Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Not letting go

{Photo from here}

Are you good at letting go? Is it easy for you to move on? Can you pick yourself up, dust your ass off and stand up after you've been cold-cocked in the face? Me neither.

Lately I've been thinking (ad nauseam, of course) about the idea of learning to let go. Of not having children. And of really, actually being OK with it. In fact, I would confess that I have become entirely obsessed with the idea. In my ever-churning mind, it seems like my only choice. Plus, I just feel this overwhelming compulsion to live the manner in which I have declared to the world. I am, for some reason, desperately holding myself to some meaningless promise I made out loud on my blog one day. Time and time again, I say it's time to move forward and get on with living and to quit feeling so awful.

But I have to wonder why I feel it's such an urgent task, one that needs to be completed immediately without distraction. What's the rush, I ask myself as I'm rushing through everything. I'm always in a hurry, I am eternally impatient and I hate reading the directions. But what happens when there were no directions in the first place? Where's the instruction manual for this thing, anyway?

It's not that I don't want to move forward. I do. It's just that I can't tell myself how to feel. I tell myself other things, though. Like:

Quit whining. Stop complaining. Enjoy your blessings. It's meant to be this way. It could be worse. Think of all the other things you have to treasure. Life is beautiful just the way it is. This is happening for a reason. You are deathly afraid of stretch marks and a flabby belly, so this is what you want, right? Besides, kids are annoying. They take up time. They cry and poop. And you can't take any vacations or sleep in anymore. You like sleeping in. And you don't like poop. And going out with your friends is fun. Get used to it, already.

The thing is, the only person telling me to shut up and get over it already? It's me. I am the one who thinks it's about time to shut up, suck it up and quit complaining about it plz and thankyoucuzthisisgettingannoying. It has felt like the right thing to do because I rush everything else in my life, why not rush the way I feel, too?

But really, when I sit down and look at a calendar I realize the event that changed everything really wasn't all that long ago. It wasn't years ago. Hell, it wasn't even A year ago for Pete's sake. Actually, it was just a few months ago. A few seasons ago. Sure, the process has been ongoing for nearly two years but the words, "IVF is your only option for conceiving a biological child please sign here and give us a check for $14,000 cash money for one single try that only has a 50% chance of working kthanksbye." wasn't nearly as long ago. The moment that we said no (hellz no, actually) and walked away from what felt like the Worst Odds on Planet Earth for Anything, Especially a Baby was only four months ago. That's not a long time.

It will always feel like an eternity away, because it's much easier to remember it as a distant wrinkle in time. Simpler to act like I have to squint my eyes shut tightly to even recall what it was like. It's easier to process something terrible when it's tied up in a neat package that has been sitting in the attic for five years in an old steamer trunk. Someday, I imagine, I will venture up there and wipe away the cobwebs and revisit that moment for old time's sake. Then, I'll put it right back in its place to be viewed again some rainy Sunday when I'm bored.

The reality is, there hasn't been enough time for cobwebs to form or even the dust to begin to settle. And more importantly: it's messy. What I need--what I truly owe myself--is more time. When people hear about infertility and I tell them about adoption, I watch quietly as they process the information and I always wonder what they're thinking. Most times, they don't say anything. But when they do, it's usually: "So, how are you doing?" My answer is always the same: "I'm getting there." or "I'm a work in progress." Then, I change the subject. This is because I have become an ongoing project for myself.

But the thing that has my head spinning is this: will I always be a work in progress? Will time heal this wound, like it does all the others? Or, will I always be haunted by this thing that is eternally out of reach? I like to think that I'm quickly moving forward, but the reality is that it's a slow crawl. It's a time-consuming, slow-moving, are-we-there-yet-ing process. It takes time--more time than four months--to get to whatever destination I'm headed.

All I can hope for is to live long enough to learn how to let go.


Anonymous said...

Emily, Emily, Emily......

More than anyone else, I understand what you are going through. I have no easy words for you, either, because there are none. I was basically diagnosed around 20 years old, maybe 19, due to my severe PCOS. Come to find out, years later, that my tubes were also blocked. Double whammy. Oh, didn't that make me the lucky one? That took another surgery, more time away from "trying", and shaky results.

Now, at 34, I cannot tell you that it goes away. In fact, you know it didn't go away for me, so I'm probably the worst person to respond to you! You need comfort that it will go away, yet I think it's different for everyone. I promise, though, there are many times that it will not consume your life. There are many times you can get through a day without thinking about whether or not you will ever have a child. However, I have to admit that on the other hand, there are many times when you will feel defeated. Someone will ask you, "Oh, when are you two going to finally start a family?" and you will want to scratch their eyes out. Emily, it does take time to work through. Hell, I'm STILL trying. Medication helps (wink!). The feelings are overwhelming and you can't rush them or shove them away. I've come to realize that you have to do what's right for you. It's so new right now, you need time to adjust. I tell myself to take things one day at a time. Call if you ever need to talk or vent- I can be your understanding ear!


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Capricorn Soap Company said...

Oh my dear...may I say? We have gone through something similar...we had to arrive a place of being okay with it. Of being okay with ourselves. We considered adopting, and then realized, "Wait, what the hell are we doing, anyway? we're FAR too busy for this!" we are, five and half years later, and we are decidely certain that the universe did NOT intend for us to be parents. Well, unless you count the 13+ animals that reside here on our farm as children...:-) We were devastated at first. We learned to heal, and yes, to let go. Time does make it better. My thoughts are with you on this journey.

Esther - TTByM said...


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