end of the rope

I am underwater, senses dulled and utterly alone. I am aware of nothing but the bitter bite of cold that sinks into the bone and fills my lungs as I try to draw breath and suddenly all is light and beauty. And then I am awake, glad to feel Geoff’s presence by my side and feel the heat emanating from his sleeping form. I feel the weight of my little cat, posed perfectly between us, and for a second my heart is full of love for my husband and our sweet pet but finally the bad feelings rush through my blood and there is nothing but the sting of grief and pain.

I am committed to at least one more cycle with Femara, understanding that it’s a foolhardy choice. I cannot go on indefinitely, stumbling through the inevitable darkness it brings and keeping my head held high in defiance of Fate. As much as I long to hold my own child, I will not kill myself trying when I have Geoff’s love to honor and cherish. I feel his hope slipping as well — I think he’s lost as much faith in my body as I have. He’s still here, at least, although he could easily leave for a woman, perhaps much younger, with ovaries of gold and platinum and a womb that is perhaps not twisted with theorized destructive scar tissue. I am stymied as to why he stays with a sick woman when he has so much to offer a woman more deserving, someone who, perhaps, is not a professional mental patient and has far more to contribute to the grand love affair of which he is capable.

I walk around feeling like there is a knife piercing my heart.

I just returned from my therapy, where I did not utter a word about my disdain for the House Intelligence Committee, the firing of Rex Tillerson, the appointing a torturer to run the CIA. I spoke only of my anger at the things that have happened to me, how deep it cuts, how much I am struggling with it and how cold my loved ones have become. Of how the mornings are okay, but as the day slips by I sink deeper into hopelessness and despair. And finally, about how bitterness is eroding the good parts of me, leaving me as cold as those I condemn.

There is smoke in the air and I think, something is burning but of course it is not, it is just what therapists used to refer to as an overly active imagination but is now diagnosed as psychosis. I turn my attentions elsewhere and the panic recedes.

******

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empathy

Waking early to a chilly morning, rolling over to see if Geoff is there with me and I pause to contemplate his solid form before nudging him. I remember being roused during the night with my little cat standing on my head, a single soft front paw covering each of my closed eyes, yelling his name, and then Geoff gently pulling him off of me. As I rolled around to get comfortable again, I heard my husband’s soft voice telling me to go back to sleep.

“I’ll watch over you,” he said, stroking my hair as I drifted off again.

I wonder if there is, like, a quota of how much love you can receive from fellow humans and if Geoff alone fills mine because certainly no one else responds to me with anything more than callousness. I find myself starving for empathy and at the same time feeling guilty that maybe I am not offering enough myself. I think of the friends I’ve lost to suicide and drug overdoses (not much difference in my eyes) and I think of the people I’ve met in recovery that I did not know well but succumbed to that fate as well. Without disregarding individual responsibility at all, I see losing somebody who had a chance (and everyone does) to suicide as a failure of community of sorts. I know that is controversial — I once informed a close friend of a suicide in our recovery community and he responded by shaking his head.

“Some must die so others can live,” he stated flatly before changing the subject. I was flabbergasted by the coldness, and never forgave him, really — I still interacted with him and went to his house for visits but that singular dismissive comment was filed away and never forgotten. How can you not feel a sense of personal failure when someone you know takes their own life? Because nobody has to die at all.

But am I any better? Who have I reached out to lately?

I’ve been reading informally about the concepts of empathy and cruelty, because I once was a self-obsessed addict who treated people horribly and now I am here perhaps being punished for it, writing all day because I have a tremendous compulsion to have somebody, anybody, express some desire to understand what it is like to be a mentally ill infertile woman who has said goodbye to four much loved babies. It reeks of self-indulgence and I am acutely aware of that; at the same time, my efforts have been met (IRL) with nothing but disaffected indifference and although not suicidal I have experienced such an uncaring response from so-called loved ones that I can clearly see why some poor souls choose to check out permanently. And my trials and tribulations are, basically, first world problems (although the friend that accused me of having “rich girl problems” can straight up go to hell), nothing like the extreme hell some have lived through and died of.

