Today then, I wanted not only to regale you with why I’ve turned into the Grinch this Advent, but also to join in with (shameless plug) Josie Two Shoes’ ‘Two Shoes Tuesday’ writing thingummy, which is very cool, and also has the prompt ‘ready’. Which is really kind of perfect, because something I need to be *really* ready for is letting this guy do anything on my blog – he’s rather a strong character…
So, without further ado, I hereby reintroduce the wonderful crowd-pleasing, snarktasticly wonderful, clearly-a-boy-because-he-just-is…SUB-CONSCIOUSSSSSS *yay*
Hey, fella – you’re up. Ya wanna say something to the nice people?
SC: Not particularly. But I have something to say to you…&%@$ YOU, YOU COMPLETE [Blogger.com has removed profane content]
Wow! That was rude!
SC: Rude? You have the audacity to sit there in judgement on me for being RUDE?
Yes. No. Er…you tell me, you’re the Sub-Conscious – you clearly have it all figured out…
SC: Let me talk you through it, darling, seeing as the old grey-matter seems not to be firing on all cylinders…
Item one: You introduce me as this amazing ‘character’ of yours, and people go nuts for me.
Item two: I inspire *every single thing you come up with*, you whiney little brat, and you NEVER give me any credit, bar these pitifully few posts acknowledging my genius.
Item three: The last one of these posts was in AUGUST! You suck.
I ‘suck’? You’re beginning to sound like an illiterate. Or an American. And I’m not sure which is worse. I’m perfectly prepared for you to berate me and nit-pick and constantly remind me over and over and over of my failures; it’s what you DO. But I’d at least always thought that you’d have the presence of mind to do so in flawless English.
SC: Ohh dearie me! Have we touched a little bit of a prideful Empire-nerve there? I know you’re a bit screwy (oh BURRRNN, another Americanism) about your heritage but to be honest, I’ve been speaking to you in flawless English for the past five months, and you’ve seen fit to ignore me outright. I ‘figured’ that if I used a little lingo from your friends across the pond, you might at least pay some attention.
I’m paying you attention now. Stun me with your wisdom…
SC: No interrupting, mind! Now that you’ve finally let me out, I have something important to say. Actually important. Because I do like you really, and want to help you understand a bit more about what’s going on.
SC: Was that an interruption? Good grief, girl, you’re insufferable. Shut. Up. It’s MY TURN TO TALK. You listen. Silently.
You’re hung up on Christmas. You know this because every time you think about it, you get that awful gnawing discomfort in the pit of your stomach, and your brain starts to get very messy, very quickly. It’s horrible to watch. You’re all over the place, and we need to just ‘unpack’ this a little bit to try to get you organised. Is that okay?
SC: When I ask you a direct question, you have permission to respond.
Yes, that’s okay. And thank you, because it’s been really bugging me. I think it started in November with that awful loss-iversary/should’ve been birth-day double-whammy week, and the memorial service, and Husby still being depressed (even though that got a lot better and he has a job now) and the whole idea that this time-bomb of Can’tHaveKids is ticking its countdown til February and getting ever closer and Christmas is meant to be a time of family and new babies and love and happiness and joy and I just don’t feel any of that at all – in fact I just want to crawl into a cave and hibernate until it’s all gone and out the way and I can just get on with the somehow-adjustment to trying to understand that I’ll never have children and…and…
SC: SLOW DOWN! If you’re not careful you’re going to explode! Just…one thing at a time, okay? That’s why I’m here.
*snifs* Thank you
SC: First. November. It was awful. And only mere weeks ago. You do yourself a disservice in expecting your grief to be ‘neat’ enough to be taken out to be aired at auspicious times of year and then packed away again until the next relevant date. You lost two children. Your only two. Perhaps your only two ever. There are no words to describe how profound that pain is, nor how deep it goes, dear. You cannot, CANNOT expect yourself to be ‘fine again’ just because the calendar’s moved over the page.
Second. Husby. Yes, he’s stopped being so depressed, and I know you’re totally over the moon about it. He’s back to being the guy you fell for, and it’s truly wonderful. His job is going brilliantly, he’s energised, enthusiastic and all the things he was unable to be whilst suffering the attacks of The Saboteur. BUT. Again, you need to just recognise that just because he’s better (and long may it last) – that doesn’t change the fact you’ve gone through an incredibly challenging few years.
It’s also worth recognising that you’ve gone into ‘prepare for the worst’ scenario over this (you do that a lot, did you know?) and are half-waiting for it all to go horribly wrong. I quite understand that after a fortnight, you’re not ready to relax yet, and you fear the other shoe dropping, but again – cut yourself some slack. Those feelings are totally explainable.
*lip trembles* I didn’t know you could be so nice. And so wise…
SC: I know, because you never listen to me…you’re very quick to write me off as a snarktastic, queeny, tantruming type, but I do speak sense more often than you care to admit.
