Saturday, 2 November 2013

Breaking the Shackles

Last Sunday (27th October) I experienced a tidal wave of emotion that had been brewing since about one week after officially starting my blog and which grew to an almighty climax just hours after publicising it on facebook. I felt utterly raw and exposed – scared to death of that fearful eye of judgement which might only come in the form of nonchalance, flippant clich├ęs or dismissive silence, but would be enough to make me feel even further isolated from the world.

I seized this feeling of panic to do the only thing I could do given the momentum of my journey, already well underway. I decided to go and see my GP, my ever-supportive doctor who was there for us both the whole way through our ectopic and IVF saga. It was for this reason that I wanted to see him specifically and that I was practically sick with nerves, provoked by an overload of shame, before entering his room.  What if he made a casual remark about “still not being happy”? I didn’t think I could take it in my emotionally vulnerable position. But within seconds, I blurted out my “confession”, along with an eruption of tears. And from that point, I was able to chat quite calmly while he listened without emitting any air of criticism.

It might not seem like such a big deal, popping down the local surgery for a chat…but it was so much more than that. It was a sign that I felt ready to put my hand up and say, “I need help” and that I was willing to have this officially documented on my medical records. I very soon realised after that appointment that the help I really needed was simply to be heard and understood. We did discuss Cognitive Behavioural Therapy classes which I will attend with great interest in learning the techniques behind nurturing positive thought. But I know that the real key to this sense of liberation which is growing stronger inside me day by day is that I have finally found my voice.

A close friend of my parents wrote these poignant words to me before she had even read my blog:
“Dear Zoe….I will read with interest and even before doing so am admiring of your honesty and generosity in sharing your massive challenges with others. I am big into coming out as a way of claiming and declaiming our own truths and of ending speculation and assumptions.”
She then sent me an email the following day which I wanted to share with you all because it is far, far too special to keep to myself:
“You describe your struggles….the roller coaster….the joys and the blows…without holding back which is admirable. I think that you and your husband have found ways of making love that are untrammelled by stereotypes and although they may not correspond to the myths we are sold are actually part of an honest conversation. I have always thought of lovemaking as just another extension of loving communication…that doesn’t always or ever follow some prescribed recipe for pleasure. Take pleasure in the real.”

Upon reading these words, I burst into tears….beautiful, happy tears to have found someone able to perfectly articulate such a profound depth of understanding.  As time goes on I’m feeling increasingly nurtured and supported by YOU… readers. It means the world to me, knowing you are there and that you understand.

My mum sent me a text after having finished reading through my posts. She said: “I hope the three of you can feel my arms around you and hear a heart beating with love.” My eyes still well up with tears every time I think of her words – my beautiful, perceptive mother who feels my pain as her own.

For four years, I grieved the absence of a child. I hated myself and doubted myself as a loving wife for my inability to enjoy sexual intimacy. And now….I feel released, for I finally have the strength and courage to let myself grieve the loss of my womanhood and to speak out about what that means to me and to us as a couple. I know I will never fully recover from this loss. But by speaking out, I can live with love and truth in my heart. This dream is ours to keep.

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