Monday, November 05, 2007

Personal Purgatory

It's been really difficult for me to blog lately. Not because I hate people, or that I don't care about anyone else out there. But, it's getting hard to really express myself. Call it writer's block, perhaps; but for me there are so many emotions and monologues running around in my head that I'm afraid to let out, so as not to seem bitter, angry and.....well.........insane, really.

But it's also getting hard to keep all of this inside. Sooner or later it's going to explode, like a volcano. And, like a volcano, it will be impossible to clean up.

Since turning 35 about three weeks or so ago, the thought that perhaps this won't work out for me has been eating away at my psyche. There's been the various pregnancy announcements (two in the last month alone) and, although I am happy for those people, the bitterness that I feel rises up like bile in my throat and chokes back those good wishes. And then, I feel so guilty, because I can't understand why I just can't be happy for someone's good news without first thinking of my own pain. I feel so selfish and self-absorbed-like I can't be the better person. And then I feel even worse.

Some days I wake up and I'm okay-I don't think of my infertility every five minutes. Other days I wake up and go through the day waiting for the other shoe to drop, and I feel as if I have my guard up constantly so as to not feel the pain. Oftentimes, I wake up feeling numb, as if I'm just going through the motions. As if its one more day in the life sentence that is infertility, and that it ain't going to change anytime soon-sort of like an axe murderer on a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Except that axe murderer more than likely has children who'll visit once a month.

Our friends and family have stopped asking us about it, and, while it is a relief in some ways not to feel that pressure, I'm not sure that people not asking us is any better. Perhaps they're afraid to bring it up because they don't want to hear it, or hear more crappy news. Or, perhaps they've given up on us ever having children at all.

I think it hit home the most when I redid my blog template and went through my blogroll. Out of the people that I originally started this journey with, I am the last person left without children. In fact, the majority of the people there have their babies or are pregnant. And, that hurts like hell. I get so angry, not at the people who've moved on, mind you, but at God that he's left me alone. I've more than paid my dues. I've gone through hell with treatments and procedures, prayed, visited shrines, had the Evil Eye removed, bought energy beads, and all for nothing. And if one more person tells me to "think positive" and read that horrible Sec.ret book I'll rip their eyes out with a spork. Seriously. Why put me through all of this? Why show me everyone else who can have children, and leave me standing on my own? What's the point of that? What do I need to learn from this that I haven't already been taught, the hard way?

I feel that life is moving forward, and yet I'm being left behind. I don't feel as if I'm alive, just living day to day in a perpetual state of waiting, much like the souls in Purgatory that are waiting for redemption and acceptance into Heaven. All I know is that I'm 35 years old and the mother of none, and as that number creeps forward the possibility of motherhood gets slimmer. What do I have to show for it? A box of unused syringes, unused meds on the top shelf of our fridge, some alcohol swabs, and a lot of insurance receipts. That's all. No children's laughter in our home. Just an empty room in our house painted yellow and white in expectation of things that may never come to fruition. A room with a door that's now kept closed so we're not reminded of it's presence. So we don't hear it mocking us for painting it those colors to begin with, and for being so naive and optimistic when we should have been on our guard.

I really feel as if I'm drowning. What happened to the person I was before? Did that person really exist to begin with? How do I define myself if I can't be a mother? I don't know who I am anymore. And that scares the shit out of me.

See, I told you I'm going off the deep end.


J said...

Thirty five and mother of none, you say. Yes...but you also have a firm and blinding determination to have a child, and an absolute CERTAIN knowledge that that child, no matter what, will be/is LOVED to the nth degree.

What a lucky child that will be.

So so so lucky.

So, you see? That absolute knowledge that you and the child will have that he/she is cherished. Wanted! CHERISHED!! That knowledge that you have already, it's burned deep into your soul and psyche, it doesn't happen for everyone. Being wanted doesn't apply all the time. You ARE lucky. This is big!!

You'll get there. You will. If you don't give up, you will be a Mom. I hope as strongly as I can hope that it happens for you Very Soon. :)

Shelli said...

S - I love you , you know this.

I simply want to share that there are more than the "traditional" ways to create family.

Maybe that's the lesson in all of this.

I got there WAY before other people may have, and maybe that's because through the infertility, we had to pay for everything. EVERYthing.

I am still infertile. But I am a mother.

You will be too. Maybe not your eggs, maybe not Sean's sperm, who knows? But maybe you need to give tradition a bitch slap, instead of the one the universe keeps giving you.

Again, I say this all out of love for you, and for my desire to get your heart's wish.

You already ARE such a good mom. (Buddy told me!)

You ARE a good auntie.

