Dear Uterus: You Are a Murderous Bastard

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In my head, murderous bastard just isn’t right. I mean, certainly there are more eloquent ways to express my hatred of your serial killing, your incompetence when nurturing a fertilized ovum, and your obvious disdain for human life. But nothing comes, so murderous bastard it is.

In days past, I looked down at women who were in the place I now find myself. I thought how very sad it must be to be them. How very unfortunate not to make lemonade out of the lemons so viciously hurled at us in the forms of infertility, miscarriage and neonatal death. But today I think lemonade is overrated. And anger? It’s pretty liberating.

I’ve always been the one who sought out the right thing and hiked the high road. And I’ve prided myself on the fact that even in the most soul searing of circumstances, I haven’t lost my shit. I guess I thought that keeping myself together meant success, but what it really meant was an excuse not to feel as deeply as one needs in order to heal. Because something happens when a thing or person is broken, there are shards that go missing which forever change the shape of the traumatized vessel. And you realize, then and there, that wholeness takes on an entirely different meaning.

You, dear uterus, have one job to do in your miserable, pear-shaped life and that is to oversee the development of an embryo and fetus. Sadly, you have failed three heartbreaking times. In any other circumstance, you would have received a sincere come to Jesus, been put on leave, or been relieved of your duties. Because obviously, if you can’t perform, what are you really worth? But I held on, hoping you’d redeem yourself. Hoping that I wouldn’t have to hate you the way I have and do now.

After baby loss number 3, I sat as judge and jury. It would have been easy for me to give you death. I mean, you meet the basic requirements of a serial killer, don’t you: “someone who murders more than three victims one at a time in a relatively short interval”? I thought of what it’d be like to push the button that sent the needle into your arm. But drifting off to sleep never to wake was too good for you. You needed hard time. You needed to realize what your neglect caused. And who isn’t here because of it.

I was all too happy to lead you to the cell where you’d be left to think on your offenses. And when I locked you inside and swallowed the key I thought everything had been made right: you were where you should be and I had a second chance. What I didn’t realize was that since that day, I’ve been locked inside that cell with you. I’ve been my own prisoner. And I’ve been yours, as well.

Life gets in the way of life sometimes. It certainly has in my case. I did what I was supposed to: I fell in love, got married and tried to start a family. I played by the rules, but I didn’t win any jackpot in the form of sweet-smelling lumps of flesh whose giggles are like jumper cables to the heart. I didn’t win anything short of loss and heartache. And I’ve felt angry about that. I have.

I feel the anger rise when I read another story of an unwanted child who was beaten, neglected or murdered. I feel it when I meet women who don’t question that their pregnancies will be successful, who don’t know what I know. I feel it when I’m accused of being selfish when refusing to watch a video of a friend’s newborn or when I can’t drag myself to another baby shower. I feel it when I’m the only non-mother in a circle of women complaining about what a bitch motherhood is. I feel it nearly every day.

Today is laced with thoughts of Jasmine French and the film Blue Jasmine. In it she declares, “…there’s only so many traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming.” This is me taking to the streets. This is me screaming. This is me:

Broken. Barren. Beyond.

I don’t know what the future holds, dear uterus, but if you ever find yourself in a position to hold life again, would you please hold it?

Because it’d be nice not to hate you anymore.

It really would.

409 the heart. Mop & Glo the soul.

Toxic

You know that feeling?  The one you have when you’re about to make a horrible decision?  The one you’ve convinced yourself you have to make because there are no other options (even though there are)?

I had that feeling nearly four years ago.

We had decided to take on a new renter while we lived abroad in Brazil.  We knew she was off.  That she was prickly.  That her all-too-nice exterior was covering something toxic.  But, instead of bolting in the other direction, we signed on the dotted line.

The dotted line that stole our peace

AND

our sanity.

The woman who moved into our home (I specify that it was a home.  We had made it that way.  We had loved it that way.) was a horribly sad case.

This week she finally left.

This week we went to assess the damage.

This week we found a revolting reality.

Our home, now just a slab and walls, had become a sub-standard shelter.  A place without life.  Without soul.  Without love.

Looking around, I felt sick and angry and completely overwhelmed.

I can’t do this.

Where do I even begin? 

What’s the financial cost?  The emotional?? 

AND

Is it even worth it?

One look to my husband confirmed that it was, so I started toward the kitchen and opened the fridge.

There was a strong waft of Y.U.C.K against my cone mask.

Worse than I thought.

I removed all the shelving, the bins, the ice maker and started sudsing.  And, after four hours, I stepped back to admire my work:

It. Was. Like. New.

Like the neglect and indolence never happened.

Like she never happened. And I smiled at the thought of it.

Then stepped outside of myself and felt utterly cruel.

And realized…

all that time I’d spent hating her, I should have been praying for her.  Because for her to become the person she is must have required horrible neglect and indolence on the part of those who were supposed to love her.  To protect her.  To shelter her.

And I felt something for her then that I’d never felt: compassion

How much easier it would be if we could just 409 our hearts and Mop & Glo our souls.  If we could be made new, with some sudsy water and some serious elbow grease, like my lovely fridge??  And then I realized…

We can.

Anything that is loved can be restored.  Perhaps it won’t be exactly as it was before.  Perhaps we won’t be as we were before. And maybe that’s a good thing.  Maybe what could make us bitter should instead make us better.

Perhaps it would be good for her to know that.

I don’t know if we’ll move back, if we’ll rent again or if we’ll sell.

And really…it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that I know now that things are not always what they seem.  And that, oftentimes, the experiences that test the most, teach the most, as well.