Wednesday, October 10, 2007

the slough of despond.* population: me

I try not to write when my thoughts are darkest. It doesn't help me and I can't imagine that it does all that much for you. But there are times, and, naturally, this is one of them, when I'm pretty certain that I can most economically sum myself up as consisting of a fairly good memory wrapped in a fondness for the words of others, anchored by emptiness. It's possible that life is, after all, scrupulously fair; that my accounts are balanced to the penny and that I'm reaping exactly what I've sown.

*This phrase has been ricocheting through my mind thanks, most immediately, to Jenny F. and, ultimately, I suppose, to John Bunyan.


Casey said...

I think you should know that these kinds of thoughts are pretty common among people with depression. When I screen patients at work, one of the things I look for is if they feel their illness is a punishment.

There is no cosmic bookkeeper. These sentiments are symptoms, and they will pass.

Beruriah said...

I hope not Niobe. What about the rest of us? Would you believe it if we said the same about ourselves?

That said, it's a syntactically lovely post.

DD said...

You have reaped a plethora of friends via your blog. Consider that when you break bread today.

Furrow said...

Whatever your perceived transgressions, whatever wages of sin you feel that you must pay, there is no honor in going into debt.

I've spent many years in and out of depression, and I also recognize this guilt as one of the symptoms.

I like you a lot, Niobe. I can't imagine you deserving what you're getting.

Zee said...

I don't know you personally, of course, but I somehow doubt that you're capable of anything that would make you deserving of what you've experienced.

But I do understand the feeling. I'm not sure which is worse: the shaking-your-fist-impotently-at-the-sky rage about the unfairness of it all, or the crouching-like-a-dog-who-knows-it-deserves-to-be-kicked guilt and misery at the fair-yet-f*ckedness of it all.

The Oneliner (Christina) said...

no. no!
no one deserves to go through what you went through.
although, i probably should listen to my own advice.

painted maypole said...

life cannot possibly be fair. Look at OJ.

Artblog said...

I agree with everyone and especially with Farrow. I can't and will not believe anyone, especially you, have done anything so wrong as to deserve this.

None of us are perfect, but such punishment doesn't merit a slight wrongdoing and we've all done one at some time or other.

That's just my opinion, I know you may not agree.

I don't know if its the first stages of depression or not, but as a friend, do go and see your GP and tell them how you feel.

Big hugs from me XXX

Mrs Smith said...

Hey missus, Losing jamie has made me see that shit things happen to good people. I certainly don't deserve to have my heart broken by losing my baby, and I would very much doubt you deserve it either. But I have certainly had the same thoughts as you when I have been low, and I'm guessing that's where you are now.
Right now I would love to give you a hug while we cry for our lost children because life is so so unfair.

Caro said...

You don't deserve it, no-one does.

Magpie said...

I think you might be a riddle wrapped inside an enigma tucked inside a conundrum.

But I'm sorry that you are hurting.

ms. G said...

I agree with Beruriah. Would you be willing to think that of us?

Having said, I won't say I haven't wondered. Maybe I'm not the good person I thought. I can think specifically of something in my past that I have wondered about. When I feel my darkest, is when I think it is punishment.

niobe said...

Beruriah, Ms. G: Of course, I wouldn't think that about any of you.

But I've always had the impression that the rules that govern most people's lives don't apply -- or at least don't apply quite the same way -- to mine. That it somehow matters less if my "babies" (the quotation marks are because I'm trying to get out of the habit of seeing them as real people) die, than if other people's babies die. That my emotions are smaller and shallower than, say, yours.

Eva said...

I'm so sorry you are sad.

No, life definitely is not fair. There is no rhyme, there is no reason. And even if there were, from my standpoint this means that down the road things would be fantastic for you.

Amelie said...

For life to be fair, you would need to be able to measure good and bad luck. How? Everyone is different and experiences things differently.
Either way, I do not think anyone deserves to live throught what you had to. 2 points against fairness of life.

