Monday, May 17, 2010

Oh, the Humility

Dear beautiful and powerful River,

Obviously, you sensed I was not treating you with the respect and admiration you deserve. I should have taken my slip on the rocks while getting into my kayak, the slip that bruised my arm and waterlogged and ruined my Dr*id as your way of saying, "ahem...."

But I didn't.

I should have realized that putting in farther upstream than usual in territory that includes rapids and rocks should have equaled 100% attention. Not, I'll pay attention once I get myself settled in the boat and latch my bag to the lifejacket I never use but carry with me because its the law.

So I suppose it is only fair that you flipped me in the narrows and left me to drift downstream in the swift and cold (and rocky, ouch!) water for a good 20 minutes before allowing M. and two lovely dudes in a canoe to help me get my shit together and back in the boat.

M. told me later they actually came in from the other shore when they saw we needed some help.

Oh the humility! Sure I'm bruised. But my pride. Sweet jesus, it is battered.

So much for our gorgeous day on the river on Saturday. By the time I was right-sided and secured, M. was exhausted and I couldn't stop shaking enough to figure out how I was going to managed my waterlogged self. So we docked at the next opportunity to assess the damage and go in search of a cell phone to call for a ride.

1 hat, 1 smart phone, 2 sets of binoculars - none of which were in my waterproof bag. Why, you ask? Because had we put in where I normally do when I go out alone, the binoculars would be around my neck, the phone would be within easy reach for pictures. But no.

On Saturday I was so brazen, so cavalier, that M. suggested, and I willingly agreed, that trying out the narrows was a good idea. Never mind the water was running fast from rain the day before and 15 mph winds was urging it faster. Not only did it sound like a good idea, it sounded like an awesome idea.

Sigh. Hubris is a bitch.

I am continually shocked and surprised when I find I am not even a fraction of how athletic I envision myself in my mind. Dammit.

So, M's mom came and rescued us, I showered, called my doc to make sure mouthfuls of river water wasn't gonna kill me, and tried to live with my chagrin.


Sunday was another glorious day weather-wise. So after a morning on the balcony, I suggested we try an adventure on land this time. We headed towards a "birder's paradise" just an hour down the road for a few hours' hike. What better way to redeem the weekend and reconnect with that guy who saved my ass the day before?

At the trailhead was when we realized that just letting the binoculars dry out overnight did not guarantee they were going to function. At all. Ever.

So, through the woods we went. M. silently fuming ahead of me. Me getting more and more flustered as we heard birds all around us and just had to guess what we were missing. Of course, the previous day's incidents were playing over and over and over again in my little head (Could I have paddled out of my predicament had I been stronger? Did I really think aiming for that 3 foot drop was a good idea? What was I thinking...) M. was probably kicking himself for suggesting the diversion in the first place, for not checking the binoculars before we got in the car, oh the points of blame and self-blame are endless, aren't they?

But we made it out of the woods and somehow managed to salvage the drive home. We were actually in good moods for a few hours Sunday evening.

And that lasted up until I learned from a friend that the pregnant friend I hoped would understand my absence from her life right now does not. And does anything hurt worse than hearing you have hurt another person? But, I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do about that right now. Despite outward appearances, I'm not in a place where I can watch a mirror image of where I would be if my one and long-awaited chance to try again had worked. I cannot muster the strength to fake my way around the pain. And if someone wants to surround themselves with happy and good, I am not the support she wants right now, I promise. There is no room for someone voicing dead baby realities, doubts and fears. I feel my distance is best for her, and for me. At least right now. But the fact that I was questioned about my motives and actions did feel like an affront of sorts (I know you didn't mean it that way, m), at a time when I had little strength to defend myself.

I am wore the fuck out. And now it's Monday. And the week begins.

So then, what have I learned from this weekend? Let's recap:
  • the narrows are no joke. If we want to attempt them again, we need to put in even farther upstream to give ourselves the time we need to find the right lines through the rapids and get ourselves there.
  • waterproof bags are very handy - but only when valuables are inside them
  • I have no upper body strength - daily push-ups are now in the regime. I could muster 5 this morning.
  • I have no core strength - add sit ups and crunches to that.
  • I should probably take a water-safety course as penance, or at least wear my lifejacket on longer floats.
  • Dr*ids are not for kayaking
  • I can hope for understanding as we continue to grieve, but I cannot count on it.


