Over the weekend my husband and I had a conversation about a study he read, about the lasting effects of child abuse into adulthood. This was a big deal for us, since its not news to anyone that I had a “difficult” childhood, and that some of the decisions I made as a younger woman were definitely
questionable bad. My husband has a mild case of Aspergers so he’s not always the most emotive or emotionally understanding person. He’s one of the most intelligent and kind-hearted however, there have been lots of times that I’ve felt he hasn’t understood me when he says “just get over it” “just move on” when I talk about the difficulties with my family.
I was shocked when he brought it up, saying that the study shows that these children grow up feeling unworthy, never good enough, and undeserving, they are likely to be depressed, to abuse alcohol and or drugs. They sabotage themselves. They climb extraordinary mountains only to give up 1 step from the top. He said he couldn’t help but think of me when reading the study. Because I’ve said all those actual words to him a million times. He also said “its amazing that you’re not a sociopath because what you endured, is how they are made.”
I’ve had enormous successes, and I’ve failed huge. I’ve lived what some would consider to be an extraordinary life so far. I am mostly, an overachiever, unless it bores me or I lose interest and then I quit. I have issues with authority, I question almost everything. I consider myself to be pretty highly functioning, but there are some places in me that are absolutely positive that I don’t deserve a happy ending. That I take up too much space in the world. That I am not worthy of love, of a family or of a child. That ultimately I’m just not good enough. Nothing has made me come face to face with that more than my IVF journey.
But something is changing. I get through the overwhelming feelings I have about my childlessness, difficulties with my AMA, my IVF treatments, and all the fears that brings to the forefront, by dreaming about how Id do it different. So many years I’ve felt undeserving. So many years I’ve felt unworthy. Finally, FINALLY I know I can. So I try every day dream a little, to hope a little, that somehow, even given all the odds against me, that I will be graced with the privilege of raising a baby. I will choose what kind of upbringing he or she has, I will choose how they are educated, I will choose what I want to instill in my child. I will choose differently than my parents. I want my child to trust. To never wonder if he or she is loved, to be happy, to love music, to dance and feel the joy of childhood, without the worry, the anxiety and the fear I experienced daily as a child.
Giving myself a break from my broken-ness, to let my mind wander and to dream of that little being, calms me, helps me refocus, It began to dawn on me that maybe that’s part of the answer. Giving yourself the space to dream, to wish, to hope, to believe that things will turn out ok. Self hatred breeds well.. self-hatred. It keeps me stuck. I don’t want to be stuck anymore. I don’t want to be afraid all the time. I don’t want to forever see myself as unworthy.
I wrote a post a few weeks ago that was controversial. Aptly named I suppose. I bring it up only because since that post, no fewer than 4 of the bloggers I follow, have quit or “signed off” at least temporarily, citing that the feelings, the obsession, the fear was just too much for them now and that they need space. Which makes me wonder, if they give themselves permission to dream, or if they are so upset by their difficulties in conceiving that they don’t. And I wonder if it would help? To dream about all you want for that child once it gets here.
For my comrades in arms, I want you to be kind to yourselves, be gentle with yourselves. Give yourself some time to dream, to come back with a renewed determination. To join your sisters in infertility, who will walk this difficult path with you and be strong for you when you don’t feel strong yourselves. Some of you have already done that for me in my short time as a blogger, and I know I am strong enough to give it back to those that need it.
My question for you and the IF community at large is, are you dreaming about your someday baby? If you are, what are the things that are forefront in your mind? If you’re not, Id like to challenge you to take a break from thinking about your infertility, and dream about the way your life will be, and what you envision. If you wouldn’t mind sharing something you dream about as a comment, Id love to read your thoughts.