Thursday, July 23, 2009

story of my life

trifles I
Though it does crop up from time to time (see, e.g., my previous post*), the fact that I lost the twins, while tragic and all of that, doesn't seem especially, you know, important.

It's one of those things that doesn't actually mean anything, a misplaced modifier without any real connection to the text it's supposed to illuminate. It happened. It's too bad it happened. I'm sorry it happened. And that's about all I can say.

However, very much on the other hand, the fact that, many, many years ago, a boyfriend who I never thought was particularly clever or kind ditched me for a girl who, in retrospect, I didn't have much in common with -- that fact is the wormhole, the dark star, the quenchless Charybdis, the endless snake endlessly swallowing the sun.

What event colors the way you see the world? And why?






*And many thanks for the gift ideas. I'll probably send some kind of edible thing for the family and then maybe something else for the girls. Still mulling it over.

28 comments:

dj said...

It's bizarre how everyone has a different mechanism. For me, the worst, the inimaginable evil has the blinding shine of the sun in July, a light so powerful it simply eats life. And the funny thing is it happened in February, many years ago, but it was in Dubai.
I, too, don't consider determinant facts impossible to blame on something/one, but I have yet to learn how to feel serene and not bitter for people who did things.
Can't contain anymore the excitement. Please, please, please, let it be smooth and joyful! I hope you're better than me at waiting...

dj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Furrow said...

Geez. I used to feel the same way about an old boyfriend. How could he dump me for her. Of course, it was only about him for a very short time. Mostly, it was about me and what is wrong with me. I feel so much better now that I'm over that. I mean, I still wonder what is wrong with me, but not because of that. It's just a highlighted sentence.

niobe said...

Furrow: Exactly. Very insightful. It *is* all about me, not about them at all.

calliope said...

when I was in the 9th grade my then best friend told me that she needed to "move on" because she wanted to be more popular. And while that wound mostly healed and there has even been a lovely facebook reconnect I still carry this emotional echo of messy hurt residue around every day- the fear that at any moment some friend will decide that they need to move on.

Eva said...

God, I don't know. Maybe I should work on my self-awareness!

Tash said...

I had a friend ditch the lot of us our senior year in high school so "she could focus on her Harvard application" (as opposed to, you know, the other Ivies and military academies and renown liberal arts colleges the rest of us were applying to -- because like you said, it's about me really). And she did it overnight, cleanly, and never spoke to any of us again.

And while we weren't particularly close friendship wise, we did an awful lot together, and had grown up together, and this dumping of sorts still burns me up. I guess I feel slightly better knowing I wasn't the only dump-ee. (BTW, this actually hurts worse than my first boyfriend who dumped me. Which was so painfully all about him.)

angie said...

So, Niobe, I think I finally sort of understand why you say it isn't important. I have tried to understand what you mean by that, because the death of my baby has been my whole way of viewing the world these last seven months, but I think I get it. It had nothing to do with you--the deaths. It wasn't anything you could prevent, or change. It happened. It is sad, and tragic, and heartbreaking, but the boyfriend who dumped you, that felt like it was about you, like something about you. It made you doubt yourself, and question who you are. It changed who you were. Is that right?

I actually read your archived posts trying to understand your point of view, because it seemed so diametrically opposed to how I have been feeling since my daughter died. I just felt like I was misunderstanding you. But I think I understand it now.

For me, the event that colored me was my ex-husband cheating on me less than a month after we got married. That shit messes with your whole self-image. Even though I can rationally say that that move was all him, there will always be that nagging jerk in the back of my brain saying, "But what if it was your fat thighs?"

angie said...

Perhaps I should have waited for the confession post for that one, though.

niobe said...

Angie: That's it. Exactly.

leanne said...

I have to say I'm curious to see your response to Angie. I've always wondered about that, too.

As for me, it wasn't the miscarriage. It was what happened two months before that. When I thought I might lose my son. The scary diagnosis. The surgery. The hospital stay. Wondering if I'd be lucky enough to get my boy back. The miscarriage was "the icing on the cake," if you will (or whatever the opposite is). My world was shattered. Life had never felt so fragile. In the last few years I've seen too much and I know too much. While everything seems to be going well at the moment (too well?), I worry about what the future holds.

leanne said...

And there's your answer. Took me a while to compose my answer (and myself). Some days the wounds feel very fresh.

Kristin said...

When I was in college, I still hadn't completely shed my massive insecurities. I went through sorority rush and got cut by EVERYONE. Man, that was a major blow to my ego and to this day I remember exactly how it made me feel and try to never ever make anyone feel that way. Though the moments are few and far between, old insecurities occasionally flair up and when they do I wonder why they didn't want me.

In reality, it is totally insignificant and means nothing but I always remember it.

afteriris said...

I find myself a little pathetic for the following event having such a huge impact on me, but here goes:

Between the ages of 5 and 14 I was passionately in love with dance and I was moderately talented. I had stage presence and a sense of performance, but I never had the traditional physique of a dancer. I was a stocky little girl with a strong body, I would never have been mistaken for willowy.

