Apathetic (adjective): Showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm or concern
I care about so little at the moment, so little about the things that used to fill my days – social occasions, trips away, family drama, birthday presents, politics – even my job. Most surprisingly, I don’t read much anymore. I used to read for around two hours a day (50-70 books a year), I only read on Saturdays now. It’s so unlike me, to be so, apathetic.
The spelling of that word has just amused me. Split it out, what do you get?
I’m sure that’s not at all where the word stems from – but it’s rather apt: I’m a pathetic person at the moment. Rather unenviable and definitely a poorer version of my former self. At least I said ‘at the moment’ – how’s that for being kind to myself? Progress!
This has intrigued me, let’s explore this. There are two definitions for the word pathetic:
- Adjective: Arousing pity, especially through vulnerability or sadness
- Informal: Miserably inadequate
Did you read that and think of me? I did. No one would want to be in my shoes right now, so that ticks the pitiful box. People have said that this blog is honest, which lends itself to vulnerability. I’m clearly sad (if not outright woe-is-me) and here’s my favourite bit: miserably inadequate. That sums up my experience of motherhood wonderfully, doesn’t it? I’ve been miserably inadequate at doing the most natural thing in the world. The thing that comes so easily to so many. The number of times I’ve heard the “we fell pregnant straight away!” boast. I’d like to label the boasters pathetic, but look at the definitions, they qualify for neither. Just me then.
I feel a pathetic person, like I’m begging people to listen, to remember and include her. It helps so much to know that people are reading, listening, understanding, commenting here, but that doesn’t come without effort. Surely worthwhile things would speak for themselves? I’ve known for some time that I’m no one’s priority, so I should just get over it already. Instead, I’m grovelling to get on the radar. Who would do that? A pathetic person, that’s who.
I’ve not socialised much, but when I have, there’s just this grey film over everything, a layer of only half caring about anything that I’m doing or what’s being said: apathetic. The only thing I really care about at the moment, is the baby loss community and writing. I don’t have babies, I have blogs: pathetic. It makes me feel like such a millennial “Hi, I’m Anjulie, I’m a blogger!” URGH. BoCcy, My Baby and Summer, these are not the bedtime stories I wanted for you.
James and I watched a programme called Trying recently – I’d recommend it. It’s very sensitive to the subject of infertility. It’s about a couple going through the adoption process and it’s funny. In one episode a character says something along the lines of “wouldn’t it be nice if a woman could have a baby without starting a blog about it?” It made me cringe, with my little blog called Mumoirs. At least I’m not writing about almond milk lattes and edible flowers, I guess (although I do like both, and look forward to the day when my social media content is all about the best thing I ate that day, rather than my darkest, most meanest thoughts). Before one of the episodes of Trying started, Jimmy Kimmel or Jimmy Farron or Fallon (is that a person? I dunno. I get my American Jimmies confused) came on simply to say “children are the meaning of life” (he was fundraising for one thing or other) but it just made me think: great (!) Thanks Jimmy person, for the reminder. My turd of a life, without meaning. Say it with me: Pathetic!
Depressing as all this is, you can relax. I don’t actually think I’m a pathetic person, though repeated miscarriage may be doing its best to convince me otherwise. Thankfully I have a new community of lovely loss mums and my old community of lifelong friends, to remind me otherwise.
I simply read the above definitions like anyone would read a horoscope; with a lens to making it all fit. At work, my colleagues would call it data mining. Interesting bunch that they are (you can make up your own mind whether that was sarcastic or not).
Do I think I’m apathetic? Yes
Do I think I’m a pathetic? No
I just think I’m grieving. Yes it’s unenviable, but I’m not pathetic in the general way that people use the word. In fact, I hope it’s making me a better person in some ways and gearing me up to be a better parent, if or when the time comes. So I’m going to redefine the word and make it my own. Yes miscarriage has made me a pathetic person, but it means something different now:
Change of meaning: Approved!