splitting

Last weekend we celebrated my mother’s birthday with an afternoon tea at my brother’s house.  Unfortunately my sister and fiance couldn’t come so it was just mum, dad, my brother,  his wife and their children.    All afternoon the conversation was peppered with talk about how hard it is to be a parent, the joys of being a parent and grandparent and annecdotes about what the kids have done lately. 

DH and I tried to contribute to the conversation but when those are the primary topics we are really left out in the cold.  I particularly resent being given mini- lectures by my well meaning brother about what life is like when you’ve got kids.  

The really difficult part is that I feel drawn to my nephews and niece.  They are delightful children who just want to play.  I enjoy racing around the garden with them and discovering flowers and bugs and wondering why things work the way they do.    

That is to say, part of me enjoys being with them.  A whole other part is screaming in pain that I will never have my own children to experience this with.  That I can only ever be a small memory in these children’s lives.   I hope I will be a good memory for them.

Meanwhile I know that my Mum, Dad, Brother and SIL look on and are glad that I’m handling this all so well now.  Well, I can hardly interrupt every conversation to say…”Yes, life’s  also tough when you can’t have children”…”Yes, well the only reason we get to sleep in is because there’s no child to wake us up”…”No, we really don’t have more money because we don’t have children – we’re still paying back our loan for the IVF that didin’t work”…  etc. etc. 

They don’t understand that every family visit ends in tears for us.  I return home split in two. Not because anybody has done anything wrong.  It’s just the way it is.    For other people our drama is over.  We did IVF last year.  It didn’t work and now we are getting on with life.  For us the pain continues – True, we did IVF last year.  Last year we had hope.   This year part of us mourns and part of us tries to enjoy those children who are in the peripheral part of our lives.  The two parts do not intermingle well.  We are split in two.

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One Response to “splitting”

  1. jodie38 Says:

    Oh, Cat. I hear you. And I’m so sorry. In those situations I swear I find it easier to hang with the kids than the adults. I’ve spent lots of time doing almost anything to get away from all the inane adult chatter. They have nothing else to talk about, and no idea how to include you.

    Please don’t be so hard on yourself – give yourself time. To sort through the grief and to figure out your next step. There are no easy answers where you are, I wish I had some magic to share with you. It’s just f*cking hard – pain everywhere you look. Some days it’s not so raw, some days it takes your breath away and colors the whole world gray……

    I stopped hoping/expecting that anyone would understand. It actually made some things easier. Stupid people are just that, and they can’t always help it. Explaining wouldn’t help them, just freak them out and make me tired. But isolating yourselves is painful too. [sigh] No simple answers….. if you find any you’ll share, yes?

    Thinking of you, sending hugs…..

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