The Loss of the Possibility

After infertility and miscarriage life goes on. You can still be truly and wholly happy. But for me there will always be moments. I imagine this is so for all of us who have suffered the struggle of infertility and the pain of miscarriage. As I have said before, it changes something in the core of you and you are never the same again.

My inspiration, Sonia Kruger, had her baby girl. I am so so happy for her. I have followed Sonia’s journey because it resembled mine so closely. I truly am so happy for her.

I spent time with my beautiful nieces and adorable nephews today. Enough said.

And I just finished watching a movie that I knew would trigger emotion for me about stillbirth called Return to Zero and starring Minnie Driver (amazing performance). And an amazing script. A film that I think every adult human should have to watch.

We all do what we believe is the right thing to do and it so often misses the mark. It isn’t ill intentioned but it does hurt. This movie offers support for people who have to ‘deal’ with someone in a no child situation, for whatever reason, when the person desires children.

And man I cried, sobbed in places. And I had to ask myself why I would do this to myself. I knew it would make me messy. But I also felt compelled to watch.

And then I worked it out.

Watching it gives me permission to cry and to feel. An opportunity to acknowledge what has been lost for me, through infertility and that lone miscarriage that could have developed into my baby, my child, my offspring. But didn’t.

And it is such a taboo subject in society. Even amongst women. And that is just so sad.

Well intentioned phrases like ‘everything happens for a reason’ and ‘it’ll happen for you if it’s meant to’ and ‘you need to get professional help’ when you express your pain just make you want to scream at people.

Yes, everything happens for a reason and everything happens in the way and when it is supposed to but fuck! i don’t want to hear that. I don’t want to know that you think I need professional help because I really just need friends to listen and to invite me to talk about it.

And I am far from alone on this.

I am good. I am strong and I am resilient. I am very blessed in my life and I have choices. I know all of this and I know it to be true.

But when I did need people … Well … Enough said.

Anyway, it was a great movie and I now feel lighter lol and that is good.

The Impending Executions of the Bali 9

This situation is really perplexing me. I cannot get my head around how I feel about it and I have been trying to for days.

I am absolutely opposed to the death penalty as a means of punishment. I really do not understand how any country in the modern world can believe it is moral and just. It is not a deterrent to crime and it really doesn’t take into account the social context of most criminals. No justice system is always right either; no innocent person should unjustly have their life taken. The hypocrisy of the death penalty right there.

Having said that, I am also a traveller. I love travelling. And when I travel I am very conscious of following the mores and customs of my host country. I am a visitor there and must ensure, as a core responsibility of being a traveller, that I follow my host country’s laws. After all, for the most part, I follow the laws of my home country. Why change that when I travel. And if I break a law I have to accept the consequences that exist in whichever country I broke the law in. The only exception to this would be cultural ignorance, and even then, not always.

And in my opinion, there surely can’t be an Australian alive that doesn’t know that if you get caught trafficking drugs in Bali you face the death penalty. Like really, you would have had to be living under a rock for decades to not know the implications.

And that’s not even taking into account the impact that the drugs you peddle have on the lives of the, predominantly addicts, people that you make profit from by selling them to. The impact on individuals, families, communities and then countries. All for the sake of greed and power. Absolutely immoral to prey on the weak.

And I believe that we are all interconnected, so their actions impact on the safety of my world, detracting from the utopian ideal I strive to live in. They do not have that right. They knew the consequences.

And by all accounts they have rehabilitated.

So for me, the quandary becomes, are their lives better served as living examples to others or dead examples to others. There will always be morons that traffic drugs, but if those numbers reduce because of these events, following either alternative, that has to be a good thing. And then logically, it follows, that if they were released and sent home, and educated others, maybe that serves the greater purpose for our world. Even if they are life imprisoned and stay in Indonesia, but continue to rehabilitate and share their lessons learned, maybe that is a better way to go.

I guess for me, it comes down to how much they have to pay for their crimes. They seem to have acknowledged and learned the errors of their ways. Is that enough. Is following up these lessons with the education of others enough.

They should have respected the laws of Bali; they were exceptionally arrogant by not doing so. Do they deserve to forfeit their lives as a result.

