Friday, September 2, 2011
The Sugar Coating
Things have been very murky lately. Do you know the feeling? It's like that glass of water I was telling you about--the one with the dirt that always sit at the bottom, that has come to represent my fragile heart.
I can't say that I can put my finger on it exactly. But, I do know that I feel unnecessarily sorry for myself today. Oh, and yesterday. And the day before that, I think. I hate it when that happens. I hate it when I let the waiting and the influx of emotions choke my breath for so long that I forget all the things I should hope for. It's incredibly difficult sometimes--being positive, feeling uplifted, telling people that this messy life of mine was meant to be. Today, I wish it wasn't. I wish I could just have what I want.
Most days, it's easy to hope. Really, it is. I'm able to find peace in the pieces--and understand that my inability to have children really is alright. Or, that it could be worse--it could always be worse, you know. I tell myself a lot of things, and I tell myself so often that I almost believe it entirely. But, I have my moments. Today is such a moment.
In the midst of my hope, I also find where my deepest anger lives. I'm usually angry because I have to hope---I can't just exist and wallow in my endless supply of bliss. I hate that I have to tell myself it will be OK. I despise the quotes I have to collect to remind myself that this is all "part of the plan" and it was "meant to be" and "we're being tested" and whatever else helps me through the day. It pisses me off. It makes me want to scream.
Do people who get the things they want feel this way, too?
It usually smacks me in the face when I'm out in public. When some terrible mother is violently grabbing her child. Or, telling them to shut the hell up already as she rubs her tattoo-covered neck. I feel jealousy for these people? Really?
It's a slippery slope.
Despite the pain and anger I sometimes feel, I often remind myself of that choice we made over a year ago: adoption. Adoption is my lighthouse, standing tall and steady on the coast. It's the rock I cling to, particularly when I'm feeling incredibly pathetic. While I often feel as though I'm still choking through the salty waves, getting sucked down by the undertow, waiting for my rescue to arrive, I realize that lighthouse is still standing, even on the days when I wish it didn't have to exist in my life. In the darkness and through the light, it's always there. Waiting, just like we are.
As we wait for adoption, people tell me that my husband and I will undoubtedly be chosen quickly. Who wouldn't want us to be parents to their child, they say. I pray each night that they have it right. I hope a complete stranger can see through the pain of their own choice to catch a glimpse of mine. I hate that my hope has to feel like it's so far away sometimes. I despise that I still secretly wish I would become accidentally pregnant. I wish we didn't have to wait for, pay for, and kill ourselves for something that just happens for every single other person. Or so it seems.
But most of all, I realize something important: I need to stop sugar-coating my life. We do this a lot as women: we say things are 'fine' or pretend they are OK in the hopes of pleasing others. It's a toxic habit, and one that always--and I do really mean always--comes back to bite us. The bite is usually a hard one, too. I have spent a lot of time telling myself that everything is fine. So much so, even, that I forget to give myself permission to just genuinely feel exactly how I feel without any guilt involved.
My desire to please, my tendency to sugar-coat and my battle with infertility seemingly creates the perfect storm in me sometimes. I often say that I never want to be "that bitter infertile lady." But, who is she? Who is this terrible waste of a human life that I so desperately wish to avoid? Is she just authentically feeling her feelings, or is she so caught up in her own anger and grief that she's lost a part of herself? Does she too, cry because she's spent years thinking about anything but babies because it's just easier to deal with her life that way?
I don't know the answer to my heart's most sincere questions--because I'm too afraid to really ask. I am entirely too scared to chip away at the sugary exterior to see what's hiding underneath. It sometimes feels like it won't ever go away, or won't ever get better--but I understand that's not for me to decide. In my mind, the sugar is protecting something that is probably terribly rotten and ugly underneath. I'm sugar coating my ugly feelings because I'd rather not feel them--or let anyone know that they exist alongside my deepest hopes.
I could continue to tell the world I'm always hopeful; but I would be lying. I'm usually hopeful, occasionally angry and sometimes distraught. That's the truth--without the sugar. It's the normal, real response of an actual human woman who feels like she cannot do the one thing she was built to do; and it doesn't always have to arrive with a bow on top. I am beginning to understand that expecting every part of my life to arrive neatly packaged is a pipe dream. Sometimes it's messy. Most of the time it isn't pretty. But it's the only life I've got. And that's OK.