Sunday, May 02, 2010

Thanks, random strangers

I was feeling kind of blue last night, and found myself reaching out into the ether for some random stranger comfort. Not because my only sources of support that are connected to me by wires and keyboards, but because sometimes you just need a little random stranger comfort to carry you over the rough patches. There's nothing like knowing you're not alone to keep the crazies at bay. And your shoulders slightly less knotted up. And your jaw less clenched.

So anyway, there I was poking about looking for solace when I stumbled across a chat board for people just like me: childless not by choice.

I didn't stay long - sometimes I worry about indulging the hungry little part of my soul that wants to feed on every scrap of self pity it can find, getting fat and self-satisfied in the process. But I did stay and read for a little while.

Long enough to discover that maybe I've been a little too hard on myself. Just maybe.

I take out my invisible hittin' stick every time I feel even the slightest twinge of jealousy. Every time I feel sorry for myself. Every time I wish I was her instead of me. Every time I feel sorrow before I feel joy.

I'm hittin' myself all. the. time.

As for the ladies on the CNBC board? I didn't see a single stick in the bunch. They were out there, warts and all, talking about the unfairness of a life not chosen. About how much it hurts. About the insensitive things people have said to them. About the people who have not been careful with their still tender hearts. About how they're moving on as best they can with those un-chosen lives.

And I sat there dumbfounded.

Because, from what I read, it sounds like it's okay to feel the way I do. Or, at the very least, it's normal.

It's okay to sit in church and feel a dull ache in my heart when I see family after family after family filling up the pews around me. It's okay to feel lonely when I'm always the only "mother" who doesn't belong. It's okay to wish I was outside with the gaggle of parents and toddlers filling the street on a warm Saturday night. It's okay to feel sad before I feel happy when I hear that a friend or family member is pregnant. It's okay to need to look away when I see a round, baby-filled belly.

It's all, it seems, totally okay.

I know it could simply be a case of a group of like-minded people simply feeling safe enough to voice these thoughts within the confines of their own little board. But the simple fact that there is a board populated by people who feel these sorts of things is very validating, I think.

It's not okay to make people feel uncomfortable or guilty that they have and you don't. It's not okay to be cruel or hurtful out of some misguided sense of cosmic entitlement based on the shitstorms you've faced. But it's okay to hurt, in your own little heart. And it's okay to do what it takes to make that pain hurt a little less whenever you can.

Good to know.


Catherine said...

How can I respond, having two boys who made it out of my uterus of doom alive? I can only say this...of course it's ok to feel what you feel. Why wouldn't you? Because other people don't like to be reminded? I think you know what I'll say to that (and it involves a lot of profanity).

And seriously...if I see one more round pregnant belly right now, I think I just might lose my mind. You are not alone on that one.

loribeth said...

Of course it's OK. : ) I am glad you found some comfort out there. CNBC sites are far & few between, & most of the ones I've found aren't very active -- but there ARE a few of them around, thankfully!!

Megan said...

Of COURSE it's normal.
I've been reading and sending you silent support but feeling like I have nothing of comfort to say since one of my pregnancies resulted in a sweet little boy that I got to keep.
But I have to jump in and say that even with him by my side I can't stand pregnant bellies, little girls who are the same age as my stillborn daughter would be and any kid born around the due date of my miscarried pregnancies.
You are such a wonderful person. Please don't beat yourself up for not being a saint.
Thinking of you.