It’s Infertility Awareness Week here in Canada.
Such a very important subject for me and it has me thinking about what connection truly means.
I am currently without my laptop and have had to count on the generosity of my brother. It has left me, I must admit, feeling rather disconnected.
I wasn’t even surE I would be able to participate in this month’s 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, but the topic of Connection is one I did not want to miss.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately on what connection means to me. I guess I’ve longed for it and strived for more of it, most of my life.
I really can’t complain. I feel guilty when I do. I have a loving and supportive family and that means the world to me. We are very much a connected family, as families go.
Lately I seem to be surrounded by birth announcements – from family, friends and peers. It’s going on everywhere I turn.
Recently three events merged on March 30th: a baby came into this world much too early and left just as suddenly, another was born healthy and right on schedule, and we celebrated my younger brother’s 28th year on this planet.
I was too young to remember this occasion, but I am told it came about with a frenzy attached. He gave my mother a brief scare, turning momentarily blue from lack of oxygen, but soon enough all was well. He is now the brother whose laptop I write this on today.
On March 30th I thought about life and death. I both cursed and praised a world where a couple could lose a child they so long wished for, all while other miracles of birth could exist. I thought about the brand new baby girl that is so well loved and the great guy my brother has grown to be.
Life isn’t fair – a term so commonly spoken. An issue like infertility, if and when one is faced with it, illustrates why this is, with stinging harshness.
Since those final days of March I have once more been struck by the realities of life and birth. As my family and friends continue to face issues with infertility and some go on to be parents, unlike and mostly without me, I wrestle with the feelings of disconnection from them.
I feel left out and left behind.
It’s said we’re born alone and we die alone. A bunch of stuff happens in between. If we are lucky, we avoid such a fate along the way.
I am not here to debate the differences between being alone and feeling lonely. Connection and disconnection one could also say, which is the subject on this day in May.
I reassure myself and perhaps others around me that I am okay with the prospect of never having children of my own. Do I succeed in convincing myself or them that this is true, when it can’t possibly be the whole story?
What else is there to say? What more can I do? I can’t do anything else about it at the moment. I am stuck feeling a lack of connection somewhere, deep down.
Friends have come and gone, from my life. Lovers have done the same, by my ultimate choice or by theirs. I have seen the destruction of relationships and felt powerless to stop it, as I detected those connections slipping from my grasp.
Someone once brailled me a copy of a poem that speaks of relationships as handfuls of sand. If held too tightly, grain after grain begins to trickle through one’s fingers and is lost. Yet, if one remembers to hold just lose enough, the sand will remain.
Does this mean I have had a “hand” in the losses of relationships in my own life, in the disconnect? Do I hold on too tight, for fear of losing people, only to have them leave in the end, anyway? this need I have, that we all have for connection, does it cause me to grow desperate, without realizing, meaning, or wanting to?
What am I left with in the end? I am left to ponder and more questions than answers do I seem to find.
There are many reasons why a baby may never be in the cards for me. People tell me how funny life often is – not to give up or to discount the possibilities, but so many roadblocks I see standing in my way.
I love my niece and nephews to bits, but a full day spent with them is a busy one indeed.
I am left feeling an obvious lack of energy, fearing I will never have what it takes, and knowing I am not getting any younger. time ticks on.
“You would certainly need a good partner to help you with the day-to-day of raising a child,” they concede.
this, so often, feels as far off as anything else. Relationship and then baby – that’s usually how it goes.
The connection between parent and child is unparalleled. I have seen this phenomenon up close many times. It can’t quite be duplicated anywhere else.
How will I feel about my life, when I look back on it many years from now? If I never have that bond between parent and child, that connection that I see all around me, what will I have left?
The fear of being left all alone follows me wherever I go. It haunts me, unceasingly, like the ghost of a life not quite lived.
My thirties leaves me feeling this ever-present ghost, unable to shake off the feelings of failure and regret.
It becomes more noticeable as I see my peers as parents, more and more. I am now experiencing this, in unexpected places. what will my connection to those family members and friends become, if they are parents and I never become one myself?
The relatable topics for discussion become fewer and fewer and farther between.
More and more guys have children from past relationships, severely limiting the dating pool. Am I destined to become a step-parent, which often comes with its own set of challenges. could a relationship as that become just as meaningful, as if that child were my own?
All these question marks pile up on top of one another, loading up my sagging brain with what-if’s and what-then’s.
That invisible yet undeniable presence whispers in my ear:
“You will never be anything but all alone. you pushed everyone away with your actions and your behaviours and your “love”. One way or another- alone…alone…alone!”
that connection I seek from my family, from my friends, and from love is always just out of my reach somehow. We all want what we haven’t got, are rarely ever satisfied for long.
Life can appear meaningless and empty, without that connection I search to find, that I’ve been searching for all my life. the feelings of disconnection, growing ever wider; a gap that grows with every passing day.
Of course the always calming and reassuring presence of my two parents (rivalling that of the invisible ghost) – this helps keep me sane. The strong relationship with my siblings grounds me to reality. The smiles my niece and nephews continuously put on my face – these things are invaluable and remarkable.
The love they’ve all taught me about shows me what connection means and what it can be, in its greatest forms.
I face the uncertainty of an uncertain future, but hope I can learn to better hold loosely the precious grains of sand in my hand.
This post is a part of the 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion monthly project.
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