J: Safety in Ignorance

This post was inspired by the novel J by Howard Jacobson, about a world where collective memory has vanished and the past is a dangerous country, not to be talked about or visited. Join From Left to Write on November 20th as we discuss J. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


I’ll be honest, it has been a crazy month. I didn’t even attempt to read the first book club selection this month, so I figured I’d have plenty of time to read the second selection, J. Wrong, the book arrived late, life has been crazy, etc… I am about halfway through and hopefully will finish by Thanksgiving!

I love a good dystopian novel, and I think a lot of the ones I’ve read have a common theme. There is Safety in Ignorance. I can’t say that I disagree with this phrase. Now I am not saying not knowing our world history is smart, I think that it is essential to know our world history so that we don’t make the same mistakes again. However, I do think not knowing the what-if’s about certain situations makes me more rational.

When I was pregnant with B it was excitement (and nausea) ALL THE TIME. I think you are always nervous about pregnancy because you can’t control it, but for the most part I was excited. I shopped way earlier than I should have, every appointment brought excitement.

With my second pregnancy, I had no reason to not feel the same way. Obviously, that didn’t end the same way, and I felt let down by my body.

I know that when another pregnancy blesses me that I will be a nervous wreck, counting the days until I get past the 8 week mark, then again until the 12 week mark. Honestly, after having frank discussions with women who have been through the same thing, I won’t be able to breathe easy until I have a living and breathing healthy baby outside of my body.

It’s not a way I would ever choose to carry a pregnancy, but I know that I will only be able to ever think about the what-ifs and worst case scenarios. I know it is not healthy to be stressed and anxious, but until you’ve been through it, I think there is no other way to feel.

Do you ever think that there is safety in ignorance?

4 thoughts on “J: Safety in Ignorance

  1. Well there is the old saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”. There is safety in ignorance in that if you don’t know about certain things then it can’t hurt you simply because you don’t know it can hurt you. Even though it does hurt you. For example, back in the day women smoked during their pregnancy. My mom did. No one told them that it was not good for the baby. I think that is why I am only 5’1 tall while my dad is 6’1 and my mom is 5’8, smoking stunted my growth! I may be wrong about that but that is what I believe. Now we know that smoking is not good for a baby, not good for a mother, not good at all so with this knowledge we can make informed decisions and do things that will be better for the health of all. Interesting post!

    • Oh, I am 100% with you on this. I’ve always had a tiny bit of worry in my mind, but once I became a mom it is worry all the time!

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