There is no recipe for this

I’m all thrown out of whack, and I am trying to figure out what to do. I used to thrive on chaos so well. I used to separate myself from my feelings in order to survive and it became a way of living that served me for so long. I am finding through this that I’m not wired like that anymore and it has me completely thrown off. My heart is all thawed out which means that currently I am immobilized by grief in so many moments. And when I am not I am helping my wife who is having her moments.

Even when I am numb it is because my heart feels it almost can’t feel such suffering for one more second, it is no longer a disconnected numb. It’s a feeling numb, a raw one.

I was off to such a great start with working for Vivint and now I feel like I’ve lost my mojo. I was enthusiastic and excited and a self that loves to talk to people and right now I am just raw hamburger. I think if I see a baby right now I will just crumble into tears, if it catches me at the right moment and outside of my careful boundaries as a counselor.

I think I feel worried that I didn’t know how much I cared about this whole thing, not really fully knowing, until this happened and now it hurts. Hurting is an easier model for me than safely having faith everything will turn out ok. Or maybe I did have faith because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have been so on top of the world with excitement, an energy that seeped into everything that I did. Now I just have sad energy. And that doesn’t mean I’m not hopeful about the future, but right now I am just neck deep in these feelings and I can’t do anything to speed up this process or control it in any way.

There it is, the problem right there. The truth. I can’t just work hard and make this different. I even convinced myself that it was my steel mind that prevented me from losing my twins all those times I almost did. I’ve been in control of my own destiny for so long I’ve been living under the illusion that I have more control over things than I really do.

I couldn’t stop this.

And the tears come.

I couldn’t stop the bleeding or the things my wife is feeling right now. I just have to sit here and feel things and wait. So many fears are biting at my ankles like many a rabid dog, tearing at the corners of my mind. I can’t stop the war between feeling and knowing we already have so much to be grateful for, and truly acknowledging how this feels in its entirety for us right now. The desire to minimize and just keep moving foward quickly as a means to avoid suffering. It’s what I have always done.

I can’t outrun things anymore. No amount of staying busy will fix this. No amount of financial success etc. No cottage or new thing, or any other kind of comfort. There is nothing to do but just feel the feelings until they get less sad.

Will that happen?

The things I normally love aren’t able to bring me comfort right now either. My writing, my reading and my bounding enthusiasm all seem tasteless right now. I am eating food to satiate a bottomless well of pain. I am not eating to taste the food. I know this because I can’t taste anything. This is why I’m eating worse things lately because it has to be deliciously sweet or painfully salty to feel anything at all. And even then it’s just a temporary distraction and then right back to the darkness.

Any next step feels so completely daunting. And taking the next step even when it’s hard or I don’t know if my foot will have something secure under it… well that’s what I do. And right now even that isn’t working. I’m a doer and even picking up the phone to call a new clinic and figuring out how to have our eggs transferred etc feels too difficult. Sometimes getting dressed feels too difficult. And it definitely feels too difficult to do anything about all of this, and that’s all I got. I’m a one trick pony.

Moving foward through suffering is my trick. I’m afraid right now it will swallow me.

I think I really had convinced myself that I’m a robot incapable of the kind of suffering that has taken me over right now. The evil voice says “yes you still are”, of course your’re upset about this you didn’t get your way. And all sorts of other things that criminalize my intentions and my heart. The thing that threatens me to think badly about myself, one of my only main constants. That process to make sure I do no bad thing, the kinds that were done to me. To make sure that I watch myself carefully for flaws and ill intentions and at any single sign of one I pull the kill switch.

I’m supposed to think about what I’m supposed to think and feel and to decide, and this process falls so far outside of that I am lost in the dark wood right now.

Except this is a whole new dark wood, one I have never experienced before.

This is why defense mechanims are such powerful forces, because some of the depths of suffering we are just not meant to feel. I see they are definitely there for a reason. Everything is there for a reason, and so they say it happens that way as well. And I’m supposed to believe my suffering right now has another purpose right? Everything happens for a reason just isn’t cutting it for me to give me any sense of comfort. I am not there yet.

Why can’t I just skip to acceptance? Why do I have to feel every fucking thing so fucking much?

I’ve been in control even of my grief it has felt for all these years. I have stayed ahead of it. Can’t catch me! But this time and this thing has me in quick sand. Even my will cannot carry me through right now.

Is this where I am meant to find faith?

The International Women’s Summit

So we are hopefully off on a new adventure. I am asking support from my reader’s to take a healing trip to recover from loss, and from the typical self-doubts all of us human beings are afflicted with.

I will hopefully be able to have a Stella with Elizabeth Gilbert! This has been a lifelong dream. I mean a lot more than that, but that’s the simple part of the dream. The more advanced is that someday she write the endorsement for my book.

Anyway my presence is required with my wife today. We are watching A Muppet Christmas Carol and doing a puzzle. Today we have a little reprieve as we are excited to create a beautiful holiday for our kiddos.

