Tuesday, February 9, 2010

She's Gonna Blow

In my normal, non-pregnant state, I would consider myself to have a very active filter. By filter, I mean the little voice in my brain that might think something but then immediately stops me from saying it out loud. I guess you would call it my brain-mouth filter. Even during the worst of my infertility/loss days, when I heard horrible things from people who simply didn't know better (and some who did), I very rarely said anything. I came here to vent about it instead.
I would rather keep quiet than make someone uncomfortable, would rather keep my opinions and feelings to myself than cause a fight, and in general, put up with a lot of crap just to keep the peace. I do this with friends, family, strangers on the street, business associates, etc. It's not that I never stand up for myself or that I never have a snarky little comeback or comment for someone, but it's rare and I have to be pretty provoked.

Well, at least that's the way it used to be.

Pregnant Me, on the other hand, seems to have no brain-mouth filter. I find myself saying exactly how I feel or think about something, with very little regard for the person on the other side. Now, I do try to control this, I really do. I do not believe that pregnancy is an excuse to behave like an arse, but in the heat of the moment, I do not see myself in the wrong. I see myself as perfectly justified in telling this person exactly what I think of them and putting them in their place.

It isn't just the tendency to say somewhat inappropriate things, either. It is that I can literally feel my blood pressure rise when someone says something to me that, under normal circumstances, would barely phase me. I find myself getting really upset about the little things that are really no big deal, but have suddenly become A Very Big Deal.

One example of this would be comments. Usually if I get a negative comment, I roll my eyes or laugh and leave it if it's not offensive to the community at large or delete it if I think it might offend others. I went back to an old post the other day to reread your responses and someone had added a comment that was snarky and directed only at me. It was the kind I would usually just leave and not think about again. But that stupid comment really irritated me. I wanted to fire back a response and started writing one. Then, I took a deep breath and just deleted it. But two days later, it still is irking me. Yeah.

Another example would be at a Super Bowl party we went to on Sunday. I was in the kitchen, talking with the hostess and her friend. Her friend is a lesbian in a very committed relationship who had just had an IUD put in about six months ago and now is hearing her biological clock ticking. She is in her thirties and her partner on in her young twenties and they didn't feel they were ready, but now they are changing their minds. She started moaning about all of the costs and procedures they would have to go through to get pregnant. Now, this person had no idea that I was A) pregnant or B) had any issues conceiving Will. So, when she started complaining about how she'd love to be straight just so she could accidentally get pregnant and how she can't just "accidentally fall on the turkey baster," she was trying to be funny. She wasn't knocking me or infertile couples, and yet my brain-mouth filter failed me as I said, "You know, all straight couples can't necessarily just 'get pregnant' either." I wasn't mean as I said it, but it was an entirely unnecessary comment to make. Is it true? Absolutely, but not something I would usually say.

She was contrite and then I was contrite and briefly explained our history. The conversation actually turned pleasant as we discussed fertility clinics in the area and procedures but it could have easily gone a different direction. Fortunately, it didn't, but other times, I haven't been as fortunate.

My husband undoubtedly bears the brunt of this. Sometimes, I think it is good for him and our marriage that I am being more open about my feelings. But he is not used to this "new and unimproved" me and doesn't know how to react to my emotions. I have always been sensitive, but my reactions before would have been to cry about something or just be quiet about it. Now, I come back at him with guns blazing. We have definitely been having more arguments lately.

I did not have this problem with Will. When I was pregnant with him, I seemed extra happy, filled with peace and goodwill toward men (and women). This time, I just find my threshold for BS and just life in general, is very low. I don't like this development. In the first trimester, I put myself on 24-hour hold with my reactions to things. If I was still upset about something a day later, I could say something about it. But as the pregnancy progresses, I am finding this self-imposed rule to be more difficult to enforce.

One of my friends thinks it is both about time that I stood up for myself and amusing (and yes, she has been the victim of my lack of filter a couple of times). She thinks that I normally put up with way too much crap and that this is how I should have been acting all along. I tell her not to get used to it and hope to return to my normal state. Quickly.


cheryllookingforward said...

I'm being meaner to people, too. But I was snarky and rude to begin with... I am kind of starting to feel sorry for the people around me.

So don't feel bad - it's great that you get the feelings out instead of seething inside!

Jen said...

Pregnancy takes a toll on patience for sure.

But here is a question. Why would a lesbian in a committed female-female relationship need an IUD? Am I missing something?

Ms. J said...

I think I am probably similar to your friend - think it's good that you take less BS and stand up for yourself and your very valid emotions!

