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My inner bitch is a She-Hulk

February 17, 2016

A dear family member had a baby on Valentine’s day. All went mostly well, but the baby had to spend some time in the NICU. They are hopeful she can come home today, which is very good news.

So, this morning, on Fac.ebook (of course on Fac.ebook; it’s the epicenter of the online emotional ambush), I found some adorable photos of my new cousin, along with the information that she’s a fighter.

Do you know what’s coming?

It’s an odd trigger, and not one I would have predicted, but I am clearly triggered. My inner bitch won’t shut up. I clicked on “like” and promised myself not to type anything.

If I had typed something it probably would have been one of the following options:

So glad your baby is a fighter and not one of the inferior, non-fighter kind of babies that give up and die.

I guess my baby lacked your baby’s fighting spirit. That, and developed lungs.

Babies don’t live or die based on personality traits, but I’m glad yours is a fighter. I hope she fights you into the ground when she’s a teenager.

Fuck you.

I’d like to think that maybe grief has brought the compassionate parts of my nature to the foreground, but that’s not really a silver lining I can claim. Grief seems to just be the gamma rays that have added bulk and fury to my inner bitch. I wonder if I used to be a nicer person, or if I was always this critical and furious but was just to cowed to let it out. I wonder if I should want, more than I do, to be nice again. It’s been over seven years, and I’m still a bitch. On the inside, where no one can see it, but where its most important.

I wonder what nice means.

Maybe I don’t want to be nice. I spent a lot of time trying to be nice and it’s rather comforting to just let myself be furious and mean for a while.

I know the new mom didn’t mean anything awful when she typed those words, that she’s just infatuated with her beautiful baby girl and is pleased with her progress, and that she’s had a very real scare. It would be kind of crazy to expect her to be thinking of me or of any parent of a baby who has died in this moment. I know this. But I kind of want to say all of those snarky, awful things to her anyway. It’s partly rage and partly jealousy, and partly frustration, and I’ll try to recognize it for what it is and move on. I’m not that close to this part of the family anyway, but I like them and wish them well.

I won’t even say this, not to her, but I need to write it out, here, where I’m relatively anonymous:

All babies are fighters. Some have harder fights than others. I’m glad yours is okay. I wish mine were here.

 

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One comment

  1. I have missed your blog posts.

    That line “she’s a fighter” is one of those phrases that people toss off as though it’s totally innocuous, but the implications are understandably hurtful. And also ridiculous. The babies who live aren’t better fighters. They aren’t smarter or cuter or more talented or more determined. They are just really fucking lucky. There’s no sense, no order in those outcomes. It’s random and unfair and arbitrary.

    It kind of reminds me of this girl I’m barely acquainted with who was in Paris the weekend before the terrorist attacks and she posted that “God was watching over [her]” because she left Paris before it happened. As though God orchestrated her exit, but left those other people in harm’s way. I thought it was one of the shittiest and most insensitive comments I could imagine, but no one else seemed to blink an eye.



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