And frankly, right now I am feeling a little like Luke Skywalker. I don’t think it hurts that odds are my Dad is really Darth Vader [wink].
The problem with me is that I do GET IT . . .
I would say that I have been suffering some sort of gigantic mind/body/spirit disconnect. Because I am still disconnected, I don’t know how to articulate that, of course, the logical portion of my brain can see what I need to be doing, but my emotional/spiritual self is still all a-jumble. My logical brain completely owns that I had a miscarriage and consequently, knows how I should move on and appreciate my life. And mostly that is what I have done; I have moved on.
Then the other night I was talking to a friend — one of the first people I have tried to open up to since having a miscarriage. Before I would even allow myself to really talk about things (protecting myself), however, I made sure she knew that I was aware of the following:
(1) I acknowledged that I know that there are people suffering more than myself.
(2) I acknowledged that I am aware of how much time I have spent trying to get pregnant and that maybe now I am just being selfish.
(3) I acknowledged that I can adopt and why I have thoughtfully chosen not to adopt.
(4) I acknowledged how grateful and joyous I am for Kyle and Eli and that it is precisely this gratitude and joy that led me to wanting a third.
(5) and then I acknowledged several more things to let my friend know how completely alright and aware I am. (I really don’t think she needed to know any of these things, by the way).
About half way through letting my friend know how lucky I am and how I know that there are others who struggle more than myself blah, blah, blah and that I GET IT, she said,
Beth, you really haven’t felt this yet, have you? It seems like you have moved right past the pain and onto this positive (logical) attitude.
Perhaps I have. The first few days I let myself cry. I let myself be. And then something took over. I sincerely could not help thinking about all the other people in the world who have it worse than I do. I could not stop thinking about the fact that I need to be present and I need to be a functioning mom for the two beautiful children I do have. Consequently, for the past two weeks, I have been stuck thinking and thinking and thinking some more. I have repeatedly put a value on my loss and what I keep thinking is that my loss does not add up to much. I mean, come on, I have so much to be grateful for, don’t I?
While I was talking to my friend, I stopped thinking long enough to listen. I stopped long enough to feel (only for a few seconds), but I did.
And then I cried, something I haven’t been doing much of.
Somehow we started talking about Kyle and his birth and messages of self worth. Of course I always knew as a child that someone in my family was suffering more than me, but why can’t I conquer those feelings of low self-worth once and for all? Why do I not allow myself to truly embrace (feel) the good and the sorrowful in my life? When I think I have it all figured out, I FINALLY GET PREGNANT and FINALLY LET MYSELF FEEL JOYOUS and then look what happens: I LOSE MY BABY! I LOSE EVERYTHING I HAVE WORKED SO HARD FOR AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO TO FIX IT, which completely sucks, by the way.
See, many people know that when Kyle was born, he almost died and so did I. He was born not breathing and without a heartbeat. Something I breeze over are things like while the hospital staff were scrambling to get Kyle out of me, a nurse, who thought I was as good as gone instructed Dave, a mere two inches from my face, what organs of mine he could legally donate. I was not worth her taking the time to pull Dave out of the room to explain what was going on: I was just a dying organism.
Because I grew up feeling so second class, I just think I expect things to be bad. I expect the nurse not to step away. And if it would help, I would probably act dead so she would feel more comfortable. And I expected this miscarriage. I did not expect to have a full term and healthy pregnancy. Why? Probably because it took so long to get pregnant and I took all of my fertility issues as a sign or something that I am worth a healthy pregnancy. (And please don’t lecture me on self-fulfilling prophecy. I get that too.)
Last Wednesday morning, there I was and that is when something good really did happen. For about ten minutes, because I didn’t know what else to do, I asked the planets to align and you know what, they listened.
I was sitting alone when another person, someone I don’t know well, but someone who matters walked in the door. We will call him, Yoda, because seriously, that is who I think he is. Of all the people to let my guard down in front of, I let it down with him. So weird. I asked Yoda to sit with me and I asked Yoda to listen. And you know what? Yoda sat with me and heard what I had to say. He stopped what he was doing, put aside his commitments and put himself in the right head-space so he could see me and accept me with all my quirks, intensity, joys, intelligence and pain. He did what Yoda does and sat contemplatively, making sure not to miss a word or nuance. He looked me in the eye, gently smiled and waited, making sure I knew that he saw me. He acknowledged the need to be present for others and apologized for not always being present for me. He reminded me that life is about re-shaping and re-thinking each step and then he reminded me that when we get comfortable, things will always change. At that moment he allowed himself to be with me, feeling my deep sorrow and discouragement. And then he told me how he saw my strength. As I sat there, Yoda reminded me that he had already seen who I was and that he was now telling me these things because I wasn’t seeing myself. He was present and by being present he sparked something in me, something I can’t quite put my finger on, but something which enabled me to once again begin healing myself.
