Thursday, March 28, 2013

And a bit of regret.

It had been very busy for me since the last post, especially with me attending a counseling conference last weekend (and take a note from me- *try* to take a day or two off before or after.)     Before I go on in this post, I got to tell you- I was flabbergasted to find that only one Deaf counselor (me) had showed up at that conference, among 3700 attendees.   Whatever.......

Although, I took a lot of workshops that I felt were necessary to pursue in my job, or would benefit my clients;  I chose one workshop for myself- "Regret and Forgiveness and Wellness." What grabbed my attention was what the presenters had written for purpose of this workshop: "Negative emotions can lead to a breakdown in all areas of life. "If Only" are the saddest two words in the world.  Regret weights a ton for those who shoulder it every day.  The process of this session will be to confront regret and learn the path to forgiveness. There is almost a magic as forgiveness allow guilt, sadness, shame, anger, or disappointment in self to fade."

The room was totally packed when I came in, so a guy was nice to give me his chair when he realized I had trouble getting on the floor (due to bad knees.)  It was then a realization that all of us have to be in smaller groups, to identify a regret, to expand on it if desired, what one can do about it and to let it go- well you get the idea.

When the presenters said to tell each other of a regret, I looked at the fellow members in group, and I had one thing on my mind. Many doubts flying around in my mind- "was this big? Not enough?  Too soon to say?  Would they understand?"  Realizing the eyes were then on me, waiting to hear if I'd share something forbidden, I burst out,

"I cannot have children, I should have gotten pregnant much earlier, that's my regret."

That said, I wanted to grab it back and say "you didn't hear that at all."  But no, that's out in the open.   I was both frightened and emboldened... crazy, huh?

I couldn't say more than that, but to say that by end of the educational session, I was thinking on what I had learned about myself:

I am still grieving, although it is changing bit by bit.
I am not ready to let it go at this time.
I need to forgive myself first before I could forgive others.
I need to follow the spiritual/emotional map destined for me on my own time, in my space; I cannot follow others people's maps in forgiveness.

And you know what?  I'm okay with that.

P.S. I had ordered the book, that was recommended in the session "Way of Forgiveness" by Patrick Miller. So that's something I'll read someday.... when I'm ready.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Small pond

I admit being Deaf has its own hazards... in this situation, even more being infertile/childless.  You see, it's nice to hang out with folks who can sign- don't get me wrong, I do have hearing friends- usually online (where we could type in instant messages or social networks), or writing forth and back in person.  The convenience of having a language where we can communicate, instead of writing (that would consume more time, looking for paper and/or pen, and waiting for turns to read and write forth and back.)  Trust me, after a certain time, it does become tiresome. 

So, it's nice to chat with folks in sign language- doesn't matter if the other person is deaf or hearing, as long as we share a common language. Anyway,  due to being in a Midwest town (they say small city, it's all same to me- certainly not a big city like New York City or Washington, D.C), there is a certain limitation of people who can sign, one could befriend-  even less for one who works in human services.  So that's a complication, furthermore- gotta be careful not to befriend one who might end needing services from the Deaf services one day. Or relative/friend of a client-  you get the idea.  

So to put it shortly, my pond was small when it comes to developing friendships. Nevertheless I did my best, befriending all I could which ended up with a certain number.    There was two who were already mothers to children- no problem.  At that time, I was hoping that I'd have a child.   All others hadn't children.  

Since late 2011, it seemed something was in the water then....  Someone was already pregnant by the time I found out I can't have children. No problem...  then...*boom* *boom* *boom* end of 2012, there was three babies in the circle.  Okay...  No problem..I had two local friends left- *boom* was pregnant- was due this month.  No problem...  I had one left.

Last month, the last local friend told me she was pregnant.   I am happy for her, but I swear the gods were laughing at me.  

I was thinking, "Okay- there's this new co-worker- she can sign.  There's hope."  I was going to see if we can go out for coffee- especially that I had found out that she lives nearby.   There was sunshine peeking through the dark clouds, finally!  

 Today, I was chatting with one other co