Today, as promised, the Big Reveal of the seventh doll in the centre of the Russian Doll set.
If you haven’t read yet, or have put it from your mind (having had other things to concentrate on since then, like The Rest Of Life), last Monday’s post ‘Turns out I’m something like parfait’
is probably worth a read, or you’ll have no idea what’s going on and may well dismiss me as some kind of nutter.
You may be right, but that’s beside the point.
Wise Woman Lynn had set all the dolls out on the table when I arrived. Wait, panic! No! Not all the dolls! Only five. Did I forget one or did she? How can I blag this? Will she know I was making it all up as I went along?
Lynn: “What’s it like to see all the dolls sitting there?”
Me: “Er, I thought we got to six dolls.”
Lynn: “Perhaps you’re right – I wasn’t sure.”
I took the next doll out and set it with the others; six in a row. Then I realised Lynn was still waiting for an answer.
“Um, it’s fine to see them there. Not a problem.”
We moved swiftly on to opening doll #6.
I’d been vaguely thinking about this next doll all week. Thought I had a good answer planned, so was quite confident when I cracked open #6 around his little belly and took out a tiny girl doll. CRAP! The girl doll has a split in her belly. She’s not the end one! There’s another %$&*ing layer! How can I have another layer? I already didn’t think I had as many as six! Now I’ve got to figure out EIGHT? Are you kidding me?!
“Ah. I see she’s not the last one…”
Lynn had the good grace not to look smug, but there did seem to be a gleam of satisfaction in her eye.
“What’s this little ‘you’ like then?” she asked.
Knowing that I had an answer all prepared for the final doll and that this wasn’t it, I floundered. Had to make it up completely off the cuff, so I’ve no idea how true to reality it is. I’m not trying to shirk counselling duties or give it any less than my best shot (I mean, hopefully it’s all going to help me come to terms with two miscarriages in time for me to feel like falling pregnant again before time runs out! That has to be a good thing.)
#6 turned out to be a small, bewildered child-type figure.
Not my favourite image of any layer of myself, with lots of adjectives which made me very uncomfortable.
Lynn asked how she felt, that little ‘me’.
She’s tired, really tired. Not physically tired, but emotionally tired. Fed up of the goalposts changing. Sick of not knowing how the future’s going to look. Disconsolate about having to depend on so many things which depend. A little hopeless. A lot hopeless.
Once again I got the question about anger, this time in a much more direct way. I still don’t think I’m angry per se, at least, not at anything. I feel that the situation (however it pans out) is inevitable, and I don’t have a positive feeling about it (in spite of other positive things going on in life, how positive can one really feel about the prospect of (as a couple) being forced into medically induced infertility in four months, with only two Neverborns to show for it?) but I don’t feel angry. I feel resigned.
The conversation took a small tangent at that point to explore my feelings about Husby – I had a pretty big wobble at the weekend about the whole issue, compounded by the new thought that if Husby goes on to get diagnosed with any further horrible debilitating conditions, Social Services may not even consider us for adoption.
Again, an idea with very little basis in fact and a huge amount of basis in conjecture and yet that was the one my brain ran with to its bitter end. I don’t know whether I’ve always been a ‘worst case scenario’ person, in terms of how I prepare myself for the potential happenings in life, but I certainly managed a great train of thought on this one, ending in me worrying about what would happen if we couldn’t have any children, ever, and (you guessed it) tears. Fie on me for wasting time and emotional energy thinking about a future which may never come to pass.
At the end of the session, Lynn made two statements which caused me no small degree of consternation, and which (in all honesty) I’m not looking forward to.
- “There were times today when I felt as though I was getting close to something and you put up a barrier. That’s a protection mechanism, which is fine, but I want to look at what you’re protecting and why” I have no idea! I didn’t even realise I was doing this. So much for self-awareness.
- “Last week [when we first started doing this thing with the Russian dolls] you said before you opened the first layer that you hoped she wasn’t empty. I want us to examine that and find out what was going on there.” There’s a strong reason for this – when someone very close to me had a miscarriage, she was given a leaflet by the hospital afterwards, which depicted a large Russian doll broken open with the baby fallen out. She described this to me in terms of how much the image had upset her. I was upset on her behalf at the time, and now having had two of my own, was immediately anxious (when presented with Russian dolls) that the scenario would repeat. I couldn’t face that emptiness.
The other thing I think we’re going to ‘unpick’ (gotta love all that psychojargon they use) is why my marriage is Not Enough; why my relationship with Husby (which is a great one, I think) has meant that these miscarriages and upcoming infertility have shaken me so much (I think Husby wants to know that too).
Which leaves a few big questions.
Why do women want babies?
I think this has much to do with the way we’re made. Reproducing is a pretty fundamental part of existence, no matter how much people might try to get round it. For the most part, people are born with the equipment to reproduce, and with that, the drive to. Society is geared towards The Next Generation (the actual one, not the Star Trek one). As children we play ‘Families’ and ‘Mummies and Daddies’. We expect children. I don’t think I need to apologise for buying into this or for being hugely shaken and disappointed that it’s not working out the way I anticipated.
Why isn’t marriage enough?
Truthfully, I think it’s because it’s in a totally different category. In the same way that food cannot totally satisfy thirst (nor drink, hunger) I believe that we were made for a lasting, working relationship with a partner and for parenting. I don’t really feel the two can substitute for one another.
Why do I still feel guilty??
The irony is, a couple of months ago (not too long before miscarriage #2) I thought I was doing fine and may even stop the sessions. Now every week I go it feels as though there’s an ever-increasing mountain to tackle.
Thank goodness Lynn’s not going anywhere!