Friday, 5 February 2010

A new decade

I didn't really think much about the fact that it was a new decade until a friend left a message on the answering machine (a little trashed) saying good riddance to the last and aren't we all glad to see the back of it.



I mean it was the decade from hell but, damn it, it may contain the only five days of my life where I got to be a mum. That's so precious to me and I can't throw it out with all the other shit that surrounds it.

I'm trying to come to terms with that fact. To think about it without tears taking over. To not get consumed with anger at the injustice of watching so many, so so many of my friends and family have babies, and with such ease while I (to the surprise of all involved including my RE) have not managed to fall pregnant again, or did for so short a time that it barely registered. I can feel the anger turning into a type of bitterness. I don't want to become that person but I am struggling so hard not to. While it brings freedom, forgiveness is pricey. I have a long list of injustices that I perceive have been done to me, more so in this last few years rather than at the time of Maya's death. But I think the hardest thing for me to come to terms with is essentially, how unchanged, the people close to me seem by what I have been through. I feel like the universe is continually kicking me when I'm down, and feel betrayed when I don't see those close to me shake their fist at God on my behalf. Surely they would get angry if they saw someone beating me? It seems to me, that they carry on, thanking God for blessing them, and refusing to alter the view of how-the-world-works one tiny bit. I find that painful. I just wish my family would express the sentiment to me of standing beside me being angry at God about the amount of pain I have been in and am going through. They may well experience this and have just not shared it with me. Who knows. But I am finding it a hard not to judge some close people, for what feels like a failure to take up my cause.

And I don't know what to make of this. Obviously my view is skewed at the moment by the amount of pain I experience. Is there any truth in these feelings? or is it an excuse to keep people away and then get angry at them for it.

I feel a lot like my dog. His leg was broken in three places from being kicked when he arrived at our house. (not speculation, I know the house he came from). In fact, not only that, he was dehydrated as he was in so much pain he was unable to drink,. A series of operations, pins and extended vet visits and he was OK. Two years later he had another operation, this time on his front leg (same side), which took months and months to recover from. Being a needy dog, he wants to be close so always comes and sits at your feet. Being a dog with a history of trauma, he bites you when you move your feet too fast, or too close, to his left side. Which leads to a rather comical show of coming close to people and then biting them. But in a way that feels like me. I want the comfort of being close to people, and then I bite them if they say or do anything that comes near my pain, or memory of it. When I say "bite" what I really mean is judge, because I never actually say something to the person. I just get angry at their insensitivity. And when I say "judge" what I really mean is feel more pain. They don't understand. They are not even trying to understand. etc.

I have enough insight to realise this cycle does not serve me well. What I don't seem to have at the moment is the skill to break it. Or the wisdom to distinguish what is a genuine grievance that needs addressing, from my knee-jerk response at the pain of being around close family/friends and their babies/pregnancy etc. The same trauma response that my dog has. He nips my foot even if I haven't touched him, in anticipation of pain.

And seeing that in myself pisses me right off. Broken things can be patched up, but the scars are always there, and scar tissue (whilst amazing and miraculous) just doesn't work as well as normal tissue.

Which is a way of saying I don't want to be a broken thing, on the defense against things that might hurt me, always ready for the pre-emptive strike, angry at people who seem essentially, indifferent, no-different, for having witnessed my suffering. But a part of me feels that to just give up that anger might be betraying myself at some level. And that is the thing I am finding difficult to resolve.

In happier news. I am pleased to say that I had an excellent non-pregnant holiday in Tasmania in which I drank lots of lovely pinot, and ate piles of oysters, prawns, lobster, locally smoked products (the trout was amazing and it was bacon like I've never had it before) and unpasturised soft cheese. We camped, cooked (check this out), hiked, ate, and drank our way around a small part of this small island. It rocked. And it went for three whole weeks, so when we had finished camping at one lovely pace we got a little sad about leaving and then moved on to a fabulous eco stay in the Wilderness, then to another delightful campsite or bnb. I could feel the knots in my back slowly undoing themselves, I got hungry, slept well (things I hadn't felt in a long while) and had a lot of fun to boot.

And I will post some photos of the happy (and a little fatter) Barbara enjoying her holidays. And if you need any tips for travel in Australia, I'm the girl to come to. I think I rock at holiday itineraries.


Pamela said...

Hey B!
I hope I'm the first to comment. So good to hear your voice. You've been on my mind...I'm so happy to hear you had a good trip to Tasmania. Soooo well deserved.

