Loneliness or Solitude?
I’ve never been a person needing a lot of people around me, but at the same time I used to have a core group of friends who I considered rock solid, all from different origins with different stories and different kinds of connections. They bore witness to the past few years of my life, watched me meet and exchange vows with my one and only…and I felt secure in those bonds.
Yet as many of us know, even the relationships we think we can count on the most, the people we consider our family, aren’t safe from disintegration. When it comes to infertility, the road with your partner can come with mind-numbing silence, seeing many of the people you count on to be there find that they are suddenly “too busy” or that every time you make plans, something or someone more important always seems to come up to cause them to cancel your time together, with an expectation that you’ll just roll with the punches (every.single.time.) and somehow be okay with the fact that the longer you struggle, the less of a priority you’ll be to them.
And occasionally, you break down. You curl up in your husband’s arms and you shake so much in your tears that you can’t breathe, wondering how not so long ago these were people you would have taken a bullet for. Strangely, it reminded me of some of those romances of my youth where I’d interpreted the connection as far greater than they really were. And when those things happen, when someone doesn’t value you, doesn’t step up for you like you had for them? You feel betrayed. You feel foolish. And with some, you walk away when they show you that they’re not . With others, you just go silent. You’re too tired to call people out for shit they should know better. Especially when they cancel because of things in their life you only wish you had and have been denied repeatedly over the past year and a half.
Maybe it’s genetic. Maybe we’re just two peas in a pod.
But with all that I hurt over, I know one thing about myself that is very much like my father – I enjoy my quiet time. I enjoy solitude. And my husband is like me in that respect. He does better when he gets his quiet time, whether it be on his bike or buried in a book. He told me a while back when I asked him why he never went out for a beer with anyone from work and he said, I guess I’m just shy about that kind of stuff, and as he’s said before, it’s just not that important to him that he have a tight social circle because we’ve got each other. We’re each other’s BFF.
And at first I kind of grumbled – not because I want to change him, but because it was hard to accept that in myself I’m pretty darn similar. I don’t have any close friends from childhood like some have. Once you skip a grade at age 10 and see those friends quickly forget you even exist, you learn that friendship isn’t usually something that lasts. You know the old adage about people coming into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime? It’s like that I suppose. “Me and him against the world” comes to mind. Yet, the first time I was married I thought about this as a rebellious type of statement. Now, with Dan, I see this as a confirmation of our bond as husband and wife, of our commitment to each other no matter what happens around us. It comforts me.
You’re all that I can trust
Facing the darkest days
Everyone ran away
But we’re gonna stay here, we’re gonna stay here
When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown
~ Madonna “Ghosttown”
This all reminds me so much of my father. When he was younger and I was little, he had a few buddies, one who he’d been friends with since childhood, and a couple others who were engineers he’d worked with for years. But after he moved away and started his other family, friends were just not something he seemed to have anymore. While he was known for being able to strike up a conversation with just about anyone (exactly like my husband, and I suppose, like myself), in his own life he just didn’t feel the need to do that friendship thing anymore. Out in nature whether it be in the mountains, desert or coast, when I was a kid, there were only a few times we spent with his friends. It was usually just he and I, and I never noticed anything wrong with that.
So why do I beat myself up for this constant evolution in my own world of close friends? I suppose it’s because of the (hopefully) impending family we are creating, wanting to know we have people we can count on since we don’t have a DNA tribe to rely on.
And I will say quite firmly that this whole baring-of-soul is NOT in any way discounting the other wonderful friends I have made more recently, both online and offline, who have kept in touch and made genuine attempts to keep me sane, who have understood that this is not an easy struggle and who are so incredibly special to me. I am simply allowing myself to grieve, to accept, to move forward after seeing . Hell, I’ve had this post in drafts mode for almost a week now as I breathe through it all.
And the Dreams Continue
Last night I dreamed I was pregnant. As usual, it wasn’t about learning early on, I just WAS. It reminded me a bit of a lumpy bowling ball. That’s dreams for ya. For some reason we thought we were due in 2 weeks and the doctor said no, you’ve still got 2 months to go. And then my dad (who for those who don’t already know, died in 2008, and in his last days I was motivated to start this blog) showed up, wanting to be around for the baby. It was a deep, emotionally intense feeling in my gut. He even moved into my mother’s house (btw they divorced in 1978 and it was obvious to me how much they disliked each other). I then woke from this weirdness, as my husband rolled over to snuggle up to me, as he does early in the morning before we commit to opening our eyes.
I don’t know. It feels so damn far away now, all this kid stuff, like we’re just playing house and it’s not real. Any other infertile gals know what I mean?
The Suspense Hasn’t Let Up
We’re waiting for our adoption agency’s directors to return from Ethiopia to tell us what the latest is there. After the violence erupted in the latter part of 2015, it doesn’t seem to be letting up all that much, as I found an article by Human Rights Watch on Yahoo as recent as a week ago confirming the protests and the Ethiopian government crackdowns continue.
So what does one do in our shoes? Nothing. Nothing can be done. A few have asked us “well why don’t you just change countries” as if we’re just picking a child from a hat and we didn’t have any connection to our decision to adopt from there. Our commitment is to adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. The only way we’d change is if the program was closed and we were forced to apply to another country. It’s as simple as that.
So, in the meantime, we’re just waiting for our RE to send us our updated schedule so we know what days we’ll be starting up the shots again, and what day the ultrasound will be. It’s not a huge dramatic deal anymore. Fucking exhausting? Check. But oodles of excitement and optimism? Notsomuch.
More to come, but in the meantime, it’s time to go get some needles and fall into the happy floaty zone of acupuncture…