Saturday, February 27, 2010

Wondering About The Pain of IF

After reading many blogs and experiencing IF myself, there's plenty of voices echoing similar themes. One of them is the "Pain Olympics". I'm not going to write about the Pain Olympics here, but just a simple question about the strong desire I felt when I was feeling low while battling IF: that feeling that I wanted to let the WHOLE world knows about how shitty, grimy, and dark it was.

I think one big reason is that IF causes silent grief/sorrow/pain - the kind that other people who haven't experienced it would never understand, especially 'coz there aren't many non-IFers out there who would voluntarily be looking for info about the ups and downs of IFers (unless perhaps one of their loved ones experiences IF - heck, I didn't even start looking until I was thrust into that category!). Thus this strong current of desire to SHOUT OUT LOUD to the world (to let them know how painful and twisted and crazy it can be) builds up within.

Not many people understand either how tricky IF can be - that even after you "give up" and "stop", it can still haunt you and the wounds can still be so raw. Another problem is also that if you tell some people about this, they'll try to be helpful and in the end you'll end up feeling tired 'coz you have to explain your choices to them (and answer their questions) and depending on your mood, even their best attempts at trying to be helpful would push the wrong buttons inside you and that'll make you explode and the explosion would end up making you feel guilty and you just wished you hadn't told them about your battle but then it'd have made you felt so lonely and unsupported...yada yada yada...

On the other hand, the other possibility is that after you lashed out on them, whenever you share your IF roller-coaster ride again, they'll be afraid to say anything and you'll end up feeling like you're talking to a wall and not being supported and you want to feel upset, but you know that it's not their fault 'coz they just don't want to say the wrong things by "being helpful".

So in the end it's so hard to achieve a win-win situation when dealing with IF and the ugly repercussions it brings. Plus the world doesn't readily grieve with IFers as they grieve along with people who are gravely ill or people who've lost their loved ones.

It's hard when you're grieving and hurting so much and you feel that it's unnoticed or it's not "valid" just because you don't actually lose something "real" in other people's eyes. I think maybe one reason why I felt that urge was 'coz I wanted to convince myself that the feelings I had was valid: that I wasn't crazy or overreacting (even if the pain comes again and again and again at different times), that it was normal to feel that way. Thank GOD for the internet 'coz it's helped me feel that I'm not alone!

Anyway, I also find that people who have kids "normally/easily" don't understand the whole dynamics of what IF causes. It doesn't just affect my relationship with hubby, but also my relationship with other people, my relationship with God, and also my relationship with myself. It's hard to live with myself when I'm so full of anger, self-pity, sorrow, and pain, but on the other hand I can't deny all those feelings, either. I just have to accept whatever it is I'm feeling and deal with it.

Anyway, I haven't really felt anything extreme lately after we had that talk, but God knows what'll happen in the future. I must say, though, that I'm relearning to love myself again, to be my own best friend. I'm relearning to forgive myself and I think I'm doing a pretty good job 'coz I feel pretty light these days. :-D

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tears of Joy

Today hubby was rearranging some stuff in our living room cabinets 'coz we just moved in to our new home at the end of January. He was moving some stuff when he decided to browse through our wedding album again. He had a joyful, sentimental smile on his face while he leafed through the album and then he said, "Oh look, what a cute girl!"

He leafed through some more pages and said with a cheeky smile, "Lucky bastard!" (referring to himself jokingly)

I smiled, too...after he finished browsing through the album, he came towards me (who was at that time lying down on our soft, comfortable sofa-bed) and hugged me and said, "I love you".

I couldn't help the tears from flowing. It was a LONG journey for us until we could be together as husband-and-wife. With tears free-flowing on my cheeks, I hugged him, kissed him, and said, "I love you too. Look where are are now! I can't believe it's over 10 years ago when we first got in touch with each other through the internet."

He let me go, looked me in my eyes, wiped my tears, and said, "Don't cry!"

I replied, "But these are tears of joy. I'm just happy!"

We hugged and kissed some more...moments like these are really precious...Looking back at what we've gone through to reach this point has made me realized how ABUNDANT God's blessings have been for us. And my heart is full of gratitude...because I have my beloved, precious hubby with me.