Until I can write more later here is the plum fund account and there also should be a widget on my website. I can’t wait to write more later about what this means for to have the courage to ask for help towards my dreams. And to not just automatically discount it with so many a critical thought.

https://www.plumfund.com/travel-fund/womens-pilgrimage-to-connect

Connected

*I guess we are all one phone call from our knees. *

I don’t think I could have bargained for all the gratitude this experience is bringing me. I can’t feel it too much yet, everything is just so painful. But I know that it’s there, and growing, and that this experience has already profoundly changed me.

If I do it right it’s going to make me realize all the things I take for granted each day. It’s going to make me realize what a gift and blessing my kids are in a new way.

We need to hit the refresh button on life often folks! Not just when bad things happen, but consistently. Not just once a year. Refresh, open your eyes, and look around at the landscape of your life.

My God I could have never imagined this. I never believed I would trust or love myself as much as I do now.

I would have never believed I’d be here living out my dreams. Here I am.

It’s interesting to choose a person early on because of a hunch and an intuition and then watch them unfold and get to know them with faith and trust the rest of your lives together. Love grows as you go through things. We have been through a lot this short time together.

Prior to this I moved quickly into love also, this was a need based approach it wreaked if desperation and seeking a buoy in the ocean with sharks swimming around. I’ve finally climbed onto an island and am relaxing. I did not purposely use those people. I didn’t even know my own bs as most of us don’t, until hindsight affords clarity. Hurt people hurt people. It isn’t nearly the intentional process believe I don’t think.

Now if you realize this is what’s happening and you don’t do something about it that’s a different matter.

Love now:

We know one another’s soul, and yet we learn new small things about the other each day. We become more and more familiar as time moves on. A confirmation of the original hypothesis. The other times were disproving and they were as devastating a loss as any for both parties.

Life is a learning playground is it not? I’ve rarely seen people set out to harm another, that’s a different category all together. But I’ll tell you what I still scan myself often and thoroughly for signs of being what I came from. I still take any feedback that could be construed as negative about me and make sure it’s twisted into that either way. This is one of my greatest areas of work.

Am I taking up too much space with my big feelings? Am I selfish? Am I like them? Do I make people uncomfortable with my rawness, and is that the same As the chaotic discomfort of my beginning. It is not the same. Thank God!

As I work for Vivint I’ve been meeting lots of people who lost their loved one recently or within the last few years, and my empathy as a person grows. After having something like this I get it. I’m already aware of the depth of suffering I’ll have when I lose it. I’ve never been able to cruise along in blissful ignorance, though I’ve often envied (probably falsely) those who have.

If you had told me two years ago that this year I’d be spending trying to get pregnant with the love of my life, I would have thought you were crazy. If you would have told me I would get so close to this dream after so much hard work, and then lose it suddenly and have to push it back again significantly, I would have told you I wouldn’t make it through something like that.

And yet here we are.

The courage of my wife astounds me. Her grace and kindness and gentle soul. Some people are just made angels from the very beginning, and others have lives that make them need one. We are the perfect match. Blissfully she seems to feel it’s the other way around. I’m still trying to figure out how that’s possible.

I am able to know I can be kind and unselfish when things are hard because she believes me to be that person.

I am trying to put this into practice with my children. Coming from a life of hyper vigilance and a huge lack of trust this has been very difficult. I’ve been RE wiring myself as long as I can remember and it’s difficult for anyone who doesn’t know what this work is like to understand the profound exhaustion that comes with it.

I am not exhausted from my children. They are my reason for getting this far. But over the years if you looked at my life you might have thought that, or that I valued my romantic relationships above them. Something I’ve long been accused of. I knew I needed a certain kind of love to heal parts of me, so those parts didn’t damage them. I had the foresight to know this.

And foresight is serving me again with this tragedy we are currently experiencing, because I can already see how the awareness it brings is challenging me to love better.

To my kids: I know it has taken my entire life to become a whole loving person that you deserve. I know this journey hasn’t been easy for you. I think the only redeeming part is that your lives will be better for it in ways you may only ever see when you’re my age. Distance brings clarity. I hope your lives end up as full as mine has been. Full of adventure, challenges, new experiences, real feeling, and the love I worked so hard to find, and to help you connect to it.

I’ve worked to connect with others and myself despite incredible connection difficulties.

And now here I am a connected and real person and boy does it feel different.

During times like this for a small moment I wish I could still be safely disconnected from my real feelings. But that never worked I always felt separate from the humans like that. It was terribly lonely.

I am connected to my self and currently my suffering too, and to the Universe, and to everything.

I am grateful for that. Thats what the smile below is about. It’s a different approach at times to this grief. For me great grief also brings great gratitude I have any of this at all. That I have someone to be sad with and lose something so important with. And we can try again for this, but this love is a once in a lifetime love. It’s the kind that always helps me love myself more, and I needed a lot of that.

Ritual

I turn 38 on Saturday. In so many ways I never could have imagined my life would be where it is right now. I couldn’t have even dreamed this.

