Friday, March 23, 2007

Friends after IF

I've been contemplating my friend situation... I am thinking that IF does change you, changes the relationships around you. So I have "moved on" to adoption, but that pain still does not leave. And more shockingly, my friends still have the power to hurt me with thoughtlessness. And even after IF! Even after adoption! It's crazy. Some of the very people we had write reference letters for us are floating away. Are we pushing them away? Are we doing something wrong? I don't know. I do notice being surprised with hurt that some of these same people who I somehow thought I could trust with my innermost vunerabilities are in fact rather careless about them. I somehow thought that if they passed the test of being entrusted with this important task, that they would not go clod-hopping around on my bruised heart. Boy, have I been rudely surprised.

Well, and the other so-called friends too. I did not notice so much earlier how my IF experiences had changed my whole idea of what it meant to be a kind person, or a gracious and sensitive person. Or even a person with whom I would be comfortable having an extended personal conversation with. But I find myself avoiding people who have been thoughtless to me. It's not so much avoiding as cutting out. it takes a lot for me to cut somebody out, but several people have crossed over the line. One woman still really wants to be my friend, and I cannot bring myself to tell her that she hurt me deeply by being so cavalier about my TTC, and therefor I don't want to spent time with her. Ever. Maybe it's harder with the more casual friends or acquaintances -- they are close enough that you might risk sharing personal news with them, but not so close to tell them how you feel, really. So it's hard to call them on the carpet with any sense of dignity. I don't want to make anyone feel defensive, but mostly because I can't stand the thought of having to mop up emotionally after her... So... I avoid because I don't know how to say *you hurt me a lot* without opening myself up to further vunerabilites. As if, if I have to admit it, then it's even more revealing. If I have to *have a discussion about my feelings* then I have to bare myself further, and I don't trust her to treat me gently.

With friends at any level, IF and other personal traumas introduces a new level of gambling into personal interactions. I have to judge whether someone is trustworthy enough to hear sensitive information and respond well. It's almost a test. *Will they make the right choice?* I end up testing everybody-- are they worthy of this information? Is my need to share greater than their ability to hear it? What if I guess wrong and they flunk the test? I can stop talking to them about IF or other personal issues, but then the issue is out there, still. I can't put it back in the bag once it's shared, and I end up being a sitting duck for assvice of all irritating sorts. I'm sad because many of who I thought were my friends have flunked that test and have acted in thoughtless ways. Even one friend who is hurt, yes, hurt, that I don't share more of my personal life with her, has said and done hurtful things... Just little thoughtless remarks or actions, and for that matter, acted in ways that do not inspire confidence.... being critical over the least little thing, for instance, so that I end up feeling like I'm being asked to justify any course of action. It's wearing. I still value her greatly as a friend, but there are whole slices of conversation that I can't get into with her. Even sharing happy news is not a given--sometimes I get a critical or evaluating response rather than simple pleasure... It's really confusing at times, trying to keep up who has which level of security clearance for which kind of information. Jeez Louise.

Maybe I am having a harder time because I am usually more open than necessary. I'm still learning to be more guarded in my sharing. I haven't been used to thinking about information security, and I so I've been hurt a lot by trusting people more than is warranted. And even now I have those mental checkpoints in my head. How do I protect myself? How can I get the support I feel I need? How much can I share? How are they likely to respond? Sometimes it's the relatively shallow relationships that can be the most gracious, and I am pleasantly surprised. But it's always a gamble. One woman said some rude and insulting things when we were first TTC... I could tell it was from her own wretched experience, so I stayed pretty calm, but I still find myself angry over her ignorant assertions. I don't think it even occurred to her that people might actually take it personally, might be well-advised to be insulted, even, but it was a very prejudicial and rude thing to say... And yet I still enjoy talking to her in moderation--we see each other a few times a year.

I think my ability to forgive someone for rude words may depend on how much I can ignore. lolol ! See, I am still pissed about somebody being callous, and I can't pretend it doesn't bother me. But-- and here's one key--I can't be bothered to take on the whole emotional mess of having that discussion! I feel I have more responsibility to take care of my own emotional well-being than "raising" other people's emotional responsibility. If I'm not prepared to raise their consciousness about some issues, then I can protect myself by *not getting into that discussion*. Do I WANT to raise my blood pressure? I don't need to be the teacher to the world. Edited to add: Although I have started to blandly share my reaction to some ill-informed opinions. Hold a mirror up and remark on the reality or unreality of a given attitude or assertion. I guess that's a start.

I'm sure there are some ways I could talk more effectively to my friends (and no-longer-friends). Must think on that.

Is it getting older than gives me more I-don't-give-a-shit-matter-of-fact-ness? That makes me not really care so much whether I am stepping on toes stating my needs and preferences and pointing out when someone needs to be more responsible? Ah, so this is what the older woman is like. I think I'm starting to feel it! And that may be the thing that gets me in a place to say some things that may need (eventually) to be said.

Meanwhile, old "friends" are dropping like flies... Either I need to cut everybody more slack, or I need to be more discriminating about who i call a friend. Or some other factors as well. And/or accept that my standards of friendship have changed.

At least through all of this, I can say that my husband has been my best friend. He listens (although he still worried that listening means doing nothing), he consoles, he empathizes, he cheers me up with sushi or ice cream. He doesn't get all pissy about how I am not acting to suit his needs... We can share our feelings honestly, even the less than admirable ones. We see the best in each other. He doesn't get freaked out when I am inconsolable. Or at least holds me and (again) listens, offers sensible feedback, reassures me, reins me in when I get out of whack.... and I do the same for him, although he copes with a lot less emotional drama than I do sometimes. lol In fact, we both are more accommodating of each other now. I am so lucky...

