Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On What Happens When You Marry Your Shrink – Part 12

Hindsight is a bitch.  As I tell this story, and as it unfolds, I am increasingly baffled by my ignorant and foolish young self.  But then again, there must have been a tiny seed buried deep within me, the seed that became my beautiful and amazing daughter, and subconsciously, maybe I knew I had to feed and nurture this seed, no matter what went on in my conscious and crazy world.

Still stinging from Andrew’s “you may be infertile” assault, I became obsessed with getting pregnant.  Everything else took a back seat.  I started douching with apple cider vinegar, because I was told that it would prep my uterus for a girl.  (Baking soda was recommended if you wanted a boy.)  I spent days researching in book stores and at the library, and I spent nights having my way with Andrew.  Poor guy.  He grew increasingly exhausted.  When my thermometer told me my eggs were dropping, these were the days when Andrew didn’t even make it in to work.  His answering service had to reschedule a lot of sessions, which resulted in the loss of a few mentally ill and bereft patients.  I have to smile when I think back on this time between Andrew and me.  I think of intimacy, and I think of laughter. 

A couple more long months passed with no result, and not only was Andrew growing more impatient with me, I was starting to believe I really was barren.  After all, I’d played Russian roulette in high school and beyond, until birth control pills finally came to be.  How odd it was that I hadn’t gotten pregnant back then!

One evening in an overt display of sheer determination, I took off all my clothes and waited for Andrew to come home from work.  Before he could even use his key, I threw open the front door, pulled him by the arm into the living room, pushed him to the floor, took off his pants and fucked his brains out right then and there, after which I immediately stood on my head against the dining room wall for as long as I could.  Gravity, by damn, was going to be my new best friend.   

The year was 1975, the very first year home pregnancy tests went on the market.  People were a little skeptical, I among them.  I used one, crude as it seemed, and didn’t really trust the murky outcome.  At one week late, I told Andrew I was going to the walk-in clinic for confirmation.  He said I should wait.  It was too early.  Feeling a little deflated, I waited another week.  Still no period.  I told Andrew again I was going to get tested.  “Don’t count on it,” he said.  “Don’t get excited,” he warned. 

That afternoon I went to the clinic in heart-banging anticipation, and Bingo!  Lo and behold, I was finally with child!  To say I was exhilarated would be an understatement.  I wanted to tell Andrew immediately, so I stopped at a phone booth to call him.  I couldn’t wait to hear his joy!  His relief!  His happiness!  His love!

The answering service picked up.  “He’s in session, ma’am,” said the operator. 

“Well could you please interrupt for me?  This is Jill.  I found out something incredibly wonderful and important.  Please tell him that?”

“Hold on a minute, ma’am,” said the operator.

After a few seconds I was told he’d have to call me back.  So I gave her the phone booth phone number and for what turned out to be the next twenty minutes I guarded that booth with my life, refusing to allow three different people to use it.  A line started to form, and I started to sweat.

At long last the phone rang.  I grabbed the receiver and said breathlessly, “Positive! The test was positive!  We’re having a baby, finally, Andrew!  We did it!”  Well, apparently I said this fairly loudly, because even with the air-tight booth door closed all the way, the crowd gathering to use the phone suddenly broke into applause.

But from Andrew there was only silence.

“Andrew?”

More silence.

“Did you hear what I said, Andrew?”

“I heard you,” he said flatly.

I think I was in shock.  No, disbelief, actually.  This was certainly not the reaction I expected.

Then he said, “I want you to tell no one, Jill.  Do you understand?  Tell absolutely no one.  I have dinner plans with a colleague from the men’s group tonight, so I’ll be home after that.  I have another patient waiting right now, so we’ll talk about this later.”

I think I managed to stammer something like, “Okay.”

Then he hung up.

Ever so subtly, so stealthily…and now so suddenly…things began to feel terribly, terribly wrong.

Andrew didn’t come home that night until 11:30.

“You did what?” he said evenly, his face kind of twisted into a fuming frown.

“I called my mom and dad in Florida, Andrew.  I had to tell them!  I wanted to hear their excitement.  I just couldn’t wait!”

“Son…of…a…bitch,” he said.  “I can’t trust you, can I?  Didn’t I ask you not to tell anyone?  You couldn’t wait until I got home?  You couldn’t wait until we talked about this first?”

“Well, yes but…I mean, no.  Wait a minute.  What is happening here, Andrew?  What the hell is there to talk about?  We’ve been working on getting pregnant for almost six months, fucking like bunnies, and now, not only are you not happy, but you’re really angry!  I don’t get it!”

“That’s not the point, Jill.  The point is you lied to me.  You said you’d wait until I got home.  The fact that you deliberately went against me, makes you untrustworthy and deceitful.  I now know that I cannot count on you.”

With that said he turned his back to me and went straight to bed.

Stay tuned for Part 13

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September 13, 2011 - Posted by | Psychotherapy | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. son of a bitch! This explains why you responded the way you did when I caught up with you in LA county . . — glad you made it out with the golden fleece!

    Comment by geri wright | September 13, 2011 | Reply


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