I feel like half of myself. I know I am me, walking through my life, but I only feel half here. I’m looking for the joy, the happiness to shine through. And, there are snippets, reminders of who I was, but they are few and far between.
There are things that I do, occasions, events, that seem and feel normal to me. For instance, I had lunch with a dear friend today. At 52, she recently got engaged and I am so happy for her. She’s visiting from CO in advance of a work meeting (we were peers in my former career) so I took Baby G to meet her and her fiance for brunch. We caught up and I was able to engage, asking questions about their wedding plans, her job, the co-workers I once knew that she still works with. She and her fiance held the baby and we talked about his conception and how he came to join our family (she knew the story, but never having struggled with IF (she is child free), couldn’t recall the specifics). She commented on how organized I am. And, then she said she was impressed at how calm I am. And it was in that comment that I felt like a fraud. I mean, as a mother, especially to my infant son, I am calm. Motherhood, the second time around, does not rile me. His shrieks during lunch, the endless dropping of things on the ground, does not bother me or even warrant much of a reaction. I wonder if it is because I am only half here.
Very few know there is something askew with me and if you didn’t know and you see me, you would never suspect that I am not in alignment with myself. When I think of this phase of my life, two words consistently come to mind: miserable and suffering. And, when those words come to mind, I feel horribly because I should not be feeling that way. What kind of person, mother, infertile, am I to be feeling this way when I have so much to be grateful for?
And so, I do feel like a fraud. I’m living this life but I do not enjoy much of it. There are fleeting moments: when my older son looks up from building Legos to tell me he loves me, when Baby G’s face brightens and he flashes a beaming grin just upon seeing me, when I spend time with a friend who knows nothing about what is brewing just underneath my surface and get to feel like the me I know.
But things are far from normal. I sometimes wonder if this is the beginning of some psychosis. I mean cognitively, I know there are a lot of forces converging at once but that does little to ease my worried and troubled mind. I am angry, bitter, and resentful a lot of the time. M-i-s-e-r-a-b-l-e. I want to be left alone most of the time. I’m mostly not interested in socializing anymore, even though I sometimes force myself to go through the motions for fear of what will become of me if I completely cut-off from the outside world. I do still manage to take care of myself and my kids (shower, grocery shopping, bill paying, house cleaning, laundry) but I am edgy all the time and there is an auto-pilotness to the monotony of daily life.
We went to Sears yesterday to look for a new microwave. When we didn’t find one, we went down to the mens shoe department to look for something for my husband. I cannot tell you the last time we went clothes shopping together. Was it three years ago? More? It feels like more. But, there amongst the aisles of shoes, as he tried on things and I rendered an opinion, things felt the most normal they’ve felt in months. I wasn’t angst ridden or mad at him or sniping at him, etc. It was just us, like it used to be, only now with two kids in tow. It was a whisper of the life I think I should be engaged in. It seems so odd to me that at once I can appear to be myself in the now, engaged, but at the same time have this vague notion that I’m not.
All this to say that I am more not myself than I thought. Yes, I can still have conversations with friends and escape the quagmire. Yes, I can post to Facebook, things I would normally post that feel like me. And, yes, I can get through each day, some days more easily than others. But, most of the time, I just feel bad, disconnected from the life I think I could be leading. And that is not me at all.