Archive for November, 2020

The Incomplete Woman

She was lying in the labor room of a government hospital as she saw a drug called methotrexate slowly drip into her body to kill off her unborn baby before it could rupture her tube, killing her. All around her doctors were examining women about to go into the delivery room, in different stages of labor. They were yelling at them to relax as they checked their vaginas to see how far their labor had progressed. She was all alone in the hospital and her worried husband was trying to sleep in the car. This is the point in time when the doctor decided to give her a lecture on respecting her spouse and referring to him as ‘so rahe hain’ instead of ‘so raha hai’. Her husband preferred her referring to him informally instead of using words like ‘aap’ or ‘woh’ as is considered more culturally appropriate.

She was in one of the rooms that are assigned to new moms once they give birth. She had just had surgery to remove a ruptured egg from one of her tubes. The nurse came to check on her in the morning and congratulated her and her husband on the arrival of their new baby. She turned to the would-be father and said. “Ye bachay ke mamoo hain?” She was trying to identify who to ask for money on the new baby’s arrival.

She was sitting at a dinner party where all the other women present were mothers. She was outnumbered at least 4 to 1 and had no choice but to sit and listen as the women around her talked about their children and their varying stages of development. They discussed the pros and cons of different types of feeding, their sleep habits and everything else under the sun. Normally she would have joined in and shared her experience of her siblings’ kids and her friends’ kids but not today. She just didn’t have the energy and she was feeling too triggered so she went and started playing with the children they were talking about instead.

She was in the baby section of a store looking at all the cute little things she might never get a chance to buy for her own little one. Her colleague looked at her worriedly as she asked for her opinion on something that she was thinking of buying for their co-worker’s baby shower. She felt tears forming in her eyes as she looked at all the baby related things around her. She wondered if she would ever look at baby related paraphernalia without her heart feeling like it had turned to ice and broken into a million pieces.

She had just returned from a visit to the doctor and he told her to get an ultrasound to see if the baby had a heartbeat and to come back to him immediately if it didn’t. She went back home, sat on the prayer mat and cried, beseeching Him not to take her baby away again. She couldn’t be pregnant a third time just to lose another precious unborn child. The next day she went into a full day managers’ meeting, the whole time worrying about how she would hold it together and not start crying until the ultrasound appointment.  

She was or rather is me. Her experiences are nothing compared to the kind of horrors and turmoil almost all women who are not able to conceive face. These incidents may seem small and insignificant in the bigger scheme of things, but they are were hurtful and triggering. I remember that time, when I felt inadequate and incomplete. When I felt that my happiness or rather my very existence in this world was worthless,, perhaps meaningless without a child.

Whenever I find myself thinking about these incidents, especially the first one, I relive the trauma of it all over again. I feel the same pain and sense of loss that I felt on that day, which is why I will say that she is still inside me somewhere. That scared, traumatized young girl still sits somewhere inside me, making me feel inadequate as a mother and as a woman.

Quotes - As the heart heals
Photo Credits: #astheheartheals

The Power of Words

We all use them
In speech or in writing
Sometimes we seem to forget their power
We fail to see them igniting and inciting

They can be healing
They can also be hurtful
We need to decide how to use them
To lift others up but never to make them miserable

Once spoken can never be taken back
The gash we cause can become a scar
These scars aren’t just skin deep
They burn the heart and make the soul char

They don’t have to be abusive
Sometimes good words can be used badly
They right compliment at the wrong time
The correction of a mistake publicly

The weapon we use the most
To cause the deepest wound
The ones we could use to heal
But instead we use to bully around

Someone used them to humiliate me
To break me down and debase me
I decided to use better words to rebuild myself
To tell myself that person doesn’t even know me

Please I beg you; I implore you
Use them carefully and cautiously
Think before you choose and use them repeatedly
You never know how they affect someone’s integrity

Lyrics from a Cher Song:
Day 16


Watch Your Words

This piece is based on the real life experience of someone very close to me and has been shared with her approval.

It had taken a lot of strength and courage on my part to attend my friends baby shower. I had pushed myself mentally, physically and emotionally to be there for her. I was struggling after another miscarriage and I had battled my depression by taking extra good care of myself.

I had hoped that looking good on the outside would help me feel less broken on the inside. I had worn a black dress with a red belt, red shoes and red lipstick and I knew I looked good. Good enough to make people turn their heads and look at me when I entered the event.

I was sitting with my daughter trying to appear calm and put together when I noticed two women looking at me and whispering to each other. I just smiled at them and continued to mind my own business. One of them decided to engage with me then and the words she said albeit unintentionally triggered my anxiety in the worst possible way.

“We were just admiring your figure. Is that the reason why you have decided not to have more children? To maintain your perfect figure?” One of them asked me with a smile, acting like she had just paid me the highest possible compliment.

I felt cold fingers grasp my heart and squeeze it hard and I felt a lump form in my throat but I managed to take a deep breath and appear outwardly calm. The hostess was well aware of the ordeal I had been through and she looked at me with concern in her eyes.

“I recently had a miscarriage, again.” That was all I could say to them before I got up and went into the bathroom to take some deep breaths and calm myself. I did not want to cry and create a scene but I was hurting and I wondered why people can’t be more selective and sensitive with their words.

If an aunty had done something like this, I might have been able to excuse their behavior thinking they are old and set in their ways but young girls these days are much meaner and more brutal. I found myself wondering when people would learn to choose their words more carefully.

Will there ever be a day when people will learn not to comment on things that don’t concern them at all? Someone’s weight, height, skin color, skin problems, marital status, employment status, pregnancy status, etc. are not matters that should concern other people. When will we learn that discussions can be non-personal and still engaging and that it is not okay to meddle in another person’s business?

You don’t know whose feelings you are hurting with your carelessly dropped words and whose anxiety you are triggering with your lack of self-control. Watch your words and show some sensitivity because what goes around comes around and no one likes it when it does.