I knew I loved him before I met him...I hope we can keep growing closer to each other as time goes by NO MATTER WHAT comes our way.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Power of Words

The other day I browsed through a Finnish forum on infertility 'coz I thought I'd also learn some Finnish that way. I found similar themes and expressions just like the kind of things I read in English IF blog posts.

However, there was one thing that really reminded me of the power of words. In one particular discussion, this person that started it was simply letting out some steam by writing about her jealousy and bitterness when she saw other women's bulging bellies.

Many other IFers empathized with this woman and they could relate to her, but there was one IFer who wrote something like this: "I've been infertile all my life, but I never experience that kind of bitterness and jealousy. I think that if you feel that bitter and jealous, you're not a good mother material anyway, so it's good that you don't have kids."

I don't understand why some people can write something like that, especially if they're having the same problem. Even if she didn't feel bitterness or jealousy didn't give her the right to say such a thing to ANYONE IMHO.

I honestly think that even if there are plenty of negative, dark emotions when dealing with IF, it's also a very valuable experience 'coz I get to personally feel what I might not have been able to fathom otherwise. Hopefully by having felt this mixture of emotions, I'll then be able to empathize with others even more when they experience a similar wave of emotion and at least make them feel that they're not alone and that they can survive through the ugliness.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Talk

The other night before we fell asleep, I started "the talk" with hubby. Here's our convo:

Me: "What's more important for you: being a Dad or having your own flesh-and-blood?"

Hubby: "Dunno."

Me: "Okay, how about you still want to have kids?"

Hubby was quiet...probably trying to think of how to answer the question without hurting my feelings (which I'm VERY grateful for!).

Me: "Do you feel this way: 'If babies come, then they're very welcome, but if they don't come, then it's fine, too'?"

Hubby: "Yes."

Me: "Actually I also feel that way, 'coz I don't want to be obsessed anymore. Life's good, anyway, right?"

Hubby: "Yes."

I felt GLAD after we had our talk and I knew he felt glad too. I'm HAPPY 'coz we're on the same page and none of us needs to feel the burden of knowing that the other one is still so desperate in TTC.

On the other hand, it still feels like there's this little voice in me asking, "Does it mean that we're giving up?" I certainly don't know. I mean, I do still have that wish to have a baby (esp. if I see pics of my friends' babies), but I start wondering if we're really meant to be parents. Well, at least our sex life has gotten MUCH better than when we were still so actively TTC (with no result) and we'd definitely continue making love 'coz sex is a part of marriage that we want to keep alive. Anyhow, even if we do look like we're giving up, it's our life and it's our choice, anyway, and other people should respect our decision.

I'm not really waiting for God's timing or miracle anymore (at least these days I don't feel that way in terms of having a child/children). I'm just holding on to Him, knowing that He has the best plans for us. I do my best to keep counting all the little and medium and big blessings that He's poured upon us. I don't know what the journey will be like 'coz I have the feeling that it's still a long journey (after reading many blogs stating that even after they stop TTC due to age, they still feel some grief or sorrow left when they're reminded of their lost dreams) and this blog will be the witness of that journey. :-)))

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm My Own Worst Bully

Had a break from the outside world (well, as much as I could anyway) including the blogosphere and Facebook 'coz I felt so tired. I took time off from delving deep within the realms of my brain and heart and busied myself with household chores. Only after that did I start ransacking everything to get to the root of the problems of why I felt so tired and why I felt like distancing myself from other human beings (except hubby and his family).

1. The problem started with my self-defense mechanism in dealing with IF. In order to avoid disappointment, heartache, sorrow, grief, I thought of myself as a bad candidate to be a mother by thinking of some "facts": e.g. when I went to my friend's place who has a 2-year-old, I didn't cut the fruits small enough for her and I also felt so "stupid" when I went to visit my family in Indo last year and I really didn't know how to handle my brother's 13-month-old son at first (though I did learn some tips and tricks along the way). The other problem was that I didn't realize that I was using this type of self-defense mechanism.

Note: The crazy thing was that this type of self-defense mechanism worked "pretty well" when dealing with the disappointment, sorrow, and grief that IF can bring.

2. This self-defense mechanism became like a virus that spread through other aspects of my life. I belittled myself in other things, too: e.g. the fact that I don't have a career and I don't know what I want to do.

I've always been a planner (used to be a MUCH worse long-term planner, but now I've learnt to be more flexible) and I was probably born a planner (and raised up by parents who are planners), so this "idealism" backfired when I feel like a "failure" ('coz I don't even know what to do or what I want to do).

