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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to post on Saturday because of some internet issues where I was staying, but the plan was to write about getting away (I know, kind of obvious, right?). But my getting away turned out to be less pleasant than I expected. Not UNpleasant, just less pleasant.
I spent the weekend house/pet sitting for some friends. It was meant to be a little time to myself, doing things I enjoy (not going to lie, I’m mostly talking about computer games here) and just relaxing without feeling a whole lot of pressure. It didn’t work out quite like that, and in the end, it turned out to be not enough of a getaway to make me feel like I actually got away. I suppose that has more to do with the fact that I didn’t really leave town.
I’m too poor for a vacation. That statement is even more true now that I am out of work. I can’t get away. I can’t even go camping (not that I’d want to in the middle of October around here). I’m under tons of stress (that whole not having work is a big part of it) and since my usual escapes have become everyday activities for me, I’m getting no relief (All Along the Watchtower just came to mind).
I suppose I’m not entirely sure what my point is here. Obviously, if you can get away from the stresses of your daily life, I’m all for it. But for those of us that can’t.. Well I wish I had an answer for us. I wish I knew how we could get away without actually getting away.
Sometimes (at least in my experience), it’s difficult to feel like an adult right after divorce. Perhaps it has more to do with when I got married. Since I was 18, I should have been just starting out, but I jumped ahead. For some people, this works just fine. For me, the jump was a disaster. While I was married, I aged too fast. The abuse aged me. The pain of my loss aged me. Gaining the strength to leave aged me. But in so many ways I was still just a kid. So when I separated at 23, I was basically a teenager again. When I got my own place a few months later, I was about 20. When I really established myself in my home and got into a groove, I was much closer to my actual age (24 by then). And then when it all came crashing down around me, yet again, I simultaneously turned what felt about 18 and 90.
I never feel my age anymore. I have a job, I pay my bills, but I don’t live on my own. I can’t take care of myself. And while I am working toward exactly that, not having it makes me feel like a child. And yet, everything I’ve been through, everything I go through.. It all makes me feel older than I really am.
I suppose just about everyone feels the same way, though, depending on what’s going on in their lives. I just feel like I live in a constant state of back and forth. I crave stability. I want to feel like a 26 year old.
I hate it. So much. I keep seeing babies, hearing about people having babies, having dreams that I’ve had a baby. I’m so tired of it. I can’t have a baby right now. Stupid brain needs to knock it off.
I am honestly having a really low day today, so I really don’t have anything more to say.
Blogs will be posted on Saturdays only from now on.
Yeah, I know I didn’t post on Saturday. To be fair, I’m sick this weekend. So you all just be happy I’m posting for you at all! I’m kidding, but I’m a real baby when I get sick, so this is a bit of a miracle.
Anyway, onto this blog’s main topic.
I don’t think dating after divorce is ever all that easy, but adding infertility to the mix can complicate things a bit. For me, I don’t think that’s a piece of myself that I can leave out for later. If you want to be in a relationship with me, then you need to know that I have this issue and also that I plan to overcome it. Which, of course, means talking about babies. Which can often scare people away. It’s really hard to explain “oh by the way, I have infertility. It’s really hard for me to get pregnant and carry a baby to term, but I having kids is basically my biggest goal in life. I don’t want to have your babies right now or anything, but I want them eventually.” No one ever believes that I don’t want immediately want babies until I explain to them a million times, that I legitimately could not take care of a child right now.
So the first guy I dated after getting divorced was actually a pretty great guy. Polar opposite of my ex husband. Loved his job, was working steady hours, saving money, trying to go back to school, wasn’t ever controlling or manipulative, always tried to make me feel good about myself. Like I said, pretty great guy. But after a while with him, as much as I cared about him, I realized I just wasn’t ready for anything really serious. I just needed to be alone for a while. I mean, this guy was even on board with the idea of future babies and the struggles that might come with that. You’d think I’d be all over this dude! But in reality, I felt he was all over me all of the time. Not physically, since we lived like 14 hours from each other or something like that, but emotionally.
So now I’m into this whole take it slow thing, which results in people losing interest after a while. Which, to be fair, helps me out in a way. I’m not into starting something up with someone who can’t wait to be serious.
A lot of the time, it feels like maybe the infertility is a bigger issue for me than for whoever I’m dating. Which makes sense, I suppose. Usually they just don’t understand the extent of what it might take for me to get pregnant and have a baby. They don’t understand what it might cost. Meanwhile, I’ve been hanging out on babycenter for years, reading about women who had to spend 10s of thousands on IVF and IUI and all of the different medications, plus hospital stays. Not to mention how many of them have suffered multiple miscarriages. The process scares me to death. I’m terrified that it’s going to break me, and I have to be confident that my partner will be able to pick up the pieces and put me back together.
It’s a tall order to fill, and it makes for some interesting dating experiences. Although, generally I don’t do so much dating as general conversing. Usually interest is expressed and then there’s a lot of talking rather than any actual going on dates.
I talk like I have so much experience with this. The reality is, interested parties have been few and far between.
I’ve had a real low point with my depression, then leveled out on the “happy” end of the depression spectrum, my car died, I’ve been driven completely crazy by work, my dog ended up with a back injury.. UGH! And obviously, I’ve completely neglected my blog.
I just wanted to make a quick post and let everyone know that I have NOT forgotten about my blog, I’ve just had a lot going on.
I have a topic in mind that I will be posting about this Saturday, so come back and check it out!
For a long time, nothing helped. I was just horribly depressed and there was nothing in the world that gave me any relief.
Now, I won’t lie to you. I’m still depressed. I live my life one day at a time, and while some days are easier than others, no day ever really feels easy. But over time, I have found some things that help me a little bit when it comes to dealing with the pain and stress of infertility and my particular situation.
