Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Another one of those posts

Sometimes I get to a point where I think I'm doing pretty well with some kind of acceptance of the infertility situation. Then, things like my birthday come up. From now until forever, my birthday will ever be tied to the failure of the implanting of my 3 weak embryos. This year was 5 years. And, because of when my birthday falls, Christmas is forever tied to the due date that never was. This Christmas, we'd have a 5 year old or 5 years olds if all had worked out.

I also have moments when I try to accept it by looking at the reality of who I am and who I would have been. What I mean is that I look at how things are for the best because I would have sucked at parenting.

Like, when Jarvis loses his shit because a car door shut or someone had the nerve to come to the front door. I have yet to figure out the dog mom way of fixing that behavior. Then, there are the times we're on a walk and he goes all in with his sniffing. He bears down with all his weight pushed into his legs which push into the ground and this bearing down also turns off his hearing of me calling him. I have to give quite the yank of the leash. Dog mom WINNING!

Here's the place I list all my step-parenting fails.

Okay, I'm not actually going to go into all of that because that would really bring this post down...

...more than it actually has gone.

The other day I was thinking about the parenting win that ECT would have been. Who knows how things would have played out if I did successfully get pregnant and give birth and have the responsibility of a little human or humans? Maybe ECT wouldn't have been on the table because some kind of hormonal shift that helped my brain. Anyway, if we had a kid or kids while I went through ECT, that would mean that, not only would I have lost a year of my own life, I would have lost a year in the life of my child or children. That's pretty shitty.

There's no real way to wrap this up. My mind is a kind of chaos. I'm feeling everything and nothing all at once.

Oh, and before all the "You would have been a great mom" or "You are too hard on yourself", those don't help. I know you might think they'll help me get out of this pity party, it has the opposite effect. Let me put it this way. If you wanted to be a surgeon for years and you put so much time into going to school and you worked so hard and then, BAM! you are blinded. Everything you envisioned for yourself is gone. Would you really want someone telling you what a great surgeon you would have been?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

#SheToo

If you are a regular reader, you know that the #MeToo has been a thing for me. So, I got to thinking about things that happened years and years ago. It made me wonder just how far we've come with handling sexual assault.

When my mom was born, her older siblings were 14, 13, and 12 years older. She was like an only child. She doesn't really remember her siblings living at home. Her relationship with my grandmother was strained. I'm not sure what my uncles' and aunt's relationships were like, but given how close they were in age, I can't help but think things were different with them. I think my mom being like an only child led to less distraction for my grandma. She had time to look out the window when my mom was coming home from dates. She could scold my mom on how terrible it was to spend time with a boy in a car and what it would look like to the neighbors.

My grandma was one of the oldest and the only girl of a large brood of boys. They were a Catholic family on the outskirts of a little town in Canada. My mom can remember taking trips up to visit her grandparents and uncles. She says that she remembers her youngest uncle as seeming to be different. The way she explains it, it seems that he didn't really fit quite right with the family. She remembers hearing something about him being taken in by her grandparents. She also remembers that my grandmother seemed to do anything possible to avoid interacting with him. She thought it was so odd. My mom also found something else to be odd about my grandma and her family.

My grandmother was born in 1905. She moved to Cleveland in 1921, when she was 16. She came to work for an aunt (I think it was an aunt. It was for certain a family member). My mom was always curious about why this came about.

In 1995, just after her 90th birthday, my grandma died. Then, several years later, my mom got answers to some of her questions. We found out a secret that was hidden by the family. It helped make pieces come together.

The reason for my grandmother's move to Cleveland when she was 16 was that she had gotten pregnant. This is around 1921, so yeah, a teenage pregnancy was scandalous. What made the whole thing more complicated were the circumstances around the pregnancy. She had all those brothers and those brothers, of course, had friends. One of those friends raped my grandma. The rape resulted in pregnancy. The baby my grandmother had was a boy, that boy was my mom's youngest "uncle". My great-grandparents took the baby and raised him. All of this explains why my mom felt things weren't quite right with her "uncle" and why my grandmother was so strange toward him. It can also explain some things about my grandma's strictness and some of her personality traits.

