Not by choice

It’s taken me time to get to this place. Years, in fact. But as time passes it has become clear to me that this isn’t going to go away. Thoughts once fleeting and almost curious in nature now linger and take root – hurt, even. They stay with me. And I with them.

Perhaps, I should explain.

I am barren. I was born that way. For convenience, and to avoid more detail than is desirable to divulge, let’s just call it… a chronic problem with the plumbing.

It was not a shock when it was finally diagnosed. I’d known – or suspected – since my early teens. It was one of those “nothing can be done, just how it is” kind of things that one encounters in life and hurl into the “NOT FAIR” category. But actually, in some ways, finding out for certain was a relief for me. At least, I knew. It had a “name”. It wasn’t anyone’s fault.

I was young…. 21 at the time… and couldn’t care less. I’d never really dreamed of having children, so it didn’t seem too much of a loss to me. I understood well enough the implications but having the mind of someone who’d only just begun to explore life and adulthood I couldn’t fully grasp the ramifications of it. There were so many other things so worthwhile in life… why should I becry this one thing?

Inevitably, time and life matured me, altered my perceptions and – whether forced by necessity or invited by opportunity – taught me that life is never as simple as one might think.

That’s what brings me here. The fact that this is something I have to find a way to live with… or perhaps more accurately… something I have to find a way to live without.

Right now, I have no idea how it could ever have seemed easy or convenient to me. It may not be anyone’s fault, but that doesn’t free me from feeling broken in some ways. Less than whole. And I guess, I feel like I need to say something on this. Speak of it. Give it a name. I don’t know… something.

When the topic is mentioned in conversations or the media, it’s always about how to treat it, about deadlines and upholding the rights of those unable to conceive. Nothing is said of those for whom there never was a treatment, nor any hope. Nothing is said of those who don’t fit into a fertility program. Nothing is said of their rights to have families. It’s their problem. Our problem. My problem.

I guess, that makes me feel like talking about it. Even if it is just to myself here. So the next couple of posts will be a few old entries from my private journal. Maybe more will follow in time to come. I have not decided yet. But to anyone who listens however briefly – Thank you.

.

“For everything you have missed,
you have gained something else,
and for everything you gain,
you lose something else.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Not by choice

Normally, I hate…

… those whiney posts talking about misery and heart ache and how sorry people feel for themselves, and it’s been a very long time since I have allowed myself to write anything like that here – partly because I hate it… and partly because well-meaning advice, pats on the back (or head) and “grow up and pull it together” really are the last things I wish to receive at times like that. So, I’ve kept quiet.

Maybe I’ve been wrong. Maybe it would have been better to speak of it and get it out of my system here. Sometimes saying things “out loud” makes them a little easier to relate to.

Either way, I am wearing myself down trying to hold it all in. Trying to do the right thing. Trying to handle it as best I can on my own. And it isn’t working for me anymore. If that makes this entry something I will loathe and find pathetic in the morning… well, then thankfully WP has been kind enough to invent and install a perfectly good ‘delete button’ that I am not too big to use. So this won’t be pretty… and maybe it won’t even be useful. But it’s all I have right now, and so damnit… I’ll take it.

I feel alone tonight. Alone and worn down. To the point where getting up in the morning seems an insurmountable task that I’d give anything to avoid. For the seventh time since New Year’s my colleague, ‘C’, has called in ‘sick’ at the last minute, leaving me on my own with the entire office tomorrow, including his work load on top of my own. This time it is pneumonia and up to ten days rest. The last four times it was chipped and broken teeth and dentist’s appointments. Before that, stomach upsets and sore throats.

With less than six months left before my finals and a twenty item list of standard curriculum topics I have yet to be taught – because no one at that company gives a rat’s ass about my education, I’m just there to work – as well as two of my largest annual projects starting tomorrow… I just don’t know how I am going to find it within me to carry this anymore.

My incompetent failure of a boss is going to have a cow because ‘C’ is a no-show again, and I will take the heat,  since I am going to be the only one there to take it out on. Again. Plus, I will have to stay longer hours and do overtime to cover. Again. Like I did during the busiest spell of the year in July last year. And again in late August, preventing me from preparing properly for the 5 week course I had to attend at my school.

My future livelihood is dependent on my getting that diploma. Even the semi demented brother of my grandmother told me yesterday at her 80th birthday party that whatever happens I need to get that piece of paper. He’s right. Even if he is too bonkers to really know it. And all I could do was put on a brave face, pretend I felt confident and tell him that ‘sure, I’ll get it. No worries’ … and then find a quiet room at the back of the house to go cry, because I couldn’t hold back the tears.

It just feels like I am surrounded by discourse and pettiness and squabbles and selfishness, and wherever I turn… it just seems like there isn’t room for me. Like no one can really spare the time or compassion or space to let me get my bearings without putting a price on it or trying to tell me what to do, because obviously they know better than I do what the situation entails – and what the consequences will be.

I asked someone for help. Not with this, but with something else that was troubling me. I tried to speak of how I feel, but I didn’t say it right or ask right or bow and scrape right… or something. So, I was turned away and told I could come back when I am ready to be reasonable. Like a small child sent to her room by an overworked stressed out parent on the brink of losing control completely. I’m so used to this that I don’t even know how to ask for help with that anymore… and frankly, it isn’t really that big of a loss… all it leads to is accusations and derision and rejection. It’s just easier to choose to be alone with it from the beginning … that way at least I avoid the character attacks, the lectures and the humiliation of being turned away and having the door slammed in my face…. and then being told that it is all my own fault. OR being told that none of it is my fault, knowing that it will then later boomerang back to me as accusations of how I need to be pandered to.

Reading back over all this I feel utterly repulsed by myself, and the urge to delete it all and just replace it with a few cryptic lines about loneliness, so abstract and non-descript that no one but me will understand what they mean. But being shunned even on my own blog seems just too big of a defeat to swallow right now. So, I will leave it… spiteful self-pity and all.

I’d hoped it would make me feel better… but so far, it hasn’t. Maybe this too was a mistake.

Yet another one to add to the list.

But don’t worry, I’ll pay for it. Have no doubt of that.

Normally, I hate…

Peripherals

They are there. In the periphery of your vision. Shadows you can’t quite make out. Voices you can’t quite catch as you rush by. They had faces once – names even – but you no longer recall them. No longer remember why you noticed them in the first place. So, you don’t anymore. With everything else going on in your life, how could you? There is so little time…

 

Like comets they drift about in orbits so vast and obscure it seems almost utterly random when one of them happen past near enough to make eye contact with you. For a brief moment a well of memories surface. Whatever passed, it came with enough gravitational pull to fleetingly join your paths again. Not necessarily an unpleasant encounter. Still, how often do we really enjoy staring that which drifts in the periphery of our vision straight in the face? It is distracting from what is right in front of us… from life… from the things that really matter. We put up with them… enjoy them perhaps even… because of the brevity of their passing, but they do not belong or fit within the confines of our everyday lives. Their peripheral presence though… is appreciated. Gives us something to seek when all else fails. If we can push away the questions.

 

I am one such comet, tugged and torn into different directions by those I encounter… their influence unnoticed by them, but I feel it. To them I am invisible. A peripheral. Pleasant in occasional passing. Insignificant in the present. If my trajectory were to suddenly alter tomorrow and take me away from here there would be no gap where I used to stand. No void to fill. My voice would not be missed in the murmur of inconsequential voices, making up the background noise of their world. My presence is of no purpose and no significance.

 

I am a peripheral.

 

I am invisible.

 

Peripherals