Monday, June 12, 2017

The Hardest Thing

By now all of our family and friends (and used to be friends) know that K and I are separated.

It has been the hardest and worst and saddest decision ever made.  There's no way to explain how we got here except to air a bunch of deeply personal marital issues that are better left for the offices of counselors.

I will say that I wish I had reached out to the right people. The detrimental outcomes for my
mental health, my marriage, and my family of trusting the wrong friends to seek out for help and guidance when my heart was overwhelmed with hurt is something I will always regret. Once the announcement had been text blasted to all those we thought closest to us, it became so apparent whose hearts and advice I should have sought.  I hope to never make such mistakes again and I hope that this can serve as a warning to anyone in my position.

To K and our sweetest P.   I never wanted this life. I'm shocked by it every single day. K, I enjoyed so many things in our life together. I'm thankful we've had the chance to really talk a few times and try to move forward with healing. I doubt it will ever be enough. P,  if you ever read this, our lovely, miracle darling, I want you to know that we loved each other. You were prayed about and conceived in love. We just failed, my girl, and I'm really sorry for any way that ever hurts you. This whole blog is a journey to you, read it any time you need to know how loved you are.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Admitting imperfection

I have everything I've ever wanted in life.

My marriage is successful, strong, and loving -  a partnership of best friends navigating life together. I'm the mama of a sweet, particular, awe-inspiring baby girl.
I can't walk outside without seeing a beautiful view.  There's mountains on one side, oceans on the other, and lakes in between.  A couple miles down the road a waterfall is nestled beneath the tallest trees I've ever seen.
My job is busy enough to not be boring but laid back enough to ensure that I still have something to give my family when I get home.

On paper there is nothing amiss.  

Unfortunately for me, my brains chemistry decided to disagree.

Maybe it started with my infertility diagnosis, it was certainly present while I endured bedrest and feared the worst outcomes of my any rate, my level of anxiety never died down after P was born.

At first, I couldn't really leave the house without feeling an acute, terrifying dread that something terrible was going to happen.  Anytime K left I couldn't relax again until he came home. Once, I texted my mom and made her promise not to die.  

I managed to make appearances where necessary (work, social events, doctors appointments) but otherwise I stayed holed up at home. The mere thought of getting dressed and sitting on the porch overwhelmed me so much that I just couldn't do it. I had to give myself quick pep talks in the bathrooms at work to keep from going into full blown panic mode.  I texted around to find out if it was normal to feel "a little" off balance and everyone said yes.  It was easy to justify that I was behaving normally as long as I didn't admit to anyone the full extent of my anxiety and depression.

Then we sold our house and moved halfway across the country.  I told myself that we just needed to settle into a home, make friends, get into the swing of things and then I would finally stop having cycles of desperate sadness and overwhelming anxiety.    

Well, everything is settled down. Nothing is in upheaval. My dreams have all come true. My life is, logically, pretty perfect.    But guess who is still anxious, desperate, and overwhelmed? That's right, me.

My life may be perfect but it's time to admit that I'm not.  I need more help than I can give myself and finally accepting that has taken a huge weight off my chest.  No amount of positive thinking, compartmentalizing, denial, exercise, eating well (the list goes on and on) is going to fix what has become a chemical imbalance but my hope is that with time, counseling, and medication I'll get to a place that will allow me to experience the complete fullness of my life.

Maybe I should be ashamed or embarrassed, I'm sure someone is going to judge me for what seems like a dramatic weakness, but mostly I'm relieved and ready to move forward as the best version of myself possible.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I'm Melodrama

If you think I'm melodramatic when it comes to remembering my journey through infertility and wish I'd let it go and talk about something else, baby, you're in luck. 


My perfect purple house! It has wooden floors, a wired sound system that can play in the bathroom or on the large back deck, a vegetable garden, and extensive flower beds. There are sky lights for the natural light to welcome me to each new day. We eat meals outside whenever we can. We sleep on a queen-sized bed in a blue room and welcome the opportunity for closeness. 

The perfect weather! Oh my goodness I've never experienced anything like it. When I left Texas it was a low of 95* and I arrived to Washington needing a jacket.  The highest it's been is 77*, once. I hear the sky's will cloud and darken, bringing the rain, but even then I think I'll celebrate that beauty. 

I couldn't ask for more. We explore the city, slowly making new friends, spending happy hours outside under clear skies that don't go dark until 10 pm.  Our perfect home is halfway between my work and K's school which are each just an 8 minute commute which means we are less stressed and together more - that alone is priceless. 

I look forward to each moment of each day that we're together. I look forward to the peace we've claimed for the next couple of years as we live out our dream come true. 

Maybe I was insufferable for you in the midst of my deepest sadness.  Well, welcome to my joy. 


My period will never stop being a reminder of my infertility. 

Before I knew anything about anything I thought getting a period as often as I do (every 18-22 days) was a blessing because it meant more chances than the average person to get pregnant. It was a grounding realization to discover that such a frequent cycle actually made it much, much harder for me.   Having so many periods quickly became the bane of my existence. At least, I would reason with empty air, at least if you aren't going to let me be pregnant stop making me get a period all the damn time. 

Unfortunately, empty air gives no fucks for my logic so every 18-22 days all the planning, the medicines, the surgery, the prayers, and my body became once more obvious failures. Every 18-22 days I had to let K know that he still wasn't going to be a dad.  Every 18-22 days I had to decide if I was strong enough to do it all over again.  

