Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bloody Hell


Bloody Hell!

I am angry. So angry I can taste it. I don’t get angry often, I cannot think of the last time I was this angry, honestly. Which is a newish emotion for me.

When I first got out of the hospital, I was grateful to be alive. Every day was a blessing, and everything was wonderful. It was like when I first stopped drinking all those years ago, and I had my first glass of orange juice without vodka in it, amazed how wonderful orange juice really tasted.

Now the bloom has gone off the rose. Part of me wishes I had died, questioning why I didn’t. Guardian angel perhaps? Nine lives?

I like the nine lives analog I have had nine lives from the first time where I almost died in delivery, until this past November when I had problems with my kidneys failing.

As a cat owner, I don’t believe I will be lucky the next time.

Going back to anger- what angers me- is this med cocktail- drugs to help my kidneys and bladder, lower my blood pressure- Amlodipine, Bethanechol, and Clonidine. I was on seven in January, so three is doable.

What has happened, either from the experience, the dialysis, the med cocktail, is this (men might want to stop here)… is I haven’t had had my period since Christmas. My mother mentions to me over lunch last Friday that menopause is wonderful, and think of all the money you will save by not buying napkins and tampons anymore.

But I don’t know. I have had Auntie Flo visit since 7th grade. My entire life, practically. I don’t have any friends in real life who have gone through this, just friends’ mothers. In my mothers generation they would automatically remove organs if they had painful periods and heavy bleeding, bringing on an early menopause. I have told my gynecologist over and over again, I would not go through that. Let it be the way nature intends.

I can’t help thinking it’s too early. I am not 50; it’s a while before I hit that milestone. I was still clinging to the hope I would be able to have a baby some day.

It’s a silly thought. No boyfriend, not in the way to do it myself, raising it as a single mom. Not now. Maybe 10 years ago I could have done that, but now.

When I first started therapy, back as a grad student when I was 21, the therapist worked out I needed to have a baby to make closure for the fact I was adopted, and spent the first seven months of my life in an over crowded system in NY. I was fostered out to a woman who had many other babies, and would lie in neglect, diapers wouldn’t be changed immediately, and I wouldn’t be cuddled like my friends did with their infants.

I recall something from a basic psychology class my freshman year in college. About a monkey and it’s mother, they had one monkey baby that stayed with it’s mother, and another one who was given a stuffed plush monkey mother, and bottles could be attached to her so the monkey could feed. The first baby monkey did fine, because his mother loved him and held him and fed him. The other baby monkey eventually died, because he was getting no love, even though his basic needs (food, someone to clean his wastes) were done. I was like that second monkey.

I suppose it could have been worse, when I became sexually active. I could have had one-night stands looking in vain for someone to love me, and never finding it. I’m lucky that by the time I was sexually active, AIDS was the big word on campus, and all of a sudden you had more to fear by a one-night stand besides accidentally getting pregnant, or getting VD. You could get AIDS. It was brand new; no one understood it, and all we knew is you would die. Horribly.

And I was selfish, spending the days as a librarian, bored out of my mind, and three nights a week working in a mom and pop bookstore. Weekends were spent getting drunk on Friday night with a pile of VHS movies freshly rented from Blockbuster, and I would stay on the couch the entire weekend, until Sunday night when it was time to stop drinking and get sober. I didn’t really date and it was lonely. I never minded being alone, it’s being lonely that’s difficult.

You know those  chick flicks movies aimed at women where there is always the pretty young, executive woman in her 20s or 30s that falls in love with the guy, and has the cute but not pretty BFF, who is usually smarter than her friend but never gets the guy. The guys always think of her as “one of them”. A friend but not a girl friend. Harry might have ended up with Sally but in my universe, it never happened.

And I longed for it. I even managed to save up 2000 dollars to go to a matchmaker in Staten Island who promised I would have a ring on my finger within two years. A real Yenta. I took an extensive questionnaire, talked to her for a bit, and gave her my hard earned money, and left her singing “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, on the ride home.

I had two dates before she gave me my money back. There wasn’t anything wrong with me, it’s just the two men she hooked me up with thought I wasn’t Jewish enough or too Jewish, which was silly because I was non-practicing.  I was smart and witty, and they wanted – someone dumber. She said she couldn’t find someone for me, and gave me back the money. I took the money back, put it in the savings account, eventually buying some stocks with it. I dated a few guys for a years or so, but when push came to shove, I was a nice girl but they still wanted to “sow their wild oats”, or there wasn’t anything holding together other than sexual chemistry. Meanwhile I kept getting wedding invitations and baby shower invitations and it was like a dagger to my heart.

But I stayed optimistic, there is a lid for every pot, so they say, and my soul mate would be out there.

I never found him. Maybe I was looking too hard. It’s Ok; there are worse things in life than being single. But the baby! How I longed for the baby. I always thought it would happen.

Now it looks like Mother Nature is taking that option away from me and I want to cry. I want to scream. How dare you? Destroy my dream? My dream, my beautiful dream is dying like a raisin in the sun.

Do I go to a therapist and hash this out? No. It’s futile. Life is all about you can’t always get what you want. It is what it is, and I cannot change it no matter how my heart is breaking for what could have been. 

I just need to figure out, what does a woman do with her life if she cannot have a regular career, and is not a mother? What is my purpose?

I wish my guardian angel would tell me. 

14 comments:

Sairs said...

I had the baby dream too, but due to my medication for bipolar disorder, which I can't come off of, it won't happen either. I did once try and come off the medication to try and have the baby, but I got so manic that it took nearly 6 months before I was well and really since that time I did spent most of 2009 manic, then all of 2010 depressed. It is awful that these dreams go unfulfilled and it is really hard. I'm thinking of you!
~Sarah~

Andrew said...

