Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Part 4 - After the storm.......comes the calm.

The storm may have been over but there was wreckage to contend with. That strange eerie silence that pervades after a storm was unsettling - no more wailing and sobbing and I had finally turned the sad songs off having grown sick of the tunes and the sentiment they portrayed. Going back to work was the best thing I could do. But showering and getting ready, of following my established routine felt alien to me, as though someone else was going through the motions and I was a mere bystander looking on. Nothing looked different. He hadn’t taken more than a couple of suits and a few shirts and things to see him through, such was his rush to get away; he could have just been away on another business trip, I told myself. But he’d gone for good, and part of the soul of the house had died when he took himself away with no hope of return. He’d reneged on our deal; reneged on the promises to always love me; to build a future with me; to let me love him in return. The viper had abandoned me.

But sadness turns to anger and anger is energising; is a tremendously invigorating emotion to be imbued of. Used correctly I could propel myself forward; I could find new legs to stand on and find enough strength to face the world, and God knows even face him, should our paths have crossed accidentally. I doubted that I was a safe prospect to be around him. I knew I could easily carry out a crime of passion around his big fat neck and I’d fantasised his 'passing' in a multitude of elaborate ways, each one more bizarre than the last – well a girl had to have a backup plan just in case the primary plan failed to see him off this mortal coil. His mortality rate was dropping on a daily basis.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry that we never had children together. Perhaps they would have been a comfort to me now. A couple of extra little heartbeats around the house. You see, when we got together, we were already established career hounds at a Global I.T. manufacturer and rising up the corporate ladder. It was an alien prospect to me to picture myself as mother earth. I would shudder at the thought of being a dependant wifie sitting at home with two nippers hanging off my mammary glands. I never really bought into that look of puke on the shoulder and baby pooh stuck under my fingernails. If you haven’t got five minutes to run a comb through your hair then life wasn’t worth living as far as I was concerned. Christ, who wants to look like Cherie Blair on her first morning in Downing Street? She looked like something out of Fraggle Rock – frightening.

I couldn’t imagine the isolation of waiting for him to return from a late meeting or another international business trip. I didn’t have the emotional foundations required to be a mother – well not in my early twenties anyway. Besides, I’d worked hard for my degree, I told myself, and wanted to enjoy the financial freedom that it brought me. It was the mid 70’s and computers, (we didn’t call it I.T. then), was the sexiest job you could have, especially if you were a woman. The Personal Computer hadn’t even been a twinkle in Bill Gates’ eyes by then – that was science fiction and the stuff of the future. We worked on mainframes that took up a room the size of Wembley football pitch. Today you get more memory and processing power in a mobile phone that fits into your pocket than we had on those mainframes of old. I worked with great people in a male dominated and glamorous profession and I couldn’t see why I would want to leave that to hide away in a house in some village backwater waiting for my man and breadwinner to come home. We spent our time working hard and playing hard and there was a lot of laughter. Having or not having children was never a bone of contention between us; he insisted that he didn’t want them; they were never on his horizon, he promised, and so we settled down together safe in the knowledge that we shared values and goals for our future and we had it all – a couple of self-satisfied cohorts, two smug bugs in a rug.

It was a great life, free from financial constraints, free from parental responsibility but as time went on I found the biological clock ticking louder and louder. Gradually a child sized gap appeared in my life and it wouldn’t go away. He and I talked around the subject but he couldn’t understand how female hormones worked. He had no comprehension of what it was like to need something so badly that it caused a permanent ache. I would feel tearful when my period came and each month I felt a loss of me, a part of me gone. One girlfriend encouraged me to ‘get pregnant by accident’ but I couldn’t be so duplicitous. Our relationship had been founded on complete honesty and he never led me to believe that it would change. We went into it with our eyes open and it was me that had changed. I hadn’t legislated for this in my life; hadn’t banked on the overwhelming emotion that I would feel each month and the raw agony of knowing that I wouldn’t be a mother. I would bury my emotions and let them go when I was away on business trips. There must have been many a businessman or woman holed up in their hotel room listening to the sobbing and groaning of some eejit next door and wondered what ailed me so.

In time, I came to accept that I had left it too late, banked on the wrong person to have a child with as he was as stubborn in his resolve as I was needy and desperate to have one. Work took over my life again as I managed a large project in Washington. I am good at finding diversionary tactics and found some kind of peace in delving back into twelve hour days and pushing delivery dates ever closer to distract me from the life I had put on hold, the one where I was a mother.

Our relationship settled into an easy manner yet again – I couldn’t blame him for not wanting a child – it was me that changed, it was me. If I could have him without a child then it had to be better than losing him altogether.

………………………..I crawled from the bed in agony and clutched my stomach as great big waves of pain swept through me. This was nothing like I had felt before and was confused at what was happening to me.

The doctor sat on the side of the bed and held my hand – I’m so sorry my dear he said in that fatherly way that they do. It was around twelve weeks in gestation, a little girl.

I hadn’t known I was pregnant. I never had that special time to fall a little in love with her. Now she was gone.

