I’m not going to sugar coat today’s blog entry. It has been a very tough day and I don’t see the point in pretending otherwise – I want people to know that days like these do happen.
Early this afternoon I found myself in huddled in our back hallway unable to move. I was crying so hard that I almost threw up. I wanted to punch a hole in the wall. I wanted to inflict some injury on myself that would represent the pain I was feeling inside. I told myself over and over again that I was useless, stupid and pathetic, and that nothing I would ever do in this world would amount to anything.
It took me quite a while to stop crying, to recognise the feelings I was having and to acknowledge them enough to give them some space to play out, and then to be able to get up off the floor.
It’s strange how after this kind of day happens I can see how my mood, my thoughts and my actions of the past few days were building up to it – they are kind of like clouds that move together to become a storm. And like a storm, it eventually dissipates leaving me exhausted, but somehow clearer.
Today’s storm began at the end of last week. I went on a three night trip with Conservation Volunteers Australia to the lower part of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. We helped the local school children clean up their plant nursery area, got rid of weeds in a coastal reserve, and put tree guards up on some little trees to prevent rabbits from eating them. It was great. I had been looking forward to it very much.
When I got home I thought that I would suddenly have a different view of my life. I had done something out of my comfort zone, something that mattered, and something that would give me a sense of identity.
I was shocked when the sense of achievement and the sense of self that I expected to have weren’t there when I got home. If anything I felt completely disconnected from my life, my writing, my home, and even my family and friends to an extent.
As I tend to do, I put on a brave face trying to convince myself that everything was just fine, and I almost convinced myself it was until today.
Just before I crumbled in the hallway I was sitting at the dining room table with my head in my hands and repeating over and over “I want my baby”. You see, our baby from our second round of IVF would have been turning four around the 8th of April this year. If they were here we would have been organising their fourth birthday party – friends, family, games, dress ups, cupcakes.
I can almost see them blowing out their candles and I can almost feel their little hand in mine.
But they’re not here. I can’t give them a birthday party. I can’t hug them and kiss them and tuck them into bed, with an overwhelming awe that such a child came from Kirby and me.
It hurts. It hurts a lot sometimes. And it isn’t fair. And I feel like a failure because I couldn’t bring our baby into this world.
Feeling like I am a failure because I cannot have a baby is not nice, but even worse is when that sense of failure leaks over into the rest of my life. I am a failure at something that is supposed to be so natural and this expands to encapsulate myself as a wife, a friend, a writer, and now as a conservation volunteer. It all gets so big that I am scared and I have to hide away in the back hall for a while.
I don’t know if times like these are ever going to leave me alone forever. I doubt it. Actually, I doubt that any of us will go through life without experiencing self-doubt and fear. It seems to be a condition of being human.
I do hope, though, that somehow I can find a way to face those feelings of failure and fear without being so overwhelmed by them. I don’t know how yet. All I can do for the moment is ride them out until they are done wreaking havoc, pick myself up and get moving, and get my life back on some kind of track.
This isn’t a happy blog entry. I was going to write about how all of this has meaning and how I grow through experiences like this, but, quite frankly, I’m too tired to think about that right now. So, all I will say is “I want my baby” and “it just isn’t fair.”