I was terrified of this year when I signed up for Nadine’s workshop back in January. Terrified. By the time the workshop was over, I was both relieved and umm… still terrified, actually.
Because what sort of crazy person willingly (I wasn’t that willing actually) takes on “Acceptance” as one of their words for empowering their year?
Apparently I do. And while I’ve had a fairly decent amount of success with the whole acceptance gig so far, it’s starting to get scary.
You see, there’s something magical about making a commitment to yourself based on a couple of words that deeply resonate with your inner being. When they’re the right words – when you’ve done enough self-inquiry and sat still long enough for the words to be heard – then it isn’t like just picking up one of those little polished stones at the local woo-woo shop with golden lettering that says something like “Faith” or “Hope”.
Of course, those might be the words you come up with via self-reflection, but what I’m trying to say is that it’s an entirely different process. Words that arise from self-reflection *are* a commitment, and your higher self seems to register them like some kind of action plan. And then it’s on for young and old.
Healing (my other word for this year)… that’s what I’ve been doing in spades. I feel like I’ve been concentrating very, very hard on my physical health for the last twelve months or so. And even more so since the start of this year.
It’s almost time for me to get more blood tests. Comprehensive ones. Hopefully all this hard work will show up in the results. I certainly feel a heck of a lot better, but it’ll be good to see the proof in a science-y way, too.
When it comes (self) Acceptance… well that’s another kind of healing, right? I’ve been working my ass off on that front, too. And actually, self-acceptance and physical healing are interconnected anyway. The more I work on my emotional/mental health, the more connections appear to the physical.
But there’s the easier things to learn to accept, and then there’s the Big Ass Doozies.
When I first started healing from PTSD, I learned you can clear away a LOT of the “chaff” – the easy to access stuff pretty quickly. There’s usually a heap of it. But those issues are generally symptoms of what’s really going on.
And so here I am – working through my stuff and yet holding back on one of those Big Ass Doozies, because there’s always been a little part of me that wants to imagine that somehow, I wouldn’t need to accept it because there’s the possibility it could change.
For many years, while healing from PTSD and depression I would cry at the drop of a hat. Couldn’t help it – my emotions were so raw and near the surface that it was all I could do most times to not be crying.
Nowadays though, there’s only one thing that really makes me sad in that same way:
I am childless.
I have just turned 40. Too many of my child-bearing years were swallowed by the aftermath of being assaulted, and even though I’m now mostly healed, I still haven’t been able to make the leap back into the dating world.
But I really, really want to be a mother.
I want to know what it’s like to have a child growing inside of me. To give birth and watch my child grow up. I’d be a great mum. However, time and opportunities for such a thing are running close to empty.
Adding insult to injury? The autoimmune disorder I developed as a result of all that trauma? It also plays havoc with fertility and causes miscarriage. So there’s that, too…
It seems that I’m surrounded by people having babies. It’s probably like when you buy a new car and suddenly notice all the people around you with the same type of car. Only in reverse. What I deeply, deeply want from the depth of my being… there’s a very good chance I won’t be getting it at all. Not in this lifetime.
And as genuinely happy as I am for my sister, friends and co-workers, and as much as I love my nieces and other people’s children… I am equally devastated by the circumstances that have led to this childless place. To the running out of time.
I struggle very much with being able to accept this. That this is probably how it’s gonna be. That given the laws of probability, it’s unlikely I’ll get to have kids.
So, sometimes I cry. I’m watching some show and there’s kids or families or someone who desperately wanted to be a mother finally gets her wish (the way it always happens in Hollywood, right?) and I find I can’t not cry.
Please do me a favour – don’t leave me any comments that talk about how “you never know” and “amazing things happen” and that “just because you’re 40 doesn’t mean it can’t happen for you”. Don’t tell me that I “just have to want it enough”, either.
I know these things. I know that sometimes for some people, they are true words. I also know that in other circumstances, they are not. And since my life has never resembled one of those Hollywood stories (whose life does, anyway?) where everything turns out alright in the end, I have to tell you it’s much easier for me to be realistic.
Only, because this is a Big Ass Doozie of a thing to accept… it’s pretty tricky to be okay with it.
I’ve done all the rationalising. I know that being childless doesn’t mean I’ve failed at life. I know plenty of women who haven’t had kids. I know kids can be a pain in the ass and that nappies and sleep deprivation suck. I know there’s plenty of other things I can do with my life. I know. I KNOW. Okay?
But it doesn’t change what I want. It doesn’t change the way it makes me feel to know my chances for getting what I want are slim to none. It doesn’t help me while I struggle to find some sort of acceptance for how things are.
Ideally, I’d love to have two kids. I don’t even care about gender. Just that they’d be healthy. Right now even if I met some amazing guy tomorrow, I’d be lucky to have even one.
I’m not looking for pity by writing this. I’m just sort of hoping that somehow, naming my desires and fears will help me put them in perspective. And just maybe… that’s a step towards truly being cool with being childless.
There’s a LOT more work to do on this yet…