Sunday, October 24, 2010

Holding my sh#t together

Hello Friends,
The last week has not been awful, not tragic, not insane, not chaotic. But it has involved revisiting my past. And so the last week has rattled me like a little earthquake. It really was only maybe a 4 on the Richter scale. Minor, but felt across the land of Augusta. 

After I came back from my trip to my home province, I visited Energy Medicine Woman on Monday. That was a 3 hour appointment and she lives and practices an hour from where I live. So that involved a big chunk of the day. Keeping an open mind, I just decided to go with it. 

For those of you who are new, this post explains about how I ended up consulting Energy Medicine Woman. Briefly, Dr. Ninja, my TCM doc recommended I go see her to work on my blocked energy. He felt that the reason I never went through puberty or had menstrual periods was because of trauma, something that rang true for me.   

Energy Medicine Woman was less flaky than I had imagined. She was a pretty straightforward German woman, with kind eyes and a genuine smile. She took a lot of time to try to understand my history. And since she's good but doesn't yet read minds, it was my job to communicate that to her. I had to unpack that ugly past again, with of course lots of tears, and a sense of falling off the earth. We then did some reprogramming of my subconscious (yeah, baby, bring it on) with this thing she does called Psych-K, and followed that up with hypnosis. It was cool. I could dig it. I had to say these phrases à la Stuart Smalley. I could deal with that. During the hypnosis, she made me visualize being pregnant, delivering a baby, and hanging out with our kid at different ages. It was really nice to see those images. 

But then the next night, it sort of turned on me. Having to talk about my past sort of stirred up the mucky bottom of the lake. There was lots of stuff on the CBC (Canadian equivalent of NPR) about the trial of a serial killer and rapist this week, and some details got to me. With Mr. August away this week on business, I ended up having a horrendous night on Tuesday. I realized that I was, what we call in my business, re-experiencing the trauma. So, as a kid (starting at 11), I was left alone at night until all hours. I was super scared and could never sleep until my dad came home (the Cakeless Monster (my mother: thanks for that one Bunny) had left by then and was living with a wife-beating narcissist. That happened night after night, and there was just nothing I could do about it. I would call my dad at work and beg him to come home, but he was drinking and had to close the bar after all the customers had left. Since then, empty houses have always been uncomfortable for me. It was useful to go through that on Tuesday, though. I realized on Wednesday that I was actually 11 years old all night and not 36, and that helped me have perspective on things. I had a much better night on Wednesday night, anchoring myself more firmly into the immutable fact that I am now a grown woman and can take care of myself very well, thank you very much.   

(Please allow me a parenthesis here for a display of my indignant rage. People like THAT are allowed to have children and I'm not? And many of you have not been able to? I understand cognitively that life is not meant to be fair, but this pushes the limits of my understanding and acceptance.)

So, at some point this week, I looked up and said: "Ok, Universe, I get it. You want me to look at it. You want me to look at that whole mess of a catastrophe that was my childhood and adolescence and make even more sense out of it than I already have. Or release it, or whatnot. I can do that, Universe. I am game. But, crap, can you just let me write the final part of my dissertation first before I become frayed at the edges and perhaps much less functional? Can we make a deal here?"  

And then I got an email from Energy Medicine Woman, which contained the following paragraphs: 

"May I be as outspoken as Dr. Ninja, Augusta? :) I have been wondering whether you are perhaps rushing into the step of having your friend donate eggs for you? :) It might be the right decision, but I would like you to first understand why your body does not produce eggs at present, what limiting beliefs are possibly behind that fact. I did hear you say that you feel you are under time pressure but I would like you to give yourself enough time to find out why your body is responding that way. The donation might very well be the right way to go, and I will do everything I can to support you to reach your goal for a successful pregnancy and birth, just don't rush into anything. :) As Dr. Ninja is balancing the body physically, let's look at the emotional and mental side of things. That at least will help you to get your body ready for the pregnancy, possibly shift even more.

I think, it's safe to say that the reason for you never having had your period lies in the trauma of abandonment, neglect and emotional abuse that you experienced as a child. It could be that your subconscious decided at age 11 that it is safer not to grow up, and/or that it bought into the message of not being worthy to be alive and to have off spring. When you were 20 you had to override that negative belief and choose consciously that you do want to live. Not producing eggs to reproduce might be a remnant from that limiting and destructive belief that you do not deserve to live. :) "

Yes, that was exactly what I was hoping to hear. Another person thinking that the egg donation should be delayed. I was taken aback, but I didn't let it bother me too much. It's her opinion, and I don't have to follow it. And the egg donation, if it goes through, isn't going to happen next week. Our next appointment is for November 16, at which point a time line will be established only if we have the green light. Sattva's CD3 blood work may have shown that her reserves are running low, and this whole egg donation discussion will be moot. 