I just don’t know.

I will cry if they are executed because the whole situation is unnecessary and didn’t need to happen. And because their families, friends and advocates will deeply suffer. But the two men are responsible for that suffering ultimately. It was their choice that put them on this path, and not just their choice but their flagrant disrespect for other people and the laws of other countries.

I just don’t know …

I am against the death penalty. I also am against drugs.

Sigh.

My Reading

I made the long trek to Lawson in the Blue Mountains yesterday. Such a beautiful trip; minimal traffic and a warm day. I arrived with time to spare and watched my reader’s cat amble to my car before I scared him away by opening my car door lol.

Judy was very casual and comes across as a happy person; I was instantly at ease and my usual shyness/reservation did not surface. I was a little nervous because Judy didn’t come recommended. I believe the very best medium/reader is my friend Jenny. She has set the bar very high and I was hoping that Judy might get close to it. I’d be happy with close to it and Judy did get close to it. So I left happy lol.

I only generally see a reader to clarify a direction or choice I face. At this point I’ve experienced a lot of intuition thus far in 2015 about my future directions. I am arrogant enough to verbalise them and have been happily telling everyone that this is the year I meet ‘the one’ aka my life partner. I announce that I love my school (not as much on the bad days) and that my headstone will one day be there whilst I argue with others that I’m not scared to leave, I just know that’s where I’m meant to be. And I still firmly believe that I’m meant to give birth. I decided to go to meditation classes to force my practice (yep, something there doesn’t read right lol). And I need to focus on delegation to attain balance.

The upshot of my reading was that this is all correct. Everything I have thought and envisioned was affirmed by Judy. And she added some suggestions like teaching meditation to teens (yes, I am qualified to do this, just lazy in my own practice currently). Brilliant idea! And a way to ensure my own practice. Basically I left feeling that I was on the right track and this was going to be a year of transformation, culmination and ultimately renewal for me. My hard work on resolving my dysfunction will pay off.

And today I started the regeneration by waking up at an ungodly hour and driving half an hour with a friend to watch the sunrise at Austinmer Beach. We then swam, laughed, chatted and contemplated before heading home for a cleansing day of cleaning.

The trick will be to continue all of this when work goes back. And demands are made. And resolve [may] falter at times.

A good year ahead. I’m excited.

I will never be again, who I was when you met me …

I was blessed to be having a catch up date with one of my longest serving friends this afternoon. With the loss of my work life balance I am really quite lucky to still have people in my life who want to catch up with me. Our conversation, I guess inevitably, turned to failed IVF cycles. I don’t often talk about it, write about it frequently, but not talk about it much at all, not enough really.

And I had a bit of an epiphany. I’ve been playing with this thought thread for a while but today I gave it oxygen. I said, “With every failed cycle a part of me has died, and I will never be the same person I was before I started on my ‘infertility’ path” (words to that effect and not as a whole sentence – the sentence is for your benefit). My friend recalled something that another friend of hers has said (after many more failed cycles than my five, and some of those in a very short period of time – respect); people expect that the laughing person she was will be back and they ask when.

The answer is never.

Infertility changes you in the core of who you are.

I survived a dysfunctional and abusive childhood, that has left its scars, but I was still free inside. Part of me will forever be shackled now, and I am okay with that because I am resilient and I am still very happy. I am fully aware of how blessed my life is. But this infertility, it has changed me inside. A part of me is wounded beyond repair and beyond time, and I think that that is mostly because I have constant reminders of my failure around me all of the time.

I get my period each month. I ovulate every month (a healthy four days this past month; irony). Months when I thought I would be watching a growing belly (well, I have still been watching a growing belly but for all of the wrong reasons and today I am feeling this morning’s gym session lol). My friends still have kids that they talk about. My sisters have children that I love and spend time with. My friends fall pregnant. Other women, anonymous to me, fall pregnant. There are ads with babies for baby supplies or just to sell products. I teach. Yep. More children. I never have a chance to shut off from my barren-ness (I often think of Goneril and how she used to be my favourite; was it a sign – jokes). It surrounds me, sometimes suffocatingly so. It is only when infertility exists in your life that you realise how often babies and children are mentioned in the every day world.

