One shell too many, one skin too thin

Item – So, went to the acupuncturist this morning, and told her what had happened since last she saw me. I was all proud of myself for managing it in a tear-free sort of way, though even I thought my voice sounded peculiarly like that of John Major I was repressing any and all emotions so hard. Nice Earrings the acupuncturist leaned over and put her hand gently on my wrist. ‘Naturally, you still feel numb and shell-shocked,’ she said. Hmm. My bluff, called, I think.

Item – She punctured my upper back and shoulders, and then spent a lot of time warming my belly with her moxa stick. My poor belly, that she spent months stabbing and setting fire to in an attempt to warm it up, all cold again. *sigh*. She thinks it’s because I lost so much blood. She also commented that my skin is very dry (yes, I feel lovely and alluring now, shut up thank you), which is apparently also due to the blood-loss (and nothing to do with the rising tide of ice-cream-binge-induced eczema, which I unaccountably neglected to mention to her). More oily fish, more yams and more dried apricots, she suggested. Sounds like the tagine from hell.

Item – Work went quite well, mostly. My boss was sweetness personified, was so sorry it had happened, wanted to be sure I didn’t take on too much, told me to spend today reading my emails and ‘settling in’. Several colleagues wanted to know if I had had swine flu, including some nervous ones who were clearly wondering if I’d contaminated them all. On being reassured I wasn’t infectious, they all politely dropped the subject. Most people said ‘are you better? Good’. A couple said it was nice to have me back. And then I checked my emails and did a little light re-classifying.

Item – Swift punch to the gut number one: A book I was dealing with had a dedication to the author’s son, who had been still-born. I put the book back on the shelf and went off for a cry in the loo.

Item – Swift punch to the gut number two: My colleague J had bought a card, and took it all over the office, showing it to people and asking if it was funny or just too corny, for his friend who had just announced she was pregnant. I said cheerfully (why cheerfully? What the fuck is wrong with me?): ‘I’m not the best person to ask right now,’ and he showed it to S at the next desk instead, and he and S then went on to have an innocent and well-meant chat about this mutual pregnant friend, and whether 35 was too old to be a first time mother (35! For fuck’s sake!), and what the risks of pregnancy were, and if she’d be OK. I got up half-way through a book-list, dumped what I’d done on the trolley, and fled. I ended up crouched on the toilet cubicle floor, wedged between the lavatory bowl and the paper dispenser, thinking ‘this is not a hygenic attitude’, and just waiting for the feeling of galloping rage and panic to die down. Then it was home time, so I nipped back to my desk, grabbed my bag, and vamoosed in perfect silence. Because I know both J and S would be mortified if they had realised how much their words had wounded me. And because they had no reason to know, and no way of knowing, that their words could wound me. My boss has been very reticent. Is it better to be shot down by an enemy deliberately being an unconscionable shit-bag, or by a clueless tactless oaf who should know better, or by a friend in all innocence and ignorance?


15 responses to “One shell too many, one skin too thin

  • MFA Mama

    I vote C: none of the above.

    I’m sorry for the two gut-punches. Inevitable, most likely, since people don’t Know What Happened (hahaha notice there how I implied that if they DID they would have some bloody sensitivity? Cockeyed optimism FTW!) and highly unpleasant I am sure.

    I do hope you’re taking some iron supplements. Eating some raw leafy greens might be a good idea as well (Vitamin K! Bursting with clotty goodness!). I should probably do that myself, as it was a bad weekend for nerve pain and I overdid it on NSAIDs (bad MFA Mama, BAD!). If I pick the hangnail that is simply begging for me to address it I fear I’ll exsanguinate into my laptop’s keyboard. Sigh. It’s a GOOD one, too…maybe if I just carefully…

    If this is the last you hear from me I have died of OCD.

  • Ben Warsop

    By the oaf, if you ask me. There’s no malice and no betrayal in the oafish lack of tact. It’s their shit, not yours and it’s not personal. But I’m over analysing and being super-rational. As per.

    I just wish the universe would let up for you honey.

  • Nina

    I agree with Mama. None of the above. Cry your heart out, sweetheart. You deserve some sort of release after staying pent up all this time. I want so badly to make you feel better, and I can’t. No one can. Just know that you certainly are not alone when it comes to loss, and we really do know how you feel. I’m so sorry honey. Take your time and recover, physically and emotionally. You need it. You’ve just had WWIII happen in your body and mind. {{Hugs, tissues, chocolate, and as much ice cream as you want}}

  • a

    Even as an emotional American, I understand the need for the stiff upper lip – especially at work – but you really ought to unload on the acupuncturist. She’s setting you on fire regularly. I think she could probably handle some emotion.

    But, you have given me yet another reason to avoid alternative medicine. There is no way I could tolerate the diet. Ugh.

    Hope the unintentional gut punches ease up soon. I’d rather be shot by the shit-bag, so I can feel good about holding a grudge. Unfortunately, the oafs and the friends are the ones who seem to fire off the random shots.

  • katie

    I don’t get why people think that conversations about pregnancies and good/bad outcomes and personal issues like WHEN to have a pregnancy are acceptable topics for public behaviour.

  • katie

    gah – public conversation – not behaviour.

  • twangy

    Oh dear. Sending empathy, and lots of it. Shutting yourself in the toilet at work is one of those gold standards of misery (lying on the bathroom tiles groaning being another). I’ve been there, though for relatively trifling reasons.

    I hope today was uneventful and no one felt the need to whip out cards or have chats about appropriate ages to have babies.
    I mean, really, on your first day back!
    Bloomin’ Nora.

  • Womb For Improvement

    For a start who buys a card for someone who has just announced their pregnancy?

    I’m sorry its been tough. Next time a difficult conversation starts begin sneezing and askign yourself outloud if “maybe it was swine flu afterall.” That should clear them.

    • May

      That’s what I thought, but didn’t want to say in case it came across as a bit Bitter And Joyless Infertile Woman. But now you’ve said it, I SHALL say it. Who the hell buys a card for someone who has just announced their pregnancy?

      Actually, no, scratch that. My aunt did, for me, last year. And I felt horrible having to tell her ‘thanks, but, um…’, so, as Xbox says, creepy.

  • Martin

    that card thing, creepy

  • Korechronicles

    Trouble is that there are days that the world seems to be made up entirely of tactless oafs. Or should that be oaves?

    Sorry about the gut punches. I’m sorry I can’t do more than just wave my fist wildly from the sidelines.

  • betty m

    Sorry about the unintentionally clueless colleagues.

  • Jane G

    Sorry you’ve had a tough first day back petal. I remember days in my last job when I spent far more time sobbing in a toilet cubicle than I did at my desk.

    I think the shitbags are the worst. And as WFI said, that card thing is just strange. And 35 too old for a first time mother? Don’t know what they would make of me at the ripe old age of 40…

  • Pamela Tsigdinos

    Is it better to be shot down by an enemy deliberately being an unconscionable shit-bag, or by a clueless tactless oaf who should know better, or by a friend in all innocence and ignorance?

    Sigh. The punch doesn’t discriminate so one could argue that all are guilty in their own special way …

    Sending oxoxox your way.

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