Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Turning inward

My funk is illuminating my entire life. Even while fighting, trying to fight, wading through this mess- the funk continues. Because, here I am. Still without child. But it's more than that.

Even those of us who appear to be metal, are built of molten liquid. Underneath the surface, our cores are still swirling, while outside we appear so strong. But inside, is the breakdown waiting to happen.

I had a mini-breakdown yesterday before I even wrote my last post. I let myself break it down, all the pain inside that I have kept under wraps. Being so strong, yet so weak- it's a part of being human. I understand this. I don't feel strong, but I know that I am. I have a faith in myself that I never had when I was younger. But, that doesn't prevent me from breaking down too.

We all do it. We all feel a pain, and we have to embrace it. Society tells us to brush it off, society would have us believe that it's wrong to feel this way- but I know that it is not. It is the darkness that gives the light it's warmth. What I would take a shallow cold light, if it meant replacing that darkness- but I can't. So I run with it. It's all we can do. Feel the pain, the grief, in it's own turn- then quietly let it go once it has run it's course.

I know now that part of my problem is that I haven't completely dealt with my last loss. I have dealt with it in the basic form, but grieving a lost child, a lost pregnancy, comes in stages. I know from experience that I will never be able to lay her to rest until we get past the anniversaries the first time around. It was the same with Sebastian. Everything in it's own turn, letting the process take hold of me as needed.

The first anniversary is creeping up on me. October 22, her estimated due date. My lil' pumpkin. I haven't let myself overtly admit that until a few days ago. But. It's been six months already since I lost her. Six months.

It feels like a bandage has just been ripped off an old wound, the scab puckers and bleeds again. I had only thought it was healed enough to return to functionality. I was mistaken.

And so in turns, short jumps and long leaps and pauses, I am dealing with it all over again. I would put the feeling into words, but how do I put into words what I can't even put into a single coherent thought? I am not thinking anything, I am just going with the feeling as it comes and goes.

There is no one singular feeling or thought at once, rather it comes on in strange stages and deep lulls- the closest word in the human language to describe everything I am feeling right now is loss. So all encompassing, that one little word. My infertility, my miscarriage, my child, my hopes.

New dreams take root, even now, but I still have to deal with the old roots- so gnarled and brittle, spindly and fine. They take up a lot of space in my heart. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I don't want to get rid of those feelings, those pieces of my heart, but rather I need to move them to the side and weave them in neatly with the new dreams- intertwining my love and my loss.

We do this all the time; by laughing, by crying, by loving once and never letting it go. It's almost instinctual. It's how we get by. But my, what a process it is.

I am reminded of a story I heard an old woman tell at a powwow last month.
The story of the perfect heart.

There was once a young warrior who boasted of his perfect heart. He bared it for the tribe to see, telling them, "Look, look at my perfect heart. There is no mark upon it, no imperfections to be seen. It is the most perfect heart in the world."

At this an old warrior stood, and he said, "That is not a perfect heart. Do you want to see a perfect heart?" And the old warrior showed the young warrior his heart. It was not whole like the young warriors, but gnarled and misshapen. There were pieces missing, great divides made of mountains and valleys.

At this the young warrior laughed, "You call that a perfect heart?" He said. "It is ugly, it is broken, it is imperfect."

"No, it is truly a perfect heart." The old warrior insisted. "You see, these hills were created when I walked among those I loved and they carried me. These valleys are from when I walked alone and struggled. These chunks were where my heart was given to another in love, and it was not returned. These patches are from where I gave it freely, and another returned it to me. This is the meaning of a perfect heart."

The young warrior stared at the old warrior, understanding that he had been wrong- that his heart was weak, imperfect. And then he took a piece of his heart out, and gave it to the old warrior. Now they shared their hearts, and the young warrior thanked him.

See, my heart is broken, fragmented, it is missing a large chunk here and there, it has divets and valleys, mountains and hills, roughly sewn seams, and the roots of those that have left, and the roots that are still here. And it is perfect. I will say it again, I wouldn't have it any other way. It is the hills and the valleys that give me understanding, the missing pieces wisdom, the rough sewn hems strength, and the roots new and old are what keep me from breaking down completely.


Penny said...

Sometimes it would help me if I just reminded myself that this is part of the infertility cycle, that the downs are really really down. Just ride through the dips and think ahead to the bright spots - your meeting next week with a new doctor, the hope of embryo adoption. Just remind yourself that there are bright spots ahead, even if you're not quite believing it right now.

Sweet Georgia said...

I love the story of the Native warriors baring their hearts. I completely get it. As do I get the mini breakdowns (and major breakdowns) that are now a part of my world. I'm sorry that you have such a strong reminder of what you've lost coming up. I will be thinking of you on that day.

Your post reminded me of one of mine from not too long ago, I compared myself to a duck. On top of the water looking to be floating along so serene, while under the water my legs are pumping away.

Flying Monkeys said...

I love that story.
I'm sorry for your losses. Even though you realize you need the dark to appreciate the light, it doesn't make the dark any less painful, disorienting or lonely.

Kristin said...

What a n incredible story and how cool that you applied it to your own life. Thinking of you and hoping good luck comes your way.

Michelle said...

I know how you are feeling. I have been in a funk too. I hope you feel better soon!

That story was amazing. It gave me chills cause it is so true.

AKD said...

Here from LFCA.

I am so sorry for your loss. I'm coming up on the two-month anniversary of the day my baby was stillborn in a couple of weeks, and I find myself losing it, too, as it nears. I know that the EDD will be incredibly hard - I'll likely be doing an FET at that time, and know it will be conflicting to have hope and despair all wrapped up in the same timeframe. Please know that there are others on whom you can lean, even as you're going through all of this. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing it. After all you've been through, your heart must be absolutely beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What a poignant post. I'm sorry you're feeling this way. As someone who has been there too, I wish you peace in your future soon, with the understanding that once we give our heart to our children, a fragment of this heart never fully returns. *hugs*

Michele said...

Our hearts are broken... I think in some ways they always will be.

Sending hopes that soon your heart will heal, even with the scars.

from LFCA...

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry about the funk. This whole process is so hard, and sometimes we fall into deep pits along the way. The upcoming anniversary will be difficult. I hope that the new dreams and plans will help. I'm sending many virtual hugs and wishes for peace and comfort your way.