30 Days of Truth Day 03 Prompt → Something you have to forgive yourself for.
This is probably the easiest prompt for me to answer, but the hardest to write. I will advice you, you will be better off skipping the rest and reading tomorrow’s post.
It was spring of 1997, after the husband left for work, I went for the daily walk. We had been married almost 4 years, since he was seldom interested, I had been off birth control pills for 2. It dawned on me, I hadn’t had a period in 4 months. Why I hadn’t noticed, is for another day.
This day I realized even once can result in pregnancy. I looked at my body while I walked, wondering “could I be…” realizing I was little more than a bag of bones. Every rib could be seen. I was anorexic. It was not a conscious choice, I just was never hungry. Rushing home I weighed myself 98lbs. 98lbs and 4 months pregnant.
I scarfed breakfast, packed a big lunch and went to work. Work was busy, but not so busy that I couldn’t plan: I’d have to start eating, move away, file a divorce, that would take 2 months, need “big” clothes to hide the pregnancy. Then in early November, she’d be here. I’d raise her on my own. He hadn’t liked any of my friends or family so I had become isolated. More so, I had to protect that child. On my next day off, I’d schedule a doctor visit, because I didn’t want work and most certainly the husband to know. There was no way, I’d allow my child to be around him.
Friday and Saturday passed, the boss commenting about my appetite. Watching the husband on Sunday, the only day we both had off, I was even more certain, I’d never tell him. Monday, his day off. Then Tuesday.
Tuesday I had off. I walked the dog after the husband left, waiting for the doctor’s office to open and to calm my nerves. Finally home, I found the phone book, and sat at the dining room table, nervous. I started pressing buttons when it felt like someone punched me in the stomach. The pain got worse and worse. My kidney stone had nothing on this. I needed to go to the bathroom… I crawled…
It took an eternity to crawl the short distance. The cool bathroom floor felt good, so I stayed there. I regretted leaving the phone on the table. The pain was coming in waves. Wave after wave. Part of me knew what was happening… part, denied it. The urge to go to the bathroom overwhelmed me…. and I slumped there, resting my cheek on the too close but very cool sink. The coolness helped as the waves kept coming. Soon I knew I *had* been 4 months pregnant. There was the proof in the toilet… I blamed myself.
I went from 4 months pregnant to not. As I stood in the bathroom, suddenly everything went dark. There was nothing. There was nothing good, nothing happy. On the plus side, there was nothing sad, nothing mad. All there was… was nothing.
Life became a series of motions. I told the husband we needed counseling. He “had to” talk to his dad. He left. We divorced. I ate. It was what you were supposed to do. I faked emotions, you were supposed to have those. Echoes of happiness, echoes of anger. On occasion all the real emotions buried would rise, like vomit, just as pretty, just as quick, often with the feeling of nausea. Disliking this emotional vomit, I’d allow the darkness to take over again. Once again… darkness, nothingness.
For 3 years life was motions in the dark.
My waking from this zombie state took several more years… still the emotions sometimes come up in a vomitous mass. The nothingness still waits to cover it all, except I deny it. I still blame myself for the miscarriage. My only pregnancy.
I “knew” it was a girl. A few years ago, I named her, as part of a therapy. “Hannah Grace” … “Hannah Grace Schrader”
I am sorry baby girl…
Notes: Yes, I know “there’s a reason, the baby probably wasn’t healthy,” “miscarriages happen for a reason.” And other science behind a miscarriage… but this was my only pregnancy… if i had realized sooner…