I have long explained to people that "I have no filter." If it's my head, it's 95% likely to come out of my mouth. My husband says he generally likes this about me. Well, 'cept sometimes when it's directed at him. About a year ago I recall him saying in response to something I had said "Uh, could you BE less sarcastic?!" to which I shot off with "Uh, could you have MARRIED someone else?!"

I have a job which requires me to keep my cool a lot of the time, being as I am in the public eye (or testifying at a public hearing) or meeting with elected officials. Thus, sometimes I need to blow off and up!

WAIT A MINUTE . . . Jen is right - WTF does said lesbian need the IUD if in a "committed female-femal relationship?!" LMAO. Good catch there, Jen!!!

Rebecca said...

I kind of LOVED this part of being pregnant while everyone around me hated it. Oh well...sometimes honesty trumps trying to make other people feel comfortable. I have an answer to the IUD question...she could have bad periods...the IUD basically ceases all periods and is delightful!

Katie said...

Oh, sorry, she has bad periods and the IUD was a longer-term solution to regulating that. When she started telling me her entire story, I honestly do think that even if she were straight, she would probably need ART. It sounds as if her ovulation and cycles are pretty wonky.

heartincharge said...

This is NOT meant to be a snarky post but a thoughtful one. As I have gotten older, I have put up with a lot less BS than when I was younger and I don't let people blatantly insult me, and I generally believe that you teach people how to treat you.
If it is just the pregnancy hormones then I dont know how that feels, but usually when I don't speak my mind, it's not a benefit to the other person but for me. Because I generally find that telling someone off doesn't feel as good as I thought it would, doesn't change someone's mind about their opinion like I thought they would if they just heard my point of view, and can have larger repercussions than I intended (dragging other people into it as people take sides). I also find that the angry retort usually puts their comment/behavior on my mind more and not less. Now instead of just replaying the comment in my head, I am replaying and second guessing the whole conversation and it takes me a lot longer to forget about the whole thing. So don't think of it in term of letting them off the hook but letting yourself off the hook from defending your life to every ignoramus.

Katie said...

Heartincharge, I agree with you completely, which is why I don't usually say the first thing that comes to mind. It usually doesn't have the desired effect or resolution and becomes a WAY bigger deal than I ever intended. Also, although I do think as we tend to age, we get less tolerant of wasteful crap (and overall, I have found that to be true), my recent behavior is SO sudden and SUCH a departure from my usual behavior, that I do think it's more hormonal than anything else. And most of the time, I am not even defending myself agains anything, just getting upset over the dumbest things. (Oh, and your comment wasn't snarky, and the one I was referring to was an anon comment that was definitely intended to be a dig. It just wasn't worth me getting upset over!:))

Polka Dot said...

I refer to it as The Committee. In CAPS like that. I stole it from a Robert Fulghum book and it so fits.

I can't wait until I'm in my 70's and 80's for the very same thing you're experiencing now; the ability to say what I need / want to say when I need / want to say it. I don't want to hurt feelings, but we women really do still censor ourselves far more than men and far too much.

So ... have at it, I say.

Nicky said...

I got snarky during my pregnancy, too. Hubby and I finally came up with a passphrase of sorts. When I was particularly mean to him, he would say our passphrase as a stand in for saying, "Excuse me, sweet darling wife, I know that you are uncomfortable and exhausted and hormonal and I deserve to take all the crap that you want to deal to me right now, but I think that *perhaps* you were mean to me just then because the pregnancy has removed your filter, and NOT because you hate me and want to fight with me about something as meaningless as ____. I love you."

I promised to stop and take a deep breath whenever he said the passphrase, and he promised not to abuse it by using it when I had a legitimate complaint. Whenever he said it, we hugged and re-started whatever conversation had just taken a turn for the worse. It worked like a charm.

It won't help with random strangers, but it definitely cut down on marital disagreements during the pregnancy.

Katie said...

Oooh, Nicky, I love it. Can't see my husband saying it quite so sweetly or nicely as that (his filter is usually not as good as mine and even less so when he is feeling unreasonably attacked by hormonal pregnant woman), but we could use it as reference point!

Debby said...

I find your lack of filter funny. There are worse things in life for sure. What I do find appalling is that people still can't tell you're pregnant by looking at you. I am so HUGE you'd think I"m do in April, not July. So yes...I am jealous. :-)

J said...

I think you are too nice too. ;)
and as for snarky (anonymous) comments, you should tell them where they can go. If not, the rest of us can. lol!

Anonymous said...

I tend to lean towards being a bit more honest and blunt, but when pregnant? Raging bitch doesn't even come close to adequately describing it! The filter is GONE. I am glad you and the lesbian didn't go to blows on Sunday!