Have you ever felt like you have a target or a “kick me” sign attached to you? I’ve never felt more different or targeted in my life than after having been through a pregnancy loss. You don’t have to tell me that I’m similar to so many other women; you don’t have to tell me that I’m NOT being targeted, because I know this. I am in my head- those thoughts drive my true feelings and the only thing I can do is feel my own feelings, you know? In order for me to “help” the situation, I just have to go through the motions and deal with it as it comes. That’s my exact problem, though, dealing with it when it comes.
No, I am not getting bullied or hate mail or stalkers, but I have become extremely sensitive. No matter where I go, I feel like people know. I feel like anyone who looks at me in the grocery store knows that I lost a baby. Knows that my body failed. Knows that my body was an “unfit mother.” Seriously though. You know those moms you see at the grocery store with their kids, and the elderly folk that have been through their fair share of parenting, and even those pregnant women shopping for nutrient-rich foods for their pregnancy diet… those are the people that I feel like know. Not even just know but want to ask.
Want to know the crazy part about all of this (as if it doesn’t sound crazy enough)?
Sometimes…these people DO ask.
I’ve had complete strangers ask me if I have kids of my own, how many children I have, and why I don’t have kids. They have randomly told me things like to never drink Coke while pregnant because of an experience they’ve had, I’m lucky I don’t have to grocery shop with a child, I should continue life without children as long as possible, and little comments like: “oh…just you wait.” I swear this happens almost everywhere I go. Beyond the grocery store- at bars, sporting events, restaurants, work, and other public venues.
In those “targeted” moments, I feel helpless, lonely, scared, broken, and sad. I try to hide it and just continue to stay in my head until I can deal with it in private, but these moments definitely don’t go unnoticed (especially by my husband). It’s hard, like, really hard. I want to ignore them or laugh them off, but it brings back my pregnancy loss and the unknown of the future, so naturally I shut down and become quiet and socially awkward.
Before I go out to a family event, or out with friends, or just out in public in general, I might have a breakdown or anxiety attack of some sort. Not all the time, but occasionally. And trust me, that’s more than enough for me. I miss being carefree 100% of the time and going with the flow.
Because of these moments, I have closed myself off to so much that used to make me happy and alive. My goal and dream is to get back there oneday. I know it will happen, but I also know that it just takes time.
If you have ever felt this way or struggle with social situations because of something you have been through (pregnancy loss or not), just know that it will be okay. If you can’t talk it through right then and there with someone, make sure you do it when you are ready. These days for me have gotten fewer and further in between, thankfully. Just keep your faith, lean on those who love you, and keep on keepin’ on!