Today I am turning to my blog again as a healing medium. I don’t have well organized thoughts. I just know I need to write.

I could never have imagined being so sad and so grateful and blessed all at the same time. A blanket of numb sadness has set in this morning. I’m just trying to feel something. Anything.

I needed to renew my drivers license this morning so I came to Hamden DMV before my Vivint meeting. It was shockingly fast. I had anticipated a 2 hour wait, and running into my meeting late. But I was in and out.

If there was a Guinness Book of World Records for bad drivers license photos I would be a strong contender. The cameras are way beneath you. Why do they do that?! Is it the only satisfaction they have in their lives? Don’t they know women need a steep downward angle as they near their 40’s and grow softer under the chin and more robust around the middle?

So I did a thing!!! A nearing 40 thing… and I’m sitting here trying to process what it means to me on the deeper spectrum.

It means to not be seeking acceptance anymore. To not be shaking in my shoes that someone won’t like me for how I look, a long held legacy stemming of course, back to childhood. It means to play with life a little and try new things without it being so serious. So yesterday my wife and I set out on an adventure. We went to a local barbershop and had a great old time. It will now be filed away in memories I hold dear to my heart.

The barber was amazing! Goodfellas Barbershop Ansonia CT. Fary Palacios. All the guys in there had a blast watching me get my very thick and long locks shorn off. It was a hoot.

Then we went to a local tattoo shop and got matching birds on our wrists to commemorate or twins and loss. To honor this pain and this process. This one hurt. Not worse than many moments in each day lately, but certainly was intense.

Food doesn’t really taste like anything. My brain can’t grasp on anything to focus. We have a 2 o’clock appointment today to find out what we are going to do and I know more waves of grief are imminent. My eyes look sad and dark, they have bags under them. I don’t want this to be my reality.

I don’t feel anything holiday like or like celebrating anything. My heart is breaking over and over each day in moments. One of the deepest cuts I have ever experienced. I’m trying to hold it shut myself, and clearly I need medical intervention. Irrigation, anti-biotics, and stitches. But I have become to not feel like I can trust those institutions to be careful with us.

Like a cornered wild wounded animal. Protective. Angry. Sad. Scared. Flayed open. Raw.

I am writhing with pain on the inside, and just trying to keep it together on the outside .

Help me please I just need some peace. It’s too in between.

Waiting: Darkness to light. Floundering to faith.

Waiting. We are heavy with it. Heavy with an irritability and sadness that is uncharacteristic of our lives together. Both breaking and numbing at different times. Both on our own journeys; separate yet together.

Humira injection day, plus PMS day, plus emotional devastation slowly settling in and also crashing down: its more than feels bearable.

I want to eat bad things and be numb. I know it makes it worse, but sometimes the inertia is too powerful. I try and get up but it feels like I have on lead boots, and a heavy lead plate across my chest. It seems to take a gigantic amount of effort to do anything but stare off into space. I wish I could just sleep for the next few months. Hibernate and recover and wake up ok, skip the inevitable steps.

We are fucking waiting to expel our dead dreams and it is excruciating. When is it going to begin? How painful will it be? Will we see it? Should we capture it in a tiny cup for testing.

People may go through this all the time it may be common etc etc; but I guarantee you for each one of those people that didn’t change their own personal experience. The way they made sense of it, or couldn’t.

I want this extensive time alone away from the world to understand this, and to hold my wife and keep her sheltered through each wave. Except that isn’t an option. You just keep going. Sure you take moments, but you just have to keep going. Or I do anyway.

I also couldn’t have bargained or known the anxious thoughts that would plague me. The nightmares, the wakefulness when I need to rest. My mind spinning into outer space like an astronaut that’s been lost in space.

Speaking of space and my mind I can’t seem to grasp onto any clear thinking.

We ended up watching Bruce Almighty. I’ve referenced this movie hundreds of times. Somehow Courtney has never fully seen it. And watching her laugh and watch it tonight was such a pleasure. She makes my whole world better.

It’s only with a raw and open wound that we can sometimes see things we didn’t before. I loved this movie for years, it helped me learn not to feel sorry for myself. It helped me learn how to get outside my stories of tragedy and truly see the world with gratitude.

We are just sitting here caring for one another and making it to the next moment filled with joy. We truly are in a love that will weather for better or for worse, and this is what I’ve always asked for.

The rest I have to just keep having faith through. Faith in myself, faith in more good than bad at the end of the day. Faith over fear. To find my way back from my experiences seems unthinkable, but here I am…..

Yale Schmale: Ivf Horror Story

If something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. Bottom line. We have had a terrible experience with Yale Reproductive Center. I don’t even want to walk back through those doors. And despite what this will be chalked up to this is not just an emotional meltdown grasping for something to blame in grief. I know all about that. I’m a mental health counselor. This is about trust. You trust a doctor because you think they know more than you, but what was missing here is that they did not care nearly (if any) about us. I’ve felt this way for a long time, but since I wanted to keep my eye on the prize and “stay positive”, like everyone tells you…. I stayed quiet. I stayed quiet through the many alarms going off in my head. My hunch is even our IUI’s could have been planned better and paid more attention to.

