Surviving IVF and Thriving

Every month as my period comes and goes I remember my miscarriage and the futility of my period. I will until menopause and I am sure that after menopause other triggers will take my period’s place. 

But I’m alright. I acknowledge my childlessness, even though I desperately wanted a different result, and I keep moving forward. Happily. Now. At first the happily was more a fake it til you make it kind of happily. Now it’s real. 

This doesn’t mean I don’t feel the longing to be a mother. I do. 

It doesn’t mean I can get rid of the baby clothes, toys and books I bought. They are still wrapped in plastic, just like Laura Palmer, waiting for their day and the mystery to unravel. But I do not know which box they are in. And that’s a positive. 

It doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes cry, and it doesn’t mean I can look at other people’s kids and hear about pregnancies without dying inside. 

I still feel pain. 

But I also feel like I am me again. I can be light in my soul and not feel guilt or the heaviness of grief. I am not who I used to be, and after years of ongoing grief, I can finally say that I am an improved version of who I was. I am stronger, more resilient, and significantly more at peace. 

After all, I had a dream and I found the courage to pursue it amidst much failure. I didn’t give up and I did all I could do at each time. In retrospect I could have done more but it wasn’t in me at the time. And I am okay with that. 

So I have survived IVF. My weight and the yoyo eating I opted for seems to be ‘surviving’ too but hopefully I will kill that survival off soon lol. 

And I am also thriving. Interesting that at first I wrote, “But I am also thriving” … Hmmm. Food for thought there (take note, an unnecessary food reference right there).

Meditation has strengthened my core. Spiritually. I can only dream of washboard abs lol. Acknowledging things for what they are has helped. Not expecting anything has yielded abundance. And physically decluttering my space and ultimately moving has shifted my perspective. 

I am happy. I see a future. A rich future. Ahead of me, for me. 

As Banksy says, “There is always hope.”

The Village

I had an epiphany this morning as I drove in to work on a Saturday morning (thank you Lyndell for your commitment to your Drama students lol). 

I feel a sense of joy driving to and from work these days. A real soul joy. Often I find myself smiling once I hit a certain part of the road. Just happy to be. 

There is a one lane bridge along my journey. This morning, waiting for an oncoming car to move off the bridge, I had a flashback to twenty five years ago, living in Eglinton just out of Bathurst, and a one lane bridge. 

And I remembered happiness. Peace. Growth. Fulfilment. Contentment. 

Just like now. 

Waking up on Saturday mornings now to Tai Chi in the park next door or across the road in the Bus Bay, just as relaxing to watch as to do. The opportunity of meditation around the corner on Friday nights. Talking to shopkeepers like we are old friends. Taking the time. Village life: no rush, no enemies, no drama. 

This is the life for me. 

My Writing Day

One of the most annoying parts of moving house is establishing everything. I tried to organise everything so that I wouldn’t have to take much time away from work. Especially after being so sick a couple of weeks ago.,

Imagine my frustration when I received a phone call from my new internet service provider and found out that if I wanted internet I would have to be at home between 8 and 12 tomorrow. 

How do you plan a day around that?! No Saturday call outs. Seriously. Frustration. Guilt. More guilt. 

Until … One of my colleagues suggested I change my perspective. She asked if there was anything I would want to do with a free and healthy day. 

Write. Garden. 

And so I will. 

Start organising the vegetable garden and then spend the day writing. 

I am SO excited. 

Settling In 

I am quite peaceful within myself at the moment. If you saw me in a few moments today at work you may disagree with that statement but I mean within my core. Today I drove the thirty minutes to work in silence, just being with the environment and it’s beauty. It brings peace. 

The move has been good for me. I have created my home for myself. Final touches were white sheer curtains in the loungeroom over the French doors tonight. The main house is done. 

Next is the back yard. Finding places for all of my pots and digging up the existing weed ridden vege garden. A job for next weekend. 

And my writing room. 

I am missing my writing practice. But the loss is temporary.

And today whilst I was teaching Extension English (cheeky miscreants) I had a surge of inspiration to write essays. After my novella for young adults, I’ll be on to that hehe.

Happiness at home is causing friction within my superficial self at work. I have become more conscious of and irritated by silliness. I am hoping it is PMS (no, I’m not joking). If it is PMS, it’s temporary and I hope it’s temporary. I put out a feral energy when I’m superficially irritated and today that attracted dealing with a cigarette lighter gun and resulted in me telling a student to “shut up” only to be told well and truly by them where to go. 

