Sunday, October 10, 2010

Notes for counsellor

Notes for the counsellor (to remind me when we have our next appointment this coming Wednesday).
* anger, why me, order supposedly being upset
* in freefall, which is a new experience for me, want to know the process/timeline but cannot - no one can
* Jay: what is he feeling, how can we deal with that and protect him
* sadness
* helpless, hopeless
* optimisim, could tell myself I will be ok for the first time late last week
* sad that my optimism has been ruined. Changed me as a person and made me question if who I am is right, don't like that, but was that previous optimism fake? Is this a good change, an evolution to become more realistic about life. But what is life without hope? Are cynics the only ones who are truly happy?

Yeah, so that's an insight into the corners of my mind this past week.

Plus all of Mother Nature's fury has opened up on Queensland in the past few days and if I wasn't feeling unstable or unsettled before, I certainly am now thanks to gale force winds, thunderous clouds and non-stop, torrential rain.

Up and down. Up and down. You know, when I started this blog what seems like a lifetime ago, I used the word "rollercoaster" on my little descriptor thingy whenever I signed up to blog lists or whatever. And I remember thinking at the time that it was slightly less than honest, more for spin than truth. I think my head was filled with countless other IVF blogs I had hopped into at the time, and that word came up a lot. Rollercoaster, yeah, that sounds good. Put that. But us? Well, we had just started my turn at IVF back then and the only way was up, baby. The news was good, everything was progressing as it should. No surprises, no dramas.

Looking back from this very different vantage point now, as I reflect on the wild, and devastatingly true, undulations of experience behind us, I can say for sure: it has been a rollercoaster.

And that's life I guess, isn't it?

The "problem" was I had lived a very fortunate emotional life until a few weeks ago. No one close to me had died in the past 20 years, my relationships were truly fulfilling and my family was strong and loving. Sure, there was anxiety and worry and stress - but it never hung around for long and was always driven by something ultimately trivial. In fact, life was so good that I often used any quiet moments I had to pray to whoever would listen that it would continue being that way.

Now, and I know it is still raw, I feel completely different. But slowly I am seeing the lessons in this experience; they are like whispers in amongst a raging cacophany of nightmare.

Firstly, I realise the fragility of life. I feel it, I know it. And while it is so often unpredictable and frightening, when life throws you its worst, the occasion forces you to seek out and cling to the things you can count on. Your heart's safe harbour. And this is more than taking lemons and making lemonade - these are things that can save your life.

Like the unconditional love of T and Jay and my family and friends. Last entry I said I envied the ocean for its glorious monotony. A wave comes in and no need to ask what will happen next - no need to worry - because it will go out and be replaced by another within seconds. It has always been, and will always be. And so is the love around me. I feel that, I know it. I am lucky to have it.

And secondly, experiences like these teach you what is indeed trivial and what really deserves your precious emotional energy. That's a tough one for me, someone who is just as likely to call the police if my coffee is cold as I am to write a sternly-worded letter if I am overcharged 25 cents at the supermarket.

17 days ago, I felt real injustice. I know it. And I could not call any authority or write to anyone to fix it this time.

I spoke to a lovely family friend, who happens to be a Buddhist monk, this week. I was telling him how up and down I have felt these past few weeks.
"Use that as your anchor", he said. "Understand that your emotions will do that - because that is what they do."

And I was stopped in my tracks by the fact that I could actually rely on something I had thought the absolute defintion of unreliability: my emotions.

He let us know he can perform a ceremony for us to honour the baby and we will do something next Thursday: 21 days since he was born. I am not yet sure what is involved, but he will email some info over in the next few days.

I feel that will help. I know it will.


  1. Wow Bec. So much wisdom and strength even amongst all this pain. A wise and smart anger, not a destructive one.

    I have a great deal of respect for Buddhism. I am certain it will honour the life and passing of your son in a meaningful and compassionate way. I look forward to hearing about it.

    And thanks, Bec, for your very gracious words on my page, and your prayers. It means the world to me.

    I continue to hold you in mine.

  2. I'm sure the family friend's ceremony will be wonderful! And it's great you're seeing the counsellor again (what a hypocrite I am because I haven't).

  3. Even the ocean in it's stable predictability of in and out, ebb and flow, has the very rare tsunami.
    I think your optimism is still there, it's just been kicked in the guts a bit. I agree with Rosie about your wisdom and strength, it shines through.

  4. We agree with all thats said above... The last two blogs have mimicked things I have thought and felt for a long and hope you dont mind as I tend to be similar in having to have everything worked out and understanding it that I share your friends words of wisdom..
    We await your next blog my friend