Moving on. Because I can’t stand the wounded vanity which sparks up and has a hissy fit when you cry and get all blotchy and snotty…
Your time bomb. I know this is realms of HUGE to you, and that you hate to listen to this when you’re told, but you Truly. Don’t. Know. It may not be the end of your chances. And in the meantime, you still have the opportunity to get knocked up, however unlikely you think it is.
You’ve done the right thing by mentally passing out your hopes to some of your friends to hold. They truly are too painful, and I know how much it hurt when the rug got pulled out from under you so many times over the past year and a half, but just….
…just know this. There is ALWAYS a chance, however infinitesimal. And life is On Purpose. I know that you know that. Sometimes it’s completely sucky, but you KNOW that what you need to do, in the meantime, is keep Doing Good. Not to try to avoid the painful feelings (because who could) but because it’s something you can and must do, in order to just keep living. So do that. Shift your focus. Stop obsessing and counting down the weeks. It does you no good.
But it’s really hard. I’m just so scared of that deadline…
SC: I know. But spending your time knotted up in ‘scared’ won’t make it arrive any slower, or be any less challenging. It just makes your ‘now’ crappy as well.
*hangs head* I know. I’ve been rather a bore about it all.
SC: Not a bore. And not a whiner, either…you’re sharing the truth of your reality, on your own blog, with the double effect of writing it out of your system, and of shining a light of ‘here’s how it is’ to anyone who’s new to the infertility/miscarriage journey. If it helps one person…yaknow?
Your Christmas aversion.
Let us assume a few things which may not have occurred to you.
- Christmas is a famously stressful time for people who have Challenging Circumstances in their lives (most people, by the way)
- It is entirely understandable for you to not want to do it, particularly because of the focus on happiness, families, togetherness, children etc. Chill.
- You will lose NOT A SINGLE FRIEND-OR-RELATION FOR ADMITTING THIS OUT LOUD
Over the next few weeks, you’re going to find it tough. You’ll probably cry and go blotchy and snotty more times than I’d prefer, but it’s okay – you’re allowed. Little things will set you off. You’ll be taken unawares. You’ll be fine for ages, then suddenly not, for no apparent reason. You’ll carry right on dreading it in spite of anything I (or anyone) tell you.
You ‘get’ this, right? If I’m not pregnant at Christmas, it’ll be a day of silence and pain where there should have been a baby – our baby – and lots of ‘First Christmas’ cards and phonecalls from proud Grandparents (who may never be). There should have been a tiny stocking and little cute toys and photo opportunities and beauty and togetherness. And I hate that it doesn’t feel like ‘enough’ with just me and Husby, but at the moment, it just doesn’t.
And then if I AM pregnant at Christmas (by some miracle) – well I’ve already lost two – what’s to say I’d get to keep the next one? I’m worried that I’d spend the day making beautiful memories of Being Pregnant At Christmas, and all the expectation and excitement for the coming year…and then every Christmas from there on would be polluted by the memory of more shattered hopes.
I ‘get’ it, dearest, and I want you to know that all of those feelings are understandable. Completely so. They are valid, and real (hey! No crying! Blotchy and snotty, remember!), and YOURS. They matter.
But here are the things to bear in mind.
- Husby is with you on this. If you want to avoid Christmas day entirely, you can do that together. If you can find a place to go and make someone else’s Christmas day better, do that. It will help, and it’s a Good Thing and a shiny distraction all at once. He’s also AMAZING for being with you on this.
- You’re going to try to join in, at least a bit. You’ll listen to the Bach Christmas music, and things will feel a bit better – you have FAR more good memories tied up in those tracks than bad ones, and they’ll help to soften this for you. You’ll get a tree and decorate it together with Husby, with the ornaments from your past, and the ones which you two have bought together. You’ll make it YOURS. Because I know you’re hurting (so does Husby), but there are two of you in this, and I want you to make it nice for HIM. Be a good wife and acknowledge that after so much stress and hurt and pain over the past few years, things are on an UP (in other areas of life) and this deserves some celebration. This is a landmark Christmas for that, too.
- Christmas will assault you from all sides, but you don’t have to engage back with it, one iota more than you’re prepared to. You are obligated to no-one (well, apart from Husby, for the aforementioned reasons) and there will be no reprisal against you for your lack of enthusiasm. Not from the people who know you, and who matter. And frankly, anyone else can go and take a long jump off a short pier.
- You’re not the Grinch. You’re just hurting – it’s allowed.
Ohhhh you DO know me…and you’ve even got a nice side!
SC: *rolls eyes* You know, I hope that penny hurt when it dropped and bounced off your skull…
Back to snarky so soon? It was a nice interlude…
Seriously though, thank you so much for unsnaggling the inner workings of my mind. This is something I’ve been finding really hard to contemplate, and I do appreciate your input. And sorry I’ve neglected to pay you due attention. I’ll try to listen more. And I promise to try to invite you back here sooner next time. Friends?
SC: I don’t know about that…but I got your back.