We are six weeks into the new year and I have been processing A LOT, including, but not limited to, quitting my job, my marriage and divorce, relationships with family members, my relationship with myself, and how I continue to live my life after infertility without my children. It hasn't been easy. I thought I cried a lot before 2021? Well, this year has been especially... Cleansing.
I do feel a strong internal pressure to get moving (i.e., get a new job), but I know that if I do right now I will not be effective in whatever I do next. How do I explain that in a professional way in my next job interview? "Yeah, I took some time off to finally process, uninterrupted, the last traumatic decade of my life?" No... I'll have to come up with a different answer. In the meantime, I will continue to replenish my resources.
I have a lot to be thankful for, but that's not what I'm processing. I am processing the onslaught of meanness that I allowed in my life for so long. I am realizing what I need to feel loved and known and I am learning how to communicate my boundaries, whether they are respected or not.
I don't want to constantly analyze my feelings and interactions, but I am TIRED of reliving the same dynamics over and over. I must think and read and reflect about all of this stuff so that I can empower myself to change my ingrained patterns.
I've worked hard and I deserve to enjoy the happiness I've found and created for myself. I don't have to explain or justify it, no matter who is demanding answers from me (e.g., my mom). I don't have to answer the phone if I know I am only going to be insulted (e.g., my middle sister).
While going through infertility, I lost the majority of my friendships. It HURT SO BAD. But it changed me forever. I am no longer eager to have people in my life just because I've known them a long time or because we are related. I need people that support me and that I can support. I don't need a big group of people. I have definitely learned that lesson.
I'm going through and rereading my old posts so I can add labels to them. When I was first reading IF blogs, this was one of my favorite ways to read people's old posts. I would click on a label that resonated with me that day and read all of the related posts. So that is what I am going back and doing for my posts now.
Wow. It has been an interesting experience going back and reading what I wrote. I'm so glad I started blogging when I did or I would have forgotten so many thoughts and feelings from my recovery process. I have grown. A LOT. I can see it in my own writing. I am stronger, more self-confident, and more self-assured. I have my experiences with infertility and my hard-earned recovery from it to thank for my newfound clarity.
But you know what? Growth is lonely. Growth is change. And people don't do well when you start changing. You can't be their subconscious punching bag anymore. You can't be the person they know that is worse off than them. (Yes, this gives certain personality types a vast amount of comfort.) You aren't the same person anymore and they don't know how to handle the new you. Some people will celebrate with you. Some people are up for the excitement of getting to know the new you and your growth. Others simply fade away.
I'm thankful for my growth. I'm glad I was willing to face my loneliness. I am still frustrated and processing a lot, but I am not where I used to be. I like myself and, pandemic aside, I like my life.
I no longer deal with the haters.