Truth is, I don't. Most people are completely unaware of my current struggles. My mom knows... three friends know... one coworker knows... and possibly a sibling or two depending on who my mom might've said something to. Besides that, I've been completely mum on the entire subject.
As I said before, I'd rather remain silent than cry. Talking about this, when I'm not in full control of the conversation, will inevitably make me cry. So I don't say anything and I pretend everything is perfectly fine.
That being said, I'm NOT perfectly fine. I understand that, and I accept that. I'm not a heaping mess of tears in the corner, either, though. Right now, I feel like an actor going through the motions of life.
It's not that I don't trust my family, friends or coworkers with what's going on. It's just... how do you bring something like this up? What's the point even if I do? Pity? No thank you.
So far, reactions thus far to my situation have been a mixed bag.
Some folks (my husband included) think I deluded myself into believing I was pregnant.
Some folks sorta roll their eyes and think I'm being a hypochondriac because even if it was an early miscarriage, it's not like it's a big deal or anything.
Finally, some folks (you readers included) have been kind and understanding.
Truthfully, I think I keep my mouth shut because most people I'd tell would likely fall into the first two categories. The first two reactions to my situation are very, very hurtful, so I don't bother opening myself up for that sort of emotional suicide.
I don't really speak much on this topic at all which is why the brunt of my venting happens through this blog.
The reason I bring this up is because one of the friends who knows made a comment that made me stop in my tracks. She's known me since college. While we were talking, she asked how this weekend went and I said, "It went better than I expected, honestly." She then said (and I'm physically cringing while writing this) "Yeah, I figured you were over everything from all the photos you posted."
I actually didn't know what to say.
It's true that I'd posted photos of a birthday party I'd attended. I had actually been contemplating NOT going on account of what had been going on, but my friend, Jay, was really looking forward to it. Plus, I knew that my other friends, Frank and Megan, would be there, too, and I didn't want to bail last minute on the birthday girl.
So I went. I'm glad I did because I was very proud of how I handled myself. It was like a test-run for how I could survive my own family or in-laws gathered together for whatever holiday comes up next. I was determined not to be a downer for Jay, and I was determined not to let on that I was anything but the happiest match-maker in the country.
Photos are a part of who I am. If I wasn't taking photos, my friends would've known something was wrong. So take pictures I did, and I made sure they were happy ones.
And truth be told, I did feel happy in some of them. I did enjoy my time at the party meeting new people and catching up with old friends. However, just because I appeared to be the pristine model of happiness does not mean nothing was hidden behind the smile.
Those pictures didn't capture the moment I walked from the dance floor because the image of a brother dancing with his little sister was too much for me. They didn't capture the temporary fumbling for composure I had when one of the friends who does know asked how I was fairing. They also didn't capture the five minutes I spent in the bathroom after being asked by a guest when my husband and I would be having more children.
I actually laugh thinking back at that adorable woman asking in a Polish accent, "But just one? You're young, you're young. Have many!"
So yes. Of course I looked happy in those pictures. I wasn't gonna go parade myself around with running mascara and a Mopey Mary complex. I was what I needed to be, and I actually took pride in my ability to compartmentalize my emotions. It made me feel stronger... ready for whatever family function I'd have in the upcoming months that might be a little tough.
But no - just because I'm able to plaster a smile on my face at-will... just because I'm able to crack a joke or dance with a friend during a party... none of that means I'm "over everything."
What does that even mean, anyway???
Did she think I was no longer emotionally raw? That maybe I'd finished grieving or that I'd finally convinced myself I wasn't pregnant to begin with? Or maybe I had accepted my circumstances and she'd never have to wait for the next awkward time it came up in conversation?
I seriously had no idea. So I asked. I said, "What do you mean by 'over everything'?"
She said, "Oh, I didn't mean anything by it. I meant that I figured you were okay with, ya know... what happened. You looked happy."
Times like this, I wonder how Jesus remained sinless, because you just know He had similar experiences with Peter or the other apostles.
"I look happy, Peter? That's what you've got? I look happy? You're supposed to be one of My best friends. Did you really think I'd just "get over" losing My cousin, John? Just because I'm enjoying a nice meal with you and these 5,000+ people doesn't mean I'm not still hurting for My cousin."
Oh sigh. He not only remained sinless and didn't snark back at Peter, He went ahead and performed a miracle and fed a bunch of people - all while He mourned the passing of John the Baptist.
I didn't snark back, but I was wounded. I just pointed out that while I was happy for most of the party, there were moments of struggle that I'm sure will repeat in the coming weeks and months.
So why am I share all of this? Why am I posting about it?
Because I've come to realize the internet (and society in general) has woefully inadequate information on this particular situation. No one knows how to talk about miscarriages - ESPECIALLY early ones. No one knows what to say or how to handle their friends who might be going through such an emotional free-fall.
So I'm going to document it as best I can. I'm going to chronicle my journey in the hopes that it eventually helps someone, somewhere, struggling to either endure this situation, or looking to help a friend endure it.
Plus, on a personal level, I just feel better typing.