In the mean time, I've felt a resurgence of empowerment, a clarification of priorities, a fuller appreciation of where I'm at as a whole person (wow, that makes it sound like a revelation. It wasn't exactly that. It was more like a quiet knowing). I'm doing my best with all the medical appointments and Dr. Ninja's prescriptions, but I need to make these practices mine and make them fit with my other priorities. So, at the moment, I need to finish writing the beast. That's a big priority. I've thinned out the acupuncture schedule a bit, I've delayed my next appointment with Energy Medicine Woman, and I am drinking black tea, dammit! I'm not shutting the door on doing the work to revisit my past, but I'm also wanting to be very careful in how I do that. And I want to keep moving forward with my current life. 

Signing off, and hoping to get an hour or two of work before going out for a walk with Mr. August, who came home last night. YEAH! Thank you for your wonderful comments. Your encouragements and kind words mean so much.


  1. You are so wise and brave, woman. I am sending you my deepest love and support, as always. Let's talk soon.

  2. Oh, 'gusta, what a tough week! Thank you for sharing some of the specifics of your trauma with us. I'm so sorry that 11-year-old you wasn't properly cared for; it's just damn unfair. But I'm especially proud of you for taking what EMWoman said and e-mailed you, and rather than making it gospel, deciding what you, who know you best, need to do. I think it would be really hard for me not to just give up my intuition when someone else seemed to know better. Sure, we could all benefit from looking into our difficult pasts, but it's our job to decide on the timetable, not someone else's. You're strong, you're awesome, and you're gonna get your baby.

  3. Sometimes it is so difficult to hold our sh*t together...bur you are doing an amazing job! I am supporting you with whatever choices you decide about DE. I think its a fantastic option and in the end, you want to be a mom, plain and simple. And you will be, one way or another.

  4. Good Luck on your journey!


  5. That is a lot to process, its good to reflect on our past and consider how it has affected us, but you also are so much more than that and I'm glad you're feeling empowered and taking control of your life in the present. Love & strength to you my friend as you navigate these questioning waters.

  6. That is a lot to process, but I do believe that this energy lady seemed to have had a powerful experience with you. Reopening traumas is so difficult, but can really also to help facilitate healing. Thinking of you.

  7. I don't know what to say Augusta. You are a brave and amazing woman. The shit you've been through and you still have a lot compassion and kindess inside you. You should be proud of yourself.
    I choose to think of Energy Woman more as a medium to help you understand yourself better (rather than her uncovering your buried past). There is something so theraputic about an 'aha' moment. It is undescribable, but it sounds like Energy Woman will be able to help you have many of these.

    And about your egg donor cycle. Well I'm inclined to think that if Sattva's BTs come back looking good that you should proceed with it as planned. It's all very well for these people to say that all you have to do is unlock your past and you'll magically become fertile, but really that is a HUGE call to make. Sorry if that sounds out of line, I don't mean to say that Dr Ninja or Energy Woman are wrong, but i just think sometimes it's ok to say yes to science.

    Wishing you many more peaceful days to come.

  8. So much stuff to think about and go through and process!! I'll be thinking about you!! You are so strong and so smart! I'm sure you will be able to get through all of this and soar!!

  9. This sounds great for you. And You sound centered with wanting to explore your past and find your energy, but stay focused and move forward. I think it's great.

    ICLW #8

  10. Revisiting the past sounds so difficult. As the others said, you are strong and brave for taking these steps. No-one but you can decide what you need most now, whether it's time to write or donor eggs or something else. (And black tee or even coffee -- I so hear you on that.)

  11. Sometimes it feels so much easier to ignore the past. I'll feel like it has no impact on me and then, suddenly, it whaps me in the face. I hope going through it helps you and I hope that you're able to move forward one way or the other! ICLW.

