July 05, 2008


I am feeling like lately my posts might come off as very "woe-is-me"ish and I feel the need to make a clarification.

I am struggling. Struggling with internal doubts, pain and wounds that go all the way back to childhood, insecurities, questions, fears.

And this struggle? It is hard. It takes just about every bit of emotional energy I have.

And since my partner is finding himself in a similar tornado of emotion and fear - well, it has been hard.

BUT - I want to say that the more I read, the more I meet with my therapist, the more I learn about the emotional journey of pregnancy - the more I think this is all normal, and necessary.

And for me.....well - this is kind of par for the course for me for this kind of transition. When I think back to other major life transitions, my marriage, heck, even just going back to college at age 30 - I realize that my general response to major life changing circumstances is to go through a massive identity crisis, to do a thorough (albeit painful) inventory of my life experiences up to that point, my wounds, my scars, and the places in me still waiting to be healed. I bring it all to the surface, I sift through it, and invariably I grow a little, I heal a little, I find new parts of myself.

So, even though earlier this week I felt hopelessly discouraged to be facing so many seemingly "old issues" again, even though I felt like I was just facing all the same junk all over again - I was quickly reminded that revisiting these things, revisiting this place meant I was growing, meant I was again in a process of change.

This week I happened upon the writing of a spiritual teacher who used the metaphor of the spiral staircase to describe the lifelong journey towards growth, healing, and wholeness. I have visited this metaphor before but had forgotten the wisdom in it. The idea that in the process of healing and growth we move around in circles, but ever moving upward means that we come across the same wounds and the same messages as we move through these circles but we are not still in those same places. Every time we revisit them it comes from a different angle, with different resources, with greater awareness.

When I stumbled upon this, it was a small and quiet moment of "Aha!" - I realized, with some small hope, that this turmoil I am feeling, this fear, this messiness - it means my heart is being opened and I am moving again towards growth and change and healing. And for this reason I am trying to be gentle with myself and not run from this discomfort. I am trying to be patient with myself and with this process and I am trusting somewhere deep inside me that this is a movement happening within me to bring me to a place where I can better love my partner, my friends, my world, and most of all, my child.

So - even though I seem dark and troubled lately (and I am) - I feel hopeful about this. It is hard, it is exhausting - but if it brings me one stair step closer to being the mother and woman that I long to be, it will have all been worth it.


Phoebe said...

I love the metaphor of the spiral staircase. I think what you are going through is normal, and I wish someone had told me that when I was pregnant. I think that those of us who go through IF treatment feel guilty if we are not completely ecstatic once we are pregnant. What I realized is that getting pregnant should be the easy part. Being pregnant and raising children is the hard part! I think that having childhood memories resurface when pregnant is normal too, though unsettling. I'm glad you have someone to guide you through it. I'm also glad you are sharing your feelings with us because it is reality. Hang in there - we're here for you!

Denise said...

Spicy, the fact that you are so self aware and dealing with all of your emotions is a sure sign that you are headed in the right direction. No matter how prepared we think we are, pregnancy and the impending addition to our families has got to be one of the biggest life changes we can experience. I think you are doing everything you should be doing right now for yourself, for your marriage and for this baby. The spiral staircase metaphor is a really good one.

Meg said...

I love reading your posts and your accurate and real depictions of your experience will be a special place for many women out there, I am sure of it.

s.e. said...

I am glad you are finding those ah-ha moments in the midst of your despair. They make the struggling bearable.

Your child is definitely at the top of one grandious staircase with cathedral ceilings and all. It will definitely all be worth it.