I am a jerk.

 

Oh, how it hurts to admit that.  But I just don’t have any other explanation for my bitter feelings.  I mean, I have “a good excuse“, I guess, but that doesn’t really make it okay to be a jerk.

 

You see, every Saturday morning, my two-year-old goes to gymnastics.  And, to be honest, she’s freakishly good at it.  That sounds ridiculous even to me, but it is what it is.  She’s incredibly strong and fearless, both traits that serve her well in this endeavor.  She does things like an “unassisted full back aerial” and jaws drop.

 

Last session, she was the only student in her group; so, basically, she was getting private lessons.  This session?  There’s one other little girl in there.  And, believe it or not, she’s just as unbelievable as my little G.  It’s pure insanity to watch these two toddlers.  It’s also pretty cool because they’re able to keep up with one another and the teacher lets them try all sorts of more advanced things.

 

Anyway, having another student in there, of course, also means that there’s another family there.  And the mom?  Is very, very pregnant.  (Well, in reality, she’s seven months pregnant, a point at which I am usually only starting to show, but she’s one of those ladies who looks like she was due yesterday. ;))  She’s round.  She’s cute.  She’s so, so obviously pregnant.

 

And I am fiercely jealous.

 

I can barely stand to watch her rub the small of her back as she stands.  I’m sick of her husband being the one doing the “mommy and me” portion alongside me since she’s resting in a chair.  My heart cracks every time their sweet little two-year-old mentions how she’s going to have a baby brother.

 

I am a jerk.

 

And I don’t understand it.  It’s not like I was due around the same time.  So it’s not that.  And I’m not bothered by other women being pregnant, generally.  I know some mutual friends were concerned about me when my miscarriage announcement occurred on the exact same day as Amy’s pregnancy announcement.  But, truly, I was (and am) fine.  I was legitimately eager to hear Myra’s gender announcement.  I check Facebook to see if Kelly’s sweet baby boy has arrived.  (He has!  And he’s gorgeous as can be!)   Maybe because these ladies aren’t in my “real world”?

 

I don’t know.

 

But I know that I go to these classes and then I hate myself.  I hate the way I feel.  I hate that I dread watching this woman walk in the room and, every week, pray she’ll just stay home with their other child and I’ll only have to see the dad.  I feel like an utter idiot for crying over something like this.  What in the world is WRONG with me?

 

And do you think I’ll ever stop being a jerk?

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24 comments to I am a jerk.

  • theresa

    Nothing at all. After my best friend had two late losses she just hurt so bad. She was so strong and supportive out front and then would crumble in front of me. She was mad at God, life, everything… And so many others were preg at the time. It is a stage of your grief… Praying for u my friend.

    • Thank you, Theresa– so much. It’s so weird. On the one hand, I *hate* that people deliver pregnancy announcements like apologies to me… on the other, this particular situation is SO hard for me. I feel crazy. :S

  • Maybe it is a hard situation for you because you don’t have much to distract you from your thoughts during that lesson. It sounds completely reasonable to me.

    Perhaps YOU should stay home one week and send dad. Give yourself a break. :)

    • Excellent point! If only G. weren’t such a “mama’s girl.” :) (Of course, I can hear bitter JessieLeigh in my mind right now, “Why should I have to stay home? I’m actually doing something there! How ’bout the lady who just sits in a chair playing on her smart phone stays home instead?” Which is totally besides the point. I’m the one with the issue– not her.)

  • Give yourself grace sweet friend! It’s still too recent and the grief still fresh. You are not a jerk. You’re a loving mom who just suffered a devastating lose. Give yourself the gift of time and grace. Praying for you!