“Never mind”, he said when the doctor had gone. “If you didn’t know you were pregnant then I suppose it doesn’t really matter that much. You can’t really miss what you didn’t know you had”.

"Emotionally bankrupt bastard", I thought, as he drove a knife he didn't even know he was holding through my heart.

43 comments:

Debra in France said...

You have really been through it haven't you. I hope you can feel the big hugs I am sending you through the ether. :-) xxx

Breezy said...

Oh (((MOB)))
What an insensitive git

laurie said...

oh my god how sad.

that is heartbreaking.

i bet you think about that girl often. i know that i would. (i've never been pregnant, and yet i think about the little girl i wish i'd had.)

Tina said...

That's a brave post, MOB. If it is of any comfort to you years later, am now imagining new mortality 'issues' for him

belle said...

Golly, I've read quite a few gut wrenching posts lately but this tops the lot I think. Glad you survived.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Ah Debra, it is only the half of it but I am loathe to put it all down as I will look like some totally sad, sad, sad git! Maybe bit by bit but God I don't want people topping themselves!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Hey Breezy, he started out as a lovely guy but something happened to him along the way. Looking back though there were signs he could be intensly selfish and insensitive, but then can't we all be at times?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Laurie, 23 years and still counting. I gave her a name and had a funeral service. You don't have to be pregnant to have that deep desire and longing so I understand totally where you are coming from.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Thanks Tina! I've made my peace with him although writing this stuff up has been very hard. I had no idea how deeply I would feel it. Cathartic or raking over old coals? I don't know yet, perhaps I am just being selfish and totally indulgent.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Belle, gut wrenching to write too. I try not to have regrets in life but this one doesn't go away. I hadn't been well but I neglected to really pay attention to it and who knows.

Thank you all of you for your comments. You are nice people.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Hey MOB. I don't know what to say. How incredibly insensitive can one person be? I haven't read all your posts, but my god I hope things are better in your life now. If not, let's help change that.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Yes Coffee, much better thank you. I am very happy indeed now that I am married to a great guy. I'm just reliving some old stuff and it wasn't my oroginal intention to go that route. The writing just took me off there! I'm just having a shot at writing -I only ever wrote monthly reports, strategy documents and other business type things so it is interesting to have a shot at this. I am just enjoying the process of writing and blog writing takes you out of the vortex of doing it a home and not knowing if you are rubbish at it or not. It keeps me off the streets!

Potty Mummy said...

Gosh MOB, what a time to first read your posts. All men are (or posess the capability to be), bxstxxds though, don't they?

farming-frenchstyle said...

I've only been away a week, but you sure had me going - and confused. Perhaps I should be "Confused in Fance". Anyway, glad you came through it all, and am doubly glad it's not all going on now for you.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Potty Mummy - your posts are great. Swung by your blog last night - very enytertaining and very reminiscent of my own business travels. Hope your husband finds his clothes soon!

I wasn't very lucky with this partner and I was married for a short while to another sod before that. I never married the one's that I should have and either lived with or married the one's I shouldn't have. Third time lucky if that isn't tempting fate. My husband is kind, caring, loving and a real man to boot. I don't think I knew what real deep love was until this man took the time and patience to show me. Even now he takes my breath away with him just being him.

Tattie Weasle said...

Just on my rounds after finally getting all my work done so forgive me for taking so long to return you lovely visit! So glad you're with a great guy now! Your posts have been so heartfelt particularly this most recent one about your little girl - I went through a similar episode and people are remarkably insensitive. I am lucky that I do have two boys but I still miss my first baby..

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Thanks Tattie Weasle. Here's and empathetic hug from someone who truly knows what it feels like.

LittleBrownDog said...

Gosh, this is powerful stuff - and beautifully written. I do understand that terrible child-hunger that strikes unexpectedly, and find it hard to believe the insensitive words of that doctor (tho' suspect he/she was only "trying to help" in a hamfisted kind of way).

Will definitely bookmark you and pop back again. And thank you for stopping by my blog, by the way - I'm glad I stumbled across yours.

A Fair Cop? said...

What can I say? This rocked me to the core. I am ashamed to say that I am part of a gender that isn't always nice to know.

Mrs Faircop says your new husband sounds like me! I'll take that as a compliment then, for from what you have said in you comment feedback, is that you have found a good one there.

Do you think that when he finally left you that maybe part of your grief was in hurting for your lost child?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Thank you LBD. Here's a 'you scratch my back' moment.......! I thought the way you wrote about melancholy in your last blog was just so insightful and straight from the heart and I like your writing style very much. I've added you to my list of fav links. I just can't believe the superb quality of the writing that I read as I discover more and more new blogs. Much better than reading books these days as I only have time to nip in and out of things and blogs are superb for that. I've got five books to read and I am usually a vociferous reader but blogs absorb my spare time these days. Thanks for your feedback.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Well Mr Faircop, you are also part of a much maligned gender that doesn't always deserve the criticism that it gets! I believe that individuals are problematic and not a whole gender and to generalise is to fall prey to stereotypes and believe these exist. When that happens it is so easy to tar one and all with the same stick. I have worked in a male dominated industry for a very long time and there are many males that are generous, loving and excelled at freindship when things were tough for me.

