Monday, November 23, 2009

No Vacancy

There’s apparently no room left in my “emotional spaces” for much else other than IF. My brain is constantly worrying about the “what if’s” and “what next’s;” my heart aches at the sight I wasn't aware of just how much space that "stuff" was taking up until last week. And, even more troubling, I don't exactly know what the "stuff" is.

For example, take last week's job application/interview experience. I had that overwhelming dread about another "guaranteed" no. Another example from last week...on Sunday night, before the job craziness started, I got an e-mail from BFF. For her birthday in September, Hubby and I had given her a giftcard from a local photographer for maternity pictures. Her Sunday night e-mail contained a link to 232 maternity pictures and a request that I look through them and let her know which ones I liked.

Even before the stress of last week unfolded, I knew that I needed to be at a certain emotional place to look through 232 maternity pictures...especially considering the somewhat precarious nature of our relationship at the moment. I thought I'd be able to find that special mental place at some point on Monday. I didn't really want to end the weekend on a sour note if I wasn’t able to keep it together. Of course, that plan was short-lived because on Monday the job craziness ensued. And, after that, I knew I didn't have the emotional space left over to be reminded of our IF while clicking through 232 screenshots.

I mentioned this to my mom and another trusted friend. My mom suggested that I take all the time I needed, 232 was a lot and it was a tough situation to be in. Trusted Friend said that I should get my mom to tell me her favorites and pass those along to BFF saving myself the emotion of looking through them at all. It wasn't a terrible idea. Not terrible, that is, except for the fact that I want to look at them. I want to be there in that joyful moment...to be able to put my "IF" stuff on the shelf and just be a "good friend."

I still haven't looked at the pictures, even though the stress from last week has lifted and there should be more emotional space available. I just can't bring myself to look. I sent her a note last week saying that I hadn't forgotten with a brief synopsis of the week's craziness. And, I said that what was really important to me was that she was happy. Which ones were her favorites? I never heard back.

So, what is this "stuff" that fills my emotional spaces to the point that they can no longer deal so well with the normal (or somewhat abnormal) stress of daily life? It frustrates me that I know that this IF "stuff" takes so much room, but I don't even know what it really is. I want to name it, categorize it, process it and put it away in the emotional archives. There's nothing to archive yet, though. It's too raw, too in the moment.

And, the truth, I guess, is that it's no one thing. No singular feeling or fear that can simply be named and put away. It's some mix of sadness, frustration, jealously, anger, fear and so many other emotions, on so many different levels, all rolled up into a giant ball so big that it leaves so little room for anything else.

The result is that I feel more emotionally fragile now than I have at any other point in my memory, despite the fact that some of the other moments that would make the top 10 list were much easier to categorize. Perhaps it's that unclassifiable nature that's the issue. IF seems to grow and spread like a virus...literally taking over any unaffected emotional spaces until all that's left in my heart, soul and mind is that IF "stuff." It's no wonder that there's seemingly no room left for any extra stress. IF has put up its very own "No Vacancy" sign so that it can infiltrate without interruption.

14 comments:

Lauren said...

Infertility is completely all-consuming.

I read this book about it that said that men have an infertility drawer. When they open it, they feel sad. But they have the ability to close the drawer and feel normal.

However, for women, infertility is like a plate of spaghetti. Everything is all tangled together and you can't seperate out your IF feelings from the other areas of your life. You can't shut down the way infertility makes you feel. It affects everything.

Lin said...

OMG, Lauren...that is a perfect analogy! What was the book?

SassyIfLady said...

You are a great friend!

That's a daunting, scary task - looking at more than 200 photos of a pregnant friend. But, she's your BFF and you love her. Sometimes when you look at it a different way, take a step back, you're done before you know it. Stay strong! Or, if you're just not up for it, have your mom do it. There is NOTHING wrong with that!

BTW - I love the spaghetti analogy too. It is perfect! IF SOOOO affects everything...BIG HUG!

One Who Understands said...

That is a lot to take in, 232 pictures of the one thing you want but cannot seem to attain. I think having your mom look at the pics is a good idea. I get that you want to share in her joy, but you must protect yourself first. And yes, IF is in everything we do. It makes all aspects of life that much harder. (((HUGS)))

lowfatlady said...

*hugs* 232 pics? Good lord. I would definitley take some time and only look at them when you are ready. Or maybe you could ask your mom to look through them and find a handful she likes and then you can narrow it down. That way you don't have to look at ALL of them. IF really has taken over my thoughts as well. I hope some of your other stressers go away.

JC said...

That's quite an emotional task...looking through all of those maternity photo's. Idk if I would be able to do it. I totally get what you're saying, that you don't have the emotional space left for it. Totally get it.

I liked the spaghetti alalogy too.

Liddy said...

I like the spaghetti analogy.

IF is such a horrible emotional state. And the emotional space is horribly compromised.

Stopping by for an ICLW visit...
No. 2: the unfair struggle (mfi, speedskating, nanowrimo)

Hillary said...

I can relate to that feeling of "no room left." ONE "little" IF thing feels like it sucks all of my emotional reserves.

makingmemom.blogspot.com

Michelle said...

Wow..I love the analogy. It perfectly describes how DH deals with all this IF stuff.

ifcrossroads said...

Wow. Well, what I will say is that I like the way you've compartmentalized all of this. Good luck with looking at all of those photos ... FWIW, you are a very good friend, IMO.

Jin said...

I love the no vacancy and the spaghetti analogies!

I also agree about letting your mom view the pictures in your place.

ICLW

Noelle said...

I wouldn't be able to look at the photos. Now, I haven't been reading your blog long enough to know if your BFF knows your IF struggles, but if she does, I would hope that she would have a little compassion. I don't think that you should be the one to look at those. At this point, I think it would be best for you to have your mom look at the pictures. That would be the best thing for all involved. Please don't put yourself through that. Maybe you can just look through a few, have your mom look at all of them, and when your BFF asks you about particular ones, you can just say that there were so many of them that you can't keep them all straight.

I know what you mean about no vacancy. That is a great way of putting it. My life is not my life anymore. Everything has IF connected to it. It truly bites.

Kristin said...

Lots and lots of {{{hugs}}}. Even if you don't get around to looking at the pictures, the simple fact that you want to look at them tells me what a good friend you are.

~ICLW

Mrs. Farmer said...

WOW!! 232 pics of a baby belly! You are a better friend then I! I think your mama should go over them for you. Like PP you need to protect your self!! This post was so well written!! Its just how I feel sometimes. Thank you for putting my thoughts in to words!! Thanks for stopping by and go Broilermakers!!!!

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