Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wherever You Go, There You Are

I am a firm believer in "you are where you are." This means you can't berate your own problems because someone has it worse than you do. Someone always has it worse. It's important to remember that, but not make yourself feel any worse than you already do. It's a guilt ploy we do to ourselves. Important to remember, but not to discount. See Moxie's post today (which was beautiful); she illustrated what I am saying wonderfully. She was in labor and in pain, thinking of other women's conditions of labor, but never discounting her own.

It's like when we were teenagers mooing about and (some) adults would make snarky comments about how we didn't know how good we had it. Of course we didn't! We could only know what we knew. It was horrible when an adult did that. So discounting of what was a real experience to us at the time. Of course, I look back at some of the things I was upset about as a teen, I do have to have a chuckle now, but at the time, it was my life. I didn't need anyone to trivialize it.

But even though I believe strongly in this, I still guilt myself with every opportunity I can get. I'm in a bad mood today also. Can I attribute this to progesterone? I want to try and take all the problems anyone tells me about and treat them with empathy. Especially my friends or my family. When my mom complains about something in her vacation home, I try not to quip, "You're lucky you've got a vacation home!" and instead I want to respond with care and love. It's just where she is, and she wants it to be right. How can I fault that? I can't. I want to be understanding of my friends with small children, and when one sends an email about how tired she is because her seven-week old is not sleeping through the night, I don't snap back, but try instead to understand she's tired and that's real to her at that moment. Very real. Or when one of my dearest friends is sick of being pregnant, I try to think about how it feels to have a baby pressing down into my pubic bone-- how uncomfortable she must feel. I don't even like when my underwear aren't situated exactly right, or a there's crumb in the bed, even one crumb in the bed annoys me to the nth degree, so a whole baby pressing like that must be awful. But then I crumple after I get off the phone after trying to be as supportive as I know how to be, because even though it doesn't exactly sound pleasant, I want it so bad. All of it. I want the vacation house, the kid crying in the night, and a baby nearing its due date pressing in my pelvis. When it all happens for me, I'm sure I'm going to bitch and complain too. And when I do, I hope I have some friends and family who can listen and empathize-- not tell me how lucky I am to begin with.

Because the fact of the matter is that I know I'm lucky. This morning as I was ironing, I was thinking about our commitment ceremony. I was thinking about how after I told my mom about Partner, which was essentially 'coming out', things were rough in my house. Tense, one might say. My mom walks every morning with a group of her good friends. I thought about how she walked with them for a long time before ever telling them about me and Partner. These were friends who always liked me, tried to fix me up with men they knew, so telling them must have been scary for her. Would they be homophobic? Would they disapprove? Not one of them. They were all there at our ceremony cutting the rug all night long. I had family fly in from both coasts. I had friends come from Europe-- one came for the weekend only. It makes me a little teary to think about all the love that we are cushioned with. Because we are really cushioned with friends and family who most of the time respond with love and empathy, and we try to do the same. It's pretty awesome when you start to really think about it, dig around in it. And I was thinking these things as I was ironing the "autumn" tablecloth for the dining room table in the (too big) house we own. Just that simple act-- that I have a table cloth for the autumn, that I have a dining room table, that we own this beautiful house-- all underscore the comforts I have.

And I keep my eye on those wonderful things about our life-- the family and friends and the times we share-- I do. But some days I want to hole up and not listen to anyone. Not a soul. I just want to cry about not having my geraniums, or how slow the painters are painting, or the stress of this stupid IVF, or the fact that I want to be in South Carolina with my mom-- and I just want to cry about it all and not feel guilty about how I'm being a total baby when I know all along how lovely my life really is.

I'll never do it because ultimately that perspective will stay with me, and I think that's good. Sometimes I just battle the selfish Katie. I guess I'm battling her today. It's not so easy.

_____
IVF secret of the day: We call our anon donor "Thor"-- partly because of his mythical status, but also because his profile-- WOW.

4 Comments:

Blogger Trista said...

I needed to read this today. Thank you.

2:05 PM  
Blogger snot said...

i too really need a dose of this...

yes...i do have terminal cancer but i do have my ex partner trying to support me and yes i do have her current partner trying to support me...that maybe much more than others in my situation...

i am fortunate to have two insurance plans to cover my healthcare where at the hospital where i am receiving treatment there is a man there that has no insurance and is living in someone's garage so his entire monthly income can be used to pay for this treatment and his medication...

so, yes...i do have it pretty good even when i am down and depressed over the realities of my cancer...

i too try and be supportive of others especially at the infusion center but then when i get home alone i do sometimes feel very sad and down...

so, i guess, i said all of that to say thank you for your post...

i have been a lurker for sometime and i will comment more i promise...

always,

melissa

2:49 PM  
Blogger Hoping said...

I need to read that. Total perspective.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Mandy said...

I'm sorry you are battling selish Katie today.

As hard as it is, I commend you for being so thoughtful and realizing the good that you have. Sometimes that's too difficult for some people. They only want to focus on the bad.

It is all about perspective though. I had to constantly remind myself of that when dealing w/ infertility and miscarriages.

Don't discredit what you're going through right now though. IVF is such a tough, trying road. You are stronger than many people for what you've been through and what you are continuing to face. Kudos to you, for that.

6:41 PM  

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