There were lots of tears – three students in tears. The realisation of consequences for poor behaviour for two of them, and the third didn’t feel heard (past behaviour not allowing teachers to believe he didn’t do something that he was accused of). So I really listened to him and we resolved the issue. A beautiful boy but high energy. 

You have to laugh. Another day at the office. A long day. Followed by another long day tomorrow. I feel like I sound whiney – I don’t intend to and I don’t feel it. Hehe. 

Yes, my writing room. 

There is a dark pink wall. I wouldn’t usually like that look but it suits this room. White furniture in it. Throughout most of the house really – the illusion of more space and freshness. And a large window that I will place a lot of my pots in front of to provide the illusion of writing in the garden during winter. 

A lot of deception being alluded to here lol hmmm, I wonder what that means. Or is it the reality reno shows I’ve been obsessed with lol. 

Also a job for next weekend. Exciting. 

I am really looking forward to it. 

I love my new home. It is reflective of my rejuvenated, transformed self. The energy is beautiful. Soft and warm. 

I am happy. And at peace. 

ūüėú

Change

And so I’ve moved. I’ve de cluttered. I’ve reenergised. I still need to unpack a lot of boxes. Personalise my new space. But I love it. 

I really truly believed that my old house was my almost forever home so I didn’t expect to feel so settled so fast. I walked through the door on Saturday and knew I was home, at least for the next part of time. And whilst I never really wanted to live in this suburb (those surrounding it, definitely) I think I have found my space. 

A cute little village with steam trains across the road and Thomas the Tank Engine out every Sunday. Wow! A community. And I’m loving it. 

The drive in and out inspires smiles. Trees and open spaces. What else does the mind require for serenity? Nothing, I would argue. 

Anyway, back to unpacking and to sorting out. 

I am blessed. 

My Parents 

I survived a tumultuous and dysfunctional childhood. It wasn’t all bad but there was plenty of bad in it. My dad emerged from Nazi Germany as a toddler without his birth mother; she died of tuberculosis during the war. My mum emerged from her Finnish home at the same time in world history. They both endured and survived their own childhoods. Stories for another time. 

As an adult, in this house actually, I have spoken to both of my parents (separately) about their lives before me, and their own childhood stories and experiences. I also spoke to them at length about my perception of my childhood under their reign. With tears, they both acknowledged responsibility for the dysfunction. 

This enabled me to forgive them and move forward; away from childhood pain and wounds that were manifesting negatively in my adult self. And when I say I forgave them, this didn’t happen overnight. It had been a process towards understanding that I initiated in my early twenties. My logic was that if I could understand their stories, so why they made the choices they did that inevitably impacted on my childhood, then I would be able to move forward. I would understand why. 

What I haven’t acknowledged prior to now, is what a huge gift this was from my parents.

It was a difficult journey for both of them to acknowledge responsibility for my childhood. It hurt both of them immensely. And I was cold in exacting that acknowledgement. In retrospect, it was necessary for me to move forward and have the relationships I have with both of my parents now, but it hurt them at the time. And I am so proud of them both for doing it, and immensely grateful. 

I felt that my parents didn’t protect me during my childhood. Due to their own significant issues, they weren’t able to ensure my safety or the safety of my sisters. They were absent even though they were physically present. 

But in our adult relationships, well, they have become closer to the ideal parents we all long for. They both step up when they know there is a problem. Stepping up for them means that they have to suspend their own fears and patterns of behaviour, and I am grateful that they do. I don’t say that enough. Or ever, really. And I should. 

As I said, it was a process of forgiveness through understanding, and I think it is important for all of us to realize how important forgiveness is in our lives. I will always have damaged parts of myself. 

But they do not define me. 

Most people wouldn’t even realize I was damaged and broken. My childhood is not the sum of me. 

And I have been able to embrace the positive aspects of myself that resulted from my experiences throughout childhood. I am empathetic. I am strong. I am compassionate. I am resilient. I survived. And I grew. I understand. And I share my knowledge. I make a difference in this world because I can. 

These are some of the gifts that my dysfunctional childhood empowered me with. And I am grateful for them and the experiences that gave them to me. 

I don’t think I wish my life would have been different. 

And this is big. My childhood encompassed sexual, physical and emotional/psychological violence. Fairly consistently. Pretty much until I moved out at sixteen and a half (for the first time). 

And moving through it as an adult, dealing with the memories and the lack of memories, with the trauma and the fear that manifests in bouts of depression, self harm and dark thoughts of suicide, has been lonely and terrifying at times. But I have moved through it and I am stronger as a result. 

And now, I feel quite happy and calm. I am quite at peace in my life. 

