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Friday, December 30, 2011

Resolution

So, I don't really make New Years resolutions. They seem like a set up for failure. I do make note of things I'd hope to do, or not do, as the case may be. But it just dawned on me that there is ONE resolution I need to make... and stick to it: Waterproof Mascara... EVERY TIME! It never fails that the day I start out feeling marginally ok, and I put on regular mascara, is the day I get a big ol' cosmic smack that says "Oh, not yet, missy! You've still got some misery to endure." And I end up with black/gray smudges around my eyes or on my face that I inevitably don't notice until I get home. Just this week, for example, I woke up thinking we had gotten past the holidays and the tears and discomfort that came with them. Then, like a punch to the gut, a long-time friend announces she's expecting this summer. That announcement sparks a comment from someone else that another former classmate is also expecting. DAMN IT! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for them. Just not so much for me.... I'm jealous, in a HUGE way! It hit me so hard I literally thought I would vomit. It was touch and go there for a minute, but I made it through sans barfing! But the tears flowed and the mascara looked like a hot mess. So, until I can hear about pregnancies and see or hear rug-rats without falling to pieces, it's waterproof mascara all the way! So there!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Most wonderful time, my foot!

It took some doing, but I think I've made it through the holidays! November and December came with some HORRID physical and emotional pain. Endo is a bitch! It's back to knocking me down for a few of days every month. The laparoscopy back in 2008 had kept it a bay for a while. But it's back with full force. But it not only hurts physically... and it DOES... but the fact that I have to endure such pain and not even get to use the parts associated with it, just adds insult to injury. Then came Christmas. OH THE JOY! (read sarcasm!) Everyone a-bustle, buying gifts for their families. Screaming kids. Proud parents parading their spawn around like little tinsel-covered pets. And the family gatherings. All the other family members snapping photos and shooting video (which will be shared on FB or YouTube)of their children opening gifts and flitting around making a mess of things. While I stand by and watch with tear-filled eyes, green with envy that I don't get to play. And I'll never get to play. I will never know the joy of seeing my child, or even grandchild, wide-eyed at the gifts under the tree; of taking them for pictures with Santa; and, yes, of dressing them up in rediculous Christmas outfits. No school pagents or ornaments made with tiny, clumsy hands. What is touted the "most wonderful time of the year" is the most painful for me and for those like me. But we've managed our way through it again... smeared mascara, puffy eyes and all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday blues

Wow. It always surprises me just how shitty the holidays make me feel. Lights and shopping and cards... they all seem geared towards children or families. I don't even know why I should bother with any of it. There will be no little ones gathering around the tree to see what Santa left. There will be no photos of toothless grins while sitting on his lap at the mall or gathered as a family in front of the tree. No homemade ornaments from art class. In fact, it only serves as a reminder that there will be no one to go through all of my old ornaments and remember hanging them or where they came from. No one to look at the old characters that were once on my crib mobile and say "these belonged to mom (or nana) when she was a baby." So why do I even HAVE it to begin with. People often tell me that I should take part in these things because it makes ME happy. But it doesn't ... it makes me sad. But then again, so does NOT doing it. I can't win. And I honestly don't know what to do with it all... the sadness, regret, longing, and the hollow gnawing in my gut.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Please help my friend Jamie!