Susan, I can relate to this post. I have been alone pretty much in this lifetime. One common law marriage that ended after a year and no children that I can call my own.

What has kept me going is A Course in Miracles. I joined a text study group and went for about a year and a half. Then started the Workbook for Students and I have gone back to it, and am now on my fourth session with it.

The Course is not in my experience a quick fix or a panacea for all of life's ups and downs. Like I said above, it keeps me going.

And now the word verification wants me to put in "judgers". LOL!

Cindy said...

Hi!

Just checking in as a woman who has never had children, and who had a hysterectomy at 44..I did not lose my ovaries however, so menopause did not hit 'til 50. Everyone is different, but I have never regretted not having children..it is a great freedom in fact, my advice is go w/ the no flow..wherever did women get the notion that not having children was a failure? Use your head, not your genetic imperative.or societies expectations. Being YOU is quite enough!With 7billion beings on the planet, we don't need more!

And it was wonderful not to menstruate! It wasn't until my thirties that I found Advil for the pain..was very glad to be done w/ the bloody mess & cramps. Menopause is another story..that was not easy..hang on to those ovaries or look into bioidenticals for natural estrogen replacement..and best of luck!

Stephi said...

In 2009 I found out that I also cannot have children. I am fine with it now, but I have a feeling that the consequences for this are still coming. I can feel immense pain just below the surface.

Even though children may not be an option, that doesn't mean the end of love for you. Once you get better you will see that there are plenty of ways to care for people that can fulfill you, not in the same way as motherhood but it could be just as rewarding.

Ethereal Highway said...

Susan, since I am a mother, I hope I am not out of line commenting on this post. I just want to tell you something that might be important to you. I have four children and only the youngest is the biological child of my husband. Recently, I have been having a very bad spell with the PTSD stuff and that makes me feel like a total failure. On one especially bad night, I remember asking my husband why he loves me and he actually started ticking off some reasons. One of them was, "You are the mother of my children." He said CHILDREN. In the PLURAL sense. Because he has bonded with all of them and considers them HIS CHILDREN. ALL of them.

Mothering does not come from the reproductive organs, Susan, it comes from the heart. I think you have a good heart. There will never be a shortage of children who need love in this world and people never get too old to give and receive love. And I have never heard of anyone who cannot love anymore because their ovaries are getting older. Just a thought for you to consider.

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Jen Daisybee said...

Susan,
I stopped getting Aunt Flo like over two years ago, in my thirties. It was said by my doctor that the reason was my antipsychotic medication which caused me to gain weight and get high Prolactin levels. This can evidently stop your period. I now take a birth control pill every few months to make my body have one, and this works. I don't know if that would be an option for you, but there is a chance your period will come back. Recently, mine came back without the birth control pill. Of course, then it stopped again. But what I am saying is it's possible you're not in early Menopause. Maybe there is another explanation.

I understand about wanting to have kids. I was never one of the women who always wished for a baby. So, much of the time, I don't care that I'm not having any. I can't have them because I have to take antipsychotics to function and I can't go off those meds, or have a baby while on those meds (I wouldn't want to risk that).

But sometimes, it does make me angry, because the option isn't there for me, even if I wanted to do it. I have never met Mr. Right either, and most of the time now I don't care about that, but sometimes the loneliness gets me, like you mentioned.

I'm sorry you're going through such a hard time right now with this. I think you have a right to be angry. If you are going through Menopause early, well, that is something worth being angry about. Anytime a person's body fails her, a person normally doesn't feel great about that. I hope that you can get some answers about whether it is Menopause or not, and if it isn't maybe you can still have a baby one way or another. I do agree with the person who said not all of us need to have kids. There is so much societal pressure on women to reproduce, and it seems like society makes us feel like we're freaks if we can't or choose not to. Such is life under patriarchy.

I think you're a great person who makes a positive impact on the world through your writing, and you don't need to reproduce to be a worthwhile human being.

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Red Pill Junkie said...

All really good comments, but I think I agree more with Cindy's & Stephi's.

What is the idea of becoming a parent anyway? Yes, there's the biological drive, especially for you women. The genes yelling at you to fulfill your Darwinian destiny.

But isn't it true that the main goal is to give love to that new life, and to help it achieve its full potential, to our best of our abilities?

Well, WHY can't one do that without children of your own? Teachers (the ones who deserve that term) perform just that all the time with children who are not biologically related to them.

I for one don't have kids of my own, and I'm pretty sure I never will. That's all right —genius always skip a generation anyway :P

But I DO have someone to care for, in the person of my nephew Adolfo. I'm sometimes his friend, sometimes his big brother, and yes, sometimes I have to act like a dad. Do I care that he's not "blood of my blood" or any of that XIXth century nonsense? not in the slightest.

It really baffles me that you Americans have such an empoverished and simple concept of the term 'family'. You really are poorer society because of it —nothing personal.

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Good post..

Lisa said...

just wanted to say i was here and read your post. you write well and i love finding someone who is willing to put themselves out there. if there's a name for it, someone else has gone through it. we are far less alone than we think. i hope things shift and you have moments of peace.

:)

Syd said...

Susan, we opted to not have children because the risk of depression and alcoholism seemed too great. Good genes for a lot of things but the risks of passing on depression and alcoholism made us both see that children were not in our future. I am glad for the decision.

Racheal said...

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Austine92 said...

Susan,
I am bp2 and also went into early menopause. I always thought I would have kids & went through the same emotions when I realized that the door had closed. The grieving process has been hard. The ache is always there, but I am slowly learning to accept what is...
I am sending healing thoughts your way...
I can identify with may of your blog posts. Why is it that some of us are given a heavy burden to bear? Will we ever know why? Someday it will all be clear, I hope...
Thank you for your words...they pierce through my heart. You are truly gifted. Peace,
Lisa

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