I think I mentioned that I was reading a book called The Science of Evil by Simon Baron-Cohen, which I’ve read before. I’m not too far into it this time, because reading about the outrageously cruel acts of say, the Nazi regime during the Holocaust, causes me more misery than I can cope with right now. In describing cruelty, or evil (the author uses the term “empathy erosion”) Baron-Cohen discusses the theory that humans are capable of moral depravity to others because they cease seeing them as human — “dehumanization” is the favored term there. However, I recently read an article The New Yorker posted on Facebook that I can’t cite properly but that proposed that this commonly held tenet was fallacious.*

Baron-Cohen, in the very beginning of the book, tells a story told by a concentration camp survivor of a prisoner that was to be hanged. The Nazi guard made his own best friend tie the noose, and ordered him to put it over the doomed man’s head. The man in question’s hands were shaking so violently that he could not get the noose over his beloved friend’s head, so in a gesture of amazing selflessness and bravery, the friend took his hands, kissed them, and pulled the noose around his own neck. Angry, the guard kicked the chair away and the friend perished having not allowed his friend to be forced to kill him.

I grow shaken and wobbly myself reading shit like that. The guard, in my eyes, was not “dehumanizing” either man. He was punishing them precisely because they were human. “Dehumanization” is like, a word that gives the guard far more credit than he deserves. I pull my little cat (now forgiven for his late night transgressions) closer as I mull this over. Of course, I know I am incapable of such egregious acts of evil but how can I ensure that my capacity for empathy is never again eroded the way it was when I was addicted? Because now with RPL, I still feel like I’m in that cycle of addiction. And I confess to having little patience for the petty problems of others as I grieve my lost babies and consider a life denied of children. I have even withdrawn from my recovery community, feeling that I have no cares for those who struggle to get to the point of abstinence while I’ve already accomplished that and received jack shit for my efforts.

I admit I am full of anger and hate. I don’t want to become cruel, but I do find myself on occasion making snide little comments to people and rolling my eyes at their problems when I feel they have not suffered as much as I have. Am I deranged with selfishness?

I am crying and confused. I think of my mother with her pat answer of, “well, I don’t want to talk about that, I’ve never been through it,” that she gives me every time I bring up my losses. The friend I texted after the unspecified triggery event I’ve referred to this past weekend who texted back, “I don’t have time to read that now *insert sad face emoji*” after I’d agreed to read her fucking book and make notes on it for no reason other than I wish her success at her writing. You can’t read a few lines of text? Here I am, getting bitter again. How do I save my soul?

I’m staring down (not at) another bfn at 11dpo, feeling period-crampy and sad and lost in the aftermath of Saturday’s forgotten bedtime meds (not just the Geodon, but the day’s Paxil and Trileptal as well). I feel the anger and I’m hating my body and the world and all the hate is scary and isolating AF. I remember my daydream about having a child and how wonderful it was to hold my Molly, and my mom was there acting gentle and tender like she did when I was a child, and I wonder why it is that love so seamlessly turns to hate…

******

And for all my talk of striving for empathy, I find myself cloaked in bitterness at anyone who is still hopeful with no caveats, angry at myself for indulging in my own hopes this past weekend even though my fantasies were wrought by pharmaceutical factors…

How dare I dream of holding a living baby in my arms when I know from hard experience I cannot influence my shitty chromosomes to align in any sort of cohesive manner, my embryos testing again and again for devastating trisomies while everyone I know, fertile or not so much, pulls it off so effortlessly?

I feel rage and the hurt that comes with it pulsing through me again. I feel utterly abandoned and alone. I am reminded of the scene in Bram Stoker’s Dracula when Dracula renounces God in anger after discovering his beloved wife dead from suicide, and the chapel starts bleeding; I imagine I am bleeding as well, always bleeding, month after month as my hatred swells. My psychiatrist cannot help me with these mood swings while I insist on taking Femara. And I know someone is pregnant, right now, and her baby won’t die like mine do and nobody fucking understands, nobody fucking cares.

And I don’t want to feel this way. I hate it; I am desperately unhappy. I don’t know what to do.

*I found the article

bad night

I had a really bad night last night. At bedtime, I wasn’t sleepy at all, which was bizarre because my medication usually knocks me out for a couple of hours. I found myself tossing and turning next to Geoff’s sleeping form. All of the sudden, I was lost in thought. I enjoy being lost in thought, but usually avoid allowing myself that luxury nowadays because I have so many horrible things going through my brain at any given time, it’s just too dangerous emotionally. I usually distract myself by playing on my phone or computer instead.

But suddenly, I was daydreaming about having a baby. Such vivid thoughts, I could feel her in my arms and it was Molly and she was alive and healthy, my parents there cooing at her, the in-laws, too; I felt rhapsodic and so happy and at peace. It was the way things were supposed to be and it was perfect.

