December 17, 2010

People Just Don't Think #1

I was having an okay day today. Then one of my parents' friends called up. This is a woman I know, but not someone with whom I communicate frequently or anything of that nature. It has been a very long time since I have spoken to her, much less seen her. Here is our phone call, repeated as closely to the exact words as I can recall:

Me: Hello?

So and So: Hello, is this [my Mom's name]?

Me: No, this is Paige.

S&S: Hi, Paige, this is So-and-so.

Me: Hi.

S&S: What are you all up to?

Me: Not much; getting ready for nap time.

S&S: Oh. I was just calling to find out what happened.

Me: What happened? [me, totally confused...wondering if there was some thing my parents were supposed to have done/had planned/told her about...]

S&S: Yes, what happened.

Me: What happened with what?

S&S: What happened with the baby.

[Um, What?!?]

Me: She's dead, that's what happened.

S&S: Well I know that. [with a rather large implied "duh" in her tone]

Me: Okay.

S&S: I just spoke with Dave McKee.

Me: Okay. [which explains nothing to me except that I know he knows that I brought death into this world - what a fabulous contributor I am]

S&S: I didn't even know you were pregnant. [said accusatorily]

Me: Okay.

S&S: Blah blah blah. [I don't know because my Mom was asking me who it was at that point and I was telling her I did not want to be talking any further. DUH TOTALLY IMPLIED THERE.]

And the rest of the conversation was a bunch of nothing. For real, not in the sense that I don't remember it, but in the sense that really nothing else was said. Let me give all of you a little piece of advice: if someone you know delivers a dead baby, calling up out of the blue a month or two later and having the above conversation as if something is owed to you is not a good idea. I repeat: NOT A GOOD IDEA. You are only attempting to serve YOUR needs in that situation and you are NOT thinking about the effect it might have on the one person affected most horribly by the events.

Events. As if we planned such a thing. You plan events, not dead babies, but I don't know what else to call it.

My main response afterwards: a very angry "Really?!?!?!!!??"

It took a LONG time for me to stop being extremely angry. A long, long time. I yelled at my one living daughter, who granted, was not listening to me, but still didn't deserve it so yay for feeling guilty all day as well, thanks for that. I wanted to run or yell or throw something but none of those options were available to me (stupid snow) so instead I read a book to escape which only means that here I am, late at night, still angry, though not as much, and still needing to run or yell or throw things.

Awesome.

This right here would be my only outlet, really, so apologies for the venting.

But I am TOTALLY ALLOWED.


People just do not think.

.

[that would be period]

What would I just LOVE to say in response to the many "What happened?!?" questions that I receive? Let's see...

She's dead, that's what happened. On October 28, 2010, a dead, rotting carcass came out of my body. That's right. It had been decaying in there for a whole week, so it was a really pretty sight for all of us. Does my body do things up right, or what?!?! I mean, could I have had better timing? A dead, rotting carcass is a pretty fabulous way to celebrate Halloween, don't you think? I win creepiest costume award for sure.

What is it that people think they're going to hear when they ask me that? I mean really.

NOTHING HAPPENED. SHE IS DEAD. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED.

There is no why, people. There is no explanation. No one decided that this was "supposed to" happen to me (which has been implied). No one "gave" this to me (written to me). This wasn't "for a reason" (said to me). This was not "Part of God's plan for your life." (also written to me). I have so many arguments to support WHY none of those things are true, but no one wants to listen to them and they are too long for this post.  Let me just explain it in two words: faith, love.

I have a list of blog post ideas that go under the title: People Just Don't Think. This phone call was a perfect example. I don't owe anyone an explanation. If anyone IS owed an explanation, it is I and yet I seem to be the only one aware of  and okay with the fact that there is none. But people want one. So who do they decide to call up and give the third degree...about my DEAD baby?...ME!

REALLY??!?!?!?!

THINK before you speak/act, people, if at all possible. I'm not saying it will stop you; I am definitely one to say/do what I think is best or needed, and I fail at thinking before I speak/act sometimes too. But in THIS situation and ones like it, please THINK first. The main questions to ask yourself are:

1. Who am I really asking these questions/doing these things for?
- if the answer is you, because you are upset or you need information, then don't ask/do.

2. Will I hurt anyone?
- because if you don't know that the answer is a for sure NO, then DON'T DO IT.

She called because she is upset. Yes, I know that she is upset for my Mom and for me, but also for herself...and for the situation in general. While I completely empathize with that (hello, I am the one who's body created death, thanks), I do not need to be on the receiving end of that. Not one bit. She also called for herself more than for us. She called because she was upset and because she needed information, an explanation - and that is the WRONG thing to call for.

I think this all might have been avoided if she had not called me immediately. She called after having very recently found out and while still shocked and upset. Or at least that is what it seemed when I spoke to her. And again, I get that. Believe me, I do. But she called for her and didn't even stop to think what it might do to me to have to suddenly, out of nowhere, describe to someone that isn't close to me (which is probably why she didn't know I was pregnant in the first place) what "happened".

Yes, part of grief is anger.

Um, I am totally aware that I am angry sometimes, thanks.

I have every reason to be, thanks again.

It does not mean that I don't see her position or her side, but it angers me that she didn't think of me, my position or my side beforehand. I am tired of people doing that and they do it often.

In the same token, this would be the straw that broke MY back. It sounds like I am only angry with her, but I am not. And when I say I see her point of view, I mean that I do. But I HAVE to have a way to release the anger and this is it. She is not the first nor will she be the last to anger me by doing this. My doctor (if you can believe THAT) was the FIRST person to do it. I can't wait to tell you all that story:

Welcome to anger, come on in and make yourself at home!

5 comments:

EG said...

Oh Paige, I'm so sorry (says the random mostly stranger who found your blog through Marissa). People don't know what to say, but some people do a better job NOT saying things at all, I think.

Yes, you're totally allowed. Anger, grief, venting, whatever you need.

Jerry said...

Hi Paige. I'm also just a random stranger who happened upon your blog. Ditto what EG said. I'm so sorry. Vent all you want. Take care and God bless.

K.P. said...

I am not a random stranger. I am your cousin and I love you! :) Anger is part of this. I have a great book that my friends (who lost a baby) wrote. Wasn't till I read it that I realized how stupid we can sound when we are trying to find "comforting" words. It was eye-opening to hear things from their perspective. You are right. People should think first. You now have a perspective on this that we all wish you didn't have. Love ya!

downlights said...

nice posting keep blogging,

ollieparkes said...

I hate it so much when people are that stupid, especially about sensitive subjects.

I mean, what are their thought processes?

"She must be going through a difficult time... I KNOW. I'll call her and bring it up."

Genius.

(Sorry for the random comment but I was Blog-Browsing)