Tuesday, July 19, 2016
At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
Today I sat on the couch and wept. I'm not even sure why I cried so much, but I guess I do know the long litany of problems that led to it. The past week has been pretty horrible. Trey has been sick and emotionally stressed and worried. Work is full of pressure as I find myself the go-between for coworkers struggling to communicate with each other. Ruthie and I are having dumb arguments over who knows what.
But the real issue of the week has been my surprise not-pregnancy. By Saturday night I was pretty sure I was actually pregnant and thought I just needed to wait a little longer for the test to come out positive. I only sipped a little wine at dinner club and was so worried that people would figure it out. Ha. Little need for that. On Sunday I woke up and felt really nauseous. I had to sit through the panel I was on for Sunday School without throwing up – something that seemed pretty difficult not to do at certain moments.
But, then after church my period started. I was so shocked. I quickly told Trey, and then went directly to missions prayer. I didn't think about it too hard. And I didn't think about it too hard on the drive home. Nor did I think about it too hard during Bible study with the Chinese students. After everyone left I thought about it a little bit, but I didn't want to think about it. So Trey and I ate prosciutto and drank beer and watched Inspector Morse. It felt OK, until I got ready for bed that night. I sat on the toilet and wept.
Five days late. What a horrible amount of time. Was it a late period? Or was it an early miscarriage? Five days of growing excitement. Three false pregnancy tests. One morning of nausea. There is no way to know.
Yesterday I woke up after a good night's sleep and felt like everything was totally ok. I had cried the night before, but it wasn't a big deal now. I got ready to go for a run and headed out the door. Usually running on the second day of my period isn't so bad. But I started to run and all I could feel was a strong, dull, silent pain on my right side. It wasn't cramps. It felt a little like a side stitch, except I wasn't out of breath and it felt more like something was tearing. I couldn't run and had to walk the whole way. But again, who knows? There's no real reason to go to the doctor. But just such a sad feeling.
By mid afternoon today I felt distinctly depressed. It was hard to focus on work and everything felt heavy. My heart felt heavy, my body felt heavy, my eyes and brain felt heavy. Now of course Trey started to pay attention.
As I sat on the couch with him, crying, I couldn't find the ability to express all of this. All I could say was just how sad I am. And how much I feel like I don't have any friends.
After all, I find myself at almost thirty two years old and I wonder – do I have any friends? Sometimes I really don't know. I have enough community to find plenty of people to spend time with. But I don't have any friends who know me well enough, or talk to me frequently enough, to know when something is very wrong. I live in a world where if I were drowning I would have to yell for help, but we all know that drowning people don't yell. They die silently.
And that is exactly the problem. Plenty of people want me to be involved with things. Plenty of people want to spend time with me. No one has made the effort to actually know me. No one knows where and how I struggle. I do not have friends here.
When is the church going to realize that people are nomads? When is it going to realize that it cannot change the tides – people will be transient. We are caught up in tides that are larger than our life decisions. As such, the church needs to pastor like it would pastor wandering nomadic tribes. It needs to be aggressive in pursuing people. It cannot expect people to volunteer their hardships. The hardships of the laity must be sought out. And sometimes, all that would take is a simple question. "How has life been treating you?" I do not remember the last pastor who asked me this question.
And so my nomadic life continues.
(Image by Carolyn Hall Young, "Gratitude and Grief in Equal Measure.")
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About the Project
This is a very personal project. It tracks my growth and development as I journeyed toward motherhood over the recent years. It doesn't document every experience I had, and probably neglects my more joyful and peaceful moments in the frenzy of trying to communicate my fears, anxieties, and doubts. If you are a friend or loved one, please do not let anything you read here overshadow what you know of me personally. If you are a stranger, please remember that a living and flawed person stands behind these words. To all my guests here, please understand these are not political statements and try to extend me grace, even as I share my failures and foibles - I have repented of much of what I share. I don't share this journal as an exemplar, but rather out of the desire to share my hope that entrance to motherhood does not need to be a fearful thing - despite the very real fears I have fought against. Motherhood is simply a part of life and one through which I am discovering more of myself and my God.