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Start your wait

Two years ago last week, my husband and I snuck off from another out-of-town weekend event with no privacy to rent a hotel room (lol!) and attempt to make babies at the perfect time in my cycle. We had a great time! Despite repeated failures, we were still getting that little frisson of anticipation thinking maybe oo, maybe,THIS time... it worked! As if, since we had gone through this special effort, OBviously the Universe would give us what we wanted. We snuck away from our other event and *everything*. Had to wait until they'd let us check in, and then hid the fact to the hotel staff that we weren't actually spending the whole night. Had to glibly and vaguely lie to all of our friends about where we had been. And it was worth it. But. Well, you know the story. A mere two weeks later, the blood told the tale. It's taken me a long time to stop feeling crushed at the sight of my period, or that feeling that comes 12 hours before...

In some ways, we have bonded over our shared trials. And we've moved on to focus on adoption. But there is some of that journey that as much as I put it under the carpet, I still can't sweep it out entirely. I still have all our old syringes and various meds cluttering up corners in my closet and fridge. For God's sake, I still have leftover packages of gonadatropins in the back of the fridge! Left there like a room left untouched. And why is that? It's not like I'm going to scrap-book my experience. Do I need to really keep my tally of which injection I gave myself when?

My other kicks in then and calmly explains the deal: I feel I need to honor what I went through. I do my best to forget it, but I can't throw it away like it wasn't important. Maybe that's the difficulty. Or if I throw away all evidence that I underwent that, it will be as if I had never tried. I am still weirdly attached to those little vials, though they basically killed off what was left of my ovarian response... They also cost a staggering amount of money for the privilege. I tell myself I will throw them out when I get closer to out match day. No point in having needles around with a toddler, ya know. But still, I *made the effort*. I stabbed myself with needles repeatedly. I didn't give up hope, or at least little enough to keep me from undertaking the protocol. Damn it, I was GOOD at giving myself those damn injections... I was a ridiculously good patient. Shows what doing everything right gets you... Yeah, that's right: jack shit. :)

* * * * *

On another cheerful note, I had an irritating dream about my sister announcing that I was pregnant. Then it ended with her pompously announcing that my body was "just different." I woke up wanting to smack her, although of course, I was just a dream... Oo, my first dream about having a defective body. Lovely. I'll add it to the list.

I still sometimes find a stream of similarly irritating and hurtful thoughts running through the back of my mind. We weren't good enough to be parents... Our genes were unworthy to reproduce successfully...We waited too long...

Mostly I've learned to ignore this mean-spirited muttering, like with a class of 3rd graders or a surly 13 year old. I deliberately look at it and smile politely in the way that lets it know that my patience is wearing thin and it'd best shape up. And sometimes I sit on a simmering rage at the injustice. But like the Roosevelt Dam, the lid keeps things at an even stream; not so bottled that it breaks the whole support, but not so un-contained that it overwhelms me. What I mean about judicious repression... I have other things to do with my life. It's exhausting to "process" this upheaval in my life at dial 11 all the time. I usually have the sense to remove myself from flashfloods or sudden downpours from asshole interactions. I look at it curiously and say, hmmm... that's pretty asinine. Is that worth your ire?? Huh? 'Cause is it going to help? No? Okay, we'll not get involved with that one...

* * * * *

And now, we just received word that our dossier has officially been logged in. Almost two years after we hoped we'd make it happen that one memorable time... It feels almost unreal. I feel pleasantly detached. I am miserly with my excitement; I spend it well. Yes, we have an LID. I could add more exclamation points, because at some level, I am just thrilled!!!!!!! Finally!!!! But I am very weary of throwing my enthusiasm to the winds. is that what happens when life hands you too much disappointment? I am truly excited to have an official LID date, something to count our months from and calculate possible match months, but there's still the long haul. Now starts the *other* count down.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Zipping Right Along

After having the process drag out for longer than I anticipated, the process is now unexpectedly zipping along.

After we got word that our dossier had cleared review and gone to translation, later the same day we later heard that it had left the building and was already winging towards Beijing. Well, I am astonished. Here it could have taken up to 16 business days to go through review, translation, binding, etc, and our dossier managed to blow outta there in a single day? How on earth did that happen? Score one for my attention to picky details! At least, that's what I like to think.

Then, today, I get word that the dossier has already arrived at the CCAA! Wow! That's barely 3 days. I had to do a double take at the email. Are they sure they are talking about OUR dossier? Well, okay!

Reports differ as to how long it will take the CCAA to log in our dossier. One email says at least 5 weeks, another says up to 8 weeks.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

I've recovered a little of my gleefulness. Our dossier was received at the agency yesterday morning (thanks to tracking numbers, I knew this hours before they emailed a confirmation) and was so "in order" that it managed to pass through the critical review before the end of the day. On to translation!

* * * * *

Major storms were expected last night or maybe even yesterday afternoon. M was busy grading one of several huge stacks of papers when I reminded him of the onrushing weather expected. We wouldn't have time to get outside if we didn't take an early opportunity, so he dropped things for a while and went for a run while I did a small training walk.
... Later, he lamented that he had gone running so much earlier than necessary. I joked, yeah, but if you hadn't gone running when you did, you'd have been all: Look at the stack of papers! And: I have all this work to do and I didn't even get my run in! M started grinning and shaking his head, laughing in spite of himself. You're right. That's exactly what would have happened. I am so lucky to have you. ... lol

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