I think if they communicated and paid attention then we would have a baby right now. I believe that with my whole heart because of the many evidences of them not knowing what was going on with anything.

And I already know what they can and will do. They will cover up for negligence by the fact we are clearly just emotional. That’s what will happen here. That’s how large medical practices get away with things all the time.

So here is our story:

Worst experience I’ve ever had with a medical institution. You are a number. You see a different “fellow” every time, and your “doctor” one or two times. In my opinion we would have been pregnant long before if anyone in this place communicated with one another. I’m sure you could and then will chalk this up to being in a painful emotion. But that’s minimizing what actually happened here. How many irresponsible things happening with our time, our money, and our hearts.

From not knowing our correct protocol, and if I wasn’t on top of it we would have started taking incorrect medicine. To the fact that the offices terrible communication led to a decision about frozen or fresh transfer to be made immediately while I was seeing clients back to back. The woman called back and asked my wife (I’m a woman we are gay) if she wanted to talk to her husband. We have been patients of yours for over a year, you’re handling the future of our baby and our joy here, and you don’t know who we are?

Then let’s get into the back and forth over frozen or fresh transfer. It’s appearing now that we should have done frozen and we think someone set it up because that was best, but another person said it was borderline. In the end the morning of it took a long time for everyone to get on the same page. We never spoke to our actual doctor at all about this, again a melange of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year fellows.

I am not a doctor and I was concerned about the high thyroid levels that spiked with the fertility medications, the ones that we tried so hard to get down prior to trying to conceive. Our thyroid checks were not stayed on top of throughout, because no one speaks to each other.

We get a report in the beginning of mono diamniotic twin pregnancy, we are cautious as it’s early. And nervous because it’s higher risk and we know that. We go back in and it appears there is one sac and a hematoma on the other side of the membrane, we are possibly a twin down and we went in for heavy bleeding. At this time we see a tiny heartbeat and are given hope, sent home with a picture of our baby. No one said what I was thinking the whole time. If one twin goes because of a chromosome abnormality and they are identical the other is going. Was it too early to know these things. Sure. Should we have been fully spoken to by our doctor, a full experienced doctor about the risks. The heartbeat was 110, the bottom of the scale, it was on its way out too and yet we went home excited and the staff encouraged that. No one said be cautious and specifics about the mono di.

In fact no other resident even mentioned the twin situation. An actual doctor dr Pal, did the first ultrasound and gave us real info, including how early to tell. We aren’t stupid, but it’s the most questions I had answered the whole time. She did not check on us when we had bleeding, she did not check on us at all.

At this time we were told to come back 3 days later on a Monday to check things. My wife called to make the appointment and they said they didn’t have anything til Thursday. Again if we were told to come for bleeding where is the follow through.

This fertility clinic is the do it yourself variety. This is the target self checkout and if there is an error you better know how to fix it yourself. I have so many questions, so many anxieties, my wife and this baby we want to have are my world. I’m not a number. I’m a human.

So the set up was one baby was ok with a heartbeat and the bleeding stopped fully and we got excited again. And when she went to the ultrasound I was on FaceTime because I’m trying to provide and it’s just an early one. I had been at every other appointment no matter how small. But this one my wife’s twin went with her and I was on FaceTime. I got to hear our baby has no heart beat and probably hasn’t in a week from another different doctor over a screen before my 3 pm client. Again no word from dr Pal. We should have stopped progesterone a week ago so my wife and I could get on with our grief, and we would have known that if they talked to each other and prioritized our Monday appointment. We had just had bleeding. No one cared whatsoever.

Yale gets picked for its name. And I think they have forgotten real human values. It’s a machine, and contrary to their words to dismiss my many concerns they are not “a well oiled machine.” I will never affiliate myself with this group again.

My wife was sent home with a hat to collect our dead baby in and a specimen cup, and a two sided pamphlet about support groups. No word any of the way through our miscarriage from the actual experienced doctor.

The only comfort there are the few gems of nurses we will remember fondly in our hearts. The ones who get it. Doctors became arrogant and lost, and I just plan to learn from that. That I’m not too important to sit with a human and talk to them fully about what they are feeling and going through.

We will be just a statistic to them, an angry customer clearly clouded by grief, but they have a legacy with us.

We will be seeking out a space to share our very intimate fertility journey with people who genuinely show us the attention we deserve when they are getting thousands of our dollars, and holding our hope in their hands. There is a way you treat people and this was not it.

We will not be walking back through the doors of Yale fertility! There is a reason their reviews are terrible. I am so disappointed and hurt with the lack of care we have received.

I will never again put our care in the hands of someone who is an expert in medicine that isn’t also an expert in caring about the individual.