Elizabeth said...

Yeah, I know what you mean.

becky said...

I'm so sorry for your pain. It seems to be in the air today.

*Hugs from afar.*

Lori said...

Is there any possibility that your despondency might actually be less, if you tried a different approach to your grief? You seem to want to convince yourself that the loss of your twins was less than it was, that it wasn't worthy of the grief you so clearly feel. And yet, you do feel sad. I can tell you do. What if instead of trying so hard to feel it less, you allowed yourself to feel it more? This is truly an innocent observation from one who cares, not a judgment. I sincerely hope you know that.

I am also positive that you are a much better person than you give yourself credit for.

thailandchani said...

If you frame that in a gentler way.. such as perhaps this is an opporunity.. or a lesson, I can believe that.

Reward or punishment, no. Can't grasp that one at all.

Sometimes when we go through these periods (as I do frequently as well.. with clinical depression), it's best to not try to fix it or talk yourself out of it. It somehow takes care of itself. :)

Meanwhile, bask in all your comments here.. and know you are not alone.



slouching mom said...

Oh, niobe. I wish I could spirit you away from where you are and, I don't know, hang out with you enough that I could convince you that you are so very worthy.

Not only is that a pipe dream, but it rests on the extremely dubious assumption that I am some kind of healer, which I'm not.

Still. I so wish you didn't feel this way. We see a far different person in you than you see in yourself.

We all adore you, you know.

Christine said...

life is not fair.

you got a crap deal. but maybe it won't always be that way.

i wish i could make you feel better with my words, but i know that perhaps i can't. just know that we are here and listening.


Pamela Jeanne said...

I don't have anything profound to offer here. But I do know that the feelings you describe are more than a little overwhelming and, as a result, more than a little scary, too. And if that's not enough they're made all the more difficult when it feels like life is moving on for everyone else around you. Wish I could say something to make you feel less alone.

B said...

The sun shines and the rain falls on good and evil alike.

(I think that is in the bible somewhere)

It comes to my head when I see mums who are addicts.

Can you be anchored by emptiness? that is haunting.
But you my friend, are far from empty. Even when you feel it is all of you.

I like your fairground pictures.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I hate to say that I've felt the same way at times, but I have. I don't think it is a punishment, I just think that life is chaotic. Not all things happen they way they are meant to happen. Look at all the dopes in the world that "accidentally" get pregnant 5 times. There is no justice in infertility. Just chaos, uncertainty, and chance.


thirtysomething said...

Niobe, you definitely don't deserve what you are going through...and your loss is just as significant as anyone elses. I don't feel right saying anything else, since I have never walked your struggle, but please, please don't burden your heart with thoughts as these.
We adore you out here, and we are here for you if only to *listen* when you are feeling your darkest, please know that.

susan said...

Um, no. Life is not fair, not fair at all. And what you sow, with your heartbreakingly beautiful words, would never add up to the horrible losses.

Anonymous said...

You are not alone. Using the quotes when referring to your babies doesn't make them any less real. They are real, even though they are gone. They deserve to be mourned and remembered. You are doing exactly what a good mother should.

missedconceptions said...

Depression is an evil monster, isn't she? When I am sad, I feel I deserve to be sad, and when I am happy, I feel like it will not and can not last. Which is scarier: the world as chaotic clusterf*ck in which we are all a swirl or a fair, rational world in which there is so much suffering?

Monica said...

I've felt the same way too. What do I have to do to atone for past sins? What church do I need to go to? What ritual do I need to perform? Then I just gave up because no religion or account of the world, no metaphysical explanation makes any sense. Things just happen and sometimes, like the worn out quote, "bad things happen to good people". But try telling someone who suffers from paranoia that the people following her aren't really following her. You might as well herd cats.

Sarah said...

that's the one issue i have with your namesake niobe--her loss was retribution. in real life, there is no fair or unfair, there's just what is.