You DESERVE this joy. It's time.

I love you.

Anonymous said...

I am an infertile and I an a MOM too!!! Don't give up.

Thalia said...

I don't know what to say, S. It's an awful position to be in. You do have time, and you have tremendous determination, so I'll say that you can be a parent, but it just may not look the way you originally thought. that's a very tough thing to come to terms with, I'm not surprised it's been a dark time for you.

JJ said...

I know Im not one of your original reads...but I hope you can find comfort that you still have people to journey with--and I hope and pray that your turn is NEXT!
Please know I am here to support you!

Working Girl said...

I am sorry you are having such a difficult time. I can honestly say that I know exactly how you feel. I have never felt as bad as I have these three years TTC.

I have read and been told that I will resolve my infertility and move on to a good place. I have days were I do not believe that but, deep deep down in my heart I have to believe that I will.

So, I manage to hang on and keep going. You are a very strong woman and you will hang on and manage to survive. Good luck to you!!!

Alice said...

I remember long ago reading A Few Good Eggs which contained a passage about how if you want to have a family, you WILL have a family, it just may not be the way you initially envisioned. At the time, I did not like that sentiment at all. Now, I understand and appreciate it as I possibly move into a different direction to form my family. It's hard to let go. Perhaps you won't need to - but if you do, you'll know when the time is right to try a different avenue.

Kristen said...

I know I haven't been around long but you are not alone. I have been lapped many times in my journey and I often feel like I'm the last one standing (or sulking is more like it).

I hope you can get off this deserted island of IF. Thinking of you. XOXO

IVF said...

you're not the only one without children and I hope it makes you feel a tiny bit better. There are many of us out there still,despite all the will and determination.
Don't be hard on yourself, it's ok to be angry,jealous and whatever else you feel.

What I wish the most for you is to get what you want with the hope that you are able to restore all that was lost during the process.

Your blog keeps me going even when you are being negative. What you think is how I feel at any given time.
Courage and luck to you.
Big hug

Megan said...

I'm not going to try to cheer you up or tell you to think positivly, because I know exactly how that makes you feel. I can't even say I don't feel well anymore around my family without someone telling me to "remember the secret". Can I borrow that spork and rub some cayanne pepper on it first?

I could have written that post, my dear, and I thank you for doing it so I didn't have to. That way I don't have to sit through another pep talk when all I really want to do is be allowed to feel like shit for awhile. I'll bounce back, I always do. I'm a naturally happy person, it's too hard to be depressed for too long, but let me have it while it's here, K?

Someone mentioned non-traditional family to you. I would just like to go on record as saying, I want to adopt. I've wanted to adopt since I was very little. I want to adopt a child of a different nationality. I WANT A NON-TRADITIONAL FAMILY.

But I still want MY pregnancy. I still want MY baby. And no, I will not live an ungrateful life if i don't get it. You can have desires unfulfilled and still be a "fulfilled" person.

But I will never stop wanting it.

And I hope you don't either.

You can come read me. I don't talk about baby stuff much anymore, but I talk. :)

Shelli said...

Hey Megan - I still mourn for the pregnancy I never experienced. I'm not sure if that will ever go away. It just lessens with time, as all things do.

But Malka IS "MY" Baby.

Please be mindful of language. If she's not "my" baby, then who's baby is she?

vixanne wigg said...

I'm sorry. Your pain in this entry is so strong. I want to give you a virtual hug. It sucks and it isn't fair and it sucks that it's not fair. I'm always checking your blog and hoping to hear good news from you. I think the other posters are right that even in the traditional route doesn't work out there are other ways to have a family. I think you can still mourn what you didn't have and be happy about what you do have. Hugs.

Megan said...

sorry, didn't mean to imply that an adopted child wouldn't be "Mine". I know that more than you know. My nephews have a place so deep in my heart that moving last month felt like I was leaving my children.

My desire to adopt is deep, personal and very impatient. I told my husband 4 years before we even knew that we would be going through this that I wanted one of my body and one not. That will be MY baby. I DO believe that some people are "called" to adopt. I believe I'm one of them.
I alreay call my nephews "MY Boys", and they are, really. My sister is very generous with her children, and have allowed me to play a very significant role in thier lives. I'm so lucky for that.

My point in saying all that was that it's okay to feel like crap sometimes when you're going through this. Just because there's a light at the end of the tunnel, doesn't mean you can't be pissed about the dark. And just because you're pissed doesn't mean you're a grumpy unhappy person who needs to be reminded of the "the Secret". And just because you don't want to be reminded of the Secret, doesn't mean you don't believe in it, because I do. But sometimes its just okay to be you for one moment.

neko said...

