The Merging of Old Self and New Self
The morning after we got the news I was up and running. Making phone calls, writing, plotting, planning, energizing the troops. And the next day, and the next. This centrifuge of energy continued for the next ten or so days as I found myself knee deep in files, sorting through pictures, discussing strategy and making decisions with the speed and precision with which a chef would chop an onion.
I can’t tell you what has happened, not right now. What I can tell you is that it’s not good and that it threatens, unfairly and unjustly, what is left of my nuclear family. Though I am personally ok, it has thrown my already off course life off course yet again, and it will be a dominant thing in my life for the next two years or so. It could end very badly but chances are good it won’t.
And so, as I rallied, I noticed that on some undefinable level, amid the fear and chaos, I felt sort of, well, good. Upon pondering I realized that I had stepped, organically and quite seamlessly, back into what we’ll call Old Warrior Sarah. Or perhaps it was she who stepped forward to meet me. But seriously, how can we really tell the difference? Those of us who are straddling two lives, old and new, and getting acquainted with our new life selves – selves who are unfamiliar yet also more “us” than ever before, those of us who gracefully juggle living in what is and in what should have been – we often run into mystery and have to stop analyzing when we’re met with that all too familiar blur.
Old Warrior Sarah herself ain’t no blur, however. She’s the back it up, I’m coming through (and F you if you don’t like it!), grab the bull by the horns, take no prisoners, I will out think, out work AND out smart you, stare fear in the eyes and smirk back piece of me that I haven’t felt in so so long. Slipping into Old Warrior Sarah has been a most comfortable surprise, like sinking into a pair of comfy (yet VERY functional) well broken in shoes you forgot you had or talking to an old friend you haven’t seen in a long while, the conversation flowing as though no time at all has passed. And boy, have I missed her.
Though she sure doesn’t sound like a team player, Old Warrior Sarah “plays well with the other kids”. She is merging quite productively with some qualities life’s crucible has forced New Warrior Sarah to develop since infertility and childlessness rendered much of Old Warrior Sarah irrelevant (Bitches!). New Warrior Sarah knows that she can be beaten. She is intimately acquainted with her vulnerability and fragility, and is learning not to fight every battle. She has lived fully in the space where perseverance and belief and attitude impact nothing that really matters. She understands life’s randomness and now knows that loosing should not be taken personally. Nor should winning. She knows that while Old Warrior Sarah is not sustainable and needs much support and replenishment, she does make a mighty fine grenade anyone would be lucky to have in their corner. This impromptu combining of the two warriors seems to create a most alluring potency.
Not that it’s ALL been so clear cut. Like with my nervous system disorder I find myself clumsily trying to figure out where to file the really really bad in relation to the worst case scenario of losing my children I know all too well.
And do those of you who have been through life altering trauma and/or loss find your responses to other crisis can initially be kind of flat? But yet another part of you is on hyper-vigilant alert, knowing you are more vulnerable for what you have already lost? So yeah, there’s been that.
Is the merging of my two warriors a sign of healing? A deeper integration of self? Numerous glamorous tokens of evolvement zipped through my head one afternoon. And then I remembered one of the infinite “pearls” (or is it an oil spill?) my journey through infertility and involuntary childlessness has left me with. The real truth of ‘what is’ often, wistfully, does not lie in the poetic. Nor does it lie in the spiritually aspirational, or even in the profound. ‘What is’ is often basic, sheathed in a homey sort of logic.
“Maybe something just happened where Old Warrior Sarah is relevant again.” The notion that “maybe this is just easier” reverberated like a never ending echo.
Yes, perhaps fighting for that which actually gets to exist is easier than emerging from that which never got to, at least for now. Perhaps scenarios where your efforts and foresight and perseverance may actually function as leverage in your favor, as opposed to dust in the wind, are just easier. Or maybe a year from now I’ll want to slap myself for even daring to associate my current crisis with the concept of “easier”.
And then I remind myself, it’s not involuntary childless OR this current crisis, it’s AND. It’s involuntary childlessness, AND a nervous system disorder (that will hopefully go away eventually) AND this current crisis. I suppose I’ll have to contemplate the layering of other crisis and obstacles on top of one’s journey out of infertility and through involuntary childlessness in another post. I’m thinking of “When Life Throws Shit On Top of the Loss of Your Children” for the title. Or how ‘bout “When Life Takes a Dump On Your Recovery”? Has a sweet ring, no?
