I used to smile A LOT. I was always a very smiley person. I also used to be kind of famous for my laughter, which was totally contagious. I can sort of boast about these things because it is so removed from who I am now. My fourth grade teacher overhead me laughing in a restaurant from another table without seeing my face and she instantaneously knew it was me. I was 22 years old. I hadn't seen her in 12 years.
People from all corners of my life always used to comment on my smile and laugh. It was something that stuck with them. My physical chemistry lab instructor approached me one day in the middle of lab, three weeks into the semester, and quipped disappointedly "A., I hear you are so much FUN! You haven't said one fun thing yet!"
In my new life, I never say anything funny, either on purpose or unintentionally, and I don't smile or laugh very much, either. I think I am actually a total downer to be around. I have been thinking lately that I wouldn't want to spend too much time around me. Poor Y.
I have slowly, over a long period of time, turned more and more inward. Most people who have met me in the past few years would probably describe me as awkward, serious, introverted, and well, whiny.
Infertility and loss has made me more empathetic and given me depth and maturity, but those things are much harder to see and appreciate, at least on the surface. Infertility and loss has also made me less vital, less zany, quirky and fun -- a muted, subdued version of myself. And I think I might also be less good-natured and more inclined to hold a grudge, especially if you were a jerk to me when I lost the twins.
More and more turned inward. I think that really accurately describes it. Not self-involved in a narcissistic or conceited sense, but in a darker self-obsessed way. Self-obsessed with my misery, my bad fortune, my inability to understand or answer all of the whys of how this came to be our lot.
I realized recently that I have been complaining a lot about stupid things. Mostly things that are within my control. And I realized this all serves as a cover. I think I have a compulsion to complain because of what really bothers me and how freaking unfair it is, but because it is not socially acceptable to talk about my infertility or my dead babies, I just complain about completely stupid inane stuff instead:
Y hasn't yet taken me to a baseball game this summer, we will probably never go, pity me, etc. etc. Read: My babies died and I am still incredibly pissed and sad and confused about it pity me, etc. etc. It must be so annoying to listen to.
Self-pity. Well, there is not much more to say than that
self-pity really blows. No one wants to be proficient in the art of
self-pity, but thank goodness, those of us who have gotten really adept
at it are usually too self-involved to notice, save for the brief
glimpse of self-awareness.
I wonder if I actually talked about the heart of it and acknowledged it outside of this blog like it is a normal topic of conversation: That I have had a really shitty, disastrous go of it conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy. That I had babies but they died and I don't know why things happened the way they did, but that it is really unfair and sucky. That I wish and pray for a living child every day -- whether maybe some of the burden would be relieved and I could find some lightness again and stop acting like a crochety old hag who is so hard done by.
I wish I could act like someone I would actually like to spend time with, but I am not there yet and instead I am too involved in self-pity and self-loathing to have an open heart. How can I find the beauty and the fun in simple things and in my friends and family again? Can I reclaim my smile and my laugh, even if I never feel my old, unhinged lightness again? And can I learn to find a new kind of lightness among the heavy things?