The first, is writing. Probably not a big surprise there. I started this blog, after all. I like to write other things, too, though. Random thoughts and feelings, of course. But I am also writing books. Yes, plural. I haven’t finished any of them, but I’m in the middle of two. Books have always been an escape for me (along with other things). I love that when I start reading a book, it’s like I’m entering a whole different world. It’s like I’m living the life of the character I’m reading about. It’s a truly amazing feeling, and it’s one that I would love to help others have. I’ve always said that I want to help people, and I definitely do. For a while, I was looking to do that through a career in the medical field. Unfortunately, that is a dream that I have had to give up on. It has NOT been an easy thing to do, and I don’t know if I’ll ever give it up entirely. So instead of pursuing some type of medical degree, I’ve started focussing a little more on my writing. It’s something I’m good at, it’s something I enjoy, and it is something that I truly believe can help people. And it is such a wonderful release of emotion for me.
Reading is another, and it kind of goes along with the writing. Like I said, it’s an escape. My reading habits always interest people. I talk about how much I love books, how much I love to read, but I don’t do it nearly as often as others who profess such a love for reading. I think, because I am such an emotional person (there, I admitted it!), I sometimes can’t handle the emotion that books bring out of me. I end up feeling like I have this character’s emotions to deal with on top of my own, and that’s just too much.
Gaming has also helped, but I try not to turn to that much anymore. Gaming is not something that I am naturally good at. I have to invest a lot of time and effort into it to get good, and I truly hate being bad at it. For a long time, I invested a very unhealthy amount of time into games, and I have had to cut back severely to protect myself from getting to that point again. That being said, I think they can be a healthy outlet for some people. They probably could be for me, if I had more willpower in the gaming world.
Certain TV shows have really helped me also. I know that probably sounds a little funny to some. But you know that one show you watch or used to watch where you just felt like “that could be me” or “I want that to be me” or whatever? One where you connected with the characters, got to know them, and found it so easy to understand their thoughts, feelings, and actions? I do that with LOTS of shows. Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Atlantis, Bones, Criminal Minds, Numbers, Heartland.. There are quite a few that I’ve really gotten into. It’s not always about feeling like that could be you, or you want to be that character or whatever, but it is always about the connection. At least it is for me. And of course, I watch things like Family Guy and Futurama and things that are just funny and make me laugh. It all creates positive emotion.
The last that I can think of right now, is art. I don’t consider myself an artist, but I do like to draw, I like to color (don’t even try to tell me it’s not artistic), I like to do crafts, and I’ve recently discovered that I like to melt crayons. Trust me, it’s fun. Just be safe if you try it.
I suppose there’s also babycenter. The people on that site have helped me through some rough times, and I have been a part of some really fun discussions and debates there. I’ve watched the women I befriended while we were all trying for our first go on to have two and three kids. Some may even be trying for number four by now. I talk to those lovely ladies less and less now, because, sadly, it’s just too painful.
I can’t say that my life is all good or that these outlets have brought me immense joy and all that. But they have certainly helped me keep my sanity intact (what little of it there was to begin with), and they help me feel just a little bit better over all.
In my opinion, it’s very important to find the (healthy) outlets that work for you. Infertility is such a drain on us emotionally and often physically as well. We simply have to find things (and people) that help us get through it. It’s too easy to give in to the negative thoughts and let the feeling of hopelessness overwhelm you.
Most of my posts up to now have been about my past. Which I think is good. It kind of sets a base for the blog. Gets my story out there and all that.
In the My Apologies post, I did talk a little bit about the present, but I think it’s about time I tell you more about my life in the present and how my infertility affects that, and is affected by it.
Life in the present is a bit of a downer because I’m not really in a good place at work or at home. I, unfortunately, don’t get enough hours at work to support myself, so I am currently living with family. I’m looking for work elsewhere, as well as constantly trying to get more hours at my current job, but things just aren’t happening for me (yet). My family is obviously great for letting me stay here, but living with family is never easy.
My infertility in itself isn’t affected by this, but my attitude about it is affected for a few reasons. And the goal of eventually getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby is affected to a degree.
My attitude on my infertility was/is affected by my divorce because it makes me feel as though I have to start over. I have to go back to being single, finding a someone, getting to know the someone, deciding to get serious, possibly deciding to marry, and choosing to have babies. And beyond that, I’m back to square one as far as treatment goes. Once the decision to have babies is made (which means the someone and I have to be financially stable, stable in our homes, and stable in our jobs) I have to go to the doctor, get a referral to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (there’s no way I’ll wait the typical year), and begin treatment from the beginning.
Living with family also affects my attitude because, number one, it’s just a little depressing, which tends to make everything a little depressing. But also, it leads to me finding out more about my family’s medical history. Which scares me. Endometriosis runs in my family, as does cervical cancer. Miscarriages and still births also seem to be a common theme with us. It is terrifying. One miscarriage was bad enough to send me into a horrible depression spiral for years. I can’t imagine what more pain like that would do to me.
And obviously my job affects the goal of having a child because.. well.. money. I don’t have it. Even if I were to decide that I don’t need the someone to have a baby, I’d still need money to seek treatment, as well as be financially stable, stable in my home, and stable in my career.
So I do have the typical frustrations of being stuck in a crappy job, having a home life I don’t always love, and constantly worrying about money.. But then there’s this depressing overtone. My biological clock is just sitting there in the back of my mind, ticking away like the telltale heart (my friend, C will love that metaphor if she reads this). And my clock started really early in life.
That’s pretty much how life goes for me. I will say that I do struggle with depression and have for most of my life (as long as I can remember at least), so my experiences are not necessarily the typical experiences of other infertile people.