Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Evil Eye

I'm well educated and am fairly good at using my reason. In fact, I did quite well on the logical reasoning section of the GRE and the LSAT. However, in some areas, particularly the realm of paranoia, I can be quite primal. There is a concept in the culture my parents grew up in called evil eye. It's a concept that dates back thousands of years and is alive and well in many cultures, in fact, when we visited Turkey we saw blue eyes stuck on people's doors, shops, and embedded into concrete benches overlooking the Aegean Sea designed to ward off the nefarious evil eye.

If you're not familiar with the concept,its basically a belief that the jealousy or bad vibes of others towards you can actually affect your life. Growing up, my parents never referred to the evil eye, but the concept was ever present. We didn't announce promotions, or awards, and other achievements to the community at large. It could be termed modesty, but a part of it was also the evil eye concept. A fear that perhaps sharing the news could shatter it. This may sound strange to many of you, but when you're raised with a certain concept, you can tend to believe in it wholeheartedly even though the logical part of your brain says no, just because someone is thinking bad thoughts of me, doesn't mean my life will crumble due to their thoughts!

Someone I know who does not like me found out about my pregnancy. She is a major gossip and and in the three years I've known her she has never had a kind thing to say about anyone. I've witnessed her take joy in other people's sadness and so I avoid her like the plague. This person also struggles with IF and has been trying to conceive for three years. Jack just got a text from her husband saying Congrats we just heard about K's pregnancy! We are so excited for you guys and will keep you in our prayers. Instantly my primal caveman mentality clubbed me over the head and my first thought was thank God we waited this long to share our news with people! and then OMG did I donate recently? Must. Ward. Off. Evil. Eye.

This reaction of course surprises me. I tell myself logically that this girl and her negative feelings towards me will not influence the outcome of my pregnancy, but its hard to push away a lifetime of teaching. My mom still hasn't told relatives the gender of my baby because of evil eye and the fact that many of my relatives will be envious I am having a son. Jack's mom doesn't plan to announce my pregnancy until I have the child. I share this to show you how much this concept permeates my life on a subtle level.

I guess on its most simple level its just weird to know that people out there who would smile if they heard bad news, now know about my pregnancy. I know I need to just snap out of it and just accept that she knows. I will say a small prayer of thanks. Donate to March of Dimes. And tell myself that even if evil eye is real on some level, God Willing, it won't affect me.

Please don't think I'm weird. Other than this, I'm fairly normal.

Any logical rebuttals to help cure me are much appreciated!


  1. I have no logic to help you out - it's really hard to control those ingrained superstitious feelings. On the other hand, congrats on nearly being 26 weeks! :)

  2. Sometimes I have to fight superstitions like that, too... I think we've talked about this a bit before, how it boils down to wanting to find control in a situation that is out of our hands. The evil eye does NOT affect your pregnancy, but if you believe it and fight it, then it makes you feel like you have some power.

    Do whatever you need to do -- this will pass!

  3. My family never had any of this "old world" kind of superstition. Plenty of poor southern superstition, but no "old world" superstition. So, when I married into G's family, it was like visting another planet. They have tons of these kinds of superstitions. G never really brought them into our home, but every now and then he'd tell me things like, "Don't tell my Aunt C that you got a raise, OK? I already told Grandma, nobody else needs to know." as we drove up to someone's house. I would chuckly and laugh it off as his family eccentricities. But, he went against his normal "evil eye" warding ways and told his mother when we were pregnant with Bean. We all know how that turned out. He know refuses to tell his family about this pregnancy because "that's where we went wrong last time." Yes, he honestly said those words. He has no problem with my family knowing, but his mom can't find out because somehow her super negative brain power will cause another miscarriage.

    All of that to say, while I don't "get it" I completely understand being so ingrained in superstition.

  4. The part I most relate to is that about your "friend" finding out about your pregnancy. I had a similar experience - it makes me cringe to think about even now! I just don't understand people who take such joy in bringing others down. I really hope this girl doesn't do anything to poke holes in your joy. You deserve it :)

  5. you're not weird! we all have our superstitions, especailly us infertiles. i'm sorry this nasty person found out about your pregnancy but i'm sure her negative energy isn't going to have any effect on the positive energy of your little sunflower. :)