Except I had the nagging thought that something was wrong. Bitter Kathleen does not indulge in fantasies of success. I often reflect on how miserable our most-likely childfree life will be, feeling all the fear and pain and rage until I have to take my benzos and lay down on the couch. But I felt this delicious relief daydreaming of my happy ending, a euphoria I could feel deep down in my bones. All this, while knowing for certain that my first torturous cycle of letrozole after miscarriage has failed, and that I may not get anymore chances.

Suddenly I broke into a sweat and started shivering. I had to pee every five minutes. It was getting later and later, Geoff was blissfully asleep and snoring, and I closed my eyes. In my imagination, my tiny bedroom became a ballroom, with faceless and formally attired people waltzed and spun across the dance floor. And I opened my eyes and they were outside my head, my bedroom was transformed and the faceless people whirling across tbe floor, and I knew I must have missed a dose of my antipsychotic and I didn’t know how. I thought I’d lay there until my little cat came in to wake Geoff for his middle-of-the-night meal (don’t ask…Wendall is my cat, spends all day with me and ignores Geoff — except at 1am, he wants Geoff to feed him and not me). And then I was definitely hearing voices screaming and music blaring and I was scared so I woke up my grumpy husband.

“I don’t know how, but I missed a dose of Geodon and I need to eat something and take another 60 mg,” I told him as calmly as I could. Yogurt and honey appeared, and I took a pill. I planned to take another 20 mg every half hour until I could sleep.

When we woke up this morning, it turned out my 120 mg bedtime dose of Geodon was still in the pillbox. It was a relief knowing that I was right in assuming I had missed a dose. That cold sweat I was experiencing is always the number one indicator that I’m behind on my meds — I’m such an addict, I get withdrawals from Tylenol.

It amazes me how crazy I went so fast after missing a dose. It’s scary as hell that I am so dependant on it, how it’s the one outpost between me and sanity. But it worked out. Just another day in a life with schizoaffective disorder. And all the terror was worth it, because I had such a beautiful daydream before things came off the rails…

Molly. I keep on living because of you. But it might kill me in the end.

******

I fucking hate people. Like, I really fucking hate them. My therapist constantly tells me I need more social support but it’s not like I haven’t tried. I don’t think normal people give a rat’s ass about infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss and the resultant PTSD. It doesn’t seem like a big deal to them, they don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to know what it’s like living with schizoaffective disorder. They just want me to act like normal Kathleen.

Am I too self-obsessed, self-indulgent? Is it selfish of me to want to have my friends be interested in what my life is like? Are there more caring people out there that just pass me by? Honestly. I am not suicidal, but in these three years of he’ll thoughts have definitely flirted through my mind. I honestly think some of the remarks I’ve heard from people that supposedly care about me could make a less secure person take the plunge, twist the knife in. And it’s bullshit.

When you’re as sick as I am, everything is a life or death situation.

******

I feel a tremendous compulsion to understand why people don’t seem to give a shit.

8dpo with ptsd

8dpo: I seem to really be back to normal, meaning that I barely slept and I didn’t cry over a super triggery post on Facebook that left a good friend unfollowed this morning. I’m cranky, but it’s regular cranky and not Femara-induced rage. Scruffy is nowhere to be found; he must be off on a bender somewhere and I don’t even care because at least it is finally quiet in my head.

I don’t understand how infertile women can finally get pregnant, and then just have a happy pregnancy that leads to a healthy child. All the times I really believed this was finally my time, that the Universe had finally granted me a pass, only to hear “sorry, no heartbeat”, often from insensitive medical personnel who just wanted to get rid of me and get on with their day’s work with happier patients and circumstances…

It’s fucking as unfair as shit.

And for some reason when I started this cycle, I expected the Femara to work like it did before, but now I’m all wtf was I thinking? laughing, shaking my head and turning up X-ray Spex as loud as I can without attracting property management. The lawn mower guy is here, giving me a bit more leeway for volume.

Oh, good, the triggery situation just got way worse, because of course I made it worse by getting triggered. Am I going to be fucked up for the rest of my life? I text Geoff, who instructs me to take my temazepam. I wonder if it will work, if it’ll work for the rest of eternity as I sit damaged in my living room with only emptiness in my uterus and cracks in my heart. I feel like calling my psychiatrist and screaming at her to fix me, but that usually ends up with me incorrectly diagnosed with “atypical manic disorder”, which is this thing my psychiatrist apparently made up just for me when I yell at her. My therapist looked it up once in the book of ICD codes, but all it had was “atypical measles”.