Jamie Roman-Bremner (32) has some pretty serious health problems. She just had her 10th surgery about 2 months ago and is unable to work. But that is not the worst of it. On October 26, her long time partner Walt, the father of her four year old son, Colton, and step-dad to her eight year old daughter, Tea’, died suddenly from a heart attack while at work, at the age of 51. He was the sole breadwinner for the family. Now Jamie is struggling to make ends meet. She has no job, no car, and no family to speak of. She is relying solely on the kindness of friends and strangers to get her through her darkest hour. Jamie is the kindest, most caring person you will meet and so was Walt. To give you an idea of the kind of people we’re dealing with, let me share a little story about them: Each Christmas, Walt would go out into the woods in the mountains near where they live to look for a mature tree to take home to decorate for the holidays. Now, I know what you’re thinking: he cut down the tree and took it home, right? Wrong. Walt could not bear the thought of killing the tree. Instead, he would climb all the way up the tree and cut off just the top, knowing that the tree could regenerate itself. That’s the kind of people we are dealing with - people full of love and respect and integrity. Jamie hates to ask anyone for anything, because she knows everyone is struggling right now. So, I'm asking for her, because she desperately needs it, and there is only so much and one person can do. But many people helping just a little can add up to something significant. There are a few kind people who have dug deep and are donating what they can, but Jamie needs to think about more than just this week or this month. She needs to figure out a way to pay the rent, pay for food, and pay for heat and warm clothing for her children. A few of us have spoken to Jamie to try to get an idea of what they need, and a few things they just want! Here is a list of some things…though it is certainly not exhaustive: Clothing and shoes for Colton, age 4. - Size 5/5T, size 12 shoe. He and Tea’ are really wanting to dress like daddy – blue jean shirt, jeans, black cowboy boots. Colton’s starting to outgrow his boots, so new ones would be great. I bet a nice warm coat would be good, too. - Anything dinosaurs… he loves them. - Sheets, blankets or quilts for a twin bed. Clothing and shoes for Tea’, age 8. - Size 8 or 9, size 2 ½ shoe. Walt and Jamie couldn’t afford to buy boots for Tea’, so she doesn’t have any and is feeling a bit left out. I’m sure a coat would be good for her, too. - Tea loves to sew and makes clothes for her dolls… by hand. She’d love a little sewing machine that’s age appropriate. - Sheets, blankets or quilts for a full size bed. Clothing for Jamie, age 32. - Size 4 or so. Thick socks and small B cup bras (maybe a 32B) - Let’s just say coats all around, shall we!?  - Sheets, blankets or quilts for a queen size bed. Household stuff. - Just think about the things you use everyday and don’t even think about: o Soap o Shampoo and conditioner o Laundry detergent o Paper towels o Toilet paper o Dish soap o Paper plates o Vitamins o Toothpaste o Toothbrushes o Cleaning products - FOOD… these are growing kids. We need to keep them fed. And Jamie is still recovering from major surgery, so she needs to eat! She’s lost a lot of weight and has to keep herself healthy to take care of those two beautiful children. o Ensure --- just to be sure Jamie gets enough calories! o Meat o Juice o Pasta o Rice o Vegetables o Fruit o Bread o You get the picture…. - Extras - o The kids’ toys need batteries – AA, C, and D. o A camera would be nice… so she can take pictures of Colton and Tea’ during the holidays. o Gift cards – Kroger, CVS, WalMart (those stores are close to their house in Acworth, GA); VISA gift cards are good too! o Cash… Don’t forget there’s rent, electricity, and gas (for heat) to pay. So that pretty much covers it. If you can think of anything else, knock yourself out. I know that Jamie, Tea’ and Colton would appreciate anything at all… including your thoughts and prayers. A donation site has been created where you can donate $5 or $100 or whatever you’d like. http://apps.facebook.com/fundrazr/activity/1d9f330e59924c408b1fbc5a91b1b593?psid=6bb35661d09a4393b429463c15fa6186 This money is going directly to this family and any small contribution will make a huge difference. Most of us spend money on small luxuries daily, without really thinking too much about it: driving through for fast food, Starbucks,$1.50 for a soda from the vending machine, an extra six pack of beer, or an extra snack. Eliminating just one or two of these things a week would amount to enough to make a difference, so think about it and please dig deep. If you can’t, that’s fine. Send your thoughts and prayers that this family can get through this terrible time. And pass this on to as many people as you can – one of them may be in a position to make some small, or large, difference.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

