Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Grief: 1, Jen: 0

Grief won one over on me today.

Let me provide a background. My love language is time. Uninterrupted time with my husband is fiercely important to me. We've had a pretty rocky last quarter. My husband was sick several times, my brother (who lived with us at the time) was in a fire that left him hospitalized for almost a month and it just happened to be at my husband's place of employment and he is the insurance liaison so we had the personal AND professional stress, I had that wretched horrible HSG, and we got our awful IF news, all since October 1.

The newest infertility diagnoses just about set me over the edge. One thing that kept me going was the knowledge that DH (dear husband) and I would have a week of uninterrupted time together. It's our first Christmas at home where we're not traveling (an opportunity I've prayed for for years but we never wanted to disappoint family expectations--whose year do you take off first--your own parents or your in-laws? Either one carries emotional consequences that we just didn't want to deal with.) Anyway, I was really really relishing that. For the first time Christmas wasn't going to be exhausting. It wasn't going to be spent following someone else's routine and traditions and getting exhausted from broken sleep and lengthy travel... we were going to have it in our home, together. Then after the festivities died down, we would a few days to decompress and recoup, together. Rest, together.

I just can't even tell you how much that prospect has kept me motivated and encouraged these recent weeks. When we got our most recent news, it was like we got the news of a death and then DH went back to work the next day, never having time to process or grieve. And in truth, I've felt like he's shut everything off and out because he hasn't had the time to spend on really muddling through things. He's shut off to the point that it worries me. Anyway, I could cope with that because I knew it was short term. I knew that I just had to make it a couple of weeks and then we'd have time to really do this together because I've felt so alone thus far.

We sat down together in May and budgeted the rest of his days off (which are few!) I emailed him the dates (as is our custom) and he then promised to take those dates and get them on the calendar. I've asked him several times since then if he got the dates off and he said yes. He just told me 3 weeks ago that he didn't think that he'd requested them after all. So he requested at that time and his boss said no. DH asked him to reconsider and he said no again.

I'm crushed. I just can't even describe how much I need this time to process with DH. To connect with him. He's so exhausted in the evenings that we can't do it then and he's had some sort of work obligation every weekend since our doctor's appointment. I feel like I'm stuck in some suspended animation. The only way I was getting through this particular aspect was the knowledge that a reprieve was coming soon. That there was at least a temporary end to my endless loneliness. Plus, DH is a Controller and does the accounting for his company. Auditing season is in February, and in preparation of it, he'll be working ridiculously long hours making my time with him even shorter.

I'm angry. I'm resentful of DH for forgetting something so important. He forgets really big things, often. And to a detail oriented person like me, that's really hard to cope with because I take it personally. And I resent his boss for not giving him the time off. I know that that's unreasonable because his boss can only deal with the time and information that's given to him and I don't want his boss to know all the particulars of why this season has been so dang hard but still. I can't help but think that if I were the boss, I wouldn't make that same decision, and it's hard for me to not be upset with his boss accordingly. I know that's unfair and I'm trying to subdue that emotion but I'm just crushed all around.

Why am I sharing all this? It's not to put down my DH. If forgetfulness is the worst of his flaws, I can deal with that and I know I have it pretty good. Lord (and DH) forgive me if there is any hint of attack in this. I don't mean it that way. I'm just so brokenhearted. I just don't know how to navigate this horrible loneliness that had surrounded me and now is back with no reprieve in sight. I hate infertility. I hate the loneliness. I hate that I feel abandoned. I hate that gulf that seems ever increasing between me and my pregnant best friend. I hate that I feel like anyone I share these thoughts with is judging me, thinking that I'm feeling the wrong thing, or too much or too little of a thing. I hate that I don't know what my DH is feeling and I hate that we can't just lock ourselves inside a little room and deal with this! And I hate that I can't will myself to stop feeling these things because my head knows that they're full of lies and half truths.

Other IF ladies, have you struggled with this overwhelming loneliness? I try to pray and read and that doesn't make this ache stop. I busy myself with tasks which helps suspend the emotion, but it resurges the second I'm alone again and I'm fearful of just "busying" myself instead of learning to cope with this.

I'm so discouraged and frustrated with myself. I felt like I was making some real progress in dealing with grief. If I'm honest I confess that I was afraid that maybe things were moving too quickly or too easily but I really truly did feel at peace and every positive thing I've thought, believed and felt has been sincere. Then this happens and my heart is smashed to bits again, even though I want to will that this particular incident wouldn't be so shattering. In the grand scheme of things I know that it's just a few days. I know that his boss is absolutely not at fault. I know that it's easy to forget things when you work as hard as my DH does. I know that DH should not be who I lean on so heavily anyway. But all that head knowledge doesn't make the tears stop flowing. I have such contempt for emotions sometime. They're so unreasonable. Bah.

I feel stupid for even writing all of this because now that I've verbally regurgitated up all the emotion, I am tired and I can look with bemused indifference at how silly and stupid it is in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn't make it one whit easier. In fact it makes it harder because on top of all this other nonsense, I'm trying to tame the demon of guilt that I so easily fall slave to.

I'm tired. All that to say--please just pray for me. I am so hesitant to post this because I feel so foolish but in the name of authenticity and accountability, I'm going to. And like I said, I'd love any advice from other IF ladies. Please tell me I'm not totally off my rocker and that these feelings aren't foreign or unexpected. Help me navigate, please!