Where’d She Go?

I wrote a letter to Mr. H.

I was really starting to freak out, and I didn’t have my normal support system around me.  If I were back at home, I would have gone to Mr. H and asked him for advice during his free period or my lunch hour.  He would have spent an hour giving me the advice, showing me where I was crazy and wrong, and I would have regained my senses and moved on.

Or I would have written a detailed, soul baring query in my journal to Mr. Vance, detailing my fears and worries, and the mere act itself would have likely put some order to the thoughts pinging around in my head like balls in a pinball machine.  And Mr. Vance would have written back a perfect, red inked answer about how I needed to look inside and find a calm place, to breathe deep and let the answers show themselves to me.

I would have talked more to my mother, and B about their own experiences, and invited Joe into those conversations, so he could have seen more clearly why I felt so firmly about having this baby, and why I felt the need for such reassurance that he would be there for us.  I would have known then that early pregnancy is riddled with hormones and he would have known to let a lot of my crazy slide off his back.

More than anything, though, my normal support system for the last eight months had been Joe.  And our conversations were anything but supportive and healing these days.  I felt alone and scared, because his actions and reactions were as filled with fear as my own.  I analyzed everything about him, down to whether or not he shaved that day or not, as evidence that he was about to leave me and this child alone.

So, I wrote a two page (front and back) letter asking Mr. H for any advice he could give me.  I dropped the bombshell to the first person outside of doctors or family.  I let my shame be on the paper for him to see in the hopes that the reassurance he’d give me would be worth the exchange.

A month later (again, long before email), a thick envelope came in response from him.  It was an epic response, full of kind words that I wish I could remember because I didn’t save it (well I did, actually, for a long time, but at some point in the last twenty years I decided that I didn’t need to hang onto those words any longer and I got rid of it).   He advised me to not make any rash decisions, to still leave all of my options open, and to not rush into anything with Joe because I was so young. He offered to meet with me when I came home for break, which would be in about a month.

I didn’t know if I could make it another month.  I was tired, nauseous, scared and not knowing any more if I was doing the right thing.  I missed my Joe, the man who loved me and made me smile and laugh.  I missed feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.   And that’s it, right there:  I missed knowing who I was.  I missed being me.


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