I’ll admit it, I’ve been caught up in the whole Hunger Games hysteria. It started innocently enough. When I found out that the movie was being shot in North Carolina; more specifically, the arena scenes in my home county in forests that I frequented as a child, and the capitol scenes in my current city of residence, well, I had to read the books.
The books are not my typical genre of choice. I’m not into dark story lines or stories that contain a lot of violence, but there was something about this story line that drew me in. Since I hail from Appalachia I’m drawn to stories that originate from there, but I think what drew me in was the story’s main character, Katniss Everdeen. In the books the story is told from her perspective. If you don’t know the premise by now you’ve probably been living in a media-free cocoon, but simply Katniss is a 16-year-old girl who is primary caregiver to her younger sister and mother. They live in a dystopian future under an oppressive totalitarian government that chooses 2 “tributes” from the 12 established districts (between ages 12 and 18) every year to participate in a gladiator-style, death match dubbed as “The Hunger Games”. This is mostly for the entertainment of the privileged Capitol citizens, but it originated as punishment to the districts for a past uprising and serves as a yearly reminder that the Capitol is still firmly in control of every aspect of their lives.
I see some of myself in Katniss Everdeen although I’m not as brave as she. She is an introvert by nature who has suffered painful loss in her life and is now just trying to survive her situation the best way she knows how. There are people in her life that she loves dearly, but she has cut almost everyone off from becoming too close, because she is afraid that one day she will lose them. In the movie she talks to her closest friend about never wanting to have children. It’s understandable given the oppression she lives under. On “Reaping Day” for the Hunger Games Katniss’ life changes forever in a moment of fate and choice.
Below is a poignant scene in the movie (edited by the original poster for content–there was more said in this scene). The President of Panem, Corolanius Snow, is speaking to the head gamemaker, Seneca Crane, about a situation happening during the games (not a spoiler if you’ve not seen the movie). It speaks into a situation that has recently arisen in my life:
Why did that scene speak to me? Well, recently, quite unexpectedly I was given an unexpected glimmer of hope concerning my fertility. After many years of fertility treatment and then many years of giving up I began having regular cycles on a drug (natural progesterone) that in and of itself shouldn’t have made my cycles regular. To say that I was utterly shocked by my doctor’s declaration that I am most likely ovulating is an understatement. I was FURIOUS!
That might seem like an odd reaction to news that just ten years ago would’ve thrilled me, but I was/am angry. After all those years of hoping and praying and trying expensive fertility treatments it turns out that simple natural progesterone was the magic trick for me…at least to produce ovulation. Now that I am 43 speeding on towards 44 it all seems like a cruel joke…too little almost too late.
I told my husband and a trusted friend the day I found out. I cried my eyes out, and I still can’t speak about it without crying. I don’t think either of them understood my absolute devastation at hearing this news. That simple statement totally eroded several years of healing I’d done in an attempt of finally coming to grips that we would forever be childless. Of course, this brings up a whole myriad of questions that I wasn’t emotionally prepared to deal with:
Could I actually get pregnant? Do I want to get pregnant? Could I survive a pregnancy loss? Could I deal with a very high-risk pregnancy which is what it would be at my age? And the biggie…do I actually want a baby at my age?
I do have answers to those questions; however, I’m not at peace about my answers. On one hand I want to give God every opportunity to fulfill his intended will for my life and to give joy and hope to the people in my life that I love dearly, but on the other hand I’m not sure that pursuing the glimmer of hope I have been given is in my best interest or that a positive outcome is even remotely possible. I’ve lived so many years on emotionally shaky ground that hope at this point seems like yet another doorway to heartache and pain. That’s why right now I can relate to the hope being stronger than fear principle and like President Snow I just want to contain it before it reeks any more havoc.