30 April 2009

midnight dragons

I have spent so much of my life fearing failure- not wanting to fuck up, make folks mad, disappoint anyone, make a mistake.....
But real life is full of failures-- small ones, big ones, many I am sure I could have avoided, while many others sure seem to have been unavoidable....
I am good at some things, bad at others, and there are a billion billion things I have not tried. When I was younger I was afraid of trying and failing, so often I would not try at all-- I was that afraid of additional failure. And really so much of that still holds true. I have not grown out of it yet.

But I have learned that failure is part of what happens-- the whole IF thing is all about trying to snatch (as it were) victory out of the jaws of defeat--- it felt like nothing but a great parade of failures big and small--but for once that was what I was fighting against rather than folding in the face of--I was fighting the presumption of failure-- I made plans, learned new things, tried new things (and how), and failed and failed and failed and all the while, I admit, part of me fully expected failure to win.
And then
much to my astonishment and against crazy odds, I succeeded.

Whoa, I say, I don't know how to do this part-- I feel apologetic, I say.
When the few folks who know ask me how things are going I say fine, so far. so far. I qualify externally when talking with folks, and I qualify inside my head and heart as if somehow that could cushion a blow if something goes wrong (while I know nothing can).

Dear friends of my darlin miscarried this weekend at week 12. It feels so cruel-- you're out of the woods! But no. And my heart is breaking for them. I say I cannot imagine it, do not want to imagine it, and yet, to be honest, it is something I imagine every day.

I am looking for boogie men. Yes, I say, so far.... as far as I know... yes, things are going fine I hope.... but my heart feels so cautious, I dare not fall into this idea of YES THIS IS GOING FINE. because what if I'm wrong?

I asked myself in the middle of the night if my fear of failure has turned into some perverted fear of success-- I admit I am scared shitless of parenthood-- I am not a lover of all kids no matter what, and not a natural when holding other people's babies-- I was no ones nanny, babysat only twice in my whole long life, have no younger siblings, did not play with dolls (unless I was performing surgery with cuticle scissors on the ironing board)-- there is nothing about this that I know.

but I think I realize that I don't yet look at this as success.

I am too scared to drop my guard as if somehow the mere intensity of my guard is what is making this work (so far). So many of you post-IF pregnancy folks have written about your fear of jinxing it-- no, do not put on the maternity clothes, no do not tell folks yet, no do not.......
as if if we relax into this the tiniest bit, we will open the chasm held shut by the power of our fear.

Gosh darn, wouldn't it be great if our fear could be so powerful!? Then all the dragons would be slayed and we'd all be home.


daves51 said...

YOU know I get the other shoe dropping syndrome because I am one of those syndromers too. But, I have a new theory as to why we are they way we are and it is because we need truths and honesty from everything all the time.....the poet. We see the ugly and and empathize no matter where in the world it arises or we see pain no matter whose. I believe that some people go through life with the ability to deny truths and actually lie to themselves while totally believing they are being truthful and are happy and fulfilled because they don't dwell on those things that you and I do. So, I am taking a new track and going to try becoming a pathological liar and say to myself the bad and the ugly no longer exist and I will no longer look for the dark shadows that follow me. What do you think? I think there's not a chance in hell it will work. I'm just jealous of those who CAN do it. I know they sleep better at night than I do.

Sarah said...

it is all so terrifying. i have to say, it's much easier the second time around. it is now something i can actually imaging working out. all that failure...you learn to have the lowest possible expectations. you're conditioned for only bad news. we don't know what the heck to do with all the energy we put into the constant monitoring and syringing and obsessing. you're not ready for it to go into name books and registries and nurseries because you just know too much, so for now it just gets dumped into worrying about every possible (bad) scenario. but....none of that means it won't work. your body is ready for this, your brain just hasn't caught up yet.