable person should.

Yesterday I was recounting all of this drama to a friend of mine who happens to be a therapist. He wisely pointed out that every person’s role in any group dynamic usually reflects their hidden desire to be heard. So the person who put on the guise of support while vying for sympathy in their subtext has a specific need to be heard. The person who posts a passive aggressive attack under the guise of being apologetic simply needs to be heard. The person who flames me completely just because I can get pregnant has a specific need to be heard. The person who posted questions for a discussion – has a need to be heard. And yes – my adamant and lovely supporters readers and commenters have a specific need to be heard.

I write here. I podcast. Obviously I have a need to be heard.

But I am not in any sort of emotional space to do any listening right now. I have a hard couple of weeks coming up. I have enough salty wetness ahead to last me a lifetime. I don’t need to add the salty wetness that can be caused and has been caused as of late in this space, in my email exchanges, or on the podcast.

So at the urging of a few close friends, I’m stepping away for a little while. From everything. I’m taking a break from listening and from speaking. Because my sanity comes first.

I don’t know when I’ll be back. I may come back here to commemorate the one-year mark on the 21st, I may not. I may come back right after going on bed rest. I may come back later than that.

I will be back. But only when I stop being afraid of opening up a comments section. Only when I know I’ve managed to rebuild some sort of thick skin. Only when I know that the hurtfulness, malicious or not, will not echo in my brain like that psycho did a year ago. I have enough demons and ghosts, and I choose to not create any more right about now.

Hope you guys are here when I come back.

And in case I’m not here on the 21st, please light a candle – whether physical or symbolic – for my son. Because he deserves to be remembered, no matter what else is happening.

See you all on the flip side.

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Fine. Whatever.

Once again I was struggling this week with this space. Though most of your comments on my last post were awesome, there were still a couple of people who just didn’t seem to get it.

To make matters worse, people have been attacking the legitimacy of the podcast. The podcast I spend 20 hours a week maintaining. The podcast I pay for out of my own pocket.

Needless to say all of that left me rather ranty. Then Cristy, who is infinitely wiser and more rational than I am put up this great post about the podcast. I don’t think we need to defend ourselves or apologize for anything, but Cristy does an amazing job at both with this post.

So before writing up the post I am about to publish, I wrote up another one. One that was really angry and said “fuck” a lot. I will spare you all the details. But most of you know me. I think you can guess where I was coming from.

But this is the bottom line:

This blog is not an ALI blog. I am now moving on to other topics. Anyone who still decides to judge me “lucky” after all I’ve been through – well – you’ve got a really warped sense of what lucky is. I certainly don’t hope that you ever get any of my luck. But the thing is I don’t like to dwell or feel sorry for myself for too long. Ok – I do usually dwell and feel sorry for myself – but not when it comes to grieving my son. So I’m putting my frustration aside. I don’t need the world to understand me. I’m just going to stop approving the insensitive comments. This is my space. As Carman says:

Also – anyone who decides to debate whether I am “worthy” to host the podcast that I STARTED and that I work hard at – go start your own. Let’s see you dig up the over $100 a month and twenty hours a week it takes to maintain it.

Ok – now I’m getting ranty again. Sorry. I swear Cristy does this so much better than I do.

Here’s my point: I’m done with this BS. You don’t like my perspective, please don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out. A few trolls and insensitive comments shouldn’t overcrowd the awesomeness that is my readers and the listeners of the podcast. Cause they rock and stuff so I’m just going to concentrate on that.

Otherwise I’ll get ranty. And though that makes for some entertaining blogging, it’s not so great for my psyche.

I’m going to get back to regular blogging now. Feel free to hang around if you like. I’ve got a great post about network TV shows brewing that hopefully I’ll get around to in the next couple of days.

Edited to add: Cristy’s post has been taken down due to a long and rather petty story. Will update with more when the smoke clears

25 Comments »

I Know! Let’s Color Code It!

A few days ago I received this lovely comment on my pregnancy announcement post:

Wow, maybe you should stop being such a prude, i am glad you stop following most bloggers who post all those things that annoy you, so what if you have to go on bedrest for 6 months, i am 24 and i am going through early menopause while i was trying to conceive and guess what now i cant get pregnant, i least you can!!!, you should thank your lucky stars you have that ability, i used to follow you, but who wants to follow an ungrateful person such as yourself, i truly hope your pregnancy goes well, but when other people try to support you then you make fun of them, it makes me wonder. Get Over yourself!!!

Even though I replied to the lovely “Momoneymoproblems” in the comments thread, her AWESOME showing of both insensitivity and ignorance compelled me to dedicate a whole post to her, and address some issues regarding this space while I was at it.

