I have an immense community online who have supported me through this terrible tumble down the rabbit hole. Yet there is, of course, only so much people online can do for me. Writing out what I am going through, writing down what I am feeling, allows distance to what I'm feeling.
And while sometimes that is good, as it allows us to put it out there and sort through our myriad of emotions without getting lost- it isn't always a good thing. Sometimes we need to say it out loud to release it, we have to give it a name.
Sometimes I keep it all inside, and I let it simmer. I write it down, but it comes out muted and incomplete. And then, eventually, I dare to utter it out loud- and my house of cards comes crashing down. As happens every now and then, late at night, when I can't take it anymore- and I say what I'm thinking to my husband. I open the box where I keep all my fears. And I bawl for several hours, late into the morning, and though nothing is resolved- I feel better. Not the next morning, and maybe not the next day, but I feel better eventually. Maybe that week, or the one after that. It's like shaking a bottle, and finally twisting the cap off. I feel spent, but so much lighter.
But I know this probably isn't healthy to keep doing. I know I probably should say these things out loud more often. I should scream them in the car from time to time. I should curse them out.
But, the thing is- to who would I tell them, other than myself, my husband, and my cats. My husband has heard it all before, he's been through it. My cats just nudge me and nuzzle me- and while that's nice, it isn't enough. I need to know I'm not alone, that my husband and I are not the only ones drifting through the dark trees of the forest, where the sun doesn't shine. That we're not the only ones that hear the laughter, and see the light through the treeline, and know that it's not for us- not now, and maybe never. And I appreciate that online support is, well, awesome (and so sad because so many of us have been in these shoes)- but I can not speak it out loud here- it's not exactly the same. I don't know how to explain it.
The only person I know in real life that gets it, I mean actually gets any part of it on that basic deeper level, is my sister. And she understands the losses, since she has had a still birth. But even she admits she can only imagine how painful infertility must be for us. She never had a problem getting pregnant, it was delivering living children that kept her up at night. And also, she lives across the country from me, all the way out west- and I am out east. She can talk to me, listen, but the whole time I can hear her children calling her in the background- and most of the time she can only half listen because her attention is always elsewhere. I don't blame her that, I understand that her kids need her. It's just hard because then, who does that leave that I can I talk to?
I have been thinking about going to the local resolve group that meets once a month. Well, if you can call it local- it's an hour drive! But, there are no local support groups here in my community. I've already checked. I am interested in going to this meeting, but I just don't know. One, it's an hour drive. Two, I am afraid of crumbling in a heap of tears if I open my mouth. Heck, I mean, I don't know what goes on at these support groups- and maybe I should at least email about it. I just don't know. I've got a lot on my plate, but I know I need to take care of myself emotionally at the same time. And I think making a personal connection, meeting up with fellow infertiles, would be good.
At the same time, I am not a social person. I don't like crowds, being around strangers, speaking in public, and I always feel like people stare at me. I was a very unsocial child, we never lived anywhere long- I was always the new kid, and also the class nerd (I got bullied a lot). I eventually gave up on making friends after we moved so much (one time we moved three times in one school year). I still don't make friends easily, I am too shy. The friends I have, well they always approached me first- so I am an introvert surrounded by extroverts. Well, my husband is a shy introvert too, and doesn't talk in public (or at doctors appointments, or around my friends... at least not until he's known them for a year) Don't even ask how two extremely introverted people hooked up, ha ha. Awkwardly- that's the best way to describe it.
I have become more social, to an extent, since starting college and getting my job at the shelter. I've become more confident, if you will. But I still tense up and fear social things. It's ridiculous, but I can't shake it. I just don't know what to say, where to look, what to do- maybe I am over-analyzing it all. But, I never had much experience. My heart catches in my chest, and I freak out in a mild panic.
Let me give an example of me in a crowded room... I was asked to be a guest poet at a book store last year, because of the literary awards I won on my campus. I went, and I read. And my voice shook, and my hand rattled... the paper I was reading from shook lightly. I got cold and clammy, and read fast to get through my two small sections of my short stories, and one poem. I was asked to read again this year, and I did much better. But man, it was still bad. Thank goodness I only read two poems this year. I want to be a writer, but a reclusive one that is mysterious and ambiguous... who doesn't do book readings and signings (at least not often!) I guess the best way to say it, is that I'd rather be in the shadows than the spot light. Which makes me feel even more self conscious, because almost everyone seems to want to be in the spotlight.
Maybe a group isn't going to be good for me. I feel like I keep making excuses though, because I also feel like it would be a good thing for me at the same time. I just don't know.
If you've gone to a support group, tell me... what did it do for you?