This morning I had unexpected news about B, who will not be back this fall. She is on medical leave, due to premature contractions (week 23) and is now on bedrest for at least a month. She is also now planning to take parental leave in the Spring, so I probably won’t be seeing her for perhaps a year…
Good God, I felt sooooooo guilty when I received this news. I quickly sent her an encouraging little e-mail wishing her well.
It’s something I’ve been working on: wishing well.
A little bit over a year ago, I was walking home the day before my HSG feeling enormously distraught. The full import of what I was getting into, what I was up against, had just swept over me and the intensity of the emotion took me completely by surprise. The fact that I had to go to the hospital to have metal implements pierce my most private places shook me so that all I could do was cry. At that point, I suddenly felt that I understood, deeply and intimately, the human emotion underlying belief in the evil eye. My despair over my own condition was so acute, so powerful, I truly felt that I could damage or harm someone if I only looked at them. And the conduit for this destructive power could only be envy.
I’m not sure I believe in the evil eye, but I do believe that what I put out into the universe will come back to me: love, hate, anger, generosity. If I want people to rejoice in my good fortune and mourn with me in sorrow, that’s what I need to offer them.
After the HSG, I immediately went back into therapy. One of the things my therapist told me was, “you will hate pregnant women and you will want to steal other people’s babies.” In saying this, she normalized those socially unacceptable feelings and made it safe to feel whatever I was feeling. But I feel like I need to find the safe space to keep and corral those feelings, not in the sense of repressing them totally, but to keep them from provoking harm to others.
In wishing others well, I cast a penny into my own wishing well. You all know what I am wishing for right now.