  • Laraba

    Just one of the many hard things about miscarriage is the havoc on emotions that come surging out at the most unexpected times. I dissolved into a puddle of tears at church one day when a single woman showed up with her new baby and everyone was oohing and ahing (appropriately, because babies are wonderful even under less than ideal circumstances) and I was SO jealous, even though we already had 6 kids. But I had just lost a baby and I was a mess. No, you are not being a jerk. You haven’t hit this lady over the head with a wet noodle and I’m sure she doesn’t know what is going on in your heart. Just give yourself time to grieve and be at peace that you might find yourself angry and resentful at times when your intellectual part knows it is unreasonable. Emotions aren’t always reasonable.

    • “Emotions aren’t always reasonable.” THIS. This is the utter truth, and I think it’s what I’m struggling with so very much. I want it to make sense. I like things that make sense. :) Time and prayer… that’s got to be my mantra, I guess.

  • I don’t think you’re a jerk at all. You are dealing with loss and grief. I found it much harder to be around pregnant women than to hear about them. One of the times I struggled the most was at a baby shower for a close relative. I spent half the time crying in the bathroom, so I wouldn’t spoil the party. I think the real test of whether or not you are a “jerk” is how you handle the feelings you are experiencing (even then, there are so many different ways to grieve and handle the emotions involved, but something like being intentionally mean and nasty to this other woman would be be inappropriate and I’m sure you’re not doing that). Acknowledging the emotions is important and so is praying about them and giving yourself some grace. Too bad you can’t take a little break from the class.

    • It makes me feel like such a failure to acknowledge these emotions! I’m so humbled by them. :( I have to admit that I don’t think I’d give up going to the class, though, even if G. would tolerate it… it is a great point of joy for me each week to watch her “do her thing.” :) So there is that!

  • mlearley

    Don’t beat yourself up. Pregnant women were harder on me than seeing tiny babies. Around the time of my loss, about 3 or 4 college friends announced on facebook that they were pregnant. Oh, how I wanted to be happy for them b/c these were their first babies but it was so hard. A friend at work also announced she was pregnant and this sounds horrible but I was relieved when she was layed off due to budget cuts. I know it sounds so insentive but I wouldn’t have to watch her belly grow anymore. This feeling of jealousy does go away but this is still very new to you. Continue to pray about this and God will change your heart when you are ready.

    • And here’s where my obnoxious human side rears up and tries to say, “Hey, God? I’m ready! Could you change these feelings already??” Sigh. It’s going to take time, I know, and I will definitely keep praying on it. Thank you for sharing your story, too… it does help to know I’m not the only one who struggles with unwanted emotions.

  • So far as you’ve said, you haven’t BEEN a jerk. You’ve felt like one. And there’s a difference.

    If you were being mean to her and talking rude to her, I might slap you upside the head. In love, of course. ;)

    But, what you feel is very normal. I know from experience. With each miscarriage I would pray that God would protect me from doing something dumb. And it sounds like you’re already doing that. Praying to avoid it, that is.

    Don’t feel like you have to psycho-analyze yourself and figure it out. It’s been a rough go. Taking a break would be good; praying is definitely good. Getting to know them better would be a leap, but also could be good. Not saying you need to go there, but it could help you. If your girls are both so amazing, it sounds like you might be in it together for some time.

    Love you!

    • You know what’s funny? I want, desperately, to know them better. It is my nature, through and through, to want to socialize, to chat, to form connections. And I think it would HELP me to know her as a person, rather than “that pregnant lady.” So, there I am, probably looking like an idiot trying to make small talk about our girls. Or whatever. She? Is far more interested in her iPhone than in me. And I guess that’s totally her prerogative. I’ve made some headway with the dad. And I plan to keep trying. Just like I plan to keep smiling and telling their little girl what a great big sister she’s going to be. They don’t need to KNOW I’m a jerk, right? ;) I’ll just keep that part in my head…

  • I don’t think you’re a jerk at all Jessie Leigh! I think it’s just normal that pregnancy announcements, pregnant women and new babies stir up emotions in you since you’ve suffered the loss of your own baby.

