Bleeding heart.November 29, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Posted in Infertility, My life | 24 Comments
(This post has been seeping through the edges of my brain for what feels like a very long time. I’ve written and deleted it multiple times. So I’m pressing “Publish” because I’m tired of thinking about it.)
There are VERY few things in my life that have literally spun me off my axis and, when I was finally able to breathe, changed me to the very core.
My cousin’s suicide was one. Overnight, I realized that I had an IMPACT on people, for good or bad. It’s awful to say that I lived for 19 years without realizing that, but it’s true. The moment I heard my mother crying, the person I had been was no more.
Losing my job 10 years ago was another. Overnight I lost all semblance of security and realized that the life I had been living was a complete sham. Not only did I have no income, but I had creditors knocking on my door and bills I couldn’t pay. It was a very hard lesson in fiscal responsibility.
I was one of THOSE infertiles.
I didn’t WANT to take the badge of infertility and wear it forever. When we brought home O, I wanted to be done with it. Because the moment I held him, I realized that it didn’t matter how long it took us, or how many doctors we saw, or how many times I cried at night, or how many failures it took to get pregnant, or how much I despaired, or how little hope I had left at the end of our treatments.
None of it mattered. He was ours, and he was perfect, and the way he came to us was Meant to Be.
I wanted to move on. I downplayed how hard it was to people who didn’t know what we had struggled. I never exactly SHIED away from telling people that it took us a lot of doctors and treatments to bring O home, but I never harped on it. I wanted to heal, to get away from it.
And even now, as we look ahead to trying for a potential sibling for O, I don’t really CONSIDER it not working as failure. I do feel confident that if O were our only child, I would feel as fulfilled and happy as I am now.
But my sister is having trouble conceiving. And my sister in law has had three miscarriages.
And this weekend, J’s single cousin S confessed that she is starting to DREAD the holidays. Because it’s all about the kids. And she WANTS kids. She wants kids so badly she can’t even breathe. And she is losing hope that she will EVER have kids because she’s going to be 37 this year. And she’s single.
And I found my heart constricting in remembered pain with every word she said. And I told her that she needs to make a safe place for herself, and if the holidays are too much, then she needs to take CARE OF HER and NOT GO.
Thing is, though. She left, and the heaviness settled on me again. The “why her?” and “it’s not fair.”
What do I DO with this empathy? I know the hurt. I LIVED IT myself. I know the fear, and the pain, and the hopelessness.
And I can’t do anything about. Not for my sister. Not for my sister in law. Not for J’s cousin.
Infertility has changed me to the core. It’s made me sensitive to other people’s struggles. And it makes me want to take their burden FOR them. Because I KNOW that pain. I know how awful it is.
Worse yet. I don’t have the time to crusade for infertility. I don’t have the talent to write a book about my struggles with infertility. I’m not a therapist. I can’t write poetry about it, or educate people, or gather a community together which links infertiles to others who are in the SAME situation.
I am just an accountant with a blog and a family of whom I often feel that I don’t have enough time to devote in the first place.
And I have no idea what to do with this bleeding heart.