B: “Listen to the sound of defeat in your voice.”
T: “Might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been defeated.”*
I feel defeated. I feel like I failed. Intellectually, I know that that is not true, that I have a medical condition which has prevented me from getting pg. That even if we did go on to IUI or IVF that I am only buying the possibility of getting pg, not the pg itself. I know that there is nothing that I did, or did not, do that has placed me where I am. But emotionally, none of that makes any difference. I still feel like a failure.
I feel guilty. Last week, when Manly told me that he was thinking about stopping trying permanently, my immediate emotion (before my internal filters kicked in) was relief. Relief that we don’t have to do this anymore, that the bloodwork and doctor’s appointments and forced sex were all going to stop, that the cycles of hope and disappointment and sadness would end. Almost before I could admit that to myself, the guilt reflex kicked in — guilt that I felt happy about stopping, like maybe I wasn’t pg because I didn’t want it enough, that I didn’t deserveto have a baby. If that doesn’t illustrate what a shitty headspace dealing with IF will put you in, I don’t know what will.
I feel damaged. It’s like my heart and soul have been bruised. I want to retreat for a while from anything that might cause me more pain. Right now, a song on the radio, a baby in the store, being in the same freaking room with my husband will make me start crying. A whisper of emotion, good or bad, is enough to bring me to tears. It feels as if all of this emotion has been bottled up inside of me, that I’ve been carrying all the tears around for a long time. But it feels cathartic to get it out. Each time I cry, I feel a little more of the load lifting away. I feel a little stronger, a little more competent. Maybe if I cry it all out, I’ll be able to get back to the place where I’m strong enough to deal with life again.
In spite of all that, I feel as though I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. I know that the intensity of these emotions is only temporary. I know that as time passes, it will get easier. That the other aspects of my life will resume their proper balance, and that IF will become just a piece of who I am, rather than my defining characteristic. Now, it’s just a matter of getting through the tunnel to reach the end…
*Ah, this is one of the greats. I can’t give you the characters’ names, because that would totally tell you the movie. But there are two people speaking here. Movie title for 15 points.