To save you the clickover, here is my reply to MMMP:

Yay my first hateful comment!
Though I’m truly sorry for what you’re going through, don’t belittle what I have been through. The “at least I can get pregnant” sentiment ended when I lost my son. Repeat pregnancy loss is devastating and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Late term loss is beyond devastating. I wouldn’t wish that on freaking hitler. And I’m Jewish so that’s saying something.
I am nothing but grateful to everyone who supports me. But just like you feel the need to trash me- and on my own blog to boot! – I have every right to let out a little bitter when I am scared out of my mind. It’s how I deal. If you don’t want to follow me, don’t. I gave sufficient warning when I started this space that I was throwing etiquette out the window here.
I hope against all hope that you find a place to let out some of your pent out anger. Maybe start your own blog?
In the meantime, I truly wish you the best.
But if you DARE belittle the loss of my Nadav again I will have no choice but to unceremoniously delete your comment and wish you ill. Sorry- but that’s my son. He was here and he was loved. But for now I only wish you the best, truly. Also maybe some prozac?
Keep it classy!

Oh dear readers, where do I start? Shall I address the Pain Olympics that are such a huge part of why I ran away from the ALI blogoverse? Shall I talk about the ignorance regarding my specific situation? Shall I address the complete belittlement of my losses?

Actually – I first want to clarify. I actually wasn’t upset by this comment. This poor woman’s comment on that post was so misguided and misinformed it was laughable. I was so amused I even took to Twitter to encourage people to come in and keep flaming me. No takers, surprisingly.  So why am I addressing it so publicly? Because I don’t address my history in this space, and it makes me think that some people don’t have a context. So yeah – I don’t want my “About” page to be all about my lady parts. But I guess that my history should be noted. And this sort of ignorance should be addressed.

One year ago I lost my son at 22 weeks. I. LOST. MY. SON. He was alive. I felt him moving inside me. He was loved. Losing him was by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through and like I said in my reply to MMMP, I wouldn’t wish that experience on the most awful person in the world. Being pregnant after that kind of loss is TERRIFYING. Being pregnant after that kind of loss while being stuck in a bed for 6 months with PTSD is both terrifying and SUCKS MONKEY BALLS.

Before losing Nadav, I had had 3 first-trimester losses. In between I also had a dose of infertility, with problems conceiving my current (5th) pregnancy, and having one of my tubes removed after my 3rd pregnancy.

Basically, in short, I have suffered quite a few forms of pregnancy loss, and a little of your “standard infertility” to boot. And yes, all of that sucks. But can I be honest?

None of that even holds a candle to losing my Nadav. Nothing has ever hurt that much and I hope to the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I will never have to suffer that kind of pain again. I lost a child. That. Fucking. Sucks. To say the least.

Anyone who belittles that loss, or the hardcore PTSD that comes as a result of it can suck it. Seriously. If one more person dares to come on my territory and say the words “at least you can get pregnant” I will lose. My. Shit.

When I was sitting in my living room after losing him, keening with grief, contemplating hurting myself, barely holding myself together, I doubt you would have come to me and said “well – at least you can get pregnant”.

When I was up all night a few days back, freaking the fuck out, crying again over my son and at the same time being scared out of my wits over my current pregnancy with B5 – my PTSD in full effect – I doubt you would have come to me and said “well – at least you can get pregnant.”

MMMP – I dare you – heck – I fucking double dare you to get pregnant, feel your baby move, get to know him/her, love him/her completely, and then lose the baby and live with the aftermath. Put that up against infertility and you tell me which is harder since you’re so experienced with these things.

I don’t wish what I’ve been through on anybody. I definitely don’t wish it on you. But if you’re so eager to compare our pain – please, by all means, walk a mile in my shoes.

When I moved to this space I warned my old readers that I would not take “ALI Etiquette” here with me. I have every right to rant, be bitter, and criticize. This is my space, if you don’t like it, walk away. Don’t let the internet door hit you on the way out.

I fucking hate pregnancy memes. I’ve written about that a couple of times on my old blog. I don’t dislike or even judge the people who write them. I just think the memes themselves are annoying and completely unoriginal. If somebody wants to compare their baby to fruit they have every right to. If that’s what they want to use to document their pregnancy they can feel free. And I will feel free to skip those posts and mock them for it. Not the writers of the posts, but the posts themselves. Because I think they’re stupid.

And if somebody wants to mock me back, write a thoughtful rebuttal (always welcome!), or stop reading me because I am outspoken about my opinions, so be it.