The unthinkable

*also please don’t tell us it was early or it will all be ok, tell us it’s ok to express our journey as we see fit, and that you will hold us through our pain.*

What they fail to tell you when you’re a survivor of trauma, huge life transitions, and vicious ongoing self-development; is that you won’t hit a place where human suffering becomes less. Unknowing of this you will keep searching. Maybe the beauty is that you search anyway.

There is a certain amount of entitlement that a survivor has. They almost expect that if and when they have worked hard to turn their stars around that life will grant them a time to sail peacefully. Perhaps I am not capable of sailing peacefully, because I’m too determined to fill every page. I fill in the margins, and the back, and the top, and then I make notes around that too.

My best friend calls it defying gravity.

We thought we could defy gravity with science and this time again is not the one for us. Again.

It has however allowed me the opportunity to view with extreme clarity the many changes in myself that have occurred over the last two years. It has allowed me to know I won’t shatter into a million pieces. It’s allowing this unique look at my sensitivity. I thought I was Teflon before, and that was all wrong. You are not Teflon until you have experienced unspeakable loss. And even then soft can never be Teflon, you may think you are, but you are not.

I thought I experienced suffering before, but this is an entirely different ball game. This time I’m attached to all my feelings. This helps me understand why the body has such elaborate defense mechanisms in place, because we humans have soft skin and tender hearts for a reason. We are meant to connect with others and to commune with our innermost voices, and yet so many of us become so different as a result of the world we live in. It is not a place for soft skin and warm smiles.

This inevitable contradiction blinds me with pain on a daily basis.

I was working so hard to be able to have time to relax with family, and now again crisis takes precedence and our time off together becomes grieving. This is one of the worst parts. Thinking of getting back into the swing of work, or talking about it without crying.

Watching her is the worst part. Watching her wonder if she could have done something differently. Watching her wracked with sobs. It cuts through me. And now we wait to see if her body will expel is naturally or if we go for a D & C. Wondering if our donor and her are in some way incompatible and thousands of dollars are wasted. Wondering if we can’t have one at all. If we will. If I even think I could make it through this again.

This isn’t just one loss, and “it’s early”, and you have more frozen embryos. This is a year of waiting to exhale. Focusing, surrendering, sacrificing all our time to relax and play together for appointments, needles, injections, tests, poking and prodding and at the end all that hard work is supposed to pay off.

Except that isn’t how the world works. Also while I know I’m angry right now the word Yale means nothing to me. Perhaps I’ll write out experience in the next blog post because I need to get it documented anyway. Just because a couple of nurses are kind does not make it comprehensive or a good experience. After the bleeding we were told to go back on Monday for an ultrasound, they didn’t have an apt Monday (even though we were told). No communication that this was a necessary appointment, that if one twin was lost the other might follow.

Except we were elated by that tiny heartbeat on the screen. Ok good we have one. Not at one point did anyone even know what was happening in there. With our chart or file. No one has checked on her. Our Dr does not care, we have ten doctors.

We had to decide frozen or fresh transfer at 5 pm when I had clients all evening and then no one knew what was happening. A lady called my wife and said you’ll need to discuss this with your husband. This is a fertility clinic for crying out loud. They aren’t used to same sex couples? We had been attending a year and you don’t know us? It was so frustrating, but we let ourselves block it and so many other things out because eye on the prize.

A doctor who was seasoned and knew what they were doing would have warned that mono di twins might be different, the heart rate was in the lowest end of the spectrum. Yet we came home with an ultrasound picture and hope in our hearts. I think they could have known at that time if someone was paying attention. Yale is a fertility farm and we were cattle. I’m furious. I kept chalking up my frustrations to normal things on my end, but looking now at all the dropped balls.

We are going to take our 4 remaining babysicles somewhere else. Norwalk I think. I’m done. I wonder if they see too much extreme hope and extreme suffering and have had to desensitize themselves completely?

And before that we need a vacation. I’ve missed my wife for a year. We need to give some tlc to us and our relationship, and find a new normal. This dream is just too painful right now.

We have other things to focus on for awhile.

At least I get to know I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through something like this with. Rather than tearing at one another we are careful and kind. The other is sacred to us, and that is an irreplaceable gift in this world.

Back to square one…. again..

New is scary…. everything is so fucking scary

I’m thinking back to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, and how much it helped me to change my perspective on fear.

I am in a space right now where things are scary again. I am learning many new skills with understanding the business of solar and how to present numbers and designs to clients. I am so not a numbers gal. This is really intimidating for me. You come out of the gate needing to understand how to present information to people. And I am so literal and it is so important to me to be honest. I am finding if I don’t fully understand something and am trying to explain it as if I do it feels incongruent in such a way that I completely freeze up. So lately I am doubting my ability to close the deals so to speak. This is called a Welcome Call in my world. I mean I know that the District Managers can’t close my deals forever.