This has been a family secret for decades. It's still being kept from my one uncle (the oldest of the children my grandma had with my grandpa), as far as I know. He's in his late 80s. I don't really understand why he shouldn't find out. I'm certain he doesn't read this blog, but if others do and decide to tell him, that's on them.

It's close to 100 years since my grandmother was raped and got pregnant and gave the baby to her parents to raise and then moved away. Through those years, #SheToo was made to feel shame and to keep secret the cause of that shame. How is it we haven't come very far in all that time?





Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Love is really heavy

Hey, it's Valentine's Day! The day that is more saccharine than Halloween with all its trick-or-treat bags.

Anyway, what better day to write a blog that I've been trying to write for months. You see, I have this thing with love. The word and what it represents hold a tremendous amount of weight for me. It kind of plays into my literal versus imaginative mind, I think.

When I was a kid, the word "love" just wasn't a thing for my family. I really don't recall "I love you"s being said. I'm not trying to call this out as a bad thing. It's simply the way it was.

When I first met the family of one of my best friends back when we were in high school, I was like, "Whoooooa" with all the hugging and kissing and "I love you"s flying about. It wasn't just her parents with the kids, it was between all the siblings, too. This blew my mind.

Shawn's family is the same way. Every phone call, even between Shawn and his brother, ends in "I love you". I'm always like, "This. Is. So. Bizarre." You may even say it is outside my comfort zone.

One of my things with love is that I don't recognize blood translating into love. I do not think that because you share some genetic code you automatically love each other. For example, I have all kinds of cousins, big Catholic families, most of whom I've only met once or twice, and some not at all. They are my first cousins, but, essentially, some may say they are acquaintances, if not strangers.

Even relatives I do know, that I'd seen quite often growing up and in my adulthood before moving out of state, are not people I would say I love. Does this meant I do not care about them on some level? No. It's just that love is too strong, too powerful for me to say if my gut doesn't tell me to.

What becomes difficult is someone telling me they love me and my feeling a tremendous awkwardness because I cannot say it back. I'm not snubbing that person, I just can't lie about it. It is the worst position to be in. I'm really not intending to be an asshole, but I imagine it could come across that way. I feel like texting and Facebooking and whatever else-ing that use emojis help me out because, for whatever reason, I'm okay with sending a heart. That probably sounds like some odd distinction, but somehow the heart, to me, is not the same as an "I love you".

While we're at it with the hot mess that is the workings of my mind, I do not acknowledge unconditional love as a thing. Nope, I have conditions. The conditions are that you are not a horrible person. If I've loved you and you turn into an unrepentant, horrible person, I'm pretty sure you are breaking on of my rules about love and I will have no problem with putting the kibosh on the whole love thing. I have conditions. I don't care if you are family or friend.

Last year I had a fight with a person who had been close to me. This fight took place after we were already not speaking for a couple years. She made a comment that even with all of the shit of the last couple years, she loved me unconditionally. Whoa, Nelly! NOPE! I told her not to dare to say that. I told her that if she had felt that way she would have, despite how things were going, reached out knowing that in the last few years I was going through the worst times of my entire life. She told me that's not how it works. So, to me, what good is the love she claimed she still had for me? It seems she had some conditions.

So, there you have it. When I told my therapist I thought this made me a cold hearted asshole, she didn't seem to think same way. I'm going to try to go with her on this one.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

We shouldn't be the cause of someone else's #MeToo

It kind of seems like #MeToo has died down some on social media, but I'm still trying to wade through my thoughts and experiences. I feel we still need to learn more, teach more, and make changes. Black dresses, white roses, pink pussy ear hats all need to mean something.