As for the grief and the loss of my baby linked to my reaction to his going ? Of course you have hit the nail on the head. There was still a small part of me that must have believed that we would have a child and his going when I had just hit my early forties was a death knell to that wish.

Nice to hear from you again and will you not start writing again? Your blog looks so promising.

Henry North London said...

My oh my

I remember when a couple of females(a nice lesbian couple)approached me at the beginning of this awful year and were interested in having my sperm.

I was interested in giving aswell but I never heard back from them.

I dont know if I put them off when I first met them but eeek Im only human

I wanted a child and instead I reaped the whirlwind this year..

Its hard being gay and not wanting to bring a child in to the world unless it has at least three or four parents but maybe one day it'll happen

Stinking Billy said...

MOB, The fact that you are still able to write about that part of your life, with such feeling, is a sure sign that you are still hurting from it. I hope he rots in hell.

Lane said...

I'm so relieved to read in your responses to comments that this was some years ago and all is now well.
It's a testament to your writing skills that it reads like a raw recent event.

And thank you for a remarkable piece of writing. x

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Oh Henry, being gay should never preclude you from being a parent and with your sensitivity then someone will have you as a parent one day. The nuclear family isn't dead but co-exists with all sorts of combinations and long live diversity.

Maybe these ladies wanted a sperm donor an sensed you wanted more and to be a hands on father which wasn't part of their plan. One day eh? Lets hope so.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Thanks SB. I had buried it deep but writing about it was surprisingly evocative and painful. Losing him - I am long over - the baby - it was never to be and whilst I remember something of a memory that I have created for her it isn't something that I dwell on from day to day. It is a sadness but one that can only catch me off guard from time to time.

My poor old ex, he never set out to hurt me, something just went wrong along the way and this type of insensitivity became his modus operandi.

I am sort of taken aback at the responses but I suppose that it was a very emotive piece that has generated strong feedback.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Thanks Lane - again you are much too generous. I feel like a rank amatuer compared to your writing so your feedback makes me feel it is worthwhile writing and that I can only improve as time goes on.

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Goodness me this post has provoked some reactions. I can only begin to comprehend your grief. Despite being the proud mum of my brood, I have had three miscarriages and each one left a little gap in my heart where a person should have fitted. I am the most pragmatic down to earth person I know and firmly believe that these things happen for a reason but please accept a big hug from a cyber friend as I know how sad a time it is..... Lots more I could say but I guess its all too late now.

By the way Henry, I would rather my tribe be brought up by a bunch of alternative lifestyles who love them than a conventional family without warmth.

Think that's it!

Henry North London said...

Oh absolutely

I'm with you on that one...

Valleys Mam said...

MOB I just so enjoy your blog, this post was so heartfelt. I have two daughters and two step sons, who I love to bits. I have lost two babies, and it is a loss. Even though we may not have seen them, they were real and part of us. Insensitive doesn’t begin to describe that ex man of yours.
Relationships are weird things. My first husband died in a car smash, very young in his early thirties, it took me a long long time and quite a few frogs to find my present partner, who is as you said of yours, a delight. Our one regret is that we met when really we were too old to start another family -

laurie said...

hey--

i've tagged you for a meme.

stop by my blog.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Words are so inadequate at a time like this. My first husband tore me and my life apart. I endured the pain for 14 lonely and devastating years. No-one could understand my pain as I can't understand yours. All I can do is stand beside you in your anguish.

Swearing Mother said...

Bastard indeed, I couldn't have put it better myself.

How incredibly sad.

Stinking Billy said...

Hey, wee mob, where have you been all week?

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

MMOF - I can't imagine going through three miscarriages. How heartbreaking each loss must be. One was bad enough. You must be so entirely grateful for your brood as you call it. Lovely postive outcome for you and thanks for the cyber hug - here's one back!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Valleys mam - OMG that you should lose your first husband in such circumstances. You have certainly had a lot to cope with and it must have been so hard to bring up your girls without their father. I know what you mean about not being able to start a family with your new partner because it is too late. I have the same situation with my lovely husband now and I have come to terms with the fact I couldn't have a child of my own I am a step-mother too and my step sons are amazing.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Ah Retiredandcrazy - lonely is the word to sum a lot of it up isn't it? You can be so lonely in a crowd and some men are just the pits. I am sorry that you had 14 years of misery but you sound so sorted now from what I read on your blog site. Thanks for such empathetic comments everyone.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

laurie - thanks for the MEME suggestion - I am very touched you should want to know 8 things about me that might make you run screaming for the hills!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

SM - I guess there are a few other names that he could be called too!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

SB - I left you a message on your blog last night - I have been away and returned only last night after my husband took me and the dogs away for a surprise wedding anniversary three night stay in the Peak District. Utterly gorgeous and great fun.

lady thinker said...

Very sad - of course you can miss what you never knew you had. Unfeeling b******d.

I've shed tears for the children we never had. One of life's big regrets.

Willowtree said...

I was a mainframe analyst programmer for years.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Willowtree, I was one too amongst many of my roles with the company over 25 years. Snap!