As a result, I am not very social anymore. I struggle badly in social situations. As an introvert I always have but it is significantly worse now. I used to make myself socialise. I don’t anymore. And I think this is for a multitude of reasons; not every reason attached to my infertility.

Part of it is that no-one wants to talk about it. I understand that no-one knows what to say, especially if this has not been part of their life experience (and I wish it on no-one). No-one ever really asks me how I am. Like really how I am. Actually, except one.

I said months ago I would offer pointers on how to support your friend, family member, etc. I never did give the pointers. This is a big one though, probably the most important, better done face to face.

“How are you? … Really?”

And then listen to the answer. If there are tears, touch the person gently. If they have nothing to say – probe, push, make them talk but be prepared to be sworn at. If they are important to you, keep trying. And it doesn’t matter how long it’s been.

No-one asks me about my miscarriage. That child would be about four months old now. It was an early miscarriage but for a little while it was going to be my child. No-one asks me what my plans are now. Am I over it? Have I stopped? Am I considering fostering and/or adoption and/or theft. It’s like it hasn’t happened – none of it. But I am changed forever. And I know, even if no-one asks or talks about it, in my core, I know and I remember. It’s not something most people feel safe to talk about.

And as much as you may not know how to react or what to say, I also don’t want to burden anyone with my stuff. Yes, it is difficult to know what to say, what to do, twenty seconds of courage though and you say, “I have no idea what to say or what to do. Are you okay? Can we talk about what’s happened?” and you could be making a huge difference to that person and securing your friendship with them.

Infertility is different to someone dying (two completely different things) in the sense that there is no acknowledgement of the loss. We discussed today, in light of not knowing what to say, how when people pass away we are expected to just move on in time and no-one talks about it (maybe we need to though) and so she thought this might be similar to that.

Maybe we just don’t talk enough in our society about the things that really do matter. ¬†Maybe we should be talking more, blogging and face booking and texting less.

At any rate, I live with my infertility daily. I am still happy, blessed and free. I am not a victim. But I am changed … and that change is permanent. I am not who I was. I will never be that person again. Sometimes I wish I could be …

Then I would be able to attend social events like weddings, engagements, baby showers, housewarmings, birthday parties, christmas celebrations, without getting sick either before or after, without the tears and loneliness that invariably ensue. Without feeling that I always wear my “tina” mask, in part, to get through. Because I am concerned that I can’t be me wholly or because if ¬†I am me wholly, and it’s a negative or emotional moment, other people’s fun will be compromised.

Because we don’t talk deeply often enough.

Because we don’t ask how we really are.

Because there is no acknowledgement of early miscarriage or infertility in our society.

Because we live in fear of being found out.

ūüôā

PS. I am really okay. I do not want or desire everyone in my life who cares about me to now knock on my door. This blog is for other people and helping those people; the future people.

 

The Importance of Solitude

I think the thing I like most about holidays is solitude; I love spending time by myself. I recharge and reevaluate my goals and my desires. Don’t get me wrong, I love catching up with friends too and I always organise catch ups. But on holidays, after time with myself, I really start to really like who I am. Holiday Tina is amazing. She is relaxed, comfortable, reflective, happy, and very, very wise. Perspective comes from solitude. I process events, people, situations, relationships, and life. For everyone. I make resolutions. I persevere with some of them. I know who I am and I am at peace with who I am. I am not busy. Busy-ness hides me. Expectations from others, in times of busy-ness, suffocate me. I never feel free during term. Too many roles and too many masks.

However, this coming term will see me attempt to change this. The ultimate act of solitude (for me) is meditation. I have stopped my conscious practice. This term I will continue practice; it will become a habit and a priority. Interesting that habit came into mind before priority. But I will attend classes and endeavour to find twenty minutes each day to sit, in silence, in my meditation space, which I am yet to create.

