Is It Possible to Feel Two Conflicting Emotions at the Same Time?

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More than once in my life I’ve thought my brain would be a great specimen for a Discovery Health episode. It’s not that I think my brain is all that and a bag of chips. No, the truth is it puzzles the bejesus out of me.  I’m thinking a few enterprising scientists could go to town hooking up electrodes and the like, and if all goes well, discover some elusive answers.

For instance, in the wake of Infertility, is it possible to be at peace with a decision and yet sad and weepy at the same time? To feel fierce but reluctant all at once? Apparently it is, and that’s the subject of this post.                                                                          tugofwar

It all began when MotherofNone and Jenna offered up some opposing perspectives on Infertility. Well, my past two entries would have you (and me) believe I’m skipping
down easy street. Infertility — it’s what’s for breakfast. Yeah, right. I want very much to believe that everything is and will
be just fine. I’m like The Little Engine that Could making my way up the mountain: I think I can, I think can.  That’s because I want to make it to the top and yell out to the world I’m A-Okay and by the way, let me tell you a thing or two about Infertility. I’m signed up to the idea, and while I’m at peace with knowing that I’ll never be a mother, it still makes sad.

I have my moments of fierceness and reluctance, too. Like the other day I tied on my pomegranate bracelet and all but dared the crowd at Whole Foods to ask me what it meant. I was feeling downright fierce and more than a little sassy in my favorite slim fitting jeans, form fitting sweater and kicky boots. I was simply too hot to be a mama and actually feeling good about that.

On Monday I tied the bracelet on again. I got to the office and found myself wondering if it clashed with the yellow sweater I was wearing. As the morning wore on I started feeling glum for some reason I can’t explain. Then later when a colleague dropped by my office I all but sat on my hand somehow fearful he might see it. So much for my bravado. What was that all about??? I went home feeling defeated. The next day I was out of the house in a hurry and realized halfway through my commute that I’d somehow forgotten to tie it on. Damn.

I’ve since read a few more perspectives that evoke deeply held, conflicting emotions:

The Crying Game, by My Battle with Infertility

2 First Birthdays, 2 Births and a Dedication, by A Someday Mom

I Wish I Could Say I Wasn’t, by Flutter of Hope

In each of these posts there’s complexity and subtlety. They’re far from neat and tidy. I relate completely to their angst. As for today, I’ll try again. I’ll tye the bracelet on, but this time I’ll be more prepared for the emotional tug of war likely to occur.

What I realize is that I’ll never stop looking back over my shoulder entirely. Have you ever tried skipping forward while looking backward? Well, unless you’re more coordinated than me, it can cause some not so graceful tumbles.

The competing emotions often leave me bewildered. My brain neurons must be going haywire. Seriously, now don’t you agree I’m a good Discovery Health candidate?