I’m doing some housecleaning over here, and as a result, I have re-read every post I have written, up until July 2011.
One word comes to mind: Angst.
It’s not that there weren’t real challenges that I faced: there were. But this blog mostly unfolds (so far) like a painful year-long infertility and loss hangover.
I know that I delayed grieving and dealing with my losses and treatments until 2010, three years after the twins were born, and right after my second miscarriage. But why did the confrontation with grief have to be so long and pronounced and confidence-killing?
Reading my blog made me realize that I have pretty low self-esteem. Nothing I do seems to be good enough for me, while I’m constantly building up other people. In a way, this blog is the exact opposite of my overly-confident, pretentious European travel journal from my early 20s. Why did I think I knew everything then and why do I think I know nothing now, in my late 30s?
The only time I seem remotely self-confident here is when I am railing about the way the Adoption/Loss/Infertility community is treated. Then I sit atop my high horse, guns a blazin’. There is an undercurrent of anger in my writing that is surprising.
No matter how you resolve your infertility, there seems to be a reckoning period.
The Smartness wrote a series of posts about Emotional Infertility that I really connected with. At the heart of the series were these statements:
“Mental infertility is a continuum of emotions. Your position will fluctuate depending on where you are in your current journey and how you are coping with that place.”
I finally think I’m blindly heading out of the fog of my grief. I will never not be infertile. But day by day, I really hope that infertility can and will release its hold on me. In Mexico, I felt an ebbing of its power. I keep hoping it will fade, into something I can look at from a distance, like Guernica. I can behold the power and terror it smothered me with and I should never, ever forget its devastation, but perhaps I can become at peace with it and spend more time in the present, with those I love. Guernica can remain in the museum of my heart, another exhibit (along with my wedding, the twins births, my travels) that I can revisit when I need to. But I don’t need to stand in front of it 24/7 anymore.
It was moving and beautiful to read the comments readers left. So many “I get this” statements, gentle reassurances, sometimes some kick-in-the-asses. (Sorely needed, no pun intended.) Somehow, though, I had missed reading one comment when it had originally come in, from May, at Problem Uterus. Maybe I hadn’t been ready to accept it, maybe I just didn’t comprehend what she was saying. But I think I am ready to, now.
For me, the key to letting go of the past was to fill my life with things that make me happy, in addition to my children. My friends, my book club, my part time teaching job, spending time getting to know my neighbors and become part of the neighborhood, volunteering at my daughter’s kindergarten…I am a people person, and I surrounded myself with fun people in real life, as well as the blogosphere. Now my horrible stories are more of a Murphy’s Law Funny Anecdote than a The-World-Is-Out-to-Get-Me kind of thing. It took years, though. So I guess time was a big factor as well.
There is a post I think of often, by Lori. It’s a story of many women of many ages gathering in a meadow. One is starkly different than the others:
A very sad woman enters our circle. She’s in her 30s and she’s been crying, crying, crying. The losses she has endured have sucked the very life out of her. She has beautiful, glorious child-bearing hips, which are going to waste. Her dreams have evaporated. She feels alone (although, still well-loved) and without hope. We instinctively move toward her, trying to sense if she will allow us to comfort her. I barely recognize this woman — the toll has been so drastic. Can’t she see that this chapter, like all the others before, will end? Her hands hold only tissues full of tears.
Gradually as the story concludes, we realize that the women are different versions of herself, at different times of her life.
These are my Selves. They have come to honor the fact that I have been on the planet for another turn around the sun. They bring me their tokens and dreams and insights. I envelope them and am enveloped by them. One by one, I welcome each into my heart, accepting the gifts they have brought. I acknowledge the gift she is, she is, she is, she is, she is, she is.
I am. I think it’s finally time for the sad woman to be surrounded by the others, comforted.
And that’s what I’ve learned today.
What would you discover, if you were to go back and read your blog in its entirety?