just... wow

I am often amazed and frequently rattled by the callous, if well meaning, comments made by our loved ones. Seriously, people!! I recently had a conversation with a sibling who informed me that my husband had not seen a RE, he had not been tested, the doctors could certainly extract something from him, I would be able to conceive, my parents would pay for the costs associated with the process, and if by some chance those things were not possible, I would absolutely be placed with an infant for adoption if I would only contact an attorney... since her friend and her husband got a baby from Russia and the husband even had had a DUI! ARE YOU FLIPPING KIDDING ME!?!? First, I shouldn't have to explain all the blasted details or myself. Second, what happened with your friend and what you believe has nothing to do with my reality. And third, when I tell you to stop you need to bloody STOP! {Insert cursing, screaming rant here!} OK... I gotta stop or that rant is going to shock you! Breaaaaathe!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

resentment

Some days it feels like the whole world is ripping a piece of you apart. These days are those days. My wonderful husband's exwife has decided to thrust herself into his family's holiday celebrations. It would seem I'm the only one who has issues with this. I, on the other hand, can't begin to understand why she wouldn't spend it with her family or that of her current husband rather than imposing her (difficult, overpowering and, in my opinion, unpleasant) self on one of my few places of solace and make it less so. She already has my husband as the father of HER child... why does she have to take this too? The buddhist in me knows that this is nothing more than my aversion to not having things be as I would have them. That doesn't make me any less angry, resentful, and sad. If that doesn't cause me enough pain, a friend is continuing to push back against my withdrawal into myself. I gave all of my time and emotion to help this person through some tough stuff for nearly a year, but now I don't have the energy to deal with other people's stuff.... I barely have the energy for mine. My friend clearly resents my drastic reduction in availability. These are in addition to my regularly programmed demons and family matters. Does anyone else ever feel like they wish it would all just stop? I'm not talking about suicide... I'm talking about "stop this bloody ride, I want OFF!" 'Cause that's how I'm feeling. Meds be damned, I don't WANT to deal! (Insert expletive here) Grrr!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another focus

My therapist says I have to find another place to put my energy. That is to say, a place other than wallowing in the misery of being childless, not by choice. She's right. I do. And, the truth is, there's really only one place that makes sense: Art. Long before I knew I would not be a mother, long before I really gave it much thought at all, there was Art. Until I met my wonderful husband, Art was the only thing that ever gave my life real meaning. The only place where I felt completely at home. And even now, it is the love of my life... in the true sense of the phrase. When it is not part of my life I am lost and depressed, which has been the case for far too long. So, I will begin the conversion of our extra room into a studio, in ernest. And I will start going to figure drawing sessions, to rehone my skills. And for the first time in a long time, I'm as giddy as a school-girl in love. Now, I just have to keep the momentum!

Monday, October 3, 2011

some days

Some days, grief and sorrow come over me like a wave. Nothing in particular can be blamed for it- no cutesy commercial; no neighborhood kids screaming at the top of their bloody lungs. Some days it's just sitting on the couch with my darling husband holding hands and feeling the gaping hole that lingers, for want of a child.

There are those days when the pain hangs thick in the air. Bitter and smothering, it permeates every fiber of who I am and every moment of the day. It seeps into the recesses of my mind and into my dreams. Even there I feel the longing for something that will never be mine, sob and scream that it were not so.

These days, the torturous and agonizing days that seem to last for weeks, thanksfully do not come too often. But they do come and take years of me, beat me and crush my very soul.

Friday, September 30, 2011

All the missing pieces

Morning sickness.
Pregnancy tests.
Cravings.
Growing belly.
Sonograms.
Contractions.
First breath.
Midnight feedings.
Dirty diapers.
First steps.
First haircut.
Loosing teeth.
Santa clause.
Reading stories.
First day of school.
Learning to ride a 2-wheel bike.
Running through sprinklers on a hot day.
Packing lunches.
Forgotten book bags.
After school snacks.
Field trips.
School plays.
Flu season sick days.
Scraped knees.
Sports events.
Music, dance, gymnastics, sports practice.
First dance.
Curfew.
Learning to drive.
First date.
Homecoming.
Senior prom.
Graduation.
College applications.
Moving into the dorm.
Mother of the bride or groom.
Becoming a grandmother.
Someone left behind to whom stories and mementos can be passed along.