Ok... wait. You get to feel sad, pissed off, annoyed, angry or whatever other negative emotions you damn well please at pregnancy announcements. Having shared that bile with you (which I will never forget) it is all to easy to blame ourselves, when there is no blame to place. It just simply is, which is what makes it the hardest and most mournful thing to have to come to "terms" with. Whatever the hell that means anyway.

But you get to feel sad before you feel happy for others... this makes you human.

You are more than human S. You are special and very loved. *hugs*

dawn said...

I think you are truly an amazing woman and you will be a wonderful mother. No matter how it happens it will happen for you.

kimmer said...

So understand what you are feeling, and it's totally normal and you are not insane. I knew that IVF won't work and made a decision to move forward with other plans. The pain of IF will never leave me, I don't even think if I had a bio child it would ever ease up. Too much shit endured. I'm thinking of you hon, I understand what you are feeling.

Mickie said...

I hope that you find a way to become the mother you want to be. But I can tell you that the hurt will stay with you even if/when you do find that way. I'm not saying that to scare you, but to know that even those of us that have moved on to the next phase are still dealing with the aftermath of this difficult thing called IF. We still hurt sometimes. I am infertile but pregnant. But I just found out that my friend is having her second baby. I started my fertilty journey when she was still pregnant with her first child. It's not fair, and it still made me angry. I still couldn't truly be happy for her. How can she be on baby #2 already? And why does it have to happen during my pregnancy? She thinks it'll be fun to be pregnant together & to be mommies together. And maybe it will once I can accept it. But right now I just feel like she's stealing my thunder :( I tried so hard, and she tried for a month. UGH! So don't feel guilty about your pain when someone announces a pregnancy. You are allowed!!! And you may continue to feel that way even when you get pregnant or adopt.

ilyse said...

S, just like many others have said, your child to be, no matter how he/she comes to you, will be so lucky to have you as a mom. I know it will happen for you. You deserve it so much. I am so sorry that you are still going through all of this. ((hugs))

mommy to an angel said...

Just a passer-by to say HI!
I'm sorry you are going through all of this and for so long - it just sucks!! It's just not fair and I'll be praying that your day will come very soon!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for honestly expressing the feelings held by so many of us. I'm so sorry for your pain. I wish you peace whatever the future holds.

Anonymous said...

To add to my previous post - I think it's too bad that an adoptive mother needed to seek affirmation from you instead of simply sypathizing with your pain. Is it really necessary for you to validate her position as "the mom" through the use of PC terminology when you are dealing with pain?

People's responses always have have everything to do with THEM. Take care of yourself!

Gumby said...

My mocking room is a nice shade of gender-neutral baby green. I painted it about one and a half years ago to be sure I wouldn't have to deal with paint while pregnant. That door stays shut most of the time. I stay out of the dresser drawers where I put the collection of baby clothes I have acquired over the years in anticipation because the Secret said I should live as if it already is and I was/still am so desperate that I will try anything.
I know exactly how you feel. I too have felt like I am drowning and don't know how to save myself. The point of this is that, as when you started, you are still not alone. I teared up when I read this post because it hit so close to home for me and it reminded me of the feelings of being left behind growing deeper at each pregnancy or birth announcement.
Unfortunately there are plenty of us infertiles out there. Hopefully someday soon we will be extinct because there will be no such thing as "infertile" anymore. Until then, know you're not alone and we're sending you hugs...

Katarina Jelly Beana said...

I connected to you through Creme de la Creme.

No pep talks from me, just thanks for writing something so honest. Being last woman standing must have been really difficult.

Almamay said...

Really enjoyed your post. I can relate more than you realize. I thankfully found your post through Creme de la Creme

msmiranda said...

Also here from Creme ... I think the title of your blog pretty much captures it. It is so hard to understand why nature or [insert higher power of your choice] would allow so many wonderful people to go through this kind of pain. I wish you all the best in 2008.

loribeth said...

Here from Creme de la Creme. After years of loss & infertility, my dh & I resolved to live childfree. Just about all the other couples we've encountered along the way, in "real life" & cyberspace, have gone on to have children or adopt (sometimes against huge odds) -- and even though, in my mind, they are the most "deserving" parents on the face of the planet, it still stings sometimes to be the odd ones out. My own Creme de la Creme post talks about this indirectly. Thanks for a great piece!

Kathy V said...

I came via the Creme. Thanks for posting this. It speaks so honestly about where your heart stands. I have felt many of the same emotions. I know I am not the only one without children but sometimes it sure does seem that way. Thanks again for posting this on the creme list.