It cut me to my core to bleed, and so frequently. I will never forget the deep sadness that came from having it confirmed that the cramping I felt wasn't from the implantation of a tiny embryo but my barren body shedding its useless tissue. 

I never stopped hoping otherwise, though, and that's how it got me, how it nearly destroyed me. I really thought each month that if I did this thing and that, if I prayed harder, tried harder, changed, added, or subtracted some certain thing maybe maybe maybe please please please it would work. Still  my period showed up as faithful as ever to destroy my hope and, as silly as this may sound to someone, it's something I'll never be able to forgive.

So, now, after everything and with my baby clinging to my side,  every 18-22 days I get the reminder that some things never change. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Winnie the Pooh Life

Four years ago K and I stepped off a plane into the beauty that is the great Pacific North West. Our vacation was brief, nothing more than a long weekend, but we left promising ourselves that one day we'd find a way to live there.  As life home in the south picked up we began to think that maybe it wouldn't be possible, that maybe the PNW was only ever to be our preferred vacation destination.  We visited once more and talked fantastically about some far off time in the future when we'd retire and build a house on a hilltop with a breathtaking view. That was the most we dared to hope - an adventure 50 years away.

You'd think I would have learned by now that nothing goes according to plan.  In 2 weeks, it will no longer just be the will be our home!

The Lord has been very kind to us this year.  I don't deserve it. I've, frankly, been a rebellious brat for plenty of years.  I've been confused, doubting, the chief among sinners.  My heart has been guarded and half asleep.  His Grace, though, is more than my rot and He has decided to take it easy on me, fulfilling my deepest desires.   I have my sweet daughter, a marriage that is strong and playful, and a new life awaiting me in one of the most beautiful places I've ever laid eyes on.   I'm excited to learn the lessons this God of Gifts is wanting to teach me in the kindest of ways.  It's a welcome reprieve.

I'd be lying, though, if I pretended this was not a bittersweet gift. I'm excited to embark on this journey but I'm grieved to leave behind all of those that I love.  The friends I have here are salve for my soul; they delight me - they love me deeply, flaws and all, and let me love them the same.  If I'm in need I can send one text and know that at least 3 people will be there to help me, not to mention the family that would give us almost whatever we could ask for.   I know they'll all still be here no matter the physical distance but I'll miss every hug and sweet smile that I've come to know and love.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Everything is beautiful

Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.  

It's a line in a Kurt Vonnegut book that seems to resonate with a lot of people.  My older brother related to it so much that he got it tattooed all across his back. As for me, well, I never understood it. For years I ached so deep and unending that I nearly drowned in the pain.  Nothing was beautiful and everything hurt...that was more like it.    I'm exaggerating, of course.  There was beauty, but there was always, always, always hurt to eclipse it.

Today though, folks and friends, today I get it.

My once shattered heart is healed in such a way that I can't believe it ever broke. I'm continually amazed that I have the privilege of knowing my dearest, darling P - that she is my baby, in my arms, and that I'm her mama.   I feel more whole and happier than I ever have in my entire life just because she is.

And, gracious me, this babe of mine is a total keeper. She's LOUD for real. Her cries are so sudden and attention grabbing that people think maybe they hurt her.   Her early morning giggles are more akin to screams and cackles. She's a babbler, a face grabber, a beard eater.  We like to joke that she's got her daddy's looks and her mama's personality.  We're as smitten as two people ever have been with anything.

I thank God* for this baby, for allowing her existence to help heal all the deep wounds I thought would never go away, and (a beg more than a prayer most days) for keeping her safe.

*I'll insert this disclaimer that I don't understand God, aside from a few things that I know to be absolute truths.  I don't know if it was God that kept me from becoming a mama for all of those years.  I can't imagine that my Father would do such a thing - watch me die and wither and die again for months on end - and yet, the story of Job tells me that He doesn't keep us from suffering if it advances His kingdom within ourselves or in the world.  Conversely, I struggle attributing P's existence as specifically from Him any further than acknowledging that He is the author and creator of all life.  So take whatever I say about the Lord with a grain of salt: it's just the ramblings of a woman who doesn't quite know the answer to much of anything.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My beloved K

     I often stop what I'm doing and stare at K.  I like to take notice of him in moments when he has no idea I'm intently studying him.  No matter if we've been connected or distanced, happy or angry, in those moments when I get to watch him my heart swells with such an immense amount of love that I usually have to reach out and touch him just to relieve the pressure. 

     I make special note of what he does. I see the way he bites his bottom lip in concentrated thought so that the patch of hair directly beneath it pokes out straight. I watch him absentmindedly stroke his beard over and over and over, so much that I wonder how his hand doesn't get a little numbed from the courseness of the feeling.  I watch the way he thins out his lips into a tight purse and sighs so deep that it still startles me. 

     He looks a little different, too, each time I do this.  The patch of gray on the right side of his beard has grown just a bit more.  His eyes, always alert, are the same wonderful brown ones I've always looked into except this time they look more tired, or frustrated, or excited.  Depending on the day, his shoulders are more slumped and his brow more furrowed...or else he stands tall, his looming presence full of vigor and cheer. 

    When he's doing a goofy dance to get my attention I notice the way his facial expression is asking me a question...will this make you smile...while he waits for my response.   The answer, as always, is yes.

I'm glad to live this life by his side.