I didn’t realize how hard this would be. It never occurred to me that my “cycle buddies” would end up pregnant and I wouldn’t. (And for those of you in the same position as me, I’m sorry. This sucks.) The vast majority of bloggers in my reader are either pregnant or parenting, and I’m still stuck. More so now that we’ve completed the most medically advanced treatment cycle we could possibly undergo–which failed–and currently have no means to try again.
It’s hard to read, harder yet to comment on, certain blogs. I know I don’t have to explain it. I know each of you has been here before.
When I was a kid, I got really good at hiding my feelings. I’m not sure how or why I did it, but I refused to give anyone the satisfaction of seeing me cry. My older brother used to torment me and Zappa, but I could tell it was much more fun for him to pick on her because of the reaction he got. She wailed, screamed, panicked. He used to hold his hand over her nose and mouth while she writhed and tried to wiggle away. Then he’d remove his hand and say, “She almost passed out that time. Let’s try it again!” Yeah, he was kind of a dick.
He knew how to get to me, though. He knew my insecurities, and that I’d become more upset at a comment about my huge feet or my prominent schnoz than any physical torture he could come up with. But when I got mad, it was the silent treatment, clenched jaw, holding all my anger inside.
Even when I was bullied in school, the occasions that brought me to tears were rare. I would cry about it to my mom when I got home, but school was not the place I wanted to garner a reputation as a cry-baby, as well as a big fat nerd.
Over the years, my sister and I somehow switched roles. Blame it on the hormones or the stress, but I can cry at the drop of a hat now. So far, I’ve cried in every single therapy session with Dr. N, a relative stranger. Zappa, on the other hand, wouldn’t cry in front of anyone but me, even at our mother’s funeral, where it was perfectly acceptable–even expected.
I think, at different times in our lives, regardless of what we’re feeling, we’ve been alternately influenced by my mother’s penchant for drama and my father’s stoicism. She used to yell and scream and cry at my dad for whatever wrongs he’d committed, bit or small, while he calmly apologized but never raised his voice in return. Which just made her yell more. There was one time in particular–and I don’t think she ever knew that we overheard it–when she was on a tirade, while my sister and I sat unseen on the stairs, and she said to my father, “If it wasn’t for those little girls upstairs, I would have left a long time ago.” Part of me knows it was said just for the drama, and I was never meant to hear it. But still….
In this community, there are occasions that come up, every once in a while, that make me feel like that little girl on the stairs. When the big blow-ups happen, I don’t get involved in the discussion, I just sit quietly and observe the fallout, waiting for the storm to blow over.
But what I feel now is different. This isn’t me excusing myself from one conversation. This is me hiding out from all of them. I want to reach out. I want to offer comfort and support. I want to cheer along with good news. But I freeze. The words won’t come. And if they do, they feel hollow.
I’m not taking a break. I’m still here. I’m still reading (for the most part), and I feel like I need to write now more than ever. Please know that my absence of comments is not reflective of my actual absence. It’s just too hard for me to find the words right now. I hope they’ll return soon. The last thing I want is for my grief to make anyone else feel abandoned. Maybe this is me being too sensitive again. Maybe you haven’t even noticed my lack of commenting. But in case you have, I just wanted to say, I’m here.