Monday, January 31, 2011

I unleashed the beast within

This morning I had an appointment with the DTD (aka the down-there-doctor - thank you TAMN for this acronym).  I have been prolonging this visit for numerous reasons, but suffice it to say, I could prolong the check-up no longer and went about finding a new DTD.  Sorry if I am already oversharing, but there is a serious story coming out of this.

Now, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but basically, the DTD was asking me all sorts of really personal questions, which was fine and totally expected.  And we got to talking about our professions and our lives and I started talking to her about adoption (because what else am I going to talk about in an office that is plastered with posters displaying the female reproductive system and fetuses).  And the DTD kind of got really quiet listening to me talk about how Paul and I are hoping to adopt a baby and then out of nowhere - seriously, nowhere - I realized that I had somehow started raging about abortion.  Like, really raging - raised voice that was trembling just a little with a passionate fury that I didn't realize I possessed.  I must have been bottling this up deep because I was suddenly very upset and telling her how it makes me so angry and how abortion is murder and on and on and on.  And then I was talking Roe v. Wade and the legal repercussions of pro-choice decisions, etc.  And the thing is, the entire time I was saying all these words, I KNEW that she was totally pro-choice.  I don't know how to explain that knowledge but I could just tell.  And it is not a very illogical guess in the super-liberal area that we live in. 

In the middle of my outburst, I tried to moderate the rage and calm myself down, but it was really, really tough and I'm pretty sure that my attempts at self-soothing resulted in an epic fail.  The DTD was very nice though and she didn't argue back with me - she just finished the examination and quietly left the room.  And I have been thinking all day about what happened.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I wasn't screaming at her or crying or anything, but I turned that examination table into a serious soapbox. 

And I don't mean to be that crazy person screaming about how abortion is a terrible, terrible, irreversible mistake.  But there I was in an office full of women who can do what I can't - get pregnant - and I just lost it.  I seriously lost it and I took it all out on a very nice DTD who didn't realize that she would have to deal with an infertile lunatic at 8 in the morning. 

What has been plaguing me the rest of the day though is the question of whether I should be ashamed of my behavior or proud of myself.  Ashamed for the tirade and the possibly desparaging remarks against the DTD's abortion-performing peers.  Or proud for finally sharing what I really felt - right or wrong - with someone whose perspective on the issue is completely different from my own and who could potentially influence others choosing between abortion and life. 

I still don't know what to think of myself.


  1. I think you are great. I think when you feel strong feelings about serious stuff, it's just a matter of time before it comes out. And if it makes you feel more normal, I've totally lost it at my DTD's office before too :) Maybe they expect it...

  2. You go girl. I think it's great that you stood up for yourself and what you believe in, especially in an environment that is so threatning. Hopefully you at least gave her another perspective.

  3. I think sometimes people are too careful about being politically correct so as not to offend someone who might have different views. There should be no shame in expressing your honest opinion on a moral issue. Good for you! And who knows, maybe she'll just stop and think twice about her own opinion.

  4. Go Amy go. There is no shame in stating your view point. You have a view point that many, including the DTD, have never heard. I hope it put in her mind a new perspective on this very important moral issue. It was kind of her to hear you out and not argue back. Maybe you made more of an impression on her than you realize...

    (Oh btw, thanks for your comment on my comment...I tried emailing you but you have a no-reply address..)

  5. I did sort of the same thing in Fourteenth Amendment (were you in that class?). I regret it now, because my rage wasn't conductive to understanding others' points of view. I was just interested in expressing my side. I'm not saying you did the wrong thing, because I doubt your doctor would have thought it was an appropriate setting to explain why she was pro-choice no matter what tone you used. And I think it was great that she got your perspective. But I think I really understand the pro-choice position now that I've calmed down about the whole thing, and I'm grateful for that.

  6. Oh dear. That is quite the conundrum. I think that regardless of anything, beating yourself up over something that happened this morning isn't going to do any good. It's good to learn from situations (whether or not you ultimately lean toward ashamed or proud, you've learned something), but don't worry too much about it.