There are so many experiences I will never have because I don't have a child, nothing can or will ever be able to fill those holes in my life.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

sad and feeling left out

Today, my husband, along with hundreds of other parents, is moving his son into the dorm for the upcoming school year. I am home alone. I don't get to take part in this right of passage. I don't get to participate. Oh, of course, I offer to help with getting things he needs and pick up occasional things I think he'll like or could use. But, I'm not his mother. I won't be preening and proudly helping my child into another chapter of his life. I'm not part of that club. My sister is. My husband is. His siblings are. Not me... I'm an outsider looking in, wishing that it was me. But it's not. And the saddest part is that it will never be.

Monday, August 8, 2011

twisted

Growing up, I never thought too much about having a family... I just assumed I would have kids. I did, however,conscienciously vow that I would be the kind of parent I needed but didn't have. The kind of parent so many people think they are, but could never be. I was mindful of the kind of needs a child has that are often left unmet. But I never got the chance to put my thoughts into action. It seems unjust that, instead, the precious gift of parenthood is granted to so many who are so undeserving. I'm not just talking about those monsters who physically and emotionally abuse innocent souls... though certainly, they're included. I'm talking about those selfish, shallow, inept people who, due to a lucky crap-shoot of biology, bring children into this world and have no concept of the gift they've been given. Those narcisistic bitches who breed as a status symbol, despite having no desire to actually parent; those emotionally, and sometimes physically, unavailable idiots who would rather their child "figure it out" (a positive spin on on their willful neglect) without any guidance or assistance; the "accidental" parents who believe it's their right to continue to put themselves 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

It's a cruel twist of fate. The thoughtless, selfish, and clueless are rewarded... and they don't even realize it! But here I sit, with a full heart, a willing soul and empty arms. And I suffer through the void everyday.

Friday, August 5, 2011

no idea

Being childless in a family-centric society, there are constant reminders that you don't fit into the norm... baby changing stations, maternity/paternity leave, time off for a child's school activities, audio and video commercials, newpapers, magazines, books, websites, social media. It's all in your face. Something as seemingly benign as the memorial service for a person who recently passed away is a slap of reality that you will have no one to come to your grave, no one who'll want the sentimental trinkets, no one to follow your ancestry. And then there are the breeders - gloating about their good fortune of having such amazing spawn in one breath, complaining about the sacrifices they make and lamenting the loss of their freedom in the next. They tell you how lucky you are not to have your heart broken or expectations dashed by a child's decisions or behaviour. All the while, you silently scream that you would give all the freedom and make all the sacrifices for a chance to be a parent.

Just yesterday I ran into one of my husband's friends at the grocery. We chatted about how busy our lives are and then he says "how'd you like to have a couple kids running around, too?" I smile and change the subject, but inside I'm saying "LIKE? I'd LOVE it!" I mention it to my husband when I get home and as I repeat his friend's question, he shakes his head "no," with a face that makes it clear that he really means it, too. Of course, he has had the experience of little feet running through the house... he's a dad. I turn away from him as I say "well... that's not MY answer."

Monday, August 1, 2011

And the hits just keep on coming...

It's strange the things that can set me off: all "the cousins" from my husband's family goofing off and their grandmother taking pictures;a scrapbook my sister in law made; a comment about some stranger perhaps never marrying or having kids and having "no one to share his stories with;" a visit to a lawyer about my father-in-law's estate; or sorting through his things and doling out what will go to whom.

I have no child in the group of cousins. Scrapbooks I make will have meaning only to me, since therre will be no one to come behind me to care about the people in it, who they were or what they did. I am very much like that stranger since I have no one to share my stories with. There will be no one concerned with my estate and no one interested in the trinkets... big or small... I leave behind when I die.

