Thursday, May 20, 2010

Eva Destruction

D and I watched Whip It Sunday night. It made me laugh out loud and want to knock people down, but I am decidedly not the type. One of the characters had the roller derby name "Eva Destruction" and while I managed to enjoy the movie rather than consider the myriad entendre, I slept fitfully. Friends visited with their twins earlier in the day. I love their girls and know them and their complicated history, so I do not regard them as I might the nameless enviable twins that just appear out of nowhere all the time. I used to look at those twins wistfully. I try not to look at all anymore.

But I have no explanation for what I am feeling and why. I am tired of feeling like liquid, like all my structure has left me and I am a puddle. Sunday was a beautiful day and usually that is enough. We went to the playground along with every other family in our town (it seemed). The boy scout troop, ever helpful, offered the rest of their brownies to us. It being pre-dinner, we were responsible and politely declined.

While at the park, I was spotted by the wife of a friend of D's. Last year when we first moved to our small town, we all went out to dinner together. It was an unmitigated disaster. Okay, so it wasn't a catastrophic oil spill, but it sucked nonetheless. We didn't know the place had video games and we do our best to avoid them. So my son went a bit haywire at the sight of electronic games. I think we ultimately had to carry him out while he frothed at the mouth. But his behavior was perhaps more tolerable than mine. Imagine, friends, our first "date" (because really, that's what it was; a date to see if we are compatible as family friends, fit for playdates and birthday parties). The other lady was heavily pregnant and I blurted out our whole sad tale. I felt strongly that to know me you must know this fact about me. I felt that there was little more to know than the fact of babyloss. And she very nearly ready to explode! Suffice it to say, our husbands get together every so often for beers at the local dive. And I hate  feel embarrassed and resentful towards them, begrudge them their normalcy and all the assumptions I have made about their reasons for quietly, politely avoiding keeping me at arm's length.

There's no winning, it seems. I might tell someone and Eva's story is either received appropriately? warmly? but swept aside or the other person runs for the door. You know the desperate trapped animal look a dead baby story can elicit. Either way, I feel alienated. Alternately, I can stay silent and in some situations I have -- either because the context is too "light" or too many people are around (such as the neighborhood gatherings, of which there are many). In those cases, I agonize over the how and when and what of telling. She's not a secret. She's my baby and talking is the closest thing I have to holding. I guess that is why this place is so important to me.


  1. I am still a terrible double buggy stalker. It would be far more sensible of me not to look.

    I haven't been on a first 'date' since G died but I can imagine it running a similar course (with the exception of the electronic games haywiriness). It is a no win situation, staying silent usually sucks, telling the story usually sucks, although you do get the odd good soul who responds with kindness.

    I also feel that, if I don't tell people about my other daughter, that they will never really know me, never understand me. I guess I've made an unconscious decision to simply avoid other people. Which isn't really where I would like to be.

    Your hitch hiking tale has got me commenting on my blog! And trying to come up with a plausible reason!

  2. Dude, a video game dude gave you a shout out. That's gotta muster up a little snort. Ha!

    I think I am getting closer to a middle ground. No longer afraid to say their names and not even slightly compelled to answer "no" when people ask if we have kids. I've allowed myself to open up more to casual acquaintances and I'm actually finding some of those are becoming something like friends - not out of pity (something I almost always assume) but because they too have things beyond their normalcy. I can't tell you when this shift happened. I can tell you my shoulders are lighter. My posture much less sucky.

    I do understand the active avoidance of certain people or scenarios. God, do I. And you know, this is when I pull out my dead baby card and demand the world deals with me. Because if people around us can't have compassion for a grieving mother, well then, F them.

    Rereading my comment, I'm not sure if any of it makes any sense. I'm hoping you're picking up what I'm putting down, A.

  3. "She's not a secret. She's my baby and talking is the closest thing I have to holding."

    That line took my breath away and totally encapsulate this whole effing experience. I have no words to say how crappy it is to have people reject you when you open up about your loss. I still feel pangs of anger and resentment at those people who I shared my story with and walked away thinking I was kooky. But I did very much like Whip It too. in fact, I allowed my three year old daughter stay up til 10p watching it with me, because girl power. xo

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