Saturday, January 24, 2009

Cracked Open - Part 2

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. All the king's horses and all the king's men Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Now I know this is a nursery rhyme, though not a particulary nice one. But I have a couple of questions. Now I don't know what one expects from horses - why were they called in? What's a horse gonna do? Did the King's men bring in a bucket of water and wash all Humpty's bits away? Existential angst aside, I had felt like Humpty at one point. And like my pseudonym, I certainly felt like I had imploded like a dying star. Simultaneously dealing with my mum's stroke and dementia and trying to get knocked up at the ripe old age of 40 was a bit .... stressful. By failing to conceive and carry a child to term it felt like the universe had conspired to doom me. Now I know that's not true, I just didn't have a stellar womb and science couldn't defeat my biology. I'm certainly not unique in that experience of infertility. My pretty good life took a turn down What the Fuck? Lane. It went from heady excitement and smiles and cheer (had even picked out a name!) to grim determination in the face of infinitesimal odds of success. At a certain point during my IVF days (I'm pretty sure it was when I was in a supply closet recuperating from my first egg retrieval) that I went down the proverbial rabbit hole. I came out of it 3 years later when I used the last of my frozen embryos on the last vapours of my hope, faith and our Visa card. I got up from my knees and went about my business as best as I could, I didn't have a nervous breakdown or anything. Well ..... mmmm. Maybe I did.

I thought I was putting my dreams to rest and moving forward. I thought I would finally be free from the grip of the world of Hunger. You know that world. The one where you just NEED, NEED AND WANT more than you think is sane. I needed to let go because I was sinking. I decided that I was sick to death of being traumatized by blank pregnancy tests, blood labs, swollen ovaries, doctors, and fertility clinics. I was SUPREMELY PISSED. And I was not me anymore. The ascerbic but basically happy go lucky woman who believed that love conquered all, shopping cures all ills, and I know the answer to everything. I was a good person and so when, pray tell, was the good karma law going to come into effect for me? I had endured a generous amount of physical pain and discomfort, and always looked on the bright side. If I worked hard enough, endured enough, DIDN'T GIVE UP, I would be rewarded and I would get to tell my tale of how our child came into this world. Why should I care about the shitty odds? What's a number compared to my the sheer force of my will? People would applaud and wipe the tears from the eye and I would be a symbol of hope and sunshine and roses would come beaming out of my ass and oh, brother, what an EGO! I WAS A GOOD GIRL AND GOOD GIRLS GET THEIR CANDY IF THEY BEHAVE. Even DH told me once that once we started down that path, it was like HE HAD TO WIN, he had to ACHIEVE and BE NUMBER ONE! (insert waving foam finger here) GO TEAM GO, WIN, WIN, WIN!
I lost my faith. And when I stopped chanting, I lost hope. I lost joy. And for a long, long time I believed that somehow I had made a wrong decision somewhere along the line and mentally I kept going back to try and and figure it out. Which is ridiculous. I had to figure out just where I went wrong. Cause if I could figure out when, then everything would make sense, right? Ego, ego, ego was running the show. I resisted in seeing my reality in every sense of the world. Both my husband and I looked at each other and went - who the hell are you?!
Why I am still writing about all this? Cause I still feel the hole. It's been a year since our homestudy was signed, sealed and delivered and still there's a hole. I've tried to fill it. I've tried ignoring it. I definitely think it's become smaller. Like my pant size. The hole has even served me in ways I could never have imagined. It certainly has made me more compassionate. Even served with a slice of bitter betty pie, I've managed to keep my sense of humour. And the point of chanting came back to me. To have hope and joy is indeed possible. For what the hole has taught me, I am very grateful. GRATITUDE. I looked into the eyes of a dying woman and something cracked open inside of me. I'm still battling my ego, fear still whispers in my ear. I know what it is now though.

The old me is gone, may she rest in peace. I missed her, mourned her but there's no going back. Just forward. I like the hole, I've gotten used to it. Not sure I could live without it. Why would I want to be put together again, when there's such a great future ahead of me?

"... but my hope is that with deep prayer and practice, I can transform my karma, connect with the stuff of the universe and create as many stars as I can. Be a star again. And not just any old star. But a Sun. Brilliant and fierce."


loribeth said...

I was always that good girl who did everything expected of her too. A (living) baby is one of the few things in life that I've worked hard to get but never achieved.

Strangely enough, though, I've kind of gotten used to the hole too. I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago, & I've gone through a lot of pain to become the Me I am today, but I don't think I'd trade it. I like to at least think that I'm a better person & have learned something from all of this. (Of course, I could be delusional.) ; )

Pamela T. said...

You're still writing because what you've lived with and through is not trivial or easily's complex and confusing and transformative all at once.

luna said...

this is such a perfectly beautiful post. so profound in so many ways. you say so much. the angst, the hole, the hunger. injustice, despair, recovery, reclaiming. insight, acceptance.

you ARE brilliant and fierce. I've looked in YOUR eyes and this much I know.

thanks for sharing this eloquent post.

OHN said...

Self evolution is an important part of life. In a perfect world, we would never stop changing and would welcome the new people we become over time.
(but nobody ever promised it would be easy;)

Natika said...

I believe in karma.
I believe in good and bad karma.
If anyone on the planet deserves good karma its you!
I have to have hope you'll get your baby.
No child could ever be wanted more.

annacyclopedia said...

Can't muster more at the moment other than to say that I REALLY needed this post today. Thank you so much, dear one.

Wordgirl said...

If you could see me you would see me, my hands clasped before me, bowing my head to you -- so much resonated here - girl, YOU resonate with me -- I feel so blessed to have found your blog. I really wrestle with the ego-driven questions -- all the things you write here -- ego in the driver's seat and the illusion of it all --

This is a fucked up journey my friend -- you have so much grace and you literally emanate light.

I echo all that's been said here my brilliant, fierce and beautiful friend,