false hope

My blouse is tear-stained and my mascara is collected in streaks down my face.

My car smells like toothpaste from the trunk full of dental products I promised to bring to a friend’s charity collection. I never made it. There’s a gift on my front seat that I didn’t drop off either. I had to run home, like a wounded animal.

In front of hundreds of people, I talked about infertility and how it can bring blessings. I feel like a huge phony. Sometimes, I believe the words I speak. I can talk honestly and openly about how my life would be different if I hadn’t gone through it. Without that set of circumstances, would I be alive, even? It’s entirely possible, my former oncologist said, that had I not been doing so many ultrasounds because of IVF that the cancer would have been much farther along when they found it, if they found it.

But today? I hurt.

I don’t have hope, I let that go a long time ago. All I have is hurt. I feel robbed of all of that. I stood up in front of these people, and I can acknowledge their pain, but at the same time, I know most of them will go on to be parents. It may be a different experience than they had originally planned on, but at the end, they’ll hold their baby and be a family.

I will never be a mother. I will never experience childbirth, a full pregnancy, the bonding of mom and baby. Fine.

I don’t want to grieve those things anymore either. I want to be the evolved woman who realizes that my worth is more than my ability to reproduce, but some days, I feel like a failure.  I gave up. And, that isn’t like me. I fight.

I fought the doctors who said we wouldn’t be able to have our own child. Then, I fought cancer, a much more formidable enemy. I fought those who said we wouldn’t make good candidates for adoption. At the end, all I fought was my ex. He wanted to keep pushing on with whatever it took, adoption and surrogacy and what not. I had no more fight left. I had no more hope left.

So what made me think that I could tell other people how to do it?

When I decided to leave that hope, that dream behind me, I thought time would help. I expected to come to terms with my childfree life much sooner than this.

umbrella

I sit here, just past midnight, with an empty mug beside me; my breath milky like a drunken infant.

Fidgeting at the kitchen table, jumping between open windows, trying to dull myself enough to sleep. I don’t know if it’s a reverse seasonal affect disorder or what, but there is just something about this time of year. I wonder, perhaps if it has something to do with things being in bloom, all that reproduction in my face.

I feel sad. Frustrated by the changes I cannot push myself to make. Frustrated that I have to be in such a position.

I wonder if maybe I feel the start of my own transformation. Is the uneasiness I’m feeling all because I want to shed something and grow? Am I able to? I feel stifled at my job. I enjoy the work, but several changes beyond my control are deeming it worthwhile to again look to see what else is out there. I fight with my own sense of loyalty, wondering why I should stay.

The damp weather affects my mood, and the gray skies I’ve woken up to the last few days match my eyes. I keep the tears in, but just barely.

sixty thousand

It’s a strange milestone, I don’t think I noticed when the odometer went to 50K.

On the drive home, I was thinking about where I’ve been. 

The car has been up to Canada, down to Alabama. Over to New York and back to Utah. From Tennessee through Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsvylania, Nebraska, Wyoming. 

It was a quick decision, made under duress. Carless and needing the freedom of wheels while feeling trapped in Nashville. I remember the first 13 hour trip to NY, to tell my parents my marriage wasn’t working out. The teary drive from Tennessee as I walked out on my husband. As I said goodbye to the dreams we had and the life I had tried so hard to make with him.

I remember feeling loopy as I drove from Lincoln to Salt Lake, wishing miles and time would hurry up as I waited to get here.