3. Because I felt like a "failure" in the motherhood department, I wanted to compensate myself by telling myself subconsciously that I had to be the best that I could be in other areas of life (even if I can't become a mother). But I think I actually over-compensated the non-motherhood status 'coz my standards of "being the best that I could be" became much too idealistic for me to reach.

Thus, I berated myself whenever I felt reactive towards ANYONE. Whenever I felt a bad reaction or a negative thought or feeling toward anything (I read or saw) or anyone, I scolded myself. I didn't even realize this new "habit" of bullying myself until I felt that I hated every human interaction 'coz it made me feel so much negativity towards myself (which made sense considering the kind of idealism I had for myself by over-compensating the non-motherhood status).

The result of all three: I felt like crap (black and blue from all the blows I gave to myself). I felt like I was such a bad specimen of a human being.

I'm truly GRATEFUL for a friend's help for opening my eyes and making me realize the truth about false guilt and irrational guilt (if you read this, you know who you are). In the past, I had some irrational guilt, but I've never had them piled up this much before until I wanted to escape to a distant island and never be found again.

I've asked my close friends to pray for me on this matter and I've been more aware of what comes out of my mind these days and I've been able to shut the bully up even before she finishes her sentences. It feels GOOD to take control again of my own brain. So prayers DO work. :-D I feel MUCH freer now and I can interact with other people again normally.

P.S. I'm HAPPY to say that the other day I talked to my friend who's had PCOS (who had the miraculous pregnancy) and I couldn't wait to hear about her pregnancy symptoms and news about her pregnancy in general. I'm happy 'coz I didn't ask "Why, God? When? How? Where did I go wrong? etc." when talking to her or even after talking to her. Heaven help me so that I can be this way later on, esp. when someone close to me gets pregnant. ;-D Nothing's impossible for God, so HALLELUJAH!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Beautiful Quote from A Manga Series

I've been reading a manga series called "Mars" and these words struck a chord within me:

"When your heart is hurt, it's not about getting better or not getting better. It's about how you overcome it."

It's true for many aspects of life, including IF. :-)))

Quotes of The Day

Stumbled upon this today:

Yet it was not I but God who was working through me by His grace”
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

Paul had learned that if he was going to brag, it would be about his weakness—for it was in the middle of humanly unsolvable problems, and even in the middle of his own unanswered prayers, that he heard the Lord say, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Grace teaches us to say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord” (2 Corinthians 10:17).

As Paul reminds us, this is the grace that we discover only as we “count as loss” anything that would tempt us to put our confidence in ourselves rather than in Christ—in what He has done for us, and in what He, in His grace, wants to do in and through us today.

Image taken from here

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Question "Why?"

These days at least I've stopped having that question "why" popping out in my brain. My logic tells me that it's a useless question to ask. It's true that while facing IF the unfairness of it all can be really overwhelming at times and whenever someone gets pregnant "easily" or whenever someone close has an "oops" pregnancy or even when another fellow IF gets pregnant "faster", the question will keep on nudging and torturing the wounds.

It's a useless question 'coz I may never know the answer (maybe not in my lifetime, but maybe when I'm face-to-face with God). It's a useless question 'coz it is valid for anyone, even those who aren't facing IF. And when I think of it that way - that anyone else in this whole wide world can be justified to ask that question when that person sees my life or something in my life that they've been wanting but that they haven't got yet - it feels like watching a video clip where a dog is chasing its own short tail. The dog keeps on running and running and running, but to no avail.

I don't want to do that anymore. I quit chasing my own tail 'coz it gets me nowhere. It tires me, it frustrates me, and it makes me become "bitchy" towards other people, including my own hubby. I won't tolerate myself if I do that running-after-my-tail anymore. No more, thank you very much. That's a promise I make to myself.

P.S. Today I had an enlightenment that has nothing to do with IF, but it really freed me. Before I reached this enlightenment, I'd felt frustrated 'coz I was reactive to some things people said, but now I know why I was that way. I knew it had nothing to do with them and there was something inside me that was causing it, but until today I didn't know what it was. Getting "aha moments" is one of my fave moments in the whole world 'coz I feel like I can see the world more clearly, the air is fresher, and the grass is greener HE HE HE...Yes!!!