Being angry is easy. I find it so much easier than any of the other feelings. For a lot of my adult life anger was my default in frustrating and unfair situations (and when I dropped things), so it’s surprising to me that losing Odin hasn’t really made me angry. It’s made me a lot of things I never expected but I don’t feel angry about losing him. I’m sad and tired and feel a lot of despair over how little control I have over what happens in this life but anger doesn’t rank on my list of emotions about losing him. (Maybe it’s because I don’t have anyone to be angry at?) I’m still very very good at getting angry at people, though. So good at it that I recently (re-)deleted the hot garbage fire that is Facebook because it was making me lose my mind more and more with every scroll. I had a good discussion with my therapist yesterday morning about things that are “depleting” versus things that are “nourishing” in my everyday routine. It really reassured me that I made the right decision pulling the plug on my relationship with that particular social media outlet. I currently feel like my metaphorical tank is empty and what I need is to refill on things that are nourishing. This probably sounds like I’m on a high horse; judging people who use Facebook but that’s not the case. This was just the best choice for me right now and it’s my hope that other users find it nourishing, or at least find that it has a neutral impact on their mood/outlook.
There is a period of adjustment after deleting Facebook, though. It takes a few days not to have your finger click that app from your phone’s home screen and it takes some doing to figure out what to look at during downtime from your work web-browser. Last night I decided to check Twitter from my phone (jury’s still out on this platform for me) before bed. Usually it’s a relatively neutral experience for me and I’ll scroll for a few minutes checking celebrity news and other fluff. But last night I saw these tweets from someone I know personally, who knows about our loss:
#1 “I’m sorry but being pregnant is garbage. Total garbage!”
#2 “My stupid body is falling apart. I can’t sit, I can’t walk, I can’t even sleep. This baby owes me big time. (mad face emoji)”
Being angry is easy.
I made the mistake of engaging this person by saying “perspective is everything”. And of course I wanted to let it go but I stayed awake for hours thinking about all the things I wanted to say and all the ways I wanted to teach her how awful she was. Again, I’m on my high horse, right? Well, maybe. But I would love to get off of this damn horse and go back to not knowing all of the horrible things that can happen in a pregnancy. The only reason I’m riding this horse is because life put me up here. There are so many times when I think about how my perspective was different a year ago down on the ground with the other people who think that getting/staying pregnant and having a healthy/living baby is just a given. I only have one non-loss friend who still talks to me about my experience with pregnancy (grateful to her) and with her I still talk about how being pregnant is challenging. Because of course it is! It is not fun for most women! You feel like crap. Your body is a mess because it is growing a human inside of it! I whined a lot when I was pregnant and that still haunts me today because I would give anything to feel horrible again if it meant that Odin could live even just a little bit longer. It’s hard to feel crappy all the time and that is the truth. But this tweeter knows me. She knows what happened to us. She admitted to considering that what she said would be upsetting — if not to me, then to someone else out there in the Twittersphere. And she said it anyway.
It’s not like I think this person should be fabricating an experience that she’s not having or adding support to the myth that pregnancy is always a beautiful time in a woman’s life and that all pregnant women feel an immediate bond with their unborn babies and love them in a poetic and magical way. (Society has some pretty messed up expectations of pregnancy and motherhood. Maybe more on that later.) What bugs me most about these tweets is that she’s actually not being honest. She’s being flippant. Clearly she’s having a hard time right now and that is okay. It’s okay to want and ask for support and understanding. And, although 140 characters isn’t really the best place to have an honest conversation, maybe she could speak her truth and seek reassurance and kindness from people in a way that isn’t completely insensitive and disrespectful to so so so many women. Women who’ve miscarried; women who are going through fertility treatments; women who are childless and will never have children after years of trying to conceive; women whose babies have died before taking a single breath. She obviously doesn’t understand how lucky she is and she likely never will. Being angry is easy.