Stuck.January 3, 2011 at 6:00 am | Posted in Heartbreak, Infertility | 10 Comments
Over the past few weeks, I have written this and deleted it, re-written it in draft form, and keep coming back to it. I know it’s the same old whinging, but I need to get this out.
I am cursed with a crap memory. As a kid, I lost homework and my coat and boots and lunchbox and lunch money.
Over the years I’ve learned to get around it by using something I *AM* good at – visualization.
If I lose my keys, most of the time all I need to do is imagine the last time I saw them. And sure enough, I’ll remember I left them on the seat of the car or in my fleece pocket or in the ignition of the car.
The problem is this ability to visualize things can overwhelm me sometimes.
Like when my cousin died. I went to the same high school she did. I knew the shortcut to the QuickCheck behind the school; knew exactly where she was when she pulled that trigger. And for YEARS, I visualized her with the gun in her mouth, against her temple. I could SEE it so clearly, her last moments as her best friend ran to get her guidance counselor. Where she was overwhelmed with wanting to escape so badly.
And every time I saw it, my heart would recoil from the image. I could never get past it; never intellectualize my grief, never combat it with some other image which made the whole thing okay.
So I just tucked her away into a dark corner of my brain. And I cut off ties with that part of the family, as if maybe not seeing them would make those images go away.
It never did. What happened was that eventually I was less afraid of the image, and the desire to see my godparents and forge a relationship with them overcame those images.
But they have never gone away.
At my aunt’s wake, I happened to come up to hug my aunt’s best friend as she was recounting that she was in the car on the day when Judy died. And I stood there, frozen, as she recounted the fact that in one moment, my aunt was laughing. How when her eyes first rolled back up into her head and she had no control over her motor skills, she didn’t quite understand what was happening. But how it was clear to her that my aunt’s foot was still on the gas pedal. How she had to grab the wheel and then move Judy’s leg off the accelerator to steer into the jersey barrier.
How my aunt was just gone, in that moment.
And just like Amy’s death, I can’t get past this image so that I can grieve and find acceptance. It literally stops me in my tracks, breathless. I see it just before I fall asleep at night. When I’m commuting to work. During a run.
And where it’s left me, this inability to move into a place of acceptance, is a Bad Place.
It’s a place of absolute impotent rage.
It’s like her death ripped off every wound I thought had healed.
The accumulation of everything; this last IVF cycle, my miscarriage, my cousin’s death, my aunt’s death, the failings of my marriage, the fact that I feel stuck in a career where I’m miserable, our infertility, the seven transfers with only one success to show for it…
I haven’t been this angry in years.
And I’m scared. That I’ll stay stuck in this place forever.
I have no idea how I’ll get past it.