It's so hard to be an observer in such an integral part of life... Especially given the fact that my husband is an active participant. It's not fair that I have to travel this path alone.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Thoughtless

Wow. It is sometimes staggering how thoughtless people, even (or maybe especially) family, can be. Let me just throw out a recent example: my parents, in their moving efforts, are sorting through their many belongings. "Dad's just getting rid of everything," my mother tells me. He is upset about my nephew having estranged himself from the family and says "nobody wants this shit." I hear: "you have no children, you have given me no one to pass my things on to, so I may as well just sell it." HELLOOOOOO! I'm still here! Don't I count? I guess not.

Sometimes it's just not worth getting out of bed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sometimes life just kicks you in the gut

And it's usually when you least expect it.

My fil is in the hospital in critical condition. Going with dh to visit would natuarally be difficult, given the circumstances. I had no idea I'd get the wind knocked out of me the way I did. His 3 surviving children and their children all came to his side. Conversations about hospital stays inevitably came around to childbirth. By the time we were on the road home, I had had more than enough and I couldn't hold back the tears any longer.

I will have no children or grandchildren to visit me when I'm ill or to make sure that I am cared for when I can't care for myself. My parents will be gone and I'd really prefer not to be harrassed by my sister. My nephew is not part of my life and, because of his actions, I prefer it that way... Though I wish that weren't the case. My ss will not be concerned with me after his dad is gone.... he's barely concerned with me at all now... Even when he's living in my home.

Unfortunately, I have no choice in the matter. I will ultimately be alone. But I suppose we all are, to some degree. It just would have been nice to have someone who gives a shit.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day

UUUUUUUGGGGGHH!
It's here AGAIN!
The jubilation over a woman's success in procreating is in full effect.The commercials, the magazine and newspaper ads, the conversations at work... all eventually circle back to Mom, thank your mom, mom's like us, Happy Mother's Day. It all makes me want to BARF!

Don't get me wrong... some women are great parents and worthy of praise and recognition. HOWEVER, there are LOTS of women out there who, while they did "bear fruit," are lousy parents, lousy spouses, lousy people... but they are part of the club I've been excluded from. They get the card, whether store bought or hand made. They get the flowers, whether a glorious bouquet or dandilions from the side of the road. Not me. Not this day. On Mother's Day I am a non-event person. I don't get a special day of recognition... there's no "You would have been a great mother Day."

Yeah, I'm a critter mom... I have 4-legged kids, but as much as I love them it's never gonna take the place of having a child who loves me and needs me. I supposed I better damn-well get used to it.... I've got a lot more of these ahead!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Family and "family"

My parents are showing their age. They recently sold my childhood home and are clearing out the boxes of memories, one by one. My father has been battling pneumonia and is incredibly thin and frail. It makes me dread the inevitable future. I have one sister, but in name only. The cold, hard truth is that, the day my parents are gone, we will have nothing at all tying us together. It's a bitter sweet situation. I don't get along with her at all... but I wish I had siblings I could lean on when I needed to, trust with my worries and secrets, whose children I could leave my earthly belongings. None of those is part of my reality... my sister has one adult child who has estranged himself from the family who took care of him. He will receive nothing from me. So, my blood family will all but die with the death of my parents. Of course I have my beautiful husband's family, but somehow it's just not the same. I feel incredibly ashamed and selfish that I even feel this way, but what about me? I'll have no legacy to leave. No family history to pass on to future generations; as if my footprints will be blown away by the winds of time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grrrrr!!!

No, I'm not a parent. That doesn't mean I dislike children. It doesn't mean I have tons of extra time. It doesn't mean I have extra money laying around either. I have obligations - personal and financial. I stay at work so you can leave early to pick your kids up from school, attend parent/teacher conferences and school plays. My tax dollars pay for your kids to be educated as much as yours do. I don't fault you for having the family I can't, so don't fault me. All I ask is a little FRICKIN' respect and compassion. Not pity. Not special treatment. Just the same courtesy you would extend to your fellow breeders.