To ensure my goals are met I am thoroughly cleaning out my house. I have two kerbside pick ups booked. I think I will be hiring a skip bin too. Everything is going that hasn’t been used in the last two years. And I am downsizing my furniture. I am going to create more open space. Most of my furniture is big and dark wood. Ikea and I are about to become best buddies. I want to create an open but cosy space; inviting and comfortable. I shudder to think of my need to fill empty space but I think my best shot at transforming my life this year comes from starting fresh. My house hasn’t had a thorough re-fresh since I moved in eight years ago. It is time.

By creating space I am literally and figuratively creating space. I am opening my life to the new. Yikes!

I also have a feeling that it is becoming time to start moving away from teaching. Not entirely, but forging a ten year plan and setting smaller goals/milestones within that time needs to become a priority. I yearn for a less hectic and more peaceful life than teaching affords. I do not want to have to be patient with teenagers when I am sixty; I think that if I were still to be teaching then I may end up with state sponsored solitude lol.

I envisage peace and a slower life, a life where holiday Tina exists every day.

I noticed today that I live very near bushland. The irony being that I always say I would like to live near the bush. And yet I never acknowledged that I already do. Funny how we take the things around us so much for granted that in some ways, they cease to exist.

I have booked a reading with a woman in the mountains. I read her blurb and she sounded right. I am hoping that I find a direction from her. Not an answer or definite decisions, just a direction of sorts so that I know I am listening to the right signs in my life. In times of transformation I sometimes struggle to believe what I know for myself. It will be interesting; I will either come home calm or disappointed lol. It will be interesting.

I also need to make a decision regarding my pursuit of children. On this I have no clear sign or energy. I second guess every decision and every choice. I am not entirely comfortable giving my dream up nor am I entirely comfortable pursuing it. It is a difficult path. I do not want to spend money for no result. That money could fund a different pathway and so it is a difficult decision. If money were no object I know what I would do, but we do not live in a world where I am a billionaire … anyone want to sponsor me lol.

If so, I would like to buy property near ocean and near bush and live in a log cabin and spend my days planting, meditating, writing and supporting the growth of others. Not a completely selfish pursuit ;-p.

My thoughts are coagulating … they need time to separate and sort.

 

Planning for Balance

So I was doing the dishes and thoughts started to drift into my consciousness, forcing me to look at them. As I have said before, I lacked balance during 2014. I want balance back. The last couple of days have inspired the idea that I need to work out which areas of my life I want to focus on during 2015 to get the balance. My spiritual practice as a witch is right up there and I started to put out the energy to call my teacher to me; I feel that it is time. I am in the process of booking a reading for myself. I have enquired about meditation classes. I am bored by television (a positive sign because lord knows it zaps any motivation/inspiration to actually live your life). And I am reading at the rate of knots. I have planted some herbs and flowers, and am tending to their growth. So I am on the path.

And I got to thinking, what stops this from happening when I am at work. Obviously the answer is me. More specifically my choices and underlying limitations. Last year was a huge year for me professionally; I really came in to my own as a teacher, a mentor and a leader. It was important for me to achieve this level of professional growth so that I could carry the achievement with me into my personal growth. I was focused and committed last year. I knew what I had to achieve and I achieved it. I don’t think I necessarily set tangible goals but I had a constant to do list. And as a result, I did.

I am setting a similar type of to do list for my personal growth this year; the things that I want to have ticked off by the end of 2015. Spiritual growth, healing work, time in nature, all right up there with learning ukulele (a community college course in March should see this one ticked off) and writing my bestseller (yep, all the help in the world needed with this one).

I have been researching courses all afternoon. Trying to find the one thing that ties all of my loose ribbons together, and I can’t find it. I think it is because it all already lies within me. I am a trained educator. I am a trained teacher of meditation. I am a holistic counsellor. I am a Reiki Master. I have dabbled in mediumship and can read the cards (to varying levels of success). I have gained my Master of Arts in Writing. I have the skills and the paperwork to support all of my strands. What I lack is the venture that draws them together. And I lack the vision or the trust or the vehicle to enable me to see my next steps.

