When I started this blog more than a year ago my head was crammed full of unspoken thoughts and my heart was in such pain that I could hardly see straight. Deep seated anger clouded my judgment. My mental health was fragile at best.
Seems in relinquishing infertility treatment and letting go of the life I thought I would be living I had some “issues” to address. Since then I’ve been fighting my way to some kind of peaceful existence. I’ve written about trying to find my way out of the cul de sac that had become my life, unpacking baggage I’d been carrying around for years on end and fighting demons that seemed intent on keeping me restless. I was making some pretty good progress on my mental health but the past week or so the demons have been working over time. What can I say? They like me. I’m an easy target. The result has been insomnia and a weird malaise that has no obvious cause.
Shlomit helped to crystallize my current angst. She’s written about the identity crisis and mental health challenges that come from living through a difficult transition. As we continue to evolve we take on different characteristics. Much like clay being molded I was trying to shape a new Pamela Jeanne, carve out a well-formed non-mom persona.
There I was in the library, my nascent new self looking for yet another book to inspire me, to infuse me with a sense of well being. And then like a WHACK up the side of my head, something hit me.
In the display case sat a book called Beyond the Mommy Years. Just seeing the cover filled me with quiet rage. A photo of soapy knee bent in a tub and a hand holding a glass of wine implying a celebration of a job well done. A victory for having made it to a new stage of life. A voice inside my head said, “walk away. you do not want to crack the spine. shake it off.” What did I do? I checked it out.
Yeah, the book has been sitting on my kitchen counter until this morning. I just opened it. I needed a target to vent my anger. The jacket cover reads: “Thirty million mothers between 40 and 60 years old are about to face childless households for the first in decades. And for many, the community found on the playground, on the playing fields, and even at PTA meetings is gone.”
Oh, reaaaaaallllly? And I’m supposed to feel BAD for these women? They’re feeling grief you say? They’re trying to figure out this “postmommyhood” (the author’s term) stage of their life? Boo hoo.
Well get in the BACK of the line ladies. You’ve got some serious hard time to do before you’re going to find any sympathy from the likes of me. Try living the empty nest syndrome of a different flavor then we can talk. Until then, well…
So clearly anger has made its way back front and center in this unpredictable recovery of mine. Yes, there’s some good evidence here that I still harbor smoldering resentment for those who have zero appreciation for what ‘infertiles’ have to live through. My mental health can be easily rattled.
So, every time I think I’ve skipped ahead in my recovery, the reality of living infertile in a — let me add, clueless — ‘fertile’ world manages to sneak up on me. Sigh. More work to do. On today’s list is some spring cleaning … the closets, under the bed, the places where I’ve stuffed things I wasn’t ready to get rid of just yet. And maybe, just maybe I’ll break some china. I’ve got to dissipate the anger somehow.