Monday, March 28, 2011

my "stuff"

One of the many dilemmas I face as a childless woman is what to do with my "stuff." It's a tough one, because I am a very sentimental person and, while I logically understand that these are just things, they are valuable to me because of who gave them to me or what they represent. So, I've decided to make plans for my stuff... this is not an easy decision. So far, I have contacted family about giving those "girlie" things to the young girls in the family. I am also contacting friends to include their children in my ring of people I'll pass things on to. So hard... just telling my friends and family "I don't have kids, so if you would like to have some of my things for your kids..." makes me start crying. Awe, damn! Apparently writing it does, too!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"You have children, don't you?"

"No. I do not," I reply. And then "the look." Those of you who have gotten the look know exactly what I'm talking about... kinda like someone spoke to you in a foreign language. As if to say "uh, what? you're a woman in her 40's and you don't... have... children?!?!? I... uh... I've never conceived of such a thing!"

I hate that look. I hate the question more. I mean, seriously, where do people get off projecting their disdain and disappointment in my inability or failure to procreate! It never fails to be a swift kick in the gut that brings tears to my eyes and leaves a knot in my chest. What's worse is it always stays with me for days.

How I wish that I could just brush it off and not think about it any more. But it's hard not being part of the club- not having anything to contribute to the conversation. I have no children whose school work and ball games and ballet recitals to discuss. I'm not a home-room mom, or a soccer mom, or a pre-K contact/coordinator... or whatever the hell they're called! I have no one applying to colleges, getting ready for prom, or bringing home a questionable boyfriend. I've got nothing to say.

It's hard being childless in such a child-focused society... really, really hard.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

death

My uncle, patriarch of the family, is dead and buried. He was a good man and died too soon, while many who are less deserving, still live. Cruel joke, this life. But many came to pay their respects and it was a testament to the man he was. They were lovely services, if lovely can ever be used to describe a wake and a funeral.

I selfishly looked at it all - kids, grandkids, photos, loved ones weeping over the loss of him - and mourned, not only his passing but, that I would never have any of those things he held so dear. No children or grandchildren to come to my funeral, to visit my grave. No one to inherit the family heirlooms - the things that have little monetary value but great sentimental value to me. No one to remember. I supposed I should offer these things to my cousins, to give to their children, lest they end up in a yard sale... 5 cents for the lot.

It's a lot to take in. Too much...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Counseling

It's very useful. It gives me lots to think about... different perspectives on my particular situation. But it's hard. It's painful and as much as I know it's good to go and I really love my counselor, I dread it.

Counseling, therapy... whatever you call it. It makes me look at all those emotions I instinctively try so hard to tamp down, because they hurt. I don't really WANT to deal with all that stuff. I want to stuff it in a corner and forget about it. But the feelings always bubble up whether I go see my counselor or not. Grrr!

And afterwards I'm drained. Like the wind has been knocked right out of me. It usually takes a couple days to just recover. But then I have helpful stuff to think about. Work to do. It's a little bitter-sweet... since I have NO desire to actually do the work. But do it I must... {{sigh}}.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Darkness

It's really hard to keep from slipping into the abyss some days. The dark cloud blows in without warning sometimes and permeates every fiber of my soul. Like an ink so thick and black that nothing can be seen through it... just dark, empty, weighty, stifling...

How do I keep myself from drowning, from suffocating? How do I drag my tired and broken heart out of the pit of dispair?

Even as I write this I think "stop being so damn dramatic!" You don't have it bad at all! So you don't get this ONE thing... so what?! Look at all that you DO have you idiot! And I do! So many things to be thankful for. Blessed in so many ways. So why does it ALWAYS come back to this? I don't know how to let this go!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I'm still here...

Well, we're well into the new year and I'm still pretty much in the same spot. Friends and neighbors are having kids and grandkids... bragging endlessly about the wonder of parenthood.

I stand idly on the sidelines, wishing that I got to play too. Alas, I am the eternal, proverbial benchwarmer. Part of me wants to rant and pout and scream and curse until my voice is gone. Part of me says "Shit happens, woman! Get over yourself!!"

Unfortunately, there really isn't simple or even right answer. I'm kinda riding this out as I go... and what a ride!