He smiled once more, telling me,
This was nice for me too.
And then I think he grabbed his walking stick, reminded me to always use the Force and quickly vanished.
I am still trying to be alright. I think I will always be trying to be alright. Believe me I know what I have and I know how much I have focused on my infertility blah, blah, blah. What I continually need to see and find from within, however, is that I am of value and that my feelings are important, no matter how small, big, amazing or stupid they seem to anyone else.
28 thoughts on “Everyone needs their own Yoda . . .”
love you, lady. i can’t wait to see you in a few days and hug you.
I am glad that you had a friend that was able to just be there when you needed him – not to hurry you, rush you, or make you feel like you were taking up his important time – but to just slow down with you. I feel like that is something that we (meaning me) don’t do enough of that. It sounds like you are on the road to healing and I wish you the best.
I just adore you, Beth. Your writing is wonderful, and I appreciate how you share exactly how you feel & all the little nuances that accompany it.
I’ve been attending a grief group, and while I’m a little askance with groups, I have found it to be affirming of the insanity I feel, the paralysis, the fog. I think I also feel a huge kinship with others who are going through fresh grief, and so I’ll just say it for the 40th time, I wish I could give you a big hug. I’m so glad you met Yoda, too. Yodas are extremely rare in our hustle-bustle self-absorbed society.
Jen, Sweetney & Laurie,
My last two posts have felt so weird and self-indulgant. I thought about turning comments off for this post especially, because I thought it was way to out there. Thanks for commenting, even if I am weird [wink]. Your internet hugs and support mean the world to me.
Sweetney, I will see you soon and I seriously can’t believe I am really going. Wow!
As always, your post is so eloquent and lovely. Thank you for the gift of sharing your sorrow with us. I value that.
I don’t even know how to put my thoughts into words, but I want you to know that even though we’ve never met, I care about you. I think you’re an incredibly beautiful human being and my heart aches for your pain.
If I can’t hug you in person at Blogher, please know that I’m sending you love and hugs in spirit.
You just knocked me out, Beth. Put into words so much of what I feel, but which I don’t really know I feel. (that makes sense to me, really). I cannot begin to tell you how much you are helping to heal. I am so sorry that you are going through this all. I feel for you and your family’s loss.
we all need a yoda in our lives.
Again I must say; you *are* super woman. I know that you may not feel like you are right now but your strength shines through every word that you share with us.
I wish many hours, and then days, of peace for you.
I love how you have connected with Yoda. I also believe that we all grieve and deal with things at different intervals, not just when or right after they happen. If you didn’t deal with all of your emotions a few weeks ago, maybe it just wasn’t the right time. I really believe that sometimes we (humans) tend to just get on with our lives the best we can for the sake of our own saneness, and then at times when we least expect it, that’s when we deal with the real sadnesses or struggles. I think it’s that coping mechanism that allows us to deal at the time of the sadness with life, and then as life continues, and routines come back into play, our feelings come in and out and go through phases and there’s no rhyme or reason as to WHEN we grieve or feel happy. I think you’re doing a wonderful job with all of your feelings and even though I don’t know you in person or your family, I feel like you will continue to deal with your feelings the only way you should…AT YOUR OWN PACE. Again, thanks for sharing your life so intimately….your words are beautiful every time you post:)
Don’t ever feel guilty for feeling sad for your loss. sure, you appreciate and feel lucky for the things you already have but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a right to feel sad for something you lost.
I’ve never commented before but I had to today. This post spoke straight to my heart.
Take care of yourself.
Beth, I was so glad to read the last sentence because it was what I was thinking throughout the whole post. I do totally understand that “it could have been worse so I can’t be sad about it” thing, but it’s no good. And letting ourselves be sad when we need to be and grieve isn’t being ungrateful for what we have or wallowing in it, but yeah, it’s one thing to know that and another to feel it. I’m glad you that Yoda came along, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think your feelings are stupid at all. And I think you’re amazing and strong, whatever you’re feeling.
