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Connection and Disconnection: #1000Speak

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.

“Mommy. Auntie.”

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.

#1000Speak on Twitter

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13 thoughts on “Connection and Disconnection: #1000Speak

  1. I remember worries like that. Of course life never brings us what we expect. i was 30 when i met my wife, she was 33. I knew i was supposed to have my average 2.5 kids (sorry, Far Side joke) and white picket fences, but it didn’t work that way – we didn’t have kids except the furry type. There is no specific way life is supposed to be, we all improvise as we go along. Don’t worry too much if the guy you date has kids or things like that. Don’t worry about being childless when all of your friends have kids – sometimes I’m not part of the conversation, but usually it makes no difference. But continue to try to make connections with the people you meet – it’s all we as humans can do. – Anyway, nothing really to say, but I didn’t want to read your post and go away and just clicking like would look like I didn’t read it 🙂

  2. I feel your sense of confusion and loss in the words you write. It is difficult for others to completely “understand” how you feel but I suppose we all have our own stories and our own worries and fears that we bring to the table of life. They may not look the same but I am certain that the lack of disconnect you discuss, most feel at one time or another. I wish you health, happiness and meaningful relationships of all kinds. And remain hopeful… as you never know what is around the corner. Cheryl

  3. I think we all feel like we are missing connection – need more of it – at various stages of life. I’m sorry to read about your struggles and fears at the moment and sincerely hope you find the connections you are looking for.

    I have to admit, your post made me want to reach out to my two close childless girlfriends and make sure I wasn’t inadvertently excluding them from our life. They are both great with my kids and I like to think we are still close, but I do admit to feeling a disconnect at times from their life – and really not wanting to burden them with aspects of my life I don’t think they would be all that interesting in knowing about. I guess it comes down to constantly remembering not to assume in friendship – and the quest for said connection – that you know what others want/need/expect – and to ask.

    I learnt from your post – thank you for sharing it.

    • Thank you.
      🙂
      Yes. Assumptions are rarely the way to go in most instances in life.
      Glad you enjoyed this. I don’t like to point out separate sides without finding some common ground. It isn’t, I’ll admit, always easy. Glad to foster discussions to bring parents and non together because there needs to be more connectedness, all around. We can all strive for stronger friendships and better relationships. I am sure your children and the relationship you have with them have taught the people around you all an awful lot about love and connection.
      Thanks, once more, for reading and taking the time to leave a thoughtful and insightful comment.

  4. I am at the other end of your cares and concerns. I’m in my mid 50s and I’ve been down your troubled road. I’ve lived it. I married late in life because, like you, things didn’t work out before that for one reason or another. In my late thirties – long before I met my husband, I had to undergo a hysterectomy. I was already concerned that I’d never have kids of my own. A medical problem sealed the deal. No kids. Not ever. My life took on more a more specified focus at that point – loving and appreciating what I had at present – letting go of what I’d hoped to have in the future. I had nieces and nephews who I already loved greatly. I started loving them even more. I focused all my love and attention on them. I gave them all of me. And wonderful things began happening. They started loving me like a 2nd mother. To this day – some 20 years later – I still have this wonderful connection with these children. I’m still “Auntie” but they call and/or text me on Mother’s Day – they let me know how much they love and value me. And now they’ve started having children of their own. They want their children to know and love me, too. And somewhere along the line in all of that, I met a man. I found a mate. And I’m romantically happy at last. Don’t give up. Don’t. Ever. Give. Up!!!!!

    • Thank you so much for these thoughtful words of encouragement.
      I hope I will mean just as much to my niece and nephews, going forward, as you have clearly meant to yours.
      If this is what I have to show for my own life, I will be the luckiest aunt ever.
      🙂
      Your advice to never give up is much appreciated. Thanks. I hear you. I don’t plan to, not ever.

  5. There are so many ways to have meaningful connections. Keep in mind that everyone has “areas” where they feel that they can not connect to those around them. To enjoying what has been offered us.

  6. Pingback: Celebrating a Year of Compassion, #1000Speak #LoIsInDaBl #BlogLove | Her Headache

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