I also wanted to say that I completely hear you and your frustration and anger. This line from your post leaped out at me: "I think the hardest thing for me to come to terms with is essentially, how unchanged, the people close to me seem by what I have been through" -- that very idea completely gnawed at me...overtaking me at times. I wanted to slap people silly, transfer my pain onto them and make them hurt as much as I was hurting. Their indifference seemed insult on top of injury.

That's my way of saying that I would encourage you to face and not try to deny that anger. It's only in trying to downplay it that it comes back around. Find an outlet for your anger (something preferably that involves aerobics, plate smashing, whatever won't get you in trouble with the law!) In expressing the anger, you'll find an important bridge that transitions to peace. Find a few friends you can be totally honest with and tell them how it hurts you. They probably have no idea. Here for you as always. oxoxo Pamela

Me said...

I very much understand your analogy. I also think that I have had similar feelings at times. I wish I had some helpful insight but I really don't. ((HUGS))

Michele said...

I'm so glad you've posted. I missed you!!!

I agree with Pamela; the line about people being unchanged is so hurtful. And so true.

You are never far from my mind. Sending loving thoughts and thinking of you.

lastchanceivf said...

This is a lovely post--and by lovely I mean heartfelt and REAL. And your analogy was perfect. I find that I am in a similar place--I have not experienced tragedy on par with yours by any stretch--but I have failed five IVFs. I don't know what I want from people either. It's such a hard place to reside, and I keep resolving to not being there anymore but yet I don't know how to move forward/on/past it/through it.

Just letting you know that I feel terrible for all you've been through and I wish your days would be lighter.

lis said...

thank you for your kind message
i see you too are waiting for solace
i just wish the world would slow down enough for me to catch up.
i wish i didn't live in this world where babies die and the wombs that ache to be filled are left vacant. there must be some reason we are on the other side of the glass - it better damn involve something wondrous, im about at the end of my rope.
thinking of your sweet maya tonight

Panamahat said...

So glad your Tassie hol was stupendous. I love that place- pinot, oysters etc et al. (The fudge is also nice).

I also get the sentiment that other people are untouched by our pain, and that this is often just as hard to bear as the pain itself.

Happy that you have posted - always miss you when you are gone for a time. Sorry I have delayed my reply- things hectic at my end as usual, but know that I read your every post hot off the press!!

I would not give up any of my unborn children, and for that, I too would not wish away the previous decade. But I am do express a desire for this decade to contain more ups than downs. For all of us.

Kami said...

Someday I hope to visit Australia and had already decided I would be checking in with you for ideas. Your pictures of your holiday always leaving me longing to go there.

Thank you also for your comment on my somewhat recent post. I always welcome your insight.

Panama pointed out the part of this post that had me nodding my head. It is so unbelievably true. Maybe I do the same at other people's suffering I don't have personal experience with. I don't know. but from where I sit, I still can't believe how my friends / family seem to trivialize our experience so much. Even to the point of being insulting at times (my mom once said to my sister, "Maybe it is good that Ernest died. Maybe it will make Kami more humble.)

Then when I had our daughter - who of course I love and am happy to parent - they acted like none of the previous years / losses mattered at all. As if suddenly all is good and I don't mind hearing about other people's 'oops' pregnancies or their mutually genetic kid they can't bother to raise.

And it has made me bitter and I supposed I ought to care - and sometimes I do and want to be different - but often I just go with the flow. I have adjusted and grown and changed along the way, but right now I am tired of trying to be a better person or of healing or moving on. If it happens on it's own, great. I just don't want to put energy into it right now.

A very long way of saying . . . I think I understand and I support you where you are at and will continue to support you if you become less angry or more.

Phoebe said...

Oh B, I feel these same things, the anger at god, the anger and not wanting to be the angry person, but knowing that suppressing the anger will make it that much worse. The trauma part is what gets me. Do we ever get over it, or do we just stuff it and it comes up again when we experience a similar loss? That part has me feeling hopeless. I tried doing trauma therapy, but it just helped me function, and the trauma was not resolved.

So glad your vacation was lovely. If I ever make it to that part of the planet, I will be looking up your travel guide services!!

luna said...

this really resonated with me. for so long I wondered how life could just continue to go on for everyone but me. no one else was affected. no one shook their fists at the injustice of what was happening to me, no one understood or cared to. it is such a lonely feeling.

I also felt like I'd bite if anyone got too close too. I hated feeling that way.

I know our family and friends were happy for me when we adopted our daughter, but honestly I think many of them were just relieved that they didn't have to deal with the childless me anymore. they can so easily forget about all that came before, all that we lost.

your trip sounds incredible! so happy you enjoyed a wonderful holiday. some day I hope we make it over your way...

mink said...

thinking of you your writing is great. i can feel what you are saying. powerful

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