Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Shame, my old friend

I've missed this space.  I've missed the reading and the writing, and mostly the engaging.  My summer hiatus wasn't planned, it just sort of happened.  Because life.

I'm almost positive I missed my blogaversary too.  Four years, I think.

The summer has been good.  It's been busy.  We've had fun.  We hosted friends for a week.  We gutted our bathroom and are in the process of refinishing it (we'd hoped to have it done by now, but there is inherent danger in what you might find when you start tearing things up in an old house, lol) and if you guessed that it has been a time and money suck, you would be correct.  We ran out of time to plan a trip to see hubs' family and mine, but truth be told, none of them planned a trip to see us either, so I refuse to be that guilty.

My garden sucked this year.  Which brings me to the title of this post.

Planting my garden was tricky this year.  We had an unusually wet and cool spring followed by an immediate transition into temperatures resembling hell, as opposed to a gentle buildup to the heat.  The plants didn't get a good start, and then when they finally did get going, they got scorched.  I also expanded my garden to about 3x the size that it was the previous year.  The new spot, I knew from the beginning, might not be the greatest because it had more shade than is ideal, but I decided to give it a go anyway and plant plants that did better with less sun.  Anyway, long story short, my garden this year was a pretty epic failure.  Between lack of time to devote to it and a less than ideal spot, it just didn't do well.

Over the weekend, I was talking to my neighbor.  He shares an affinity for gardening so we often talk about plants and such.  I commented that I'd probably not use the spot in the back of the yard again and then offhandedly mentioned that it was shaping up to be a really busy spring (of next year) and I wasn't even sure if I'd have time to do a garden at all.

His face lit up and he asked if we were finally having a baby.

I fumbled some words out of my mouth and came up with "no, I have a bunch of work travel between April and May including one that is going to take me out of the country for a couple of weeks."

Awkwardness followed.  I was seconds away from losing my shit.  He excused himself and went about his business.  I continued the task of weeding my shitty garden as I ugly cried and beat myself up over my broken reproductive parts all while asking myself why I couldn't just be normal.  Pure and simple, it was shame.

It's a few days later and this interaction, or rather, my reaction to it, still has a grip on me.

I don't write about this for sympathy, rather I write it to show that grief is not linear.  This happened after a long period of doing really well, being confident, and fully embracing the life I've been given. And yet words, simple, innocent words, cut right through me. 

So I'll do what I always do.  Pick myself up, dust myself off, and carry on.  The lesson learned here is not to get too comfortable, that when I least expect it, grief can still jump right up and bite me in the ass.


  1. OMFG. I want to smack your neighbor for this comment. I'm seriously hoping he's been kicking himself for it and that there is a moment where he realizes apologizing is the best course forward. I'm so sorry that you had to endure this stupidity (even if he is nice, damn if he didn't face-plant in that moment) and that it brought back the pain and grief.

    And I'm sorry about the garden. That sucks that it had a rough year. Love and light to you all around.

    1. I suspect that my reaction will not lead to any further questions on this matter. He's a nice guy, but damn. I wish people would learn that it is never appropriate to ask another person about their reproductive plans!

  2. It all sucks. I had the same reaction as Cristy - I hope he learnt not to ask questions like that. Argh. And yes, you're right, our reactions/ healing is never linear. Don't beat yourself up about it. Because sometimes I think we make it worse when we don't allow ourselves to feel what we feel.

    1. I'm trying to be kind to myself. Man, this one threw me for a loop and has left me feeling quite fragile.

  3. I had my own out of the blue "ouch!" moment recently, and will probably write about it on my blog soon. I'm sure your neighbour meant well, but yeah, I wish more people would learn that the status of a woman's uterus is (or should be) off limits. (((hugs)))

  4. Oh, no. How awful to be working in the garden that didn't work out as planned and then have someone ask such a thoughtless question. The "finally" got me. I'm so sorry that grief bit you in the ass. It really is nonlinear, and those sneak attacks suck. And this was a REALLY hard summer for gardens, so don't beat yourself up too much... I killed a LOT of planted pots and my late summer garden is not looking as nice as it usually does.... This heat, drought, then downpour is a bad cycle. Sending you so much love.