That brings me to something I saw the other day that got me thinking. It's kind of along the lines of how I feel about presidential minor children being off limits for ridicule. A meme showed up that had Sarah Huckabee Sanders and, yes, I don't agree with her politics, but this wasn't mocking them. Have I thought her to be unattractive? Yes. Have I had the same thoughts about Kellyanne Conway? Yes. Am I proud to admit that I've made those thoughts public? No. Have I made jokes about 45's appearance? Yes....but to be honest, his orange skin and bizarre hair isn't natural, it's a choice....that's probably an excuse to justify myself.

Anyway, if the black dresses, white roses, and pink pussy ear hats are to mean anything; if they are meant to be about the empowerment of woman; if they are meant to support victims of various abuses, shouldn't we do better than memes about other women's appearances? We can support one another as women on these things, even when we differ in our politics.

I am sure I will need to check myself and I will most certainly wreck myself, but we should all try.





Thursday, February 1, 2018

What's in a name?

So, Shawn and I started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The main character, Mrs. Maisel (obvi), is named Miriam, but goes by "Midge". This got me thinking about a neighbor when I was a kid. This old man a few doors down called me "Midge" for some reason.

I started to think about all of the nicknames I have accrued through the years. It all started with "Meg". l didn't know my actual name was "Margaret" until I started school. Of course attendance was taken and I was like, "Watchu talkin' 'bout, teacher?" Of course, it sucked because I had to learn how to write an 8 letter word instead of a 3 letter one.

So, as far as I can recall, here's the roll. This assumes the obvious names of "Bitch", "Asshole", and the like.

  • Meg
  • Margar
  • Peggy Sue
  • Megger
  • Megala
  • Meggles
  • Midge
  • Megaroni
  • Meggo
  • Megra
  • Mag
  • Moony
  • Babe
  • Mommy (for Jarvis)   
I think there are more, but I don't know.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

I want to know what love is

I thought I had identified all of my triggers regarding my infertility. I also thought that I had gotten better about letting them get me down.

When in stores like Target, I don't walk around the entire store to avoid the baby section. At the grocery store, I can handle seeing diapers and baby food. I can look at pregnancy and newborn photo shoots on Facebook and not completely lose my shit. This isn't at all to say that pain doesn't exist.

Recently, I discovered a new pain. It's something I've seen phrased in different ways by different people. It's when women describe giving birth and the first moment of seeing and holding the newborn. The moment seems to always be described as finding real love for the first time. Sometimes it's saying that they thought they new love before but not really until now. They never thought they could love someone so completely.

So, the love I share with Shawn didn't result in a baby and all of this makes it seem that I'm experiencing some lesser form of love.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

You get a vote! And, you get a vote! Everybody gets a vote!

About a week and a half ago now, I guess, The Golden Globes were on. Oprah was honored with the Cecil B. Demille for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment". I am not here to dispute her merits. She has had an incredible life and has done some pretty amazing things. Her acceptance speech was both inspiring and on point when it comes to the current climate of empowering women in an industry which is proving more and more to mistreat women sexually and financially.

With all that being said, I move on to the outpouring of "Oprah for President" and "Oprah 2020" sentiments. Let's think about this. The current White House resident can sound dumb as a box of rocks (my apologies to both boxes and rocks). He is not eloquent nor inspiring to those who want justice, equality, peace, and tolerance. Oprah does have 45 beat in this area for sure. I would never dispute this point.

But, a good speech does not make a president. Let's not start a trend of celebrity being the qualification for becoming commander-in-chief. Do we want to be a part of a cult of personality? Blowing someone up to heroic proportions; using ones celebrity status to rally the masses. This isn't to say that celebrities can never be a part of the world politic. But, jumping right to trying to be president doesn't sit well with me. Reagan eased his way in by being a spokesman for the Goldwater campaign, he was a part of many political committees, and he was elected Governor of California all before he made his presidential bid, which we all know he won.

So, how about "Oprah for Governor", "Oprah for Representative", "Oprah for Senator", heck, maybe even "Oprah for City Council", just to get started?