My little cat tries to snuggle up, completely unaware that I’m sort of upset with him for smashing my favorite serving dish during the night. Oh, well. I hold out my hand and he snuffles at it, edging in so he’s resting on my belly. Is this all there is for me?

And the depression is real and tangible and I know it’s not the Femara and I’m just fucked.

*******

2.17 PM, and I’ve forgiven my little cat for smashing my dish and lay here wrapped around his warm little body as he makes contented grunting noises and leans all his weight into me. I feel anchored, secure. I know he’ll be with me here until his dinner time and there is nowhere I need to go.

It’s been a difficult day. I think of the past three years, have I really been pregnant four times and lost four babies? Did I really drive all my friends away, probably forever since I don’t think the flashbacks are ever going to stop? My therapist scoffs at trauma therapy and EMDR and Transcranial magnetic therapy — is she wrong about all of it? (Tbh, these things do sound pretty silly to me, but what if they work?).

I can’t emerge from this chrysalis of grief. I need to nourish my body, rest my mind. I’m listening to X-ray Spex on repeat and I wonder if I should put on The Rachaels or Low or something nice, lie back, put my phone away. I idly wonder if my fruit of the month will arrive today (my aunt gave me a membership to a fruit of the month club for Christmas and last month the oranges were so delicious), saving me the trouble of thinking up something healthy to eat. I really didn’t sleep much last night.

I wonder if I’ll ever feel at peace again.

reflections in my thirty-ninth year

I have so much to say, and no one to say it to. Rather, when I do have opportunity for conversation, I fritter it away by speaking of nothing bit trivialities. I have no real clear memories of what I talked about during my last therapy session. When Geoff gets home from work, I am already sleepy and only address the mundane. And on the rare occasion I have to speak to anyone else, I can barely choke out basic pleasantries.

So when I am alone, I write and I feel like I will die if I stop. I am capable of better writing, but there is no time. The compulsion to dance my fingertips over my keyboard or phone never lets up, but I fail to make meaningful connections with the words tumbling over the unread pages of prose. I think this is some sort of psychological phenomenon; I looked it up once, there was a word. The more time I spend writing, the more isolated I become. I could venture out into the world, exchange basic small talk with a cashier or barista or someone, feel I’m a participant of the most minor sort in my community. But I remain locked inside with my neuroses, tears on my cheeks from the loneliness. I cannot break free. I imagine a sane person would not understand, but I am bats.

I am waiting, always waiting. In between paragraphs, I check my bbt chart, wondering furiously if this is the month that will bring a modicum of freedom. To me, pregnancy breaks me out of my self-inflicted imprisonment but it’s only for short spurts of time. I know a BFP means basically nothing because of my history of RPL, my new inability to carry past the ninth week. I know I’ve probably used up all my chances by now and will face middle age childless and grieving.

But the motions are so familiar, the hope has yet to be extinguished. I indulge in self-pity, my poor tragic soul. I take my temperature, I take my pills, I dip test strips into Dixie cups of urine. I count days, and so many days have passed, slowly at first and then all at once. My Prince Charming has been by my side the whole time, but I wait for someone to rescue me.

And here I sit, long hair in hopeless tangles, beauty fading from the harshness of life, and I already have so many regrets…

******

I am 7dpo, waiting to see if I feel “normal” today. In my past cycles of letrozole, the moodiness and depression faded on precisely 7dpo so hopefully history will repeat itself. I slept well last night, resisted the urge to take my basal body temperature and thus eliminating the chance that I’ll spend the day poring over my chart. I think I’m off to a decent start.

******

I am suddenly desperately unhappy. Guess the moods are still an issue. My boobs still don’t hurt like they have in past Femara cycles…it’s 7dpo, shouldn’t progesterone be peaking? Unless I have my ovulation date wrong, which is entirely possible.

Infertility is the worst thing ever, even worse than schizophrenia and bipolar at the same time. And to stack RPL on top of all of that…god help me, I am so alone. I know this cycle’s a bust, trust me, I always know — I’ve been doing this for 3 years. My lining is fucked, I just know it and I possibly am full of adhesions. Maybe I’ll be sullen and grey for the rest of my luteal phase, or maybe my mood will shift violently again. Who fucking cares. Not the universe, that’s for sure.

