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March 16, 2008

So I have read through this chapter…quite a bit and really just sitting here just trying to figure out how to relay the thoughts in my head into words on a page screen. This chapter is called “Dealing with the World” and there is really a lot to it considering that outside of what I see as failings in terms of reproduction,  a big part of my pain comes from dealing with the world.

When we started on this road we thought it was easy.  We started out alone on the road- just the two of us- because none of our friends wanted family.  None were ready even though some had children. We were different because this was/is something we wanted before we even knew for sure that it was something we wanted with each other.

Our road was wide, paved and easy.  Lined with trees and meadows.  Soon our road was filled with companionship–friends were settling down and wanting a family as well.  Excited by it all we went along the road together–planning things together because surely we would experience not only pregnancy together but parenthood as well.  Maybe not physically together since we are a military family and the friends we made/will make along the way are also in this life that is defined by separation, but having each other to talk to about what Junior is doing now, how do “you” deal with such and such, etc. 

But things didn’t work out that way.  By natures design the road fragmented and our friends went on, their road taking them farther and farther away from ours as the months (then years) passed without our road bending.  Straight but not so pleasant as it was in the beginning.  First some crumbling at the edges, then a sink hole here and there, eventually turning into this quasi-road with sharp rocks instead of smooth pavement.  No more vibrant trees and meadows but rather a desert with dead weeds tumbling along with us.

When we started out (and hopefully this will clue you into my imagery above in case you are confounded by it) we were so hopeful and so full of expectation.  The way I viewed the world was really very much sunshine and daisies even though my actions weren’t at all “pollyanna”-ish.  The world re-enforced my naiveness every where I looked. In the advertisements, in the stores, with co-workers and friends.  Every place I looked I saw what was so natural and expected.  I didn’t mind the 0ffice announcements or the commercials, of the placement of the maternity section in a store, the questions from strangers about children and the expectation of them.  It was all okay because soon we would be able to partake in all of that.  Soon we would have our own pictures to show me grow with child, soon we would be the focus of a baby shower, we would be the ones having to work through a birth plan and making decisions on things.  We’d be decorating a room and buying books.

When we realized there would be problems the road was still relatively easy and it wasn’t a big deal to still participate in these things with others, but my perspective certainly was changing.  It was me of course because the world would not all change of course.  As we moved farther along  this journey I stopped things slowly because they got too painful.   Our road narrowed and the world around us got gray and I began to see it as a hazard.  A place that would suck what little joy I could find in dealing with this infertility like the desert soaks up water.  It invades with its commercials when I just want to watch a show on television to get me away from my problems.  It invades when I just want to buy some groceries, or when I just want to have a nice evening out with my husband.  The questions are barbs to my heart because I don’t have an answer.  I don’t like to see the look of pity when I tell the truth of why or the look of disapproval if I make a witty comeback.

So this chapter is good because how I deal with the world effects the way (in part) infertility affects me.  The most striking line in this chapter to me is when they are addressing  how to respond to stinging comments:

“….remember, you do not have to respond right away, if at all”.

So simple, so true.  If I am in a place where I cannot answer without the bitterness coming through, a place where I cannot educate then I don’t *have* to say anything at all.  In my head I know that people try to start up conversation based on what they think they can relate on and there is no LED display on my forehead announcing what place I am at emotionally— unfourtnately.  I can’t control their ignorance but I can certainly control my response to it and I think that if I make the effort I can walk away from the situation without dwelling on it for minutes, hours or days on end.  Or at least until I can share the situation with someone (or a group of people) who understand.

 This chapter also deals with how to deal with family in terms of what to tell them, how much to tell them, etc.  Hubby and I decided early on that we wouldn’t share our struggles.  For me it was a matter of not fully trusting in my father and his wife and of knowing that our pain would become about them.  As far as my mom is concerned–I didn’t (and still don’t) think she can relate to what I am dealing with and there is no advice give that would make me feel better.  To give her credit I do think that she has pretty much guessed at why we aren’t pregnant (especially since she knows I haven’t been on birth control for years), and she hasn’t said anything about it but at the same time diverts my dad when he ventures onto the grandkids subject.  As for hubby’s side of the family–their view is that one snippet of information entitles them to the whole of our lives and we didn’t want that.  We have a strategy when it comes to dealing with thing–which mostly isn’t a problem since we don’t live near family. 

 Another line at the end of the chapter…or rather the title of a subsection… really stood out to me as well.

“You are coping.  Even though it may not feel like it”.

I like that and I think that is going to be my mantra when I am in these situations where I feel so overwhelmed by the world.  I *am* coping because I make it from one day to the next.  I *am* coping because slowly but surely we are rediscovering the bits of each other that we lost along that road some where–along those points where it was dark and cold and we simply put our heads down and tried to make it through with as much of ourselves as we could.    I *am* coping because while I allow myself to cry I also allow myself to laugh.

Maybe our road won’t turn but instead continue in that straight line but maybe the world around that road will go back to being something we can contribute to and enjoy instead of feeling as though it exists to suck all our joy. 

I certainly hope so

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 17, 2008 1:41 pm

    Great post as usual. 🙂

  2. March 17, 2008 1:41 pm

    Oh, and love the digs! Are you one who rearranges her house a lot? 😉

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