Since my last post, I've been taking some time to reflect on all the comments as well as the events in the aftermath. It's taken me a lot of time and energy to get to a place where I can reflect, as there's been a lot of anger over all the bad news. Through all of this, one message has been consistently clear: somehow we'll survive all of this. It may not be pretty nor will it be as planned, but there will be good things that will come. It's just a matter of seeing the forest for the trees. Problem is, I still can't see the forest.
It's probably no secret by now that I struggle to see the big picture in life. Too often, I find I get caught in the details, or at least the less than favorable ones. This is actually one of the things that drives Dee crazy with me, as I'm quick to discount hard work towards goals or other good aspect in favor of focusing on failure and hardship. I can't begin to count the number of sessions where she's sat across from me, giving me a look of pure frustration when this happens. Still, old habits die hard, with me wanting to focus my time and attention on what's been lost, failing to see what can be gained.
Sunday night, after picking Grey up from the airport and spending a car-ride home in tears over being frustrated, I managed to calm myself long enough to remember a section of Patricia Irwin Johnston's book about crisis.
Currently there is some debate about this, but a popular interpretation of the Chinese symbol for "crisis" is derived of two characters: one that means "danger" and the other that means "opportunity." Ms. Johnston uses this interpretation in the beginning chapters of her book to make a case for how the crisis we face while dealing with infertility/loss can bring opportunity through resolution. The wisdom in all of this, though, is that these lessons are not limited to expanding one's family.
As I sat with these thoughts, I began to think about why recent events bothered me so much. After all, Grey and I are acutely familiar with failure and rejection, why is it that this time I wasn't getting so caught up in this news? And that's the moment I decided it was time to be brutally honest, revealing a part of me that I'm not very proud of.
What I'm about to write is surly going to anger many, as I'll seem greedy and ungrateful. I know for a fact that the me of a year ago would be slapping the me of today if she saw this. But in an effort towards mapping out my train of thought, here goes. Back in December, when David had me doing visualizations, I decided to take the exercise to a whole new level. Instead of simply focusing on the cycle working, focusing on the positive outcome, I also decided to visualize the life I wanted to have. So in addition to watching my future children playing, I also visualized them coming into work with Grey and I. I visualized them being a part of the culture we worked in, interacting with other children who had parents who were scientists. I visualized both of us being successful in our careers, easily making the transitions that were needed. So when the news came in January that this cycle had not only resulted in a BFP, but that both embryos had implanted, I began to hope that maybe all of it would come true. After all, we had suffered for so long that maybe, just maybe we would finally be able to move beyond it all.
Needless to say, getting my hopes up only to part of them come crashing down threw me. I truly thought that after all the writing, the scrambling, the hours of discussion and the plans that something would come through. After all, this arena is what I knew. Granted, I knew the risks, but I never expected the rug to be completely pulled out from underneath us. Hence, I've been focusing on the trees. The trees that once held promise that have been stripped, girdled and even uprooted. Those beautiful trees that I planted and tended to that are now gone.
My issue at the moment is that I'm failing to see the forest. Sure, I logically know that it's there and that with death there is the possibility of new life. But my heart still isn't in for letting go what was lost. Thankfully Grey has been the one taking charge of the situation, viewing the ending of this postdoc as an opportunity to move forward with new and exciting things. He's making plans, networking and viewing being kicked out of the nest as an opportunity for freedom and to soar. More than once he's admitted he's frightened for what will come, but he's also excited to finally be free of the obligations of training. It goes without saying that I envy his strength and wisdom. Especially since I feel like I'm failing my family as the one bit of stability I had been building is gone.