The "event" took place when I was 11. I had been earnestly practicing and doing my stretches all morning before a lunch party that my parents were hosting. I was very serious about my 'art'.

One of the grown ups at the lunch said something kind about a ballet show I'd been in. There was a lull in the general chatter and my little brother piped up into the silence 'Jess should be called the Sugar PLUMP Fairy' and everyone laughed and congratulated him on his wonderful sense of humour, my dad found it particularly hilarious and retold the story every chance he got (and still tells it to this day). I died a little death that day and spent the subsequent 15 years trying to regain a healthy relationship with food and my body.

Gawd. Re-reading this I realised that I just HAD to be that girl who makes it all about food and fat. Boring, boring, boring.

Marin said...

What a girl did to me sophomore year of high school still resonates today. I can't even say her name but I want to know why she did what she did.

eden said...

Oh Afteriris .... that wasn't just about food and fat. It was about getting shamed - in public, about something you were so passionate about. And the adults in your life applauding that.

I really get that ... and hope you do a twirl every now and then when nobody is watching.

Hope's Mama said...

Babyloss, totally. Through and through. But the fact it isn't for you, is what keeps me coming back here, again and again. Like Angie, I'm fascinated.
However I do have a similar story to afteriris, but I don't even want to share it. Same sort of fat kid, teenage, food related one which ended in me being shamed and a bunch of other kids laughing at me. I might save it for a confessions post, too.

Donna said...

I don't really comment here very often (but I do read regularly). But what you said about loosing your babies really struck me. Some days I feel that way 100% - and others...well. it makes me feel like my world turned upside down.

I can't get past the fact that no matter what I do, no matter how successful I am, no matter how hard I try to make myself not care - my dad will always find something mean and sarcastic to say before he will ever give me a pat on the back. According to my mom he's proud of what I've done and cares deeply about me and my family - but he has never, ever shared any of that with me.

Yolanda (the callipygian chronicle) said...

When in 7th grade my social studies teacher, with whom I had formed a deep attachment, cornered me after I'd inexplicably turned in a blank exam, only to score my usual 100% when I took the retest a week later. She said, "You're terrified of having people actually find out how smart you are. You'd rather fail on purpose just to appear normal. But you'd still rather get every question wrong, than miss one." No one has ever assessed me so accurately, pinpointing my biggest flaw. And I'm still haunted by just how right she was each and every time the flaw rears her ugly head.

Melissia said...

Many years ago my mom decided that she did not particularly want me in she life any more so she simply cut off all contact, moved and left no forwarding address. I continued to send cards and gifts via my brother, but when she died, my father called me and I did not even know what state she was in. I had spoken to here briefly year before when her brother died of the same disease that we all share (it is inherited), but before that she had not spoken to me in 5 years.
I still struggle with why she treated me this way, no one should feel this way.

niobe said...

Afteriris: What Eden said.

My theory is that these incidents are particularly painful because they seem like deja vu, confirming something that we secretly fear is true: I am unloveable, I am worthless, I am all alone

Jules said...

Good question. I never realized quite the extent the ridcule and such of me (as the only kid in our grade with glasses) affected me. The minute I could I switched to contacts and thought little of it until current hubby (dating at the time) said I looked fine in glasses. First time I had ever heard that.

leanne said...

Niobe, yes. For me, it felt like someone (God? the universe?) was trying to me I didn't deserve to be a mom. I felt cursed.

excavator said...

This has been a moving thread to follow.

I wonder if in essence the question is, "when did you realize you were naked?"

This is one of these questions that's very difficult for me to answer. It's like one of those objects that's visible peripherally, but disappears when I try to look at it directly.

It's like a challenge...and I suppose it's not necessarily a trauma which 'colors' my perspective.

Grad3 said...

Watching my mom choose to battle terminal cancer with grace and courage.

Anonymous said...

My husband's affair.

Babyloss has been difficult, but like you, I never felt like it was about me. It didn't happen to me because of who I was or wasn't.

Which Box said...

This was a particularly insightful post. I think I'm more of a death by a thousand cuts kind of person. No one defining moment. I look at my soon to be four year old, who marches into the world with no fear or sense of limitation, and I wonder when it happens? When do you start to label yourself as unable, unworthy, un-whatever. School, I suppose, when all the peer stuff starts to sort out and labels start to apply.

And you know you get me every time you write about this.

Phoebe said...

I have learned that my own particular twin loss did not really have anything to do with me. That pregnancy did not feel right to me, which was a horrible thing to accept, because I wanted it so badly. What I have learned along the way is that stuff happens on a whole 'nother level that we are not even conscious of most of the time, on the spirit level, because our society doesn't function like that nor does it teach us about those things. Nonetheless, it had a huge impact on me. I still feel like I could have had control over it, though that is an illusion.