Silver said...

That sounds like a fun ride you had! Scary stuff! As for the friend - I wonder about the fact that the information came second hand. It's easy for things to take a twist when they don't get to you direct. Plus, even if she is hurt, from the way you describe her support of you, I bet she still understands. Most of us in IF and pregnancy loss have had it the other way round, when someone says something or behaves a certain way about their pregnancy or children and it cuts us, but at the same time we know that it's normal that they should speak/act that way. Can you write or email and explain how you're feeling?

Anonymous said...

This weekend, I was asking my swami (like a yoga monk) something about the difference between denial and detachment. And she looked me straight in the eye, and said - the first thing you need to learn, is the difference between your problems and other people's problems. What she did there was answer the real question at hand. And somehow it seems relevant here too. Sometimes other people's sensitivity to what you are going through, is not your problem.

dana said...

OUCH! Even though it didn't go as planned, sounds like you had an adventurous weekend! I've always wanted to go kayaking but am terrified of getting flipped over and not being able to right myself (even though I'm told that I would be able to)...keep at it, sister! :)

as for the friend, THIS (from theluckylife): "Sometimes other people's sensitivity to what you are going through, is not your problem."

I actually have a tee that reads "not my problem" on order right the suggestion of a co-worker who says its my mantra these days. OWN IT.


Smiling said...

So glad you are safe! Sounds like an adventure, and I really understand how humbling it can be when you realize your upper body isn't what you hoped.

I hope you and your friend's path cross in a good way in the future. Take care of yourself now. This isn't the path you dreamed... and even if she dreamed of sharing her experience with you in a different way, that is the reality of grief, it ripples out to people who aren't in the immediate circle and changes their dreams and expectations too. Just is. And when you are lucky, love and support can ripple toward those who hurt from those who have it to give.

Glad you are safe. sending love from Italy.

Anonymous said...

You know, up until I read this post I thought that there might be some point in my future when I might potentially willingly lower myself into a kayak, but that time has surely passed.

I am sorry about the bruises and damage of various sorts. I hope that the friend stuff is a temporary distance (if you want it to be).

I stumbled upon this and thought it might be useful to you:


Two Shorten the Road said...

I am pissed at your pregnant friend for being so effing self-absorbed. I'm sorry that she didn't rise to the occasion and understand that she couldn't possibly understand what you've been through and are going through. I hope you are able to avoid spending too much emotion being sad about it, because it's out of your hands. I also hope that your friend gets a clue. xoxo

Kami said...

sigh. When will people understand infertility and baby loss? I had two 'friends' from an IRL support group when the leader of the two decided it was best not to talk to me anymore. We were all pregnant with our firsts at the time. They did not experience loss and didn't appreciate my fear of my baby dying or not wanting to be around other people's babies. "Every birth is a miracle" was in an email when I finally asked why I was getting the cold shoulder.

Apparently dead babies are miracles too, just bad miracles.

Glad you got out and paddled, if only for a little bit, and hiked while listening to the birds.

stacyb said...

A little late on this but wanted to say i TOTALLY get it about not being able to be around someone who would be the mirror of where you'd be if's a fact that sometimes even when you tell people how you feel, or write it down in the perfect note, they still don't get it because, i think, they just aren't able.

Lani said...

glad you survived that spill. the blow to the ego is worse then the bruises i can imagine.

as for the pregnant not understanding friend, i have that in a sister in law who had her baby on my bday (a month ago) and who i am supposed to meet this sat the day after we find out if our IVF worked. so yeah, i get it. i couldn't talk to her for most of the pregnancy, definitely didn't see her. she kind of took it personal and wasn't pleased but tried to be understanding. we are in an ok place now, but once the baby (named after silas i may add) was born, i told her i need to take a break from her yet again.

so complicated. but we need to protect ourselves, remember that- its about you, people will always have their happiness, but our sadness is not ok. if she is a true friend, hopefully she'll come around.

been thinking of you lately xo