  7. I recently told a friend of mine that I can't believe anyone would have an abortion. She said, "My older sister had an abortion. She wasn't in a position in her life where she could've handled a baby." At first, I was embarrassed by what I had said--but then I wasn't. I said, "Well, I get that...but that's when you place the baby for adoption." My friend knows that I can't have babies, and so I think she understood and wasn't offended. I think it actually gave her a new perspective to think about. So what I am saying is, based on the source, I doubt the doc was offended and probably was actually touched. Hearing a woman who is desperate for a child talk about abortion is probably eye-opening in a good way.

  8. I think that although it is good that you got in touch with your feelings and I think most likely there is more to this than even you got into here- that you might benefit from talking to someone about this- that there are women out there whom choose to end their pregnancies when you so much want to adopt their child, and your frustration and upset over that- I think what you experienced was a whole LOT of supressed rage, upset and hurt. The fact you got in touch with that and expressed it, is good because ultimately it will help you be in a better place for yourself.

    The thing to be careful about is the venue you choose to let yourself go in. I respect the OBGYN enormously for keeping her mouth closed- especially knowing you live in the Bay (I'm in Sac, I KNOW how they are, LOL) and respecting you for your feelings, but sometimes you have to try to remember to bite your tongue too. You don't know the experiences and background of the person you are talking to. Just like I'm sure it would be really upsetting if the doctor had randomly started going off about how people who are pro-life are.... close minded or... I don't know. [Insert something really offensive here.] It would be really upsetting to you because of your personal situation. Now, let's say.. maybe the doctor was raped by her father when she was 13 when she was pregnant and had an abortion, and she had to listen to you rant.

    Remember when you don't know someone, you don't know where they are coming from, and you can really hurt someone, even if you are just speaking up for your beliefs. I think in the end that you're 1.) not convincing anyone of anything, because everyone feels really strongly about what they believe in and 2.) that's it's more important to share your feelings with an audience you know (people who are like-minded) or who is prepared for a debate, so that a discussion and thoughtfulness is the end result, rather than ruffled feathers, hurt feelings, or maybe even bad flashbacks.

    I was attacked as a pre-teen and a friend once went on and on about how sad it is that a friend of hers had been charged with rape because it ruined his life. She was convinced that he hadn't done it because the victim dressed provocatively and had a reputation for dating around. For me, her statements made me totally hysterical and hurt me deeply because of my own experiences. I took it personally.

    lol I gotta climb off my own soapbox now. I hope I didn't go too far in my blubbering.

    ALSO: Remember a doctor cannot influence a patient's descion on abortion. It's something the woman chooses and schedules prior to coming in. A doctor is not a counselor and can't put their two cents in about it, it's not ethical. They could get reported for that. Also, I'm not sure if it's state law but pretty much all health providers require a mandatory counseling/screening session prior to having one... But even then, it's not the therapist's job to influence the patient's descion, it's their job to make sure the patient is informed and sure so they can sign off on it. (Or not.) The only real way to influence people's opinions is to raise them yourself...

    Okay, NOW I'm getting off the box. Sorry for the hijack. I hope I got the point across without being too much? It's not that I don't agree with you. It's NOT. I do. I just believe in being careful with your audience and being careful not to hurt anybody who could be hurting... Blah, blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, right? lol

    (FOund you through the Meanest Mom) :)

    Good Luck with the baby!!! I'll be praying for your family!

  9. "The only real way to influcen people's onions is to raise them yourself..."

    By that I mean, by raising the person, by being the parent and raising them with the same values you do. lol Wasn't sure that was clear.

  10. Thanks guys for your thoughtful and insightful comments and for making me feel like I was not a total idiot for what I did, even though I felt like one. Em - I totally agree that I was not on my best behavior and I also agree that it was very big of the DTD not to argue back with me. It was probably that very friendly politeness that made me feel safe to open up about these things to her. I appreciate your perspective too and the things it gives me to think about.

  11. I agree with everything your friend Rachel already said. I doubt your doctor was offended and I'm sure your perspective was eye-opening for her.

    I think about this sort of thing a lot living in California. Where's the balance between being tolerant of the status-quo opinions here versus my own beliefs and expressing them without offense but still being brave enough to stand up for my beliefs? I don't know if that makes any sense.

    Living here has made us more aware that our beliefs are the minority. We don't want to offend others as we talk about important issues but we also don't want to slink away from them.

  12. Thanks Amy, I was worried I might hurt you by what I said! I have to watch my own mouth too! lol

    Thumbs up to Marnie too!


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