Confession – lately, I've felt a little…under the weather in the emotional sense, for lack of a better term or phrase. One day the week before last, I came home and went straight to bed. I needed a moment. When Frank asked me what was wrong, I couldn't answer him because I couldn't verbalize it. I flexed and curled my lips, feeling around in vain around for the right words. When I couldn't find them, I did the only other thing I felt I capable of doing in that moment — I cried. I talk here often of moments when I have cried, but generally speaking, I'm much more of a sigher or a pouter. I'm not one for spontaneous and random tears. For a split second Frank was flabbergasted at how quickly his usually unflappable wife had reduced herself to hot mess of tears. Then he said, "It's okay, hun. Sometimes you just need to let it all out." So I did. And after I was all cried out, the words that I had been searching for came to me. They slipped in quietly when I wasn't looking and I whispered them just as silently as they had entered my mind: I feel defeated.
Sometimes it feels like no matter how much I push or pull, it's never enough.
On the whole, I am happy – the most important things that I've ever wanted out of life are in place and I can look around and say, things are exactly as they should be. But then there are those few things in my back pocket which make me feel like no matter how hard I run, I can't get anywhere. Every once in a while it catches up to me and I'm left with a residue of emotional malaise.
When there's clear just cause for a meltdown, I don't feel conflicted about expressing those emotions. Someone is supposed to rage and/or feel hopeless
when something huge like a failed cycle or miscarriage occurs. However, I'm not
very good at talking about grey zone feelings. Strike that. I don't feel comfortable
talking about grey zone feelings. How can I cry about the pebble in my
shoe when others are trapped under the boulders that an avalanche has
dumped upon them?
So, this is me stepping out of character — I was in the grey zone. I felt small and insufficient and insignificant. And defeated. Definitely defeated.
Getting more to the point of this whole post — a couple of days after the meltdown, I was touched to receive these words in an email from Eva of The Egg Drop Post:
I wanted to ask you: how do you stay so strong? You have been through a
lot and I really admire your good nature, humor and general
bad-ass-ness. It is the cape? If so, where do I get one?
Eva is sharp and sophisticated, kind and witty. She herself has been through a lot, especially within the past few months and days. Definitely heavier trials than the pebble-in-your-shoe variety. She had a low stim and even lower fert rate for her first IVF cycle, which resulted in a negative. She's had rounds with her insurance company and was smacked down with discrimination of same-sex couples. Within just the last couple of weeks, her wife was diagnosed with cancer (thankfully, it's a type that is treatable with high recovery and success rates). And she's asking me how I stay so strong? Touched, I blinked back tears and realized that I didn't feel quite so inadequate anymore. For that small moment, I felt like every bit of the badass superhero that I strive to be.
Is it the cape? Maybe. I look at Superwoman up there in my header and it does make me feel a bit empowered, like I can kick a little ass and take some names along the way. So if it's the cape that gives that feeling, even for a moment, then here's one for you, Eva. You are the first recipient of and the inspiration for the Red Cape Award:
Amber of Between the Lines: a couple of months ago, she stumbled on my blog somehow and read the entire thing, from the very first entry straight through to the present. She calls herself my stalker, I call her a new friend. Her entire blog, but especially her recent posts chronicling her two week wait and positive betas are nothing short of beautiful. The world is finally turning in her favor and she's taking it for every bit of joy that it's worth. She's my Seize the Day Hero.
Calliope of Creating Motherhood: Who doesn't know Calliope, who rocketh like no other? Each and every day, I stand in awe of all that she does, who she is, and who she is becoming. She's my Hero of Patience and Continuance. (Thanks also to Cali for making the graphic!)
Stacey of Is There Any Mommy Out There?: Stacey is one who doesn't do blog awards (at least not in the conventional sense), but I couldn't resist giving her one because she's a hero to me. Wrap humor, empathy, snark, and a fierce love for her children into a neat little package and that's Anymommy. Did I mention that she's also a mommy through transracial adoption? You won't be disappointed if you click over to read about her life with Ess, Gee, and Que. She's my Hero of Help-Moxie-Break-Out-of-Her-Mommyblogger-Shell.
Chance of Embracing Happenstance: She's been beat up, knocked down, and dragged out far more than anyone should ever have to endure, yet in her own, quiet way, she still fights and tries to paint the world in color even if she's mired in black and white. We'll get there…hopefully sooner rather than later! She's my Hero of Determination.
Sara of Gas Passer aka UUer: Sara has been one of my longest, most constant supporters. She's a fighter and has one one of the biggest red capes that I've ever seen. Finally pregnant via IVF with a unicornuate uterus, she's been on strict bed rest for much of her pregnancy and is now in the hospital trying to stave off delivery of babygirl Brynn until at least 34 weeks (which is just a few days away!) or longer. Though she quite understandably feels frightened and down, she always strives to put he best foot forward and focus on maximizing her positive energy. I could learn a lot from her. She's my Brighter Fighter hero.
Antigone of Antigone Lost: Though mostly a lurker, I've been reading Antigone since her first post. Armed with the love for her two sons — Henry, lost in January at 22 weeks and Perseus, now stirring within at the start of trimester three — she's left a dark union with Mr. Hyde, and with her furry sidekick Sothis alongside, she is rebuilding her life from the inside out. Antigone is winning; she is my Hero of Transformation.
::::: Passing along the Red Cape Award :::::
- On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: Red Cape Award SuperCrew (http://thesmartness.com/smartone/red-cape-award-supercrew.html). This is a running list of awardees.
- Check in on the SuperCrew post by leaving a link to your blog and a comment to let Moxie of I'm a Smart One know that you were passed a Red Cape Award so she can add you to the list.
- Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs
(if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.
- Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.
- If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected
by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their
award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
- You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.
Whatever it is that any of you are up against, I hope that when you're
feeling small and lost and scared, it helps at least a little to know
that someone out there thinks you're a badass superhero.