How did I get here?

As usual in her literary way, P at Blood Signs is stirring things up in me.  She does that to a lot of people.

Not pregnant but expecting a child nonetheless, I  often feel bitter at 4am in the morning.  I feel bitter because I still yearn for the life I never had.  Just at that time when I get up to pee and then can’t get back to sleep.  I wonder – how did I get here?  Remember that Talking Heads song?  Once in a Lifetime?  Am I happy yet?  Where did I get this flabby midsection, who the hell am I sleeping next to?  I’m okay most of the time, but you know in daily life there is a daily parade of what could have beens.  Those nesting moments, the excitement, the ultrasounds, the innocence.  I miss the old me at 4am.  I also miss my old husband.  I miss my own expectations of who I thought I was.  I talked to my husband today and he told me that life hasn’t been fun for a long time.  Not since the whole BABY thing.  And since I drove the 2nd to 4th attempts, in my attempt to OVERCOME ALL OBSTACLES AND BE A WINNER! we still came up empty handed and so by default, I feel blamed.  Savings gone, whopping debt incurred and nothing to show for it but a prescription for an antidepressant.  I didn’t need a pill I needed a baby, but my uterus didn’t get that memo.  So much for black women being super fertile, eh?   I told him that infertility did change me.  And this adoption has also changed me.  It’s made me cautious, tentative.  I feel as if we’ve both had to jump through hoops and it makes me feel… a little like a thief.

Yeah, I know I gotta let it go. LET GO OF THE DREAM, DAMMIT!  What?  Are you kidding, when we could JUST ADOPT?  As if it was like checking out a library book.  Go to the old card catalogue,  write down the number, hand it to the librarian who goes behind the special stacks and doesn’t come back out for 2 years. And me, standing there, forgetting what book I wanted.  Out of print, you say?  Okay, how about something else, anything else.

Pam talks about expectations.  Being at the mercy of other people’s schedules and priorities, wondering where she’s supposed to fit in a life for herself. Sacrifice.  It’s something women are supposed to be good at.  Silent at.  Some of us are expected to keep the home running like a well oiled machine.  I have a confession.  It’s not a job I like.  It’s necessary because I’ve never had a 9 – 5 type work life.  Hubby made it crystal clear years ago then if I wasn’t going to be working regularly, then I had better get the laundry done, clean the house and do the dishes.  That was supposed to be my contribution.  At the time, I was suffering from a deep depression (misdiagnosed as lazy and self indulgent) and hearing that was like a death sentence.  My 18 year old self was yelling from inside of me, go tell him to go F*** himself.  I cried, I stomped my feet and I stuffed it all down and began to journal while at the laundromat.  And strangely enough, I found a kind of peace between the washer and the dryer.  You know if I had had a laptop then, I would have been blogging. Or cheating online. Yep, most likely the latter.

And man, oh man in the midst of trying to conceive, I hit my domestic stride and discovered baking.  I was serene.  I was about to embark upon my greatest creative endeavour and I was excited and determined and planning my acceptance speech.  I gritted my teeth and smiled through all the procedures as if I was starring in my own documentary.  What a trooper! Did you know her mother had a stroke?  Poor thing!

Fast forward to present day.  I don’t smile as quickly.  I watch my words.  I diet.  I watch my mum grow feeble and I change her Depends.  I don’t get drunk and go out dancing anymore cause well, I’m old and all my friends have kids.  I feel like I’m 29 years old again, talking to my therapist about my low self esteem. Except now I’m just plumb embarrassed.  Cause low self esteem for a 46 year old black woman is NOT ATTRACTIVE.  Well, in truth, it’s not so much low self esteem as it is low expectations.

It has occurred to me, as of late, that being an adult woman means enduring discomfort, sacrifice and clean floors.

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11 thoughts on “How did I get here?

  1. amen, sister. a beautifully raw and painfully honest post. sing it.

    for years, I wondered where the hell my life went, how this became my life, why was I so cursed.

    but now? I have to say that despite it all, I do feel, well, a little bit, dare I say, lucky.

    and that is one serious effing transformation, no?

    but still, the sacrifice, for all of it. it never ends.

  2. Your words always reach out to me and touch my heart. But there is always a sentence or a paragraph that reaches out to me and touches a deeper part of me. This sentence did that for me “It has occurred to me, as of late, that being an adult woman means enduring discomfort, sacrifice and clean floors.” I wish you only worry was “how the hell do I keep this floor clean?!” Since that’s nearly impossible, for anyone, I’m sending you a huge hug and lots of strength to get through the rest of your worries.
    *HUGS*

  3. The whole thing is beautifully, painfully, true.

    but this: “I didn’t need a pill, I needed a baby, but my uterus didn’t get that memo.”

    and this: “Well, in truth, it’s not so much low self esteem as it is low expectations.”

    yes.

  4. Right before I clicked over to your blog today I had very simliar thoughts….though had I written them they would not have been so eloquent and well-expressed and well-written as yours…so reading yours satisified my own personal urge to put them into print somehow. You did that for me. And it’s not the first time. And it won’t be the last I’m sure. Thank you. Today is a day I wish we could go for coffee and chat.

  5. I feel it, you are so true. I wish I was as articulate and eloquent as you. Everything you said is how I feel but didnt have the words to say it.

    This sounds crazy so please dont take it the wrong way. My mother who passed last year said “things happen for a reason and put your trust in god and he will make the way, if only you believe”.

    In all the hardship you have endured in the quest for motherhood is out of your control. When your littleone arives he/she is the one who you were destined for and all the heartache will be a thing of the past.

    take care

  6. That was a great post of Pam’s, & yours is fabulous too (especially the second paragraph — I feel exactly the same way). Love the Talking Heads allusion. “How did I get here?” indeed??

  7. This was a well written post. Infertility is definitely a journey that changes you from start to finish. I wish you luck on your journey and the adoption process.

    ICLW

  8. ‘It has occurred to me, as of late, that being an adult woman means enduring discomfort, sacrifice and clean floors.’

    – I’m with you there. Well, except maybe on the clean floors part. 🙂

  9. First time visiting your blog and I swear I could have written this post.

    “I miss the old me… I also miss my old husband. I miss my own expectations of who I thought I was.” I ache for that innocence and expectation sometimes. But then, my marriage is in a place of strength and intimacy that never would have happened without the pain of infertility.

    Sounds good, right? Hope so. It’s what gets me by. 🙂

    And I freaking love that Talking Heads song. Hope you don’t mind, but I’ll have to link to it in a future post.

    Smith (via ICLW)

  10. Honestly, it all boils down to the fact that no matter how old we are, our minds never seem to be at the same place as our bodies.

    An insecure 20 year old OHN was expected. At 52, not so much. I have learned so many things in life, and have helped tons of others with self esteem issues, why can’t I help myself? At times, too often, I am still that shy, tooskinny/toofat, girl I was long long ago.

    Hell, without people like us, therapists wouldn’t have any work!

  11. Popped over from the Crème de la Crème list and glad I did. That Talking Heads song is great, and very fitting.

    I peeked at your last posts, congratulations on the arrival of your son!

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