It’s truly a comfort to me to hear you say the same things I’m feeling as I deal with my recent miscarriage too (esp. the part about continuing to be a Mom to the kid I already have and not letting grief interfere). Just when I think the sorrow is out of me “enough” and I am probably on to moving on, another trigger will hit me and force me into the depth of my sadness and disappointment. But you know what? I feel a little bit better each time I allow myself to go into that place and really FEEL this, even if “it could certainly be worse” (I have said those words too). Maybe feeling is the key to healing?
Thinking of you as I grieve my loss too…
Thanks for your powerful writing. I share some of your experience with miscarriage. We have no kids. I’m pregnant now and if this one doesn’t work out we’ll probably adopt. I’m wondering if you might share some about why you decided against adoption? Take care.
Hey Beth –
There will always be others that have it worse off than you. Still, that shouldn’t negate or under-value what you are feeling. Your feelings, thoughts, hurts and pain are real to you and important to you and those that care about you.
If it matters to you then it IS important and needs to be given attention…no matter how it compares to everyone else.
My dad used say, ‘better to sweat in your jock than cry in your beer’. Not a real warm thing to say. But, alas, there is nothing one can say, or feel, or do- that is the right thing. Take what comes, say the serenity prayer..and just because you don’t always understand, don’t mean there ain’t a plan…
Beth, I so admire the way you bravely share your struggles.
I cheer when you work through the tough stuff, point out the good things, and acknowledge that the tough stuff still takes time to work through even when you know all the good things. It makes me feel more normal.
I’ve said it before, but I think it is totally okay to be who you are. Everyone has unique set of challenges and each set of challenges is just as important as another. I will continue to remember you in my thoughts and hope that your happy secure moments out-number your sad ones.
/ Jenn Bo
Beth, your feelings DO matter. Your loss MATTERS. Yes, there are people who are suffering but there will always be someone who is suffering more. That does not make your pain any less because of this fact.
Women all around the world and all through time have had this type of loss. While I won’t go and say yours is any more or less, even if they were going through something “bigger,” I’m sure the loss was still hard.
It is okay to be sad over it. Really.
You hit the nail on the head with this one. At least for me. Thank you for putting your thoughts into words, they helped me grasp furthur some of the things I’m trying to sort out myself. Like that my opinions matter. That no matter how worse off other people are in the world, I still have a right to feel sad or upset about what I can’t handle in my own life. These are things people don’t talk about outside their therapists offices, it’s wonderful and comforting to hear others chiming in that you aren’t alone in these struggles – it means none of us are alone. Your writing is wonderful and inspiration. Wishing you the best 🙂
Boy do I hear you, Beth! I’ve always been someone who feels like I’m not entitled (for whatever reason) to feel what I feel when I feel it. Don’t stuff your feelings inside of you. I know the unfortunate effects of doing that and you don’t want weird things rearing their heads months from now.
You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Love ya…
I completely understood your post. Completely. I’m glad you had that conversation with Yoda and I’m SO proud of your for acknowledging yourself, your worth, your feelings. This is so very important for all women to do. I also struggle with this – especially when it comes to my past. Somehow I won’t let myself get angry about what’s happened with my mother for example. I have been told I’m emotionally bankrupt when it comes to her, but I’m so scared of what will happen if I let myself feel. Especially with little ones. It’s very difficult.
Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us. I know you are helping other women in doing so.
Can’t wait to meet you in person and give you a great big hug!
The line about acting more dead for the nurse made me gasp. I can’t tell you how much I can relate to that–to the need to make sure everyone else is comfortable/happy at the expense of myself.
I could be wrong, but it sounds like you’re trying to help everyone feel “comfortable” with your desire for another child and with your utter disappointment. You don’t owe anybody an explanation of any kind, Beth.
For what it’s worth, having carried and given birth to a baby myself, I can understand why you might long to have that whole experience just one more time.
I’m so glad to hear that you have such a great support system of people who see how wonderful you are and are there to remind you of it when you forget. I love reading your site, and I love how honest you always are. I truely hope that you are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.
Does your Yoda have hourly rates? If so where can I find him. Take care Beth!!
I relate to that so much–playing dead so as not to disappoint the nurse.
This post was so subtle and nuanced and complex. Thanks so much for being so open about this painful journey.
My God, Beth. I didn’t get a chance to read you before the conference and I didn’t know. I would have given you several more big hugs.
It was so nice to meet you and talk for a bit. I truly enjoyed the time we spent chatting.
Writing this must have been hard. I hope you are okay. Hugs.
Beth – I am thinking about you even though we have never met, and hoping you find a way to get through this extremely difficult time in your life.
I don’t know if reading this site would help you at all, but I have heard from others that it has: http://babyfruit.typepad.com
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