But don’t you ever EVER attempt to quantify my pain. Just because I don’t talk about it here every day doesn’t mean I don’t spend every. Waking. Moment. Feeling it.

So yeah  – MMMP – feel free to go fuck yourself.

The same goes for anyone else who dares question the pain I have gone through, the difficulty I am currently going through, or anyone who dares to belittle the memory of my son.

Take a flying fuck. Eat me. Fuck you. Or as MMMP so ignorantly put it: Get over yourself.

48 Comments »

Coming Clean

Ok all – time for a bit of a confession.

Things haven’t been all sunshine and roses in Shmerson-land over the last couple of weeks. In fact, up until a couple of days ago they were downright shit-tastic.

That’s the truth of why I hadn’t updated here in two weeks.

The truth is – I spent most of that time scared out of my mind, and not wanting to post here for fear of becoming a freak show.

So at our 6 week scan of B5 the doc wouldn’t confirm seeing a heartbeat. It was barely visible if at all, and B5 was measuring behind. This was my RE, so that same day I called my regular OB/GYN freaking out. Just like the RE, he told me to wait a week and then come in.

I spent that entire week in emotional detachment. This was a total self-defense mechanism, but I did what I could to get through the week. Mostly slept really.

The next week we came in. I was 7 weeks 6 days and B5 was measuring 6 weeks 5 days. There was a strong heartbeat and the Russian, my OB/GYN, wasn’t concerned.

He told me to come in at 12 weeks for the NT scan. That was it.

Only anyone who’s been reading me for a while knows that immediately after the NT scan, because of my history, I’m having a cervical cerclage and going on complete bed rest until 37 weeks. Which means that where I was at the time, just short of 8 weeks pregnant, I had some preparation to do.

I’m going to be housebound for 6 months. That means:

1) I have to put school on hold

2) I have to stop teaching

3) I have to find content clients who are willing to hire me knowing that I will not be able to meet them in person.

4) I have to tell my existing clients that I can only have skype meetings from now on.

That means telling a bunch of near-strangers that I’m pregnant, when I’m barely 8 weeks and measuring a full week behind.

I don’t know about you guys, but that’s just effing surreal to me. Telling a random HR lady. Telling the head of the psychology department at my college. Telling the administrative head of the film program where I teach. And this week – telling my students why I was leaving them, because I already had to stop teaching a few of my classes (and no, I don’t believe in lying about these things, so I had to put my money where my mouth was).

So inevitably, on Tuesday, just after writing my last post, I freaked the eff out. I just lost it completely.

At some point I had a major anxiety attack, and after taking to twitter for support I finally woke Shmerson up crying about how I was sick of being “brave” and “strong” and I just wanted to be a freaking stupid ignorant pregnant lady.

I bawled and keened. Over being a freak show. Over the fact that this is my FIFTH first trimester. Over the fact that I will never, ever have a calm blissful pregnancy. Over having to share my pregnancy with total strangers when I’m barely ready to acknowledge it myself. Over my freaking SSRI withdrawal. Over everything.

The next morning I called the Russian’s office and asked for a sanity ultrasound. He obliged, though said that he can only humor me so many times.

So at 9 weeks 2 days, B5 was alive and kicking. Measuring 8 weeks 5 days, so catching up. Strong heartbeat. All was well.

So I felt better. I feel better all around now, having seen B5 again. Though I know I will have to pass most of this pregnancy emotionally detached in order to survive it. Hoping against all hope that all of the steps we’re taking to protect B5 will be enough to make him or her a healthy full term baby.

During the two weeks of sheer terror I was considering coming here and writing about it. But each time I thought about it all I could envision were empty platitudes and sentiments in the comments section. Lots of “I’m sorries” and “I’m hopings”. All nice and good, but nothing that would have helped me in the slightest.  And lurkers coming in and rubber-necking the babyloss freak show once again. I just couldn’t stomach it. It’s not that I don’t love and appreciate all of you guys and your comments. It’s just that they don’t seem to help one bit at this point.

The proof was in the pudding: though the twitter ladies were awesome and supportive when I came clean there, it didn’t make me feel better. It made me melt down. Because each time I write about things going wrong it’s just a reminder that I’m not a normal, blissful pregnant lady. It’s a reminder that I’m a freak of nature. It’s a reminder that I will never be normal.

And that freaking sucks.

So yeah, now that I know things are fine I can talk about it. But things are fine for now. This whole pregnancy will be about waiting for the other shoe to drop, and hoping against all hope that it never does.

I just wish I was a normal stupid fertile person. It would make things so much easier.

28 Comments »