Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tell Me You Love Me: Episode 10

Season finale. What's in store for our beloved infertiles...?

Palek is packing his bags. Carolyn calls him a quitter and a coward and says he's just like his dad. She says she isn't just going to let him leave. She's pregnant and they're having a baby. She blocks the door as he tries to leave. He says she got what she wanted and she doesn't need him now. He asks her to get out of the way. Carolyn cries and says no, although it comes out more like a plea.

I think Palek is a coward. He is automatically assuming he will fail as a father and a husband without even giving it a try. I think he is being extremely selfish here and should own up to his responsibilities, rather than running away. There are times I want to run away from my problems too - forget about IF, work, finances - but my problems would only follow me wherever I go. I find it best to confront the issues and try to resolve them. Do you tend to run from your problems or are you the type to tackle issues head-on?

Palek is over at Nate's house and is drinking some beers. Nate offers him the place to stay but he says he is staying at his mom's. Nate says he just needs to wrap his mind around it and that one day, he'll look back and laugh about this. Palek says that he waited a year "through it". Nate says parenting is hard but it makes you a better person. Nate's wife asks how Carolyn is feeling - with obvious contempt in her voice - and comes to put the kids to bed. The kids kiss Palek goodnight and call him "Uncle Palek". He doesn't seem to mind.

I often think about how parenting could make me a better person. It makes me examine my weaknesses and think about how I can change to be a good mother. I can be very impatient and I want results instantaneously. It is hard for me to "just relax", even on vacation. I can also be a perfectionist at work and in a lot of the things I do. I would have to learn to be more flexible and carefree and accept that I won't always be able to have control over everything. What areas do you think parenting will help you to work on?

Palek and Carolyn are in therapy. He confesses he moved out. The therapist asks them how it feels. He says "weird and shitty". Carolyn says it feels like being left and asks the therapist if she knows what that feels like. Carolyn says she feels the separation is permanent. The reason they are there is so she can tell him things she needs to tell him. She said the baby will have nothing to do with him and Palek will not have contact with him or her. She says the child will hate him. She doesn't care how he feels anymore - if he is hurt or confused. She said she is finished. He says he is too.

It always bothers me when mothers use their children as weapons of manipulation for their spouse or loved one to behave in a certain way. A child is not a toy that you can take away from someone when they "are bad". Whatever happens between Carolyn and Palek should stay between the two of them. Palek should have a relationship with the child for the sake of the child. Unless, of course, he is abusive but that isn't the case. I hear instances where parents brainwash the child into hating the other parent but that is mental abuse, IMO. A parent should look to the best interest of the child rather than carrying out their own twisted needs.

Palek is watching television when there's a knock at the door. It's Carolyn. She came to say sorry for what she said in therapy and that she didn't mean it. He says he thinks she did mean it and it's okay because at least she is honest. She says she wanted this so much - not for her but for them. She said she understands he can't be a father but she loves him. He says he loves her too but it has nothing to do with this. She says it is everything to do with it. She leaves, but not without looking back into his eyes longingly.

I think Palek needed to hear that she loved him. He mentioned that now Carolyn is pregnant, she doesn't need him anymore. I think men often need to be reminded that they are important. During the TTC process, it is easy for men to feel excluded when women are the ones going through the treatments. I can see how they'd feel they are just sperm factories. And during pregnancy, men often feel distant when they can't see, feel or connect with the baby like the woman does from the beginning. I think that reassurance is something that we all need once in a while.

Carolyn goes shopping with her sister. She asks if she is having symptoms and Carolyn says not really - only a little nausea. They decide to go out for lunch. Carolyn has some cramping and goes back to the OB. The OB does an u/s and low and behold, she can't find a heartbeat. She's had a miscarriage. The OB says miscarriages are quite common and they can try again after one month. She says she is very sorry.

I cried during this scene. Even though I predicted this weeks ago, it brought back some painful memories for me. I know how awful it is to hear those words, "I'm sorry...". It feels like your heart is being ripped from your chest. The doctor is only being professional but it always hurt me to hear about how common miscarriage is. It may be common but it doesn't mean it doesn't feel like shit when it happens to you.

Palek tries to comfort Carolyn and she tells him to leave. She says he is only there because the baby is gone, which he denies. She says she doesn't need him or want him. He insists on taking her home. Once at home, she tells him he doesn't have to stay and she's fine. He says she's not fine and he's not either. He tells her to move over on the bed and they cuddle.

I'm sorry but I would not be so willing to forgive. Call me stubborn but I would have told him that if he didn't want me pregnant, he can't have me when I'm un-pregnant. Then again, it's times like these when you need to lean on each other. Perhaps they can grieve together and grow closer as a result. What do you think - would you have let him back in?


In and Out of Luck said...

It was good meeting you yesterday. That sounds like a sad episode.

SaraS-P said...

And that would be why I did not watch it. I KNEW that a miscarriage would certainly be included in the episode. So glad I didn't watch. It would still be too painful for me. Heck, even reading the words "no heartbeat" felt that a punch to the gut.

Maybe someday I'll watch this episode.

Thing, here a m/c serves an actual purpose. It is a plot device. What is its purpose in our lives, I wonder?

Geohde said...

Yeah, so damn predictable.


Jenna said...

OH NO!!!! I just started watching this and I'm on episode 3!!!! ARGHHHH...... SHUT EYES!! MUST SHUT EYES! MUST BLOCK EARS!

nancy said...

I was so excited to read your take. I don't think I can even formulate my own thoughts on it, as this whole story has pissed me off. To contrived and too neat and tidy for tv. Yeah, yeah, I ~understand~ it's all for tv viewing and her still NOT pregnant wouldn't make for this story line, but I can't help it. It's pissed me off. She was the "just stop trying" pregnancy. Now she's the "you left because I was pregnant but I miscarried" girl. Ugh.

I am sorry about the feelings it brought up about the fact of m/c. ~hugs~ to you and all the other women. In all my ranting, I do see the words you wrote on this part of the subject.

chicklet said...

Ugh, I couldn't take the whole Palek thing - it's too much, the drama. Arrrrr!

Yodasmistress said...

You sure did call it.

Samantha said...

Like you said earlier, not a surprising ending, but sad none the less. If I were Carolyn, I would probably not be ready to forgive Palek so easily. But I haven't quite been in that situation. Their relationship seems so rocky, it's hard to imagine them being able to stay together. I understand with Palek, the temptation to run from your problems, but I really try not to do that with my husband. He does mean the world to me.

Mrs. Piggy said...

im so glad you watch that show so you can keep me posted!

LeRoy Dissing said...

I only know this show through your blog Kristen. So many issues! As for the ending of this episode, I think it best to not judge whatever they decide to do because no one really knows what they would do in a similar situation (forgive or not) unless they are in it. They both said some pretty hurtful things to each other but I have found there are very few things in life that can't be fixed or forgiven if people are willing. In many cases, the greater the forgiveness, the greater the bond can become. That is not to say one should go out an intentionally do things to hurt another just to receive greater forgiveness.

The couple in the show are going through some very tough times but if they can weather this out, I think they can come out much stronger whether they have children or not. And for their sakes, I hope they stay in therapy to enhance their communication before they ever think about becoming pregnant again - which I think will happen in the story. In real life, the easy thing to do is throw in the towel after everything they have gone through yet this couple has some resiliency/strengths that I believe will pull them through this.