So here is what I am trying to do. I am trying to think back to my level of fear before I knocked my first door. The very first day that I tried I sat in my car driving around for hours trying to get enough courage. I texted Courtney lots of times of how afraid I was, and how I couldn’t do it. And she just kept telling me I was so brave, until I was forced to believe it myself. When someone believes in you so thoroughly you have no choice but to rise up to that blessing. She is my blessing. So I knocked. It ended terribly. The woman was beyond rude. And yet I went skipping down the steps with glee at the fact I had mustered enough courage to even knock this first door.

It did not get easier as soon as you would have thought. The next day I got up enough courage to knock three doors and by the time I was done I needed a serious nap. In between each one it probably took an hour to muster the courage. My heart pounded in my chest when I knocked and I hoped they wouldn’t come to the door. When they did I stuttered and stumbled. These nights when bed time came I passed out fully clothed on the outside of my bed. I was too tired to even undress. Now that I am reflecting on this I am thinking in one perspective I could wonder what is wrong that this isn’t easier. I could be nasty to myself. But when I am looking right now I feel like a warrior. Because this is my real experience with this and I am still going. That is the only thing that matters is that you still try. With parenting, with relationships, with learning something new. The only thing that matters is you keep squaring up with your fears. You don’t let them drive the car, they have to come along to keep you safe and aware, but they don’t call the shots.

So 20 days into my 60 day trial period where I have to prove myself I have 4 out of 10 welcome calls. One more and I get to attend a cruise to the Bahamas, and if I get all 10 then Courtney gets to come with me. I love a good challenge so this is fun for me and keeps me feeling alive and engaged. Why not?! It’s the challenge, and the small incentive challenges within the challenge that makes it fun for me. I have always enjoyed being challenged. That is kind of comical if you knew my life, because if I am not challenged from an outside source I will create my own, setting them up like a track of hurdles at a meet. I make pole vault sized hurdles, and then expect myself to get over them as if they were just jumps.

And because I believe I can I do.

The fears nipping at my heels the entire time. You aren’t made to do this. You don’t understand ALL the info you aren’t an expert yet, so you’re going to look stupid at a closing alone. You will stumble and get nervous because these people are intimidating, and think you’re out to screw them over, and if you’re afraid that’s what you’re doing without knowing it, you’ll fear being insincere. If you don’t put everything into one thing then the rest of anything will fall apart. I’ve cut back on my hours of the stable employment that I LOVE to grow myself.

But did you hear that? I did it to grow myself. If I am going to help others grow, my continual self-growth is crucial. Staying fresh and engaged. Again I will think of my hero Elizabeth Gilbert and her style of writing. The fact that before she writes a book she will spend 3-5 years immersed in researching everything about the topic, and then like training for a marathon she quarantines herself with her love, a delicious tryst versus being caged. She shows up dressed and ready early in the morning to commune with her writer’s gift and she creates works that her reader’s love. I want to find my groove with writing, and to do that I need to buy some time, and to buy some time I’m going to need some more money and a space that I feel as if I can commune in.

Our baby is the size of a raspberry this week. 7 weeks and 2 days (ish), it has a tiny heartbeat and looks like a little hunched over tad pole. We get to see it again at the end of this week, and I am wondering when we “graduate” to the normal OB, and who we will pick for that special special task of helping us deliver our baby in a way that feels best for us, and keeping him/her safe until that point.

I have so many questions. I always have so many questions. It used to be annoying to others and I always knew that. Now more and more I see it for the gift it is. To stay curious and open is to be engaged in our lives. I want always to be this way in my life.

There is a work truck outside that has interrupted my morning commune with myself, and I am none too thrilled about it. I’ve tried to do what I can to drown it out. I want my Nature and quiet at the colony in Woodstock. I am still trying to figure that out, as I stash the cash to be able to purchase it. Will I be able to take THAT RISK. When I have that kind of money. Should I not put it to my student loans or a down payment on a different home? So many things need to come before that.

Shouldn’t I be able to write anywhere? But that just isn’t true. Right now I write in the bath tub to drown out all other enough, and in certain ways as you might imagine it isn’t ideal. I want to walk in the woods and have that unique meditation. I think I will have to make friends with the space I am in. Know it well enough that nothing new is spiking my interest before my attention will relax itself enough to produce writing. I need a spiritual space where I feel accepted and alive. I felt that way there. I also felt that way at Omega. I must answer this dream. I must.

So to be able to answer people’s questions and know what I am doing this will require some studying and learning and rehearsing. So I am not frozen in the moment. Truth be told I am probably more interested in all the human aspects of people once i am in the door. So many of them are widows and recently lost a loved one, or new and starting out.

That is what I am interested in, not if I can close the deal.

Such a large portion of life is discovering who we are and who we are not. We can do a great many things that can be taught, but do we want to is the question? For me I have no other choice but to strive for tasks that light me up and make me present. Counseling does that, and yet I still need to stay fresh and learning new things. And I never liked that to be only one thing. I am learning so many things about people from being in their homes and having the challenge of challenging them about a new and scary concept. A new way to source their energy. Tired and overwhelmed people who just don’t want to bother with something new whether it’s a better idea or not.