******

Would it be weird to go down on my antidepressant because it’s making me too hopeful? I’ve written a lot about how dangerous hope is. I don’t want to be crushed at the end of every cycle — even today, long before my period’s due, Scruffy came prancing in, shaking his rainbow mane. It just never works out when he gets too fancy. I think steady depression would be preferable to rollercoaster ups and downs.

I asked Geoff and he totally ignored me. Hmmph.

dropping

Mood swings. I feel helpless and hopeless. I fantasize about a doctor showing up while I lie prone on the couch. “Here’s something that will make you feel better,” she says to me. She administers a shot, and the toxic feelings dissipate within seconds. She tells me I won’t have to take three different handfuls of five different pills a day. Just one shot a day, and I’ll feel normal again.

…and the pharmacy just called and they will only cover two 60mg Geodon pills a day. I take four a day. I’m not panicking yet, I took my chill pill. But wtf?

If only there were an easy answer. I need my fucking medication, especially my Geodon. Why do they make it so hard to be a full time mental patient? It’s like they want me to suffer, and suffer I have.

I think I ovulated after three days of creamy sperm-hostile CM. So, in other words, I don’t have a prayer this cycle. I want to drown my sorrows in bourbon, but of course, I won’t. Next cycle will be better, I tell myself, the same thing I always tell myself. It’s getting old. Scruffy snorts derisively and saunters off. He does this sometimes. I never know when he’ll be back. I’ll mope my way through the tww alone.

The hopelessness is familiar by now. I’m on a fool’s mission. I spent my entire therapy session talking about politics, what a waste of $150 and a 50 minute hour. I can’t help myself — I get all worked up. And I neglect to mention that the world is sending signals again (ideas of reference), that I’ve been seeing hooded figures in the shadows. Not the greatest time to be threatening to take away my Geodon (my antipsychotic). I feel like there’s an alligator infested moat between me and society. And none of these doctors can help me.

******

Why do I only have two modes — can barely move under the crushing weight of depression mode, and freaking the fuck out mode? Yes, yes, I’m schizoaffective, bipolar type, but I don’t have major mood episodes anymore requiring hospitalization. And maybe I’m creating a false history with distorted thinking, maybe it is just the Femara.

Infertility is the cruelest thing when you’re brain is mucked up. You thought you were doing okay? Well, now your ovaries are fucked as well. And normal people are so scared off by the immensity of my problems: my psychosis, my infertility and recurrent losses, my moodiness, the panic attacks and neurotic worrying. Just relax, they tell me. They don’t understand that I can’t.

Once, I flunked out of this meditation class for people with severe anxiety — it seemed like a good idea to take it at the time. I was unable to sit still and I would start hyperventilating, and I was scared I was disrupting the class, so I’d have to go sit in the hall. All the men would crowd around me afterwards (I was young and pretty then), giving me burned CDs and audio cassettes of guided meditations that they swore would help me. They didn’t. The leader of the group was kind to me and lent me books, but I just couldn’t quiet my mind. I stopped going, humiliated.

So, telling me to relax is not real effective, especially if I don’t trust you. Well, tbh, Geoff is often unable to calm me either.

I’ve been to group therapy during times of depression. I can barely talk. Listening to the other members’ tragedies just brings me down more. I try and try, and I know I irk everyone because I speak so slowly, pause for too long before answering a question.

And this feeling that I am seriously flawed in every possible way won’t leave me today.

******

What happened to make you like this?

And this is where I am. Fat face, unwashed hair. I’m wearing my husband’s Barfly t-shirt and a mohair sweater I bought at The Garment District when I still lived in Boston…I think I was eighteen.

It amazes me that I don’t look at pictures of myself and see the damage. But inside, I am bitter and hard, and if you trigger me I don’t forgive easily.

monotony

Same thing every damn day. Me, on the couch snuggling with my little cat; husband off trying to get in an hour and a half of the social contact I make so difficult (I am a pathological introvert who is not doing well, and he is healthy and gregarious but loyal to a fault and doesn’t like to leave me when I’m not feeling good). I am in a foul mood, depressed and irritable and it just won’t lift. I suspect it’s the Femara wreaking havoc on my hormones, although not actually producing ovulation — but my usually-clear complexion is covered in acne, I found a hair on my chin the other day, and my uterus has been tingling as it does when I’m expecting my period or about to miscarry. My cycle is fucked, which may be contributing to my grouchiness; or, I could be reacting badly to the bump in Paxil. Or, I could be embarking on some sort of mixed mood episode, though my symptoms aren’t florid enough for me to alert my care providers.