  12. You have a lot of ball in the air to juggle. I admire your focus and the time you are putting towards healing. I don't think EMW is trying to "delay" the egg donor cycle, but is more focused on your wellbeing as a whole. She might be nervous about you trying to cover the pain of your past with a joy for the future.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. FB can be really difficult to deal with when you're still coping with IF. The dislike button is gone, but you can hide updates from your pregnant or mommy friends. I'd highly recommend it ;)

  13. Wow, what an "event" filled post. It sounds like the energy woman is wise, but definitely not the final answer. My personal perspective is that there's a time to visit the past and heal, and a time where healing comes from moving forward. You can kind of do both at the same time, it sounds like. There's simply no one and only answer in this situation.

    And keep on the dissertation. I think the joy and relief you'll get from finishing that will be worth ten visits with the energy woman!

  14. Augusta. Wow. What a large amount to digest. Your excitement seeps through my keyboard. Thank you for that little burst of delight.

    I thought I knew where I sat as I read this post. Then my girl egghunt threw a nice valid curve ball at me. She gives a good challenge to consider.

    There may be another chance at your eggs? After our first failed IVF my former RE recommended donor eggs. I switched to another RE had a healthy baby with my own eggs at age 38. Yes, I am back at donor eggs now, but it was my choice. I was offered one more long shot, but rejected it.

    You may consider where you sit with this. Are you ready to pursue the option that has the most chance for success or do you have a little more research to conduct?

    Donor eggs will always wait if you choose to ask them to wait. Look in your heart and see when you are ready for this baby. Easier said, I know...

    My thoughts go out to you and dear Sattva. She must be concerned about potentially facing her own issues, though I don't know if she wants to carry a pregnancy and have a child from this one day. It is easy for me to unintentionally make assumptions from over here. I hope this door does not close for you unless it is your choice to close it.

    You are a star to me Augusta. You will know the right path to choose.

  15. well, that was quite a dissertation. (pardon the pun)
    do you think you could ask miss know it all energy lady why the rest of us don't make eggs if we were not left alone as an 11 yr old? she does not know everything.
    you know what you need and don't be fooled by even those supposed "experts" that think they know why you are not able to have children. think if it had been a random person telling you that that was the reason why you didn't have children. Would you believe it?

    Keep plugging away on your dissertation. And then lets think of all the reasons the energy woman's dreams haven't come true for her.

  16. Augusta, I'm so sorry that you had such a lousy night. Why do those ghosts of the past always come knocking when one needs sleep? They're terrible things but I'm not surprised that talking about those years resurrected them. And the truth is, I don't know where the answer lies to that. I'm not sure if it's better to haul them out into the light, inspect them, make some kind of peace with them, or to let the sleeping dogs lie. And the worst, I think, is that even when you think you've dealt with those traumas, they dig themselves up again. And your traumas are big ones.

    That e-mail would have ruffled my feathers not a little. There's nothing like deciding on a path, being content with that path, and then having somebody suggest it's not the right one. It's maddening, actually. I also think that nobody has cornered the market on truth. They might be right, they might be wrong. I'm glad Energy Medicine Woman did not turn out to be a flake, but I also know that if she HAD been one it would be that much easier to dismiss that e-mail.

    You're smart about getting the dissertation done. Hard as it is. Once it's done you have that under your belt and nobody in this wide world can take it away for you. There will be time for the other things.

    (And, for what it's worth, I'm your black tea partner-in-crime because I had one this morning.)

  17. I read this post a while ago and have been thinking about it. But in the end, it doesn't matter what I say, because the way you end the post shows how strong and grounded and DAMN SENSIBLE you are. Anyway, I'm so heartbroken for little Augusta. That's an unbelievable thing to do to a child, plus it sounds like there was all kinds of added horror coming from knowing both of your parents were messed up (drinking, being beaten by a narcissist..). I'm really sorry for all of it, and sorry that of all the profound ways it could have affected you, it chose this way. It just...SUCKS. And it was so brave to share that part of your history!

    Also, it seems like EMW wants to heal you and save you. Which makes sense--I guess that's what her practice is all about. It just seems like she's not hip to the medical complexities of the situation, and the exigence. I'm glad she expressed herself, and it sounds like you're not too influenced by anything she wrote, and I hope you continue to not be.

    In summary, you rock.

  18. This is my first visit to your blog and definitely not my last. I think it is great that you are reaching out to all different sorts of practitioners to help you on this journey. It must be hard to hear a suggestion to slow down when all we all want to do is to be pregnant yesterday. Wishing you the best of luck in this trying time.