But I also fear that when work starts back, I will lose my ability to give myself permission to live my life. The demands on me are significant (mostly in my own head lol). Saying ‘no’ has never been a strength for me; and yes, that is connected to my sense of value (I know I am valuable but for some reason, I still struggle to say no to others). I want to continue to succeed at work but I think I need to draw the line between ensuring my success and enabling the success of others. Mentoring is important to me, I feel that being in service to others is vital for social connection and communal success. However, I need to draw and reinforce the line that I am just one part of the cog and not the entire cog. I need to reestablish myself professionally by empowering others to be confident in their own practice and forging their own paths. Maybe a simple reminder to myself each day will achieve this.

I also need to set work hours. And I need to adhere to them. Rigidly. I think a weekly timetable could ensure the success of this; physically timetabling specific work tasks and personal tasks, and publishing my timetable. This would allow others to see that whilst they are important to me, I have parameters with which to live my own life and they are just one component. I started an appointment system last year. It worked whilst I enforced it. I think that the scheduling of time is important and something I need to focus on. The person in my appointment time will have me completely present during that time, and after that time, I can be present for myself. This should support me to find energy to complete my own personal to do list too.

Funnily, even as I write this, with absolute gusto I assure you, there is that niggling voice in the back of my head telling me that I am being selfish. And whilst I grin as I write this, and admonish that niggling voice, I realise that my sense of self-worth is really the core issue here. I need to wholly accept that I am valuable enough to say no. That I do not live just for the sake of others. That my life and my development is important too.

And I think affirmations can help me with this.

Interesting …

Sweeping My Space

An odd title. Literally and metaphorically meant. I am attempting to write more regularly this year, even if it is one blog posting after another blog posting only. As is always the case during extended holiday breaks, I become very introspective, very calm, and very peaceful. The fast world I generally live in breathes, and I get to breathe along to take stock of where I am and where I want to be.

I need to thoroughly clean my house. It’s always alright but I mean a clean out to the core. I need to clean and wash every room, and I need to dispose of everything that I am holding on to; all of the clutter, the baggage, the unused items need to go. For six months or so I have been looking to revitalise furniture and layout. My home is small and I don’t entertain much these days, and so much space is wasted holding on to remnants of the past. I have a clear picture of a retreat, meditative, simple, uncluttered, in my mind’s eye and now is the time to create it.

Similarly, I need to clean out my work life. Too many jobs and responsibilities that realistically could  be delegated to others. Lists will help me to achieve this and then more balance. I have already cleaned out my physical work space at work. I am happy with it. A few tweaks for functionality when work starts again in a few weeks and it will be easier to maintain this year (fingers crossed).

And then my private life. It needs a huge overhaul. I really need to resolve the place of relationships in my life. In 2007 I lost a large group of friends (mostly my own doing), and I have struggled with trust and friendships since. I made some choices that weren’t the best and continue, I think, to punish myself for those choices. As a result I have become disconnected from my ‘social’ self, old before my time. Don’t get me wrong, I love time by myself, I am my very favourite person to spend time with, but sometimes I need to socialise too, with my equals and with people that laugh, and do dumb things, and have loads of stupid fun. It’s been a long time since I played board games and hosted dinner parties. Too long.

And my diet needs a massive overhaul. This last week has seen an allergic reaction or intolerance to some type of food literally break out of my body. I have known that I have needed to go back to predominantly fruit and vegetables for months but convenience took priority over health. Realistically it is as easy to pick up some fruit or cook some vegetables as it is to go through a drive-thru or just make prepackaged pasta up. It’s the choice that counts. And mine have faltered. And my body is revolting against those choices, and this makes me happy. I can ignore my brain; I cannot ignore the itching, the welts and the swollen eyes and lips.

And then my religious and spiritual practice. This has been at the very bottom of my priorities for too long. During 2014 I cast a couple of spells, sent healing, and fought for a couple of things I believe in but it was all a bit too complacent. This needs to change. When I am wholly in my Wiccan power I feel alive, energised and useful. I create new worlds for others. It has been too long since I have been immersed in practice, even meditation. Physical space changes are sorely needed to ensure the ease of reintegrating practice into my life.

It is all interconnected.

I have put the energy out for a teacher to come into my life. And for my partner. I am ready now.

Well, I will be when I can put my broom down and look around my home, into my life, with a smile on my face and accomplishment in my heart.