    Just last night, I met a sweet woman who had a stillborn at 5 months along about 4 months ago. I had my 2 month old in my arms and I’m listening to her story thinking what must she be thinking of me since I’m holding a baby! But, you better believe she’s in my prayers especially as she’s nearing her due date.

    So remember, there are those around you filled with thoughts of compassion and prayers, they just may not be able to find the words to express verbally what’s in their heart.

  • Um, there is nothing wrong with you – you are normal. After the loss you just suffered (are still suffering) you are being hit in the face every week with what you should be going through. I’m so sorry! You never know though – maybe she has been exactly where you are now and you just don’t know it. Admitting how hard it is for you to see her there and explaining why might create a bond and relationship that you need right now. Good luck!

    Oh, I have 2 girls in gymnastics and if you ever want to know what might happen down the road when she starts competing give me a shout as I am in the middle of it all right now.

  • Celine

    ((hugs)).. there is not one “jerk” bone in your body. Those feelings are so completely normal. I’ve felt them before. What really matters is how we address them and handle them. I think Jessica has idea on possible ways to work through all this.

  • Terri

    Everyone else said it but I will say it, too…totally normal and not at all unreasonable. Two of my very best friends were pregnant when I lost our baby because of an ectopic pregnancy, and I was so selfishly glad that both of them were kind of overweight and did not really look pregnant. By the time those babies were born I was quite pregnant again myself or I think my heart would have broken every time I held one of them.

  • Totally normal. I’ve been there. We were in a similar situation after our last loss. I kept my nice face on, but my poor hubby got to hear everything once we got in the car. Honestly, what helps the most is confession, but I can’t go to my parish priest, I travel to a Church a few blocks away and talk to the old Irish one, he always reminds me that no matter what I’ll say he has heard it before….

  • Courtney

    Everybody else has said what I’m thinking, but it made my heart hurt even more for you when I read this post, so I have to comment too. You are NOT NOT NOT a jerk. I think because you typically have a sweet, sensitive personality, it’s making your feelings toward her seem even worse to you. What you’re feeling is completely normal- you are going through a very tough loss. Plus, her not giving you much opportunity to get to know her doesn’t help.

    Hugs to you. :<}

  • You’re too hard on yourself. You’d just be so disgustingly sweet no one could stand you if you never felt any of these things you’re talking about because they are such NORMAL feelings!!! I was genuinely happy about your pregnancy and a handful of others I’ve heard about, but I am so stinking mad about quite a few and SUPER jealous of every single one. Other than you I think I’m the only woman in the world not pregnant!

  • Lori

    Its definately hard, lots of prayer helps. I have a nephew who announced they were expecting and I was excited for her at first, but then I had a miscarriage and I hated her. I do not even really know his wife, and he’s in the military so I only keep up on facebook, but still I was also a jerk in my own head. I found out 9 weeks after that I was pregnant, and that was 10 weeks ago and I’m still getting over not hating her.

  • Sherri

    What you are feeling is normal! And I don’t think you’re a jerk. I’ve lost a little boy to pre-term birth and have faced infertility since then and almost every time I see pregnant lady, my heart lurches and I have to force myself to refocus on God, not on myself. It’s hard, but not impossible. I’m so thankful for God’s grace and strength!

  • It’s so easy to beat yourself up for feelings that come so naturally. Feelings you don’t really want to have. But it’s why I’m not on FB much anymore- my feed was full of pregnancy and birth announcements just weeks after our loss. A friend of mine is due two days before I was. About 6 virtual friends are due the same month. I didn’t go to bible study this winter because a girl announced her pregnancy the day before I miscarried and I’m tired of seeing her grow.

    We can feel hurt just as naturally as we feel love, but it’s how we allow ourselves to process them. To grieve and cry is therapeutic, but to dwell on jealousy or anger can cause depression. Cause us to miss out on life.

    I have to make an effort to choose joy some days. Some days it’s harder than others, and some days I keep to myself to make sure I don’t get in situations where grief turns to depression.

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