Emotional Geography.

For the last few days, I have felt like this:

I don’t know what my deal is.  I can only guess it’s a combination of the end of the school year, the reality of leaving for the entire summer, my attempting to research and write a thesis with no direction or oversight or idea what I’m doing, and trying to figure out where we’ll live in the fall when our lease is up (which has become a very complicated issue recently – more on that later).  While on the outside it may appear that I’m still going about my daily business like a normal human, internally, I’m wearing a powder blue blazer and a white turtleneck and am screaming in the phone booth of my soul.

Because I am insufferable lately,  I recently went to Disneyland and was a total jerk about it.  (Yes.  I’m a soulless animal.)

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See? Not having it.

I discovered a horrifying pink-caped Ewok, marketed to girls of course, because God forbid a female child be interested in a Star Wars character wearing it’s (original) brown costume.  (Brown is not a girl color.  Obvi.)

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I sat in front of some amateur geographers on It’s A Small World, who shouted over the music at each other such gems as:

“I’m thinking that’s the North Pole or the South Pole” when we passed by snowy icebergs littered with seals and

“IRELAND!  IRELAND!  IRELAND!” when giant glittery shamrocks came into view and

“Is this all Mexico?  Or Paraguay?  Or Uraguay?  Or Venezuela?  Or Brazil?  Or Chile?  Or Ecuador?  Or Colombia?” when we saw sombreros.

“Did you know that Egypt is part of Africa?”

“This must be America.  Oklahoma?  Kansas?  Arkansas?  Texas?”

“China?  Korea?  South Korea?  North Korea?  Thailand?  Japan?  Thailand?  Thailand?  THAILAND?”

It was indeed a very small world and I wanted out.

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Mostly, though, I stood in lines and judged the shit out of everyone’s tattoos.  Sorry, everyone.  They were all pretty terrible.

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Terrible Things.

When I was in college, I volunteered for a grand total of one day with an organization that bused UCLA students to an east LA home for abused teenage mothers.  I was interested in the organization because I was a psychology major and loved children and thought it would help define what direction I wanted to take my counseling career (Yes.  Counseling.  The one field I have not worked in as an adult).  While on the bus with a bunch of other white, clueless college second-years, I daydreamed about all the good we would do – all the supplies we would sort and people we would meet and lives we would touch.

And then we actually got there.  Once off the bus and inside the house, it took me about fifteen seconds to realize that there was nothing in the entire damn world I could teach these girls that they did not already know, aside from, of course, that college kids from the suburbs can occasionally be misguided, self-involved assholes, who show up in their university sweatshirts to help “save the children.”  We were there for four hours, wandering halls and seemingly not expected to do much more of anything other than parade our incredible privilege around, and the experience made me so entirely sick that I never went to another campus meeting and stopped answering the club’s phone calls.

That story is important because it shows you that I am fully capable of knowing when I’m out of my depth and that when I know that I cannot possibly say (or do) anything meaningful, I avoid at all costs.  Perhaps it is the Puritan stock of my father’s family.  I would rather seem like a cold, unfeeling alien monster from another planet than overstep boundaries or shower someone in pain with trite, useless words.

This brings us to the intentionally vague portion of today’s post: someone I know had something terrible happen to them recently.  I know about it and have cried actual tears about it at home and yet I have not addressed it except in the broadest of terms with this person, despite the fact that I can’t even think about it without being overwhelmed with grief for them.  This terrible thing is something that is foreign to me and hugely personal to them, and to say anything about it makes me feel like a total fraud.  So, I’ve said very little.

I am a deeply emotional, sympathetic person, who, for some reason, can show more kindness to spiders I find in the shower than to people I know who are devastated.

Half of me hopes that not forcing people to engage in long conversations about their tragedies spares them having to cry in public, so that they can continue eating the dinner they’ve ordered or work they are doing or whatever blessed momentary distraction is taking their minds off their realities.  And then, later, the other half of me is horrified that I might have seemed too cool or removed or emotionless.

Can someone please tell me how normal humans handle loss with other normal humans?  Because I am a total failure.

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Not Pregnant.

I’m about to be extremely vain, but I already know this, so I am not ashamed.  I cannot handle how crazy I look right now.  My skin is doing tons of bizarre things (like being simultaneously tight and dry and slick with oil, and breaking out in blackheads and deep, cystic pimples, which I never had regularly before, even in the pre-Accutane days), I am all glassy-eyed from my cold and I feel enormous.  I think it goes without saying that I desperately want to have a baby because I’m madly in love with my husband and adore children, but at this very moment, I really wish I could use pregnancy as a happy excuse for all this bizarre body crap.  I am bloated and have digestive problems and oily hair and can only wear one pair of jeans (read: the ones with the most Lycra) and I’m not even pregnant, you guys.

I know this is all bothering me so much because I want to be pregnant and as of 6 am this morning, I’m not.  I know that all of these smalls things seem so huge because I’m disappointed and sick and my husband’s not here to eat crappy food with me and make me feel better.  Still, I’m feeling defeated by these small things and am wondering if I want to continue doing months and months of Clomid, all the while continuing to feel like a relative stranger in my own body, only to have all the rounds fail.  Part of me wants to throw in the towel and get back on birth control and just normalize.  I feel like psychological craziness of not conceiving coupled with the physical craziness I’m experiencing (cramps, nausea, etc. in addition to the vanity) will just get harder.

I told my husband a few months ago that if Clomid (and later, possibly IUI) fails, I don’t want to try IVF.  Maybe I’d feel differently if ever faced with the actual decision, but I assumed, back when we discussed it, that I wouldn’t want to put myself through the physical and mental (and monetary) anguish of IVF and then have it fail.  I would want to pour that energy into adoption.  (Again, I have zero experience and am not yet dealing with infertility, so feel free to tell me to get off my high horse.)  However, in some small way, this month’s Clomid failure is confirming to me what I already assumed about fertility treatments: it’s very emotionally difficult to put your time and energy and focus and and medicine and love and scheduling and health and hope into something and to do everything right and to not have it work out, only to be left with the promise of having to do it all over again.  And this month was nothing compared with IVF.

Intellectually, I realize I’m being dramatic and silly and it’s just been one month of ovulation out of 26 years of life, but I just don’t want to have to do all of this all over again.  Obviously, I will.  I just wish I didn’t have to.

Also, I found this adorable photo of my husband on the computer tonight and I miss him so much more than I thought would be possible.  As my grandpa told me on the phone today, absence really does makes the heart grow fonder.  I’m totally over the excitement about having alone time (especially now that I’m sick) – I just want him home already!

Finally, tomorrow I’m going to post some photos of my skin before and after Accutane, in an effort to explain a) how much that drug improved my life and b) why I am so obsessed with my current break outs that I would entertain the thought of not trying to conceive anymore and going back on birth control just to get a handle on my skin again.  This ode to vanity would have been a good place to stick them, but I already feel like there is too much going on here and I’ve been depressing enough.  Gotta spread the emotional trauma out a little.

(Upon review, parts of this post make me feel like an entitled, selfish brat.  I’m sorry if the tone is off – my face is so congested, I feel like I’m in outer space.  I was trying to be sincere and honest and I swear I’m a good person, who wants her husband back because she loves him and not just because she needs someone to massage her feet because she feels bad, even though she would really like that.)