As I have aged, I have become more grateful for my parents. A lot of my friends have lost one or both of their parents, and I see the impact of the loss. I am grateful that we have resolved my childhood together; it has been empowering. And whilst my parents weren’t brilliant when I was growing up, I don’t doubt their love for me. And as an adult child, they have stepped up and if I ask for help, they try to provide whatever assistance they are able to. 

Together, and as individuals, we have moved forward. 

I am very grateful for that. 

Thank you mum and dad! 

I love you always. 

The Beauty of Timing

I am due to move in sixty hours and thirty minutes; the removalists will be knocking on my door. I wanted to be packed and ready to go last Sunday. I fell ill. The girls I work with in the same staff room too. Four of us. All away on Monday and now taking turns. Lauren went to the doctor today; it’s a bacterial infection. I’m hoping I wake up better tomorrow morning. I hate going to the doctors. 

So the timing of the illness is reinforcing my lessons of patience and faith. I became a little stressed for the first time earlier tonight. I’ve barely moved all day. I decided I would try to finish packing my room. Two boxes in and I was done; back on the lounge exhausted. Two boxes. 

I’m not stressed now. I know it will happen. I have faith that somehow it will get done. 

Which leads me to another lesson. 

Three people have offered help: Lauren, Cherie and Lyn. I have not rejected their offers. That alone is a near miracle. I will see how I am tomorrow. I may have learned to accept help. I let Lauren organise a friend’s ute to help us transport IKEA purchases on Sunday and I almost didn’t feel guilty. 

I’m growing. This move is showing me how much I have centred myself. 

I am at peace. I am present in the present. And I have complete trust that all will be alright. 

I seem too, to have let go of fear. And I have been trying to teach others to do the same. The initiation has truly transformed me. 

I have let go of past resentments and poor attitudes, let go of blame and of guilt, even of shame. I accept that all was as it was supposed to be. 

I feel so blessed. I have enough. Enough money. Enough love. Enough support. Life isn’t perfect but it’s exactly as it is supposed to be. 

And that is enough. 

gotta watch those teens lol

It isn’t often that I am outwitted in the classroom. It happened today. 

We were watching ‘Shaun Tan invites you into his studio’ and he refers to Darth Vader. Blake starts heavy breathing like Darth Vader. I wait thinking he will stop. He doesn’t. I turn around and say, “I will remind you that Darth Vader was killed.” Quick as a whip and with a raised eyebrow, Blake says, “I will remind you that he killed his teacher first.”

Absolute gold! Respect Blake. Respect.

Love is all you need?

This short film is one of the most powerful I have ever watched. There are so many issues within it to provide a reasonably honest image of what adolescence today is like if you are different and don’t fit in to society’s restrictive little boxes.

Ashley Curtis, the protagonist, is a heterosexual child born in to a world where homosexuality is the norm. Every stereotype that has ever been levelled at homosexuals is shown in this short film; a world turned on its head. Ashley understands that she is different but doesn’t understand why what she feels as normal to her is so wrong in her society’s eyes. She is teased, chased, hit, kicked, drawn upon, taunted, texted, facebooked, everything to highlight there is no peace for her from knowing that she does not belong.

The ending is chilling. Too real.

I supported a friend during their process of coming out. Their fear of how others would react surprised me. To him, it was very real fear that he would lose every one that he had ever known, family included. He didn’t have the expectation that who he was was okay. I am different, but I have never felt that extreme fear at not being accepted, of not belonging. Going through the process with him really opened my eyes to how hard that path was, and impressed upon me that no one would ever ‘choose’ it.

It never ceases to amaze me how intolerant our society is of anything different, of anything¬†that doesn’t follow mainstream lines, and of how ignorant we can be.

Today I have asked my Year 11 class to reflect upon this film and their response to it. The best one as voted by the class, will be contributed here. They are currently composing. We shall be back later.

 

Why I, privileged white female, need feminism

A really well thought out post. I have been in two minds about the ‘I need feminism because…’ Program. But this one I like.

honeythatsok

I’d been doing chores all day, running around, working up a sweat. I needed to shower but first I looked outside and saw that the apartment pool was empty. Blue, cool and shaded, seriously tempting. The afternoon sun dips behind the building around three so the pool sees little traffic after that. I threw on my old white-grey bikini, nearly destroyed by years of chlorine, but why wreck a new one when this one still holds up. I hurried down the stairs and dove in. It was glorious.

After a few laps I noticed in the corner of my eye that our new neighbor, a big burly guy, was hanging over the railing watching me from above. It made me a little uncomfortable but he hangs out there a lot, seemingly watching everyone. Our apartments are on the same floor connected by an outdoor hallway and he is staying in…

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