Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Inner Circle

You know how sometimes you only start realizing something after talking about a certain topic with someone else/other people? Well, the other day I was talking online about inner circle and I suddenly realized that my view of what I call my inner circle has changed. 

In the past, before infertility, I used to have a specific group of people as my inner circle in my sacred chamber. I believed with all my heart and soul that they would be there forever. I believed that they were my chosen ones and that nobody else could take their places. Infertility shredded that view to pieces and now my inner circle consists of random empathetic people who enter that sacred spot and stay there for a while with me and my pain. I am thankful for and cherish those people and their presence in my sacred chamber and then let them go. I more than welcome them if they happen to drop by again, but if they don't, I'll cherish the moment that they spent there with me. 

P.S. Here's a view of the gloriously pink sky outside today. It was -25'C when I took this photo. 


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Grief Connections

A dear friend of mine has just lost her husband on NY eve. It came as a shock, even though I knew he had been sick for a few years.

The other day I had a long text chat with her and it was uncanny how many similarities there were between her grief and my worst infertility grief. When I shared with her what happened during my worst moments (I had never shared these with her before), she said that now she understood what it felt like as she had felt it, too. And when I shared with her the other feelings I felt (anger, self-pity, jealousy, bitterness, guilt, etc.), she began to open up about those feelings, too. She said that she wouldn't wish this experience on her worst enemy and I told her that was exactly what I felt at one point in time.  

Grief connections. If I hadn't experienced infertility, I wouldn't have understood this kind of experience and if she hadn't experienced this loss, she wouldn't have understood what I felt. Granted, the both of us wouldn't have wished to have this kind of connection in the first place, but I'm thankful for this grief connection. This is one of those moments when I believe with my whole being that my pain isn't for nothing and I dare say that my pain is worth it.

Rest in peace, dear friend...

Thursday, January 15, 2015


The other day at work I had this amusing encounter.

Two customers (a man and a woman) that I've met on and off came to the store together. As far as I know, they're not a couple, but who knows? The woman is more or less my age, maybe slightly older (i.e. nearing 40) and from the bits of chit-chats we've had, I don't think she has children. I don't know anything much about the man, but he's quite new in town.

The woman then asked me if Santa came to our place and I was feeling cheeky at the moment, so without thinking twice, I put on a wicked grin on my face and replied, "Yes, but it's a secreeetttt!"

Both the man and the woman went "OooooohHHHHHH!" when they heard that and the woman added, "Is this the kind of secret that will be revealed in 9 months?"

In a split second lots of thoughts were whizzing through my mind. WHAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?! Where did that come from? Mental forehead slap! Of course! D'oh! I shouldn't have said it like that!

I immediately corrected her, "No, no, no, no, NOOOOOOOOO!"

Then the man said, "Maybe she's got a Ferrari."

I smiled and said, "Yes, a flying Ferrari!" 

After the exchange, I couldn't help feeling amused with the fact that the woman immediately thought it was pregnancy, whereas the man thought it was a Ferrari.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Writing Challenge: Treasure

Her legs buckled. The soft, thick carpet softened her landing. She slumped back to the edge of the bed, needing support. A long, raw sigh was heard, then her lips began to tremble.

Why did I decide to do this bloody autumn cleaning? she groaned inside.

Her right hand was holding the family heirloom given by her mother. It was an old bracelet made of white and yellow gold with a classic side clasp. Yellow gold lined up the outer rings of the bracelet, whereas the middle part made of white gold had intricate leaf patterns carved into it. Nobody made that kind of bracelet anymore. Her mother had received it from her own mother. God knows where her grandmother had gotten it from, but one important fact remained: she was planning to give it to her own daughter or to her son's bride.

Except that there was never a child.

She hugged her knees, feeling a wave of pain bury her under. No time to escape. The wave came so fast and hit her like a ton of bricks. She squeezed her eyes shut as grief clenched its mighty fist around her heart, making it hard for her to breathe. Hot tears started rolling down her cheeks and soon her sobs broke the silence of the room. Her sobs rose to a crescendo and then she started wailing as the intensity of the pain only seemed to grow. She let out a loud cry of anguish as she looked up and opened her eyes. More wailing, more groaning, back to sobbing until finally the sobbing stopped even though the tears kept on coming.

She felt drained. She stayed there for a long time, going back and forth mentally from her inner self to her surroundings. The tick-tocking of the clock, the subsiding pain in her chest, the neighbour's dog barking outside, the salty taste of her tears, the absence of children in her house, the intricate patterns on the soft carpet, ghosts of self-pity that threatened to come out from the shadows, the annoying tick-tocking of the clock, back to the hollowness inside. Then she hit the brake, wiped her face with the right sleeve of her shirt, and summoned her logic.

"What is the biggest lesson that you've been learning so far?" her logic asked.

"Letting go," she answered.

"And that is what you shall learn again, my dear."

Forty six years later...

I have been living here in this antique shop for a few years, waiting for my new owner to come and get me. Until then, I'm going to make the best of my time here surrounded with many other antique friends, talking about our previous owners and their lives.

This is a piece of writing that I started months ago as my response to a group writing challenge, but I was really struggling with it. It was tough to get inside the character and feel her pain and it was tough to find the kind of ending that would satisfy me (yes, this is a highly personal one). Once I finished writing it, though, I felt that I had somehow healed a tiny part of myself. How uncanny! Healing through writing. :-) I'm going to keep on exploring this wondrous world of writing. :-) 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Random Thoughts on New Year

I've noticed some shifts in my healing journey again. I think the further along the way I am in this journey, the easier it is to take the stand of a witness/bystander instead of the victim/the target. I remember back in the days random words could feel like an arrow shot right into my heart or like a stab of a long, serrated blade, even though the speakers of those words didn't mean to hurt me at all.

The other week I had a conversation with my mom who had been getting in touch with her old school friends. She said that some of them had also lost their husbands, but she was just reacquainted with another one who was living alone (no kids). When she was mentioning the fact that she had no children, I felt that she was sorry for her. 

However, instead of taking it personally (in the past this would make me feel defensive and hurt), I felt like a bystander. The words amused me and disturbed me a little. It disturbed me not because it hit a nerve in myself, but because I thought that this particular woman may not think of herself as a pitiful human being and that's what matters most. If she herself thinks that she has a pitiful life without husband and children and tells my mom about it, then it's a whole different thing. The words also amused me to a certain degree because of the possibility that my mom could be so wrong.

Another thing I've felt lately is about all those things that parents say about children/parenting/fears on child-rearing. Lately I've read some bonding messages between some mothers concerning child-rearing (not smug parenting talk but real sharing/bonding between parents), but I haven't felt what I used to feel anymore. In the past I used to be upset because those words made me feel like I was less than a human being (couldn't understand what they were going through, couldn't empathize) simply because I wasn't a mother. 

These days I think that it's pretty normal/understandable for parents to say those words, because in the same way that those who're in my boat can understand my thoughts/feelings much better than those outside of my boat, isn't it normal for parents to be able to understand more layers of parenting life better than me? I've also been watching how parenting changed people and I noticed that many of them were surprised by the depth and breadth and width of their love for their children and I find it fascinating. I think from an evolutionary POV, it's beneficial for parents to be able to feel this way towards their children. Anyway, from this particular spot where I'm standing, I don't feel that they're trying to disregard my ability to empathize anymore.


P.S. However, when they say "as a parent" in a public arena, I still feel that it's way too political (I don't like politics), that it's a card that they're playing instead of creating special bonding moments between parents in a more intimate setting.