Anyway that’s another blog post I think. So I’m just here learning new things each day, preparing to turn 38, wondering what I’ll be like as a mom this go round, being in awe and radical gratitude of my capabilities….

Learning is life..

We don’t love like the humans do….

This experience is leveling me to the ground. And whilst I am laying here I can see perfectly clearly using my lenses of hindsight.

I never noticed what a true miracle the three kids I have already created are. They are miracles. They made it through pregnancy, through my immature phases, through so many changes. They love hard still. They are wide open and warm. And I have hardly had the vision to notice this. I think if I had I would have spent day and night afraid I would lose them also.

My children have had to wait for me to come back to life from traumas so severe my only choice was to become numb and survive. The mechanics that make you that way do not lend to calm and gentle seeing presence.

“You cannot be everything you want to be before your time.” I have always wanted to be everything for them.

I love them more than I am able to convey in ways that feel like presence to them. Some people I’m guessing are able to choose to abandon any other thing to choose one. Their kids are their entire meaning. My kids are also, but if I didn’t make my own growth and healing a priority I would have only ever been able to love them at 50 percent capacity of my being.

They would have seen pain behind my eyes. You cannot hide things from children. You can lie to yourself that they don’t see, but children see the world much more clearly than us jaded adults do. They are much more capable of magical thinking and beliefs and therefore likely to be able to be happy, creative, and kind.

I know no matter how I look back I will always see the things I missed, some of them quite profound. I was there, but I wasn’t. If I couldn’t be fully present with myself, if I abandoned her too because that’s what I knew, of course I would be too afraid to accept their love and endless faith in me.

I am often envious of the partners I have given my children too out of desperation. Financial desperation, anxiety desperation, fear of myself as a mother desperation. It has often felt like I would be swallowed by my feelings. So I saw these happy people who were functioning and I wanted them to always have that. I could be more of what I was around. I was just trying to choose the right thing to model myself after.

So many times what looked warm and safe turned out to be much different underneath. An in tact family is not the only criteria for a good situation. It took me years to learn that. To see through the very alluring most attractive parts to me.

When you have subsisted on crumbs for so long, half a moldy cookie on a table looks like a Thanksgiving feast. And this is an expression of my path and pain. No person I have ever shared my heart with was a moldy cookie. The health of the relationship for various reasons (many due to my attachment fractured beginning), was the rotten part.

Some family of any kind is better than none right ?! So why wouldn’t I have stayed? Stayed for the kids, stayed for me. Perhaps many of the kinks would have worked themselves out over time, or perhaps I knew beyond my consciousness in some way what was best for us. This thinking seems correct based on where we are now.

But what have I caused up til this point?

And you see there it is. Taking responsibility for everyone and everything.

This is a product of trauma. The person is forced to become self-sufficient to a level beyond them, and this is a side effect. And later in life they suffer immensely trying to be an island, needing to be one, but also wanting to belong and connect. The obfuscation is immense. The dark wood feels seemingly endless.

Until that one person, or many along the way, see something in them they can’t yet. Hence the reason I am a counselor, it wasn’t a choice, it was written in the muddled beginning.

I needed people to see the good in me. I needed it so much that was the only factor it took for acceptance into the fold of our family. It fed me to be seen. I have been accused of feeding off of others to meet my needs. And I accepted that fate again as the bad guy, but finally I am able to see there is so much more to that story.

We watched Cheaper by The Dozen last night. A comfort. It was making me think of all the movies that have resonated with me over the years, made me get goosebumps, and how I would watch them over and over, and listen to songs over and over. People would tease me about my love for sappy movies or my behavior of repeatedly watching them. But these were me comforting my heart and shaping my dreams. Watching stories of people’s lives drafted in artist interpretation. Trying to find something to model after.

It would take me a long time to differentiate the romantic portrayal of movies and the grit it actually takes in real life to create a healthy and thriving family.

I wanted my story to be something more than it felt the first half of my life. I’ve fought tirelessly for that. And the fight has left me so exhausted in my soul, that often times regularly expected trials and tribulations of life now feel too much to bear. And it doesn’t take much invalidation, even and especially accidental, to wound me. Just think positive, well yes but that takes for granted every way that has wired me as far as my experiences. “You’re too introspective, you’re exhibiting frightening mental states like your mother.”

For me I just need to vent my feelings. To know they are there. To pinch myself to make sure I’m still capable of feeling. To lay my hand across my chest to make sure it still rises and falls.

The love of my life understands this about me. This line brought more tears to my eyes. There have been many the past two days.

I’m trying to accuse myself of wanting more than I already have right now. Worst case scenario-ing my character at every turn. It’s what I am best at. My very own valid feelings end up becoming some fatal flaw. And this is what I am working on in myself right now.

I have to make sure this life I have often rushed to create now takes into account the feelings of all participants and not just mine, I wasn’t so good at that in the past.

But I see I didn’t just force this onto my family, this is all of our dream now. We have always wanted another child to share our love with. I have known that from the time one of my best friends rented our downstairs and gave birth to her son in this home. As I often kidnapped him for snuggles and a bottle.

