Behind my charades

Today, my best friend announced she’s pregnant.  I asked all the questions a mother would ask: 

Do you want it? Do you have the means to care for it? Are you getting married? What about school? What about work? How’s your mom taking the news? How’d he take the news?

Then I proceeded to be happy for her. 

Is there a reason I couldn’t react the way many people react – excited, elated, over the moon?  Nope.  Sat there and double-checked that she was going to do everything she needs to. 
“Needs to.”  Because I’m the one who decides that?! It dawned on me as my car pulled away: 

Who the fuck am I?

No, really. Who am I to make sure she’s planned it all out?  Who am I to ensure she’s got it all handled?  Nobody, that’s who. 

So why do I feel so odd right now?  Is it because at this time last year, I was pregnant?  

What does that have to do with anything?  

… Ok folks, it’s time for Alice to come clean. 

It wasn’t a miscarriage. 

There. I said it. Sort of. 

The shame, the constant pain I carry to this day about a decision that changed my husband’s life and mine for the rest of our days. 

Did we want it? Yes. 

Did we have the means? No. 

Can you plan for everything in life? No. 

And that was it. I wonder what my life would be like if things were different. Would my mother still hate my husband? Yes, but not for the decision he and I made – she does that well enough without a reason. Would it have been healthy? No. The medications I was taking last year increased the chances that our child would have been deformed or born with serious health complications. 

I spoke to my therapist (yes, I have a therapist now) who helped me see a different side to it. 

I’ve made a choice. We made a choice. Looking back, as much I would like children, I think I have some more growing up to do before I bring in another life. I don’t want to perpetuate the cycle of needy mothers and overbearing grandmothers. Once we can stand on our own two feet, we can here the pitter-patter of two other ones. 

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