I had one shitty weekend. Good lord. I haven't felt that bad in months, maybe even a year.
I actually thought I was doing better (because, ya know,I'd made a list of everything I needed to do...as if that was full mental health!), but yesterday at therapy, I turned into a self lacerating disaster area.
I have this image of my therapist standing on the deck of a boat with a deep sea fishing pole, her feet planted against the rail, trying to reel me back in.
She said to me, a number of times "What did you swallow whole?" We tried out various ideas, but none of them reeled me back in. As I left, I remembered that I'd read this post on Friday at Peter's cross station . Go ahead, read it, and then look through the comments, and find the one by Sara (not me). The comments on this were awesome, and really spoke for me, and yet I was deeply impacted by this post. I think this is what I swallowed whole. Even though I had enough self awareness to read the comments, and respond off line to the author and to Sara, who I felt really captured a lot of what I wanted to say, there was still a huge piece of me that took in Shannon's criticism of ART and applied her judgment about entitlement and classism to myself. It was as if she referred to some ART bloggers who are not cognizant of the choices they are making for others (their children), and because she didn't single me out and say "Everyone but Sarah at Dreams and False alarms is a jerk", I swallowed her judgment whole. In some ways, I think this is because I am conflicted about our next steps (donor sperm, donor sperm/donor egg), and in another it is probably because I feel so overwhelmed by my needs, and my husband's needs, and to have a chance at gestating a child ourselves, and I worry that this will somehow hurt our future children.
I have this unrealistic unconscious/and not so unconscious directive for myself as a parent that I have to anticipate anything that could potentially hurt my children and make sure it doesn't happen. What I think hit me this weekend is that we are out of 'perfect' options.
Bad scenario number 1: My husband's sperm is unlikely to ever combine with my or anyone else's eggs and make a human.
Bad situation number 2 : My eggs are not too likely to make much better use of donor sperm than they did of translocated sperm.
Bad situation number 3: Donor sperm and Donor eggs--a child created solely for our convenience (uh, not sure that is the right word), and to meet my need of being pregnant. And to be fair, to provide some sort of biological and gestational continuity for the child themselves.
Bad situation number 4: We adopt a child through conventional private adoption, or through our county system, or internationally. The myriad losses for a child in this option range from the complications of open adoption to the complete loss of any hope of knowing their genetic/first family.
It just seemed too much. And then Shannon's opinion that using ART is an act of entitlement...it just hit too many nerves, and caught too many of my triggers.
So, is she wrong? Yes, and no. There are people who just don't think. But I am not one of them. I think so much, that I often wonder if I should even try to have children because no matter how I go about it someone is hurt, and to hurt anyone in my quest to have a family is pretty unbearable. I think this was where I was really stuck over the last few days. I couldn't see my way forward.
I remember about 15 years ago I heard a report on NPR about the Amazon Rainforest tribes being a hot new market for A.von. I was appalled, at both the tentacles of capitalism, and the potential for millions of little bottles of A.von products to pile up and pollute the Amazon. I mentioned this to a friend, and she too was appalled. We talked about in front of her boss, who was a really lovely woman, but had a totally different mindset about the world. She said "Oh! how nice for them! Now they can have all that good stuff too." She didn't think about things in the same way that we did, but was she necissarily wrong? Or entitled, on behalf of amazon tribal women to 'ski.n so so.ft" Somehow this story about A.von in the rain forest reminds me that I am not the kind of person who doesn't think about the effects of my actions. If anything, I over think my effects on my children.
So, I'm going to try to stay in the game, and not take things so personally. She is entitled to her opinions, and she made her choices because of who she is, and what makes sense to her. I need to reserve the right to do the same, I need to reserve it for myself, and not feel implicitly judged because she has a strong opinion. Oy.