It's my cave - For me, Motherhood has been a journey, not a destination
Mar. 6th, 2005
10:42 pm - It's my cave
I've heard infertilty compared to islands and once a cave.
Today I think the cave metaphor is more accurate. Sometimes everything just hurts. It generally happens around the time I get my period, but still I have these times where I just need to go into my cave.
It's dark in the cave. But that's okay. I don't deserve sunshine. Sunshine is for people who's bodies work the way they are supposed to. Sunshine is for babies, not women who can't have them.
It is wet in the cave. Tears, blood make for a wet atmosphere. Maybe it's the blood of a miscarriage or chemical pregnancy. The blood of countless periods that came even though I was sure this time that I actually was pregnant. The tears that happened during doctors visits. During tests while nurses berate me for crying. Telling me that this doesn't hurt when it felt like I was being raped with chemicals. Tests that are embarrasing, humiliating. I have to make a joke just to get through the day. Going to a second RE to be told that everything the first RE did was wrong and I spent money, time, and pain doing a treatment that was never going to work anyway. Tears when everything around you is breaking into little pieces. Friendships, marriage, sex.
Sometimes I have company in the cave. Sometimes my husband is there with me, but more often I am alone. Reaching out across a sea of computers to touch others who have their own caves. Others who know that the cave is lonely but you can't be alone. You ache to be with others but only others who know what it is. They know what you want and how you are hurting.
It has to be a cave because only stone can absorb the anger. And I get so angry. I try not to. I try to be okay, but when I need to go into the cave I bang my hands on the rock until they bleed. I am furious. I am furious at every woman who ever harmed her child. I am furious at everyone who ever gave me assvice.
"Have you ever thought about lifting your legs in the air after sex?"
"Why don't you just adopt?"
"You aren't meant to have children until you recognize Jesus Christ as your personal savior."
"You won't have children until your husband converts to Judaism."
"A low-carb diet helped a friend."
"Become a vegetarian."
"You're just too fat to have children."
"Well of COURSE she doesn't have kids, her husband would have to sleep with her to do that and can you imagine anyone being that hard up?" (Overheard at one of my jobs from hell)
The cave is filled with every doubt I have ever had about myself. If I gave more to charity, If I was a better person, If I was a better wife, if I SOMETHING it would happen.
There are days I can stand the sunlight. Days I can leave the cave behind me. I send away to adoption agencies. I look at countries, at children. I realize that I can be a mother and my parenting will be just as valid. Days I see a child in my arms and she has almond eyes, not the blue of me or my husband. But she laughs in my arms and calls me mama. She takes my hand and says 'Mama come see.' And I know, I do know, that she will keep me too busy to go back into the cave.
But she's a dream right now. And my other dreams have turned to shit. I can't believe with the innocence that I had that I will have that child. I can't believe that everything will work out all right, because I believed that once, and I wound up here, in this cave.
I sometimes think that the worst part of the cave is that I am the only one who is able to crawl out of it. No one can come and lift me out of the depression. I have to decide that I want to leave the cave. I have to pull myself to my feet and walk my bruised and battered soul out into the sunlight. But the cave is safe, and I am safe from the slings and barbs of my own psyche and society that decides that a child's face can sell anything. A society that values the children far more than they do the parents is painful to me. Hiding in the cave is good. But I don't want to be here. And I inch myself to the mouth of the cave and it is dark and the stars shine down on me. I once believed my child was up there, waiting for the right moment to have me hold him or her. But now they are stars, and the night air smells sweet. And can stay at the mouth of the cave for a bit, and wait for the sun to rise.