Friday, June 15, 2007

Impulse control

David told me I have poor impulse control.
No, we weren't fighting and no, he wasn't being mean.
We were actually discussing the lingering affects of my crappy childhood.

I told him he should watch it cause my poor impulse control might lead me to punch him in the head.

Then we both laughed heartily.

Of course, after I thought about it a minute I told him that he had no idea what he was talking about. Not that he's wrong, just that he doesn't know the half of it.

My struggles with infertility are a great example. I do get mouthy. Though a good 90% of the time, it's a conscious decision to do so. Now, I do have a very Irish temper, so believe me, there is that 10% of the time that I'm just blurting shit out. But most of the time, I've been thinking about it and decided I'm making a stand.

When it comes to discussion my struggles, I'm quite certain that people think I'm socially retarded and just don't know when to shut the hell up. No. I realize it's not socially acceptable to talk about such personal issues. I just don't care.

That's why when someone asks when we're going to get around to having babies, I answer honestly. "We've been trying for quite some time. I had a miscarriage in January. So, really, anytime now would be great." (Or something like that.) Of course, people usually gape and then mutter something like "oh, umm, well, umm, I didn't know.. .. oh look, I think someone over there needs me....." and they scurry off. I'm perfectly aware that I've made them uncomfortable. I just don't care. And depending on my mood, I'm sometimes even quite pleased with myself. They've asked a too-personal question, so I give them a too-personal answer.

Now, the thing about impulse control is that people (ahem, my husband) might think that's an example of it. It's not. That's a very controlled response. Poor impulse control would be if I started sobbing the moment they ask. That's my gut instinct. Or if I were to start screaming at them about what incredibly insensitive fucking morons they are and they should never, ever say the word baby in my presence again as long as they live. That's an impulse. It is controlled.

However, sometimes it does get out of control. I had - not quite "words" - but an "uncomfortable moment," let's call it, with a coworker this week.

It started out controlled but then I got mad and a little mean and that poor impulse control thing reared its ugly head.

GFHSFM is a woman who sits right next to me at work. We are seperated by a small cubicle wall so she hears everything. She knows my whole story. She's 2 years older than me and has 7 children at home. She's actually usually very sensitive about all of my bullshit and is ordinarily someone I would consider a good-fertile. (As opposed to the smug-fertiles as a good-fertile friend once dubbed them.)

Our conversation went as follows:

GFHSFM (good-fertile having smug-fertile moment): I saw the BEST. MOVIE. EVER. last weekend!

Me: Yeah?

GFHSFM: Yes! "Knocked Up!"

Me: (impulse control kicks in, I stifled the urge to say "Are you fucking dumb?" and "Jesus, must everyone tell me about this fucking movie!?") Oh. Um.. Yeah.. I heard that was pretty good. Just not the sort of thing I'm rushing out to see currently.


Me: (Impulse control still okay, I don't say "I don't have to do shit, and if I ever thought I might see it, you saying I *HAVE* to just killed it.") Yeah.. my whole life is about trying to have a baby. Going to see a movie about a woman who gets pregnant accidently by a one night stand isn't exactly my cup of tea.

GFHSFM: *waves hand dismissively* Oh.. well, after all that, you simply MUST go see it.

Me: (Impulse control caught in the draft of her hand wave, feels face flush and mouth open) Yeah. Baby recently died.. thanks but no..

GFHSFM: What? Did something else happen recently?

Me: (all reason has ceased) Oh, I'm sorry, it was 6 months ago, I guess I SHOULD be over it by now.

GFHSFM: Oh Trish, don't be like that.

Me: (impulse control kicks back in. I don't throw a stapler at her. Instead, I put my head down and go back to my job while taking a few deep breaths.

Now, I know she meant no harm. I think it was the hand wave that sent me over the edge. And there was a split second of thought that was "I'm not backing down. I've essentially told her to drop it. She's got to understand soon that this isn't cool." that if I'd have ignored, we probably would have never gotten to that point.

My comment about the dead baby thing was over the line. I know that. Ten percent took over and I was totally at the "SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU FERTILE BITCH" stage. But seriously, when I start with a polite response indicating that I'm just not in an emotional place to handle this, please just SHUT THE FUCK UP.

So. Yeah. I might have an impulse control problem. Score one for the husband.


Kierstin said...

i am so sorry you had to deal with that. some people just don't get it and even the good-fertile people have their moments. but you did make me laugh out loud. i have that impluse control problem too! Sometimes that little filter from my brain to my mouth just stops working. It usually shuts the person up though! :)

Laura, the (reluctant) baroness said...

She waved her hand at you?? Them's fightin' words! Lately, (as in the last month) I've been doing the same thing you have. If someone mentions having kids, I let them know where I stand. If they tell me to see that movie, I tell them what an awful idea that is. But they usually get the jist. So I will not judge you for having a control problem! I used to not talk about it, and that to me was a real control problem. Too much self-restraint made me miserable.

Thanks for your notes at my blog. I'll keep checking in on you!

Marz said...

I have become to know that people who have never dealt with infertility will NEVER EVER understand what we went/are going through. It's not their fault they're ignorant because they're fertile, lol.
I love your responses, those are the responses I always wanted to give when we were ttc but was always too chicken.
Good for you!

Nichole said...

Wow. I must have impulse control issues too! I had a very similar conversation with my mother in law yesterday. To which I responded to her in a way I never have before. I actually suprised myself!
Way to go for you! You should stand up for yourself!
Tell your hubby it is just "Self-preservation"

Amy said...

oohhh that story made me PISSED!! and reminded me of another time ...
but seriously, i'm sorry she had such a smug-fertile moment. i won't smack her TOO hard; just enough so she'll never have such a moment again.

Anne said...

She got a no thank you and a warning, so the rest was, I agree, self preservation. I nicely told everyone that it looked like a great movie but I wasn't at the place in my life when I could watch it (I had a miscarriage in February). I have never hesitated to say dead baby and I refuse to back down when someone suggests that I should be over it. If there is nothing else I've learned from this experience and these blogs, it's that we all do what we have to do. So be it.