bad behavior

I used to joke that hotels were the worst place for me to keep myself in line. Traveling for business, a conference, some advocacy, etc. left me wandering the halls of hotels late at night, in lobbies just before the bar closed. Grocery stores were another place I’d find trouble in, whether it was by chance or by design.

I’ve primarily worked in environments over the last ten years that did not afford an opportunity to engage with coworkers. When I had my own business, I wouldn’t hire people I felt attracted to. When I started working out here in Utah, I chose positions without temptation. Places where my exposure to people was limited, where close hours working with one individual on a project would be unusual. I took jobs with practices and owners I had no desire for, at least once turning down a position because I knew I would constantly be distracted by my employer.

I’ve kept myself in check. I don’t turn the acquaintances I want into close friends. I choose where and when I socialize with certain friends of his, those I find intriguing.

I’m slipping.

Not in my immediate practice or department, but I run across so many people I can imagine myself entangled with. Scrubs can do some awful things to my imagination.

Always tamping down my urges is a sure-fire way to have them rise up when I least expect it.

about when to let go

I don’t like the term giving up. That said, I know I felt it each time I contemplated moving on from one stage to another.

As my ex and I got our diagnoses, and started working with the reproductive endocrinologist, I felt like I had to give up on the idea of having a child without some kind of medical staff involved. We never had the hope of a completely natural conception, due to our medical issues.

When I lost my pregnancies, when the cycles turned up negative, I felt like I gave up too easy, that my body gave up, that I failed my someday children.

When I moved from IUI to IVF, I felt like I was giving up on the chance of having a child in an affordable way. Of having any control over my body, as I overstimulated, suffered side effects, or had a cycle cancelled. When they diagnosed my cancer, and we had to give up on any and all treatment, I felt like I was giving up, even though I had no choice.

We pursued adoption as I pursued a clean bill of health, concurrently dealing with chemo and home studies. I could not give up on the idea of having a child, in whatever way would be successful for us. I’d meet women without children, and think that they gave up, that they must not have wanted a child badly enough, or somehow, they would have had one.

I was so wrong.

I had to let go of each idea as we moved into accepting a new one. It isn’t bad. You have to change and adapt to your circumstances, it’s the only way we survive our lives, with as crazy as they can be.

I think things are moving in the right way, and people are able to find support as they move from trying to conceive to looking into treatment, or adoption or surrogacy. There are online forums, Facebook groups, support meetings, and so on, for all the subsets of people trying to become parents. But, the one thing nobody talks about, is when to let go.

Hope is hard. Hope keeps us fighting long after we feel able to stay on our feet, pushing us into action even after our hearts are weighed down.

No one ever told me it was OK to let go. Not the women I met in my support groups, who all became parents. Not my therapist, who had finally had twins via DE IVF after 6 years of trying. Not my family and friends, not even my ex. In fact, he was absolutely crushed to know I was considering letting go on the idea of having children, of having a family with him.

I believe it was necessary to let go in order to survive. My life revolved around the possibilities of parenthood for so long, I didn’t know anything else. I was devastated to think that I had given up on my dream. Giving up as a term, it truly did apply; abandoning the things I was doing to become a mom. I surrendered, and I yielded control of this thing that consumed my life. I gave up, and there was no other way to look at it.

Except I had to find another way. Letting go seemed kinder. Letting go, was a release, rather than me just walking away. It was a tender and gentle term for something that felt so painful and violently against every fiber of my being.

I resolve to know more about when to let go, because it isn’t something I did, it’s something I continue to do. I resolve to help others know about this too, because there isn’t a lot of support, especially for those who stop treatment or adoption proceedings for a childfree life. If you know someone who has to let go, please don’t ever think they gave up. It’s so much more complicated than that.


*The theme of this year’s National Infertility Awareness Week is “resolve to know more”… with the more covering a number of different topics. You can read more here.

state of agitation

I haven’t slept more than six hours a night since he started his new schedule.

I’m exhausted. I’m lonely. I hate being alone at night, I hate how it makes me feel. I hate that it makes me want to revisit old bad habits. I feel resentful, and at the same time guilty; I urged him to take this new job.

This new job that he hates, where he feels like a loser, where he’s lost seniority and benefits for the promise and hope of a potential future doing more, doing better.

The reality is, right now, we are both miserable. Neither one of us know how to fix the problem. He withdraws, I resist the urge to act out. I want to both run away and pull him close.

My depression worsens with insomnia, laying alone in bed at night, I worry; I cry, I panic. I know we always say will survive anything, that we can get through anything we intend to as long as we’re together but what if this is the thing that we can’t get through?

His commitment to me seems to waver, his commitment to life seems to waver. I worry one of us will do something drastic. I worry neither of us will do anything. I feel responsible for his current state, for his feelings of failure, for his disappointment, for the fact that I can’t fix it. I can’t make him happy. The man I love is buried deep inside of him. I want him back the one who wanted me, who seemed excited to be around me, who was thoughtful towards me, who couldn’t wait to see me. Not this man with his walls – keeping me at arms length, keeping me out of his bed, pushing me out of his heart.

It’s his defense mechanism. I’m supposed to apologize and understand because he’s having a hard time, but I’m having a hard time too and instead of turning towards him I’m turning away and so is he. I knew my former marriage was bad when we slept on different schedules, where we didn’t really share a bed and I’m feeling a lot of those feelings now and I don’t know if it’s related to time.

By the time I was with my ex for five years we were on the road to divorce. We had survived infertility problems, my cancer diagnosis, his joblessness, financial problems. Do I just have a five-year limit on good relationships? Do I sabotage myself and fuck things up?

This new schedule has thrown me for a loop. I’m back to sleeping in an empty bed, and I don’t much care for it.

The house is quiet, every noise breaks my slumber. I toss, I turn, I reach to find sheets, cold and empty.

I catch myself wandering around, bare feet on carpeted stairs, listening to the hum of the house, wishing he were home.