Thursday, November 13, 2008

No Escape from Childlessness

Last night I had a dream. Of course, any story that starts like that is bound to be disturbing or lame or both. And I’m particularly bad about talking about my dreams because I can never remember how they start. Talking about my dream is like watching an old Dali movie, where the picture just fades into an eerie tableau that makes no sense. So that’s where I’ll begin:

I’m sitting on one of several hard plastic chairs lined up along the wall of large grey room, about the size of a small gymnasium. Other people are with me, waiting for their turn to try out the new “flying” equipment––a series of cables strung from the wall and ceiling. (Is it exercise equipment, performance art, some sort of therapy? Who can say?) The person hooked into the equipment right now is doing some pretty cool stuff; as the instructor urges him on, he is letting go of his fears, flipping around and over and zipping about.

Then it’s my turn, and I’m both nervous and excited. I think back fondly of when I was younger––I was stronger then and a bit of a daredevil. But after a couple of minutes I’m loosening up and making some pretty awesome moves of my own. While not like the “flying” I’ve experienced in other dreams, where I’m truly free, it’s really fun and I feel healthy and giddy and full of joy.

I finally lower myself to the floor, laughing and exhausted, and the instructor comes up to me and says in amazement, kind of sympathetically:

“Wow. You still think you’re going to have a baby girl someday.”

I woke up a moment later, but not before the dream-me sank down into a chair––stunned that the flying device had somehow let this nice man peer into my soul––and started to sob. Even after I pulled myself awake, my chest continued to ache.

Seriously, what the fuck? I can’t even have a simple, stupid, fun little dream without being smacked down by reality? It isn’t hard enough to be hurting when I’m awake, now I have to hurt while I’m asleep?

Truthfully, I wasn’t that surprised. If there is anything I’ve learned in the last few months it is that there is no escape from the pain of childlessness. I had hoped that my forced vacation from cycling, while frustrating, would be a bit of a relief. But in some ways it’s much, much worse. I am consumed by jealousy, not so much of people with little babies, but of people with actual honest-to-god kids, people with families. I babysat my 6-year-old nephew last weekend, and it was lovely, but after I had put him to bed I just wanted to scream and yell it isn’t fair! He was 2 ½ years old when I started TTC. I had thought he would play with my kids (note the bitterly ironic use of the plural), not babysit them!

(By the way, he informed me that he would “think about” liking my child, but only after it was four years old. I love that kid.)

I think that being “on a break” is making cycling seem so distant and foreign that I can’t believe I’m going to be back in it next year. I told someone recently about how long I’ve been trying, and about what I’ve done so far, and it sounded seriously deranged. This was what I saw in my dream—a stranger’s pity at my continued belief that I might actually have a baby someday. Am I crazy to think this still might happen?

When I woke up from that dream, I realized that the thing that had bothered me the most was the invasion of my privacy. It wasn’t that this guy saw my desire to have a child, it was his knowing that I always pictured myself having a girl. Of course, now that I’m awake it seems odd to be mad at my subconscious for knowing what I think about. It’s hard to be mad at yourself for violating your own privacy. But none of this makes sense, anyway.


Your Bad Bloggy Friend, the Babychaser


Nikki said...

You're right - there is no escape from the pain of childlessness. It's in our heads, hearts, dreams, lives, fucki** everywhere!

Sorry about the deep sadness of your dream, and I wish you better days ahead.

Peeveme said...

It's easy to be mad at ourselves becasue we want. We can't just give up and walk away. It's always there. The want. It would be so much easier to just not want it. But we do. So we'll go to great lengths to fulfill that.

Me said...

You said: "I think that being “on a break” is making cycling seem so distant and foreign that I can’t believe I’m going to be back in it next year."

I say: ""I think that being “on a break” is making assisted cycling seem so distant and foreign that I can’t believe it'll ever happen again."

I call this "IF Purgatory".

Ally said...

I am sorry about your horrible dream. You are so right when you say you deserve at least happy dreams, dammit!

I wonder if these dreams aren't so much prescient as they are a bubbling up of your fears? (I mean, screw old guy in the dream. What the hell does he know, anyway?)

Taking a break from cycling sounds good in theory but, in my experience, is excruciating. And I wonder if that's not also playing into this dream? Just a few thoughts from an outside observer.

I wish for you better dreams at night and much happier days.

Io said...

This break that I don't want to be on is not really helping. (Of course by break, I never started so it's not really a break I guess. Eh, whatev.) I think being on a break, for whatever reason, just reminds you how far off things seem.
And your stupid subconscious is just confused because what it MEANT to say was no baby this month. But someday, it will happen.

Io said...

Oh, by the way - Thomas, the gray cat does get under the covers in between us at night and puts his head on the pillow. He's a goof.
How's your kitty?

Sue said...

Whether you're taking a break or actively trying, the fear that things may never work out for you is always present. I'm so sorry you had such a bad dream.

Shinejil said...

The most interesting part of your dream for me was that contrast of the joy of your own freedom, zooming around in the heights, and the incredible blow of that violation by that stranger, who offhandedly punctured your deepest desire. The great highs and the bitter lows.

A lot like cycling, in a way.

I know that pain of seeing a wonderful child and how it feels like a physical blow, a punch to the lower belly.

I hope you get some of that giddy joy this weekend (from a fellow lady in waiting).

Ms. J said...

It sucks that even when "resting" there cans ometimes be no escape.

"Hearting" you.

kate said...

Oh, your poor dreaming head! Yeah, I have those kinds of things in my dreams, too, where I get randomly slammed by some sort of unrelated real-life fact. It is always so disturbing.

And even though turkey day is only 2 weeks off, I still am not positive that we are going up to DC, 'cos H can't make up his mind. I will, of course, let you know as SOON as I can get that dude to give me a yes or no.

Joonie said...

I'm sorry about your dream. Unfortunately we can't control our dreams any more than we can control our fertility (or infertility for that matter).

I know what it feels to want a child so badly. It's more than a want, it's a primal need. Like the need for air or water or food.

All I can say is that I wish from the bottom of my heart that you get your heart's desire.

Sending you lots of hugs.

annacyclopedia said...

How weird. I had a dream last night that was similar in terms of the highs and lows aspect. And I wholeheartedly agree that it is an absolute bitch to have to face reality in a dream.

Wishing you sweeter dreams that give you respite from the reality of the break, the heartache, and just all of the highs and lows of this journey.

Lisa said...

I found your blog through Nikki, and just wanted to say -- I too have had dreams that shatter me. It seems crazy, oh so crazy, that we hold onto hope after so many disappointments, so many loses. I'm in my last cycle right now, and trying to hold onto hope for my 2ww. It's about the most insane thing to still be clinging to hope that this could actually happen. I'm hoping against all odds that miracles can come true, but somehow not so sure.