I have realized that I am both stronger and weaker than I thought I was. I caught a glimpse into another's pain, and created some of my own. I realized that ideals are not always attainable, but that you can always try to fulfill them regardless. I learnt that some things are worth fighting for and others are best to let go.
~Me: April 6, 2009~
Ah yes, that was my 2009. It began with a wedding, heartbreak, a ruination of ideals, a divorce from all that I knew. It is ending with a return to the known, a scar or two or several. And a marriage that is still together regardless of hell and high water.
It all began one extremely windy day in Brisbane with Justin and I taking the plunge and getting married, surrounded by loving friends and family. It was most definitely a plunge: into parental (in law) disapproval, into housing difficulties, into loss and love. Were we prepared? No, but we had hope. As I wrote:
Everyone hopes, at some stage in their life.
Sometimes the hope is fulfilled.
Sometimes it is achieved in a way we didn't expect it.
And sometimes, just sometimes, it is the hardest thing to cling to.
I find hope to be my demon, my lover, my motivator. I have never much liked hope. It hides when I have needed it the most. But there are times, a few gorgeous moments, when I know what is like to have hope on my team. And even better, to have it fulfilled.
~Me: January 23, 2009~
'09 was the year to lose things we cared about: we lost our pets, the 3, our home and jobs. It wasn't a very happy time for us: particularly the first 6 months: everything that could go wrong, did. We came so close to losing everything, including ourselves: clinging on to the edge of the cliff top with only our fingertips, not knowing when, or if, we'd be forced to let go.
But in return, ah yes, there was a return. As much as we lost, it was the year of gain too. We had a wedding: our own, and we stayed married, though many said either we shouldn't have, or wouldn't last a year. But we did.
We gained a new baby: a bird named Sookie, whom lights up my day and makes me laugh. We found Miss Moo and Miss DeeDee whom I will happily swear are among some of the cutest, intellegent, talkative, and funny children I have ever met. And whilst my heart is scarred, it is full of the promise of the coming days, months and years...or more simply, hope.
As for our infertility struggles? Well this year, we stopped struggling. I wrote:
Babies have always been to me the Holy Grail. The ultimate, the one thing I would most before I die. A baby born of me, that is all mine, that I can raise how I want. I often joke that I was never really worried about the husband or the career: all I ever wanted were children: the husband part was highly negotiable, and pffft to the career.
Well, I got the husband. And no children. Or least any that you can talk about in polite society: any that a large part of society classes as children anyway. Or for that fact, no positive pregnancy tests. For me it's always too late: my body is either playing tricks (which for it, sounds about right 90% of the time), or has shut down to make it all go away. Either way, here I am still waiting.
And I don't know how much longer I will be waiting. I've decided to postpone the pushing on doors, finding out what's wrong. I have my own suspicions, and what we know from past tests etc. But right now, the timing is all wrong. Financially, we are in one hell of a mess, and my head space isn't too good right now. Our marriage is under pressure: from both in and out: under seige, I guess you could say. We are working on it, fighting for it. It's survived everything else, no reason it won't survive now. But it's not a place I would go out intentionally to bring a child into (via medical treatments etc).
That's not to say I am giving up on the dream. I wouldn't refuse a child if the miracle was to happen on its own either. We would deal with all the crap and make it the best world it could possibly be for a child of ours. But still, I want to be in the best place I can be in for our child (particularly emotional health-wise). And I am not there yet. I want to be, but right now, I am not.
It means a huge reorientation to my world outlook. For a start, I am trying my best to not see the spare room as a future baby nursery (and therefore have decorating fantasies about aforesaid room), but instead as an office/spare room. But there are constant reminders, everywhere. Particularly people, with their questions and jokes about babies now that we are married. They hurt too: particularly when I turn around and tell them and all they say is "oh well it will happen one day: you're still young: why are you even worried to start with?". It stings. It feels like a slap in the face. Yes, it might happen, but it might require complicated, expensive medical treatments: and if I am having problems now, when I am supposed to be the most fertile, indeed, the most capable, of falling pregnant, it obviously won't bode well for me later... Add in my Crohn's Disease, and the future possibilities with that, and I don't know what I am looking at.
~Me: May 29, 2009~
My father was released this year as well, and in the process released a shit storm that had been building since he was put there. I explained:
I was trying to be ignorant. Trying to live on hope. Least whilst he was in there I didn't have to think about him. Now I do. I worry. Worry for my family, my friends. But more importantly my life: my way of living. Whilst he was in there, I didn't need to worry about him reading my online work, of following my life virtually. And yes, I am aware that was foolish of me. But I felt safe, safe enough for this blog, safe enough to have an online presence. Now all of a sudden I don't feel safe. The guideposts have changed. I refuse to stop but: to make everything private and go away. That would be letting him win: when he should be the one shut up, shut out, shut away.
~Me: May 27 2009~
I am certain by now that he hasn't changed: he still believes that what he did was not wrong. That the reason his life is the way that it is, is because he got caught and the girls misunderstood; not because he is the bad person. And then he takes out his frustration on innocent members of the family, because he knows if he dares contact me, or any other girls involved he will be back where he belongs, where he should be, and serve out the rest of his sentence, the way he should be. That is all that there is to that.
This year I got more involved with No Longer Quivering, and Free Jinger. My family's journey to leave fundamentalism went virtual, and I began analysing other parts of the movement, such as Visionary Daughters. It has been an interesting look back and look at what could have been. At no time was this point re-enforced as strongly as when I ran into a fellow homeschooler at a bus stop of all places. I wrote:
Interestingly enough, at the same time as my mother's and I's little testimony was going 'virtual', I ran into a girl: that homeschooled using ACE (Australian Christian Education, I do believe: we never personally used it, but I did know people that did growing up). And I picked her out of the crowd at a bus stop of all places. Long hair (that was gorgeous, but had plenty of split ends and needed a cut), long skirt, and utter naivety. I went over to her and vaguely referenced homeschooling/Christianity/Laura Ingalls ( in pretty much ever single homeschooling family that I know (including my own) Laura Ingalls was their version of Harry Potter for girls!) , until she confirmed what I had already summarised: That she had been homeschooled, was one of 13, and etc, etc. I was quite upfront that I had left the movement myself, at which point she just became a touch aloof: but I persisted and was quite friendly and referred yet again to 'things' that the movement was into and we did have an interesting chat. But yet it was clear that she really didn't have much contact with outsiders like myself........
I kept thinking the whole conversation that girl could have been me, ever so easily with only a few small changes to both my personality and life's story. Would I swap with her: would I change anything about my life? Err no. Regardless of how "messy" my life is, I have choices: I can read, watch and do whatever I want. And that to me is precious, ever so precious.
~Me: August 15 2009~
I began the year well health-wise: the surgery appeared to have "settled" the Crohn's. Unfortunately, this was not to be. My Crohn's flared sometime in July and has been busy creating havoc since then. It is particularly impacting my joints; a worrying development. I have been trying to focus on getting by one day at a time, but it has been hard.
Our friends and family have constantly remained mainstays in our life, supporting us, encouraging us and helping us as need be. Truly, the conclusion to this year could have been worlds apart from what it is. There are too many to thank individually, but we love you, and thank you all!
Well that was my '09...it was a year of choices, of gaining and losing, of trials, tribulations, joys and triumphs. It was blessed by many and cursed by few. What a year!! With only 2 weeks left, I look forward to an explosive finale. Woot!