In the meantime, folks, I’ll post when I can. I seem to only write for this blog when I feel I have something to say and when I’m centered and functional enough to get it down in words that might actually make some sense. While I admire people who keep a posting schedule, the stability that provides our community and the diligence it takes, it’s not who I am as a writer. I tend to be more on the “go with the fickle winds of connection and inspiration” end of the spectrum, which I hope serves its own purpose too. I’ll reveal more details about “my current crisis” as I’ll refer to it on this blog when I can, in the meantime please know that what lies ahead might take me from my writing a bit, and blog reading too.
But enough about me. Have any of you had experiences where a piece of your “old self” returned? How was the experience for you? Had you thought it was gone forever? What pieces of yourself do you miss or not miss that haven’t yet shown themselves again?
9 thoughts on “My Two Warriors”
Gosh dang grrrl. I’m seriously echoing you right now, in the early stages of reclamation mode (and a half done blog post mentioning it). Reclaiming Aimee is what 2018 is all about, and you know I get that thing where shit rains on top of the Infertility Parade…my therapist had to almost shake me this week to make sure I could see how I’d given up on myself… and how very possible it is for me to rebuild and redesign my path.
GREAT pictures and I hope you will keep blogging…your voice is SO strong and I know I’m not the only one who would love to hear from other sides of your universe and how your journey proceeds. Badass!
Sending all my best wishes for Reclaiming Aimee 2018!! I know you’ll kick ass. Reclaiming an entirely changed and shattered self (or insert your words of choice) is no joke, that’s for sure.
I’m only guessing what your current crisis is, but I fully agree with your assessment that your ability to fight hard and well is due to the ANDs of all you faced and gone through.
All that said, I sincerely wish you one fight where the outcome is nothing short of easy and swift victory. That what is facing you and your family is so throughly vanquished that the only response is celebration. In the meantime, I’m wishing the warrior part of yourself all the gifts bestowed on those who win the great battles.
Thanks Cristy! I will gladly and gratefully take all those good wishes. Although when I think about the shock I’d incur from a swift and easy victory, I start to laugh – I know you and many others on this blog can relate.
Awesome post! What I truly love is that you say you have two warriors. I’ve often felt that I have one strong and one weak side–that infertility caused me to lose my confidence, strength, and being self-assured. But now I see that the me who went through infertility was really strong, too! And I look forward to allowing BOTH of my warriors to develop into an even stronger Brandi in 2018! (I, too, hope your crisis is resolved quickly and as easily as possible.)
Oh Brandi, your comment made me think about all of the possible reasons why it is so hard for us to validate and appreciate the aspects of us that develop from infertility and childlessness. Not much thinking on my part, but a pretty long list is bubbling up in my head. Maybe my next blog post, we’ll see. What I do know for sure is that yielding and being wounded takes incredible strength, just a very different kind than what a lot of us are accustomed to. Kudos to both of your warriors!
Thank you for making me smile this morning. 🙂
I call it my badass self that rears it’s badass face whenever it’s required… most of the time I’m this relatively chilled out person who can leap into coping mode whenever the sh*t hits the fan – I’m a doer so I’m fine when I’ve got things to actually do in a crisis (if that makes sense) it’s only afterwards when the madness is over and I’m left thinking ‘oh my goodness, that was wild’ that I suffer, if I don’t practise taking care of myself and putting my own needs first.
Whatever challenges you face, I wish you strength, fortitude, love and light and I sincerely hope you come out of this latest fracas in one piece. If anything, going through infertility makes us more self aware than most and adverse to bullsh*t. Kudos to you xxx
This does make sense. I’m at a part in my current crisis where there’s a lot to “do”, there will be more and more waiting as time goes by so I’ve reminded myself that’s a different kind of challenge. And I’ve absolutely noticed the self awareness you point out that we often acquire more amply than our parenting counterparts. Hopefully someone will study that one day. In the meantime, thanks for formally introducing me to your Badass self:-)