I have accused myself of wanting children for selfish reasons, and not because I have all that is required inside of me to properly nurture them. I will always be hyper vigilant that I may not. If you saw what I came from you would understand.

I have long wished I could just play some scenes from my childhood back on a tape so that the people knowing me could know. I’m torn between not wanting them to feel sorry for me, see me differently, and between desperately seeking understanding for the differences in me that feel like the separate me from the humans.

Thankfully I am loved by someone now who can see it without having me show them, and they love me harder for it. And that extra love that was missing has filled in all the gaping holes.

I am healing. I am still healing.

It’s no co-dependence, it’s not taking advantage, it’s not pathology, it’s not selfishness. It is healing. It’s taken this much. I could have turned out so many ways. But what I need for those I love to know the most is I’ve worked so hard on myself so I can belong with them. So I can feel my heartbeat near theirs, and not shrivel away for fear of damaging them with my damage.

We want to bring a child into the world to share all of what we have learned in our new story together. The kids want this baby too, and the transition from “babies” to baby is utterly painful right now. Seeing my wife’s pajama bottoms with the blood soaked through on the floor still because we were too exhausted yesterday to do anything about it is devastating. Not knowing whether the rest of the pregnancy will make it through this turbulence or not is gut wrenching. And that’s all ok. I still love my first kids that much too.

I still know it was early and blah blah. I feel things this much. So fucking what! This is who I am. It’s how I’ve been made, and I can’t help a thing about it. Except to do this (write) to cope, and to allow my story to be shared, whether or not anyone reads it.

So here I am wide awake with all my feelings always at the crack of dawn. In my morning watery womb of my own creation RE-birthing myself daily into the person I know I can be.

Here I am wondering with faith in one hand and science in the other, and what the universe has in store for our family.

Tea cups….

I should never be trusted with soft and luxurious white hooded sweatshirts! They never stay without stains.

We lost a twin today. How does one even feel about that? I’m supposed to be happy we see one heartbeat right ? This has been such a roller coaster I’m just swirling around in a tea cup ride of emotions. The whole rest of the world is a blur. If the other one makes it to term will it feel like something is missing it’s whole life? I’m quite sure I’ll be told to think positively etc, but are real human feelings actually negative or are they just feelings? These are mine either way.

I am waiting to decide how to feel.

And we are also waiting to see if the rest of the pregnancy is ok. We did see a tiny heartbeat today. A glimmer. My intelligent mind fears the fact that if the genes are identical and one didn’t make it, that logically the pregnancy is in trouble.

And my heart hopes.

But what this blog post is really about is the first thought that plagues me as we haven’t been able to get pregnant for so long and now this.

This is unnatural, it’s a sin, and we are being punished. It’s against God. We are two women we shouldn’t be having a baby.

I know I don’t hold these beliefs and if there is a God, ours loves us too. I know that, but I have to fight so hard to feel that way.

I’ve forced myself to treat myself as normal as anyone else. To bravely announce proudly everywhere I go I have a wife. One day I just got tired enough of feeling like a bad person in so many ways for being gay. For breaking up a family, for hurting my kids, and their dad and his family.

Eventually all that responsibility just got too heavy for one person to hold.

I cracked open into fearless courage. It became necessary. It was a natural evolution to how deeply I harmed myself with negative thoughts about myself for so long. I tried to beat the gay out of myself. I would have done anything. I tried everything.

I think I’ve been in denial. I’ve built such a strong outward presentation for myself, that I’ve ignored the sting of my minority status.

I don’t speak to my mother. Guilt. I’ve been divorced twice. Guilt. I’ve put my feelings and needs before my children’s at times. Guilt. I can make deep connections but almost all of my early ones are severed. Guilt. I’m fucking gay. Guilt. I have a million thoughts. Guilt. I talk a lot. I am big and enthusiastic and open.

More Guilt.

I am guilty of being in denial.

I am denying the fact that if just in one aspect life could feel any easier for me for one second. If my family could walk down the street and have people look at us like a thing of stability and beauty, like the majority of families are already guaranteed. Instead of wondering who will whisper or become nervous around us.

I forced myself long ago to be so out and so proud, that I’ve been hiding in my comfortable life not advocating for those who aren’t as lucky yet.

I shouldn’t have to work at feeling normal should I?

So because we are gluttons for punishment we ate food we didn’t taste, shed tears we didn’t feel, and went and saw Boy Erased. It was intensely emotional.

After the movie I wonder why I don’t specialize in LGBT clients. I mean I never wanted to be pigeon holed to one population, but now I’m wondering if I would have just felt like a fraud. How can I help someone with something I still haven’t figured out.

Why is my first thought of us not being able to get pregnant and the potential of losing this one that it’s not the way things are supposed to be.

Why am I stuck with a belief in my head that’s not my own?

He’s the Boy Erased, and I’m the Girl in your Face…..

and the tea cup spins.