I mean, okay, I had my usual CM pattern that coincided with a positive OPK but no sustained temp rise. Will I have another LH surge, or do I have a follicle that for some reason didn’t release the egg so I’ll get a cyst? Was my CD 1 really CD 1?

I’m tired of being always beholden to my moods and ovaries. The voices chatter in the background, and the content of what they tell me reflect my mood state. They laugh at my infertility, suggest I hurt myself. If you hear voices like I do, the number one rule to living with them is to not listen to what they say to you (number two rule is to not talk back to them in public). Easier said than done, but medicated me can keep them in the background and, say, not go running of to a new city without telling anyone where I’m going, not cut stars and hearts into my skin, not start shit with the cops. I’ve been living with auditory hallucinations all my life and they break through my antipsychotic (Geodon). I can’t imagine a life without them, but I’ve adapted to them pretty thoroughly.

I sent Geoff off into the world so I could have some alone time, but now I’m eager for him to return. I’ve taken my temazepam and it’s kicked in much harder than usual and I have those delicious chills it gives me after about a half an hour after swallowing the pill. I want to curl up in his arms and feel the heat of his heart.

Even when I feel stabby and toxic, I still would rather not be alone.

liberal paranoia + o day

Sigh. Suggestions about re-opening mental institutions and segregating the mentally ill are bullshit. Having a great deal of “liberal paranoia” (my therapist says this is different from my regular paranoia and not indicative of psychosis as there is historical precedent), I fear they’ll round up all us psychotics, and I will be living in squalor (because really, how much money will they really be willing to pour into these as of now still fantastical long term care facilities? ), apart from my husband that takes care of me so well? Yes, I recognize that I am catastrophizing, as I am wont to do, and this is just my obsessive worrying at play, but for reals this discourse has got to stop.

I live comfortably in my community. I receive disability benefits from Social Security and my income after I pay my Medicare premiums is $785 a month. Who the fuck can live on $785 a month? My husband, fortunately, is a hard worker and we get by successfully, though money is tight. I have access to care; I have a psychiatrist for medication management and a great therapist. My disorder is in partial remission, and you wouldn’t guess that I had schizoaffective disorder if you met me, though I’m sure I’d be anxious.

I live a fairly okay community supported life. I have never been a danger to others, I would never find myself in the possession of a firearm, and my days of self-harm are decades pasts.

It is a fact that a diagnosis of mental illness is not predictive of future violence. It is a fact that past violent behavior does tend to predict future violent behavior.

Why am I even writing this? I already fret excessively that we’ll go to war with North Korea (and now I’m pretty wary of Russia), and they’ll put us Korean Americans in internment camps the way they did to Japanese Americans during World War II.

Geoff reassures me. And I’m pretty sure my mental health providers would go to bat for me if I were faced with segregation.

Liberal paranoia from the girl with real paranoia. It’s been a rough couple months. Hopefully, my sense of security will return soon.

******

Two more days of high temps, and I’ll have confirmed ovulation on a bright and early CD 14. I hate this part of temping. My CM pattern is off, usually so reliable that I’ve conceived twice on tracking CM alone. On letrozole, my boobs have always been sore at ovulation, and they aren’t yet so it gives me pause. I hate how any type of medication I take affects me differently every time. And my scant period last month has me fretting about my lining, ugh. Scruffy has cleaned himself up and is prancing around, eliciting feelings of apprehension as I watch him dance and twirl. The bfn I’m sure to get at 12dpo will sting, like, a lot. I wish I could get rid of Scruffy. Set him free downtown by the artesian well, where the junkies hang.

I’m fucking sick of always hoping. I just want to let all this go.

just some crazed ramblings

I am angry and oversensitive; rage and hurt swirl in my gut. I feel like shattering glass and I think I might have ovulated. My hormones are a mess. It’s only CD 13.

I lay here lonely as usual, last night’s dreams still haunting me. I wish I could move past dreams of the girls that bullied me in high school, but at thirty-nine, I’m still a little resentful. They torment me in my sleep and I wake up bitter. These were close friends (albeit close friends that made sure I knew how ugly I was at every opportunity) that disappeared entirely when I got my mental health diagnosis — I guess I went from quirky and impulsive to bat fucking shit nuts at the exact instant I first pronounced the term, “schizoaffective”. It still hurts despite the passing of decades. When I dream of them, they are always angry at me. I’m not in a good space right now.

I’m curled up with my little cat hoping my temazepam will soften the blow. These are most likely the vivid dreams I get when progesterone floods my system. Happens every month on letrozole. I wish it didn’t make me so cranky.

If I did smash a dish, Geoff would get mad at me, so I refrain, remembering the stern lecture I received when once out of frustration I threw my phone. I really think it’d make me feel a tiny bit better but not if it drives my husband away from me. Before Geoff, it wasn’t unusual for me to throw things around when I was feeling irritable but I suppose it’s time to get over that.

I’m scattered, I apologize. I don’t know how it’s possible for me to still miss the babies I had for such brief periods of time. My therapist’s words still sting, her accusation that perhaps I’m romanticizing pregnancy…I’m sure she’s pushing me to look into fostering because she doesn’t want to see me have another loss. She really wants me to try and reintegrate myself into society (meh). I know she does care about me from behind her spectacles and professionalism, but today I’m so far gone in the aftermath and know in my gut she’ll never understand. I’ve given up expecting her to, because when I try to explain she does tend to get on board with trying.

Endeavoring to avoid infertility forums. So many insensitive idiots and one particular thoughtless post a couple a days ago filled me with rage — I have not succeeded in letting it go, even though this particular poster has gone AWOL. If I’m obsessing this much on this one little thing, it’s time to step back from everything and focus on self-care.

And out there in the cold cruel world, women are blissfully pregnant, giving birth, holding their sweet babies and here I sit alone hating my life…

******

I am at this point triggered by everything. I keep contact with friends who are pregnant or have babies that would never trigger me, and I’m appreciative of that. However, if someone sets me off after learning what I’ve been through, there is not room in my heart for forgiveness. I harden to them. If anyone has ever experienced the whole flashback/panic attack combo like I do, they’d think twice before saying shit to me. I hope I’m not like this forever; I do not enjoy being a bitter betty. But that’s where I stand right now.

spiraling

I am floating. My daily tranquilizer gives me about a 45 minute reprieve from the horrible moodiness from the letrozole I finished days ago. I am reminded of the days long ago when my mood swings were not controlled by medication. My last bout with Femara left me flat out depressed throughout my cycle; this go around is more reminiscent of uncontrolled rapid cycling bipolar.

I try to focus on positive things. I am, in general though certainly not at the moment, stable. Letrozole does not worsen my hallucinations or make me paranoid or anxious. I may at the moment be a little unsteady, but hopefully as the drug leaves my system I will feel comfortable in my skin again. Geoff is looking after me, and hasn’t complained about the piles of clothing I’ve scattered throughout my apartment, as I’m too drained and distracted to be much of a housekeeper. He cooks me meals as I sit on the couch fighting tears.

I crawl into bed every night exhausted, but not sleepy. The days are ridiculously long, and I grow weary of being awake. And I have been staring down childlessness for so long now…

I think I’ve started the process of giving up. I don’t want to, but in my heart it’s happening anyway. Geoff has brought up fostering. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable around other people’s kids again, and I’m pretty sure no one in their right mind would give charge of a child to a woman with schizoaffective. Yesterday, I found an old picture of Geoff, sitting in our tiny former apartment and smiling. We were so happy just to have each other — I wonder if I could ever get back to a place where just the two of us was enough for me. Maybe I’m too greedy in wanting more.

And the clock ticks, marking another moment of my declining fertility as I move inexorably towards middle age…

*****

I told my therapist I wanted to experience a full term pregnancy. She told me the last few months gestation was really uncomfortable and I shouldn’t romanticize it. I choked on bile. Because I want it anyway, I’d do anything to carry beyond nine weeks again, and I’m actually not being unrealistic. I’ve suffered so much in my attempts to bring a child into this world, surely I can handle the physical drawbacks of biology in the third tri. I feel as a mother of two bio kids, she’s speaking from a platform of privilege. And it kind of made me want to die. We talked about why this made me feel stabby. And she does try to understand, and she has been my biggest supporter. But I think she’s giving up on me as well…Geoff too, and probably everyone else as well…

******

Ewcm, super negative opk. CD 12. My predictable body is rebelling and I feel despair. Please let my next period be more normal.

******

I can contract for safety, sure.

For all my long ago fears of being forever institutionalized, the mental hospital does not, actually, want me at all. Maybe if I had a lot of money or at least decent insurance, doctors would suggest a long rest would do me well, but 1-South, an acute care facility at the local hospital here has one goal: to send you home and into the care of perhaps slightly less overbooked outpatient care providers. How many times have I laid in the Crisis Clinic twisting my wrists and ankles against four-point restraints, floridly psychotic and screaming that I wanted to die, only to be calmed with some shot (I think they use Haldol and Ativan), engaged in pleasantries with the nurses until I could nod my head earnestly and say, yes, I feel better, yes, I can contract for safety, and there I go, out the door and into a taxi and freedom…? No, you have to be really scary if they’re going to admit you, and you have to even fight for your right to a bed. Or, maybe your therapist or the CDMHP says you have to go in and calls and pulls strings and that sacred bed is granted easily, fast enough that you don’t change your mind out of sheer boredom from the interminable ER wait time but as soon as you show the tiniest improvement on meds, you are sent home clutching a handful of prescriptions, sayonara, you’ll be just fine. I’ve seen patients beg to stay in (perhaps they’re too scared to leave, or they have nowhere else to be, or they enjoy having their obligations suspended, I’ve seen it all…nope. Unless you are super sick, then you are transferred to Western State and nobody begs to stay there.

All this to say, I’m safe, I’m quite sure I’m safe, but I spent all afternoon thinking about dying. Yesterday I asked all of you, what is the evolutionary purpose of living decades longer than your own fertility? I know nowadays women live longer, and all sorts of scientific discoveries have extended the human lifespan — but, after a woman’s useless for reproduction what is her purpose for living?

I’m wording it all wrong. I’m not actually thinking of women everywhere, I’m thinking only of myself because I feel like my potential usefulness to the human race has long since faded. My own mother seems pleased that my silly tries at having offspring will soon be a thing of the past (my age allows her the privilege of assumption, I sure as fuck can’t talk to her about it). I cannot produce a new living human and my very abbreviated genetic line will end here and no one else seems to care but me.

And what now? Travel, everyone tells me, brushing aside my agoraphobic tendencies and lack of a reasonable income. I think of those who are childfree by choice, how their lives are so full of rewarding shit that they don’t have any desire for anything more…I envy their fearlessness as I sit here wondering neurotically if I’ll ever see my husband again or if some tragedy will befall him and I’ll have to become a solo drifter, oh, this fear haunts me all day when he’s not here.

I know this is letrozole messing with my mind but I cannot stop thinking in a passively suicidal manner. My medical traumas haunt me and while I used to be fearless, these days a flu shot brings tears to my eyes. The actual pain is not so much the problem; it just hurts my feelings that the nurse wants to inflict it on me. So suicide is not an option, but I wish fervently to be given a drug to help me sleep and never wake up again and also for it to happen unexpectedly so I am not afraid because crazy me is also fearful of fear.

I love anesthesia. Just saying. If I could spend the rest of my life under anesthetized, well, that seems grand. I’ve attempted to inflict this on myself in the past but coke, booze, opioids, whatever (and I will not mess with needles so heroin is out too)….those aren’t strong enough at all. Nothing short of propofol will do (say what you will about Michael Jackson, he was a man who was not fucking around when he wanted to check out for awhile). I don’t have access to surgical grade anesthesia so the path of addiction holds no appeal.

My mind spun out all afternoon, and now Geoff is home. I would never hurt myself as long as he’s around and breathing but today I cannot stop wondering what I’d look like if I died.

One last thought: if I were to kill myself, and for the hundredth time I won’t, but if I did theoretically, or someone just like me did, would they have to put a warning label on the bottles of Femara that obstetricians in the US apparently give out like candy? Maybe an RE would be a little more judicious, but mine certainly didn’t recommend I at least alert my shrink, although I wrote out all my psychotropics and answered honestly when he asked what I took them for. For that matter, my shrink had never heard of Femara, and just prescribed temazepam to potentially offset the moodiness. My psychiatric obstetrician didn’t flinch, either. Have women with mood disorders ever offed themselves on Femara, has anyone made a connection, has no one else in the world thought for a second, hmmmmm, maybe this is a bad idea?

Is whatever the hell I’m trying to prove with this slim possibility of getting pregnant even worth a day like today?