Sunday, December 09, 2012

Single : Unemployed :: Married : Job

Jobs vary. Some are excellent, some suck, and some manage to do both, like my current job. There are many large personalities -- both patients and staff -- crammed into too little space, so there's a lot of power politicking, which is not something I enjoy. But I like more about my job than I dislike, so I stay.

If I had a friend who had been unemployed for a very long time, I think I would take great care not to complain about the various less-than-ideal aspects of my job. Because I'd be taking for granted the numerous benefits -- salary, health insurance, structure, routine, people to interact with and bounce ideas off of, etc. -- that I enjoy. And that my unemployed friend desperately wants. I like to think I'd be trying to help them find a job, instead of devaluing the job I have and telling them they can be fine without one for a while.

No job is perfect. No marriage is perfect. But people who are jobless or single are in a very vulnerable state. And it's insensitive to flaunt what you have in front of them -- to take it for granted -- even if you think you're just "educating" them on what it's really like to have a job. This is not something they need to hear from you. They will learn it when they get a job and have to deal with the bitter as well as the sweet.

I'm not a huge fan of Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, but she said something that really resonated with me: Torah says that we should be very gentle with widows and orphans, because they've suffered a huge loss. These days, she said, singles are like those widows and orphans -- sensitive, and in need of care and support. We're dealing with the loss of something we never had.

In my case, I'm also dealing with the loss of a dream. I had a hysterosonogram about two weeks ago. I won't describe the exact procedure, because it's gross, but it's a way of examining your uterus to see if you have "submucosal" fibroids -- benign tumors that are not just snagged on the outside of your uterus but have penetrated the uterine wall. Submucosal fibroids can cause bleeding, pain, and miscarriage. If you're trying to get pregnant. I've been having excess bleeding and pain, but no sexual activity for about a year, so I wasn't worried about miscarriage; I was worried about blood loss.

The doctor who performed the procedure was excellent, telling me everything she was looking at. "Well, there's that big fibroid on the right wall of your uterus, looks like it's degenerating... The uterine lining looks good. That's your ovary... Looks like you're about to ovulate. See that? That's the follicle and there's the egg, about to be released."

"Is there anything you see that would indicate I couldn't have children?" I asked, trembling.

"Nothing at all," she said confidently, pulling out the scope.

So it appears I'm still fertile. But that doesn't do me a darn bit of good, because men my age won't look at me and much-older men disgust me. And I'm tired of going to parties and events. Just sick of it. It all seems pointless.

Theoretically, I could get pregnant and realize my dream. Realistically, it doesn't look like it's going to happen. For a long time it was a dream deferred; now it's turning into a fantasy, like writing a Pulitzer-winning Broadway play.

I realize children are demanding and draining. Theoretically. Because that's really all I have at this point. I will never tell parents to be grateful for their children because so many of us will never have them. But my heart is still breaking at the thought that I won't, too.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Have you considered having a child on your own? There's a blog "Jewish single mom by choice" by a mom in israel who got artificially inseminated because she wanted to have a kid but had not found a husband. If children is what you really want, you can have them without a husband.

    1. AE, I don't know if you have children, but from what I've seen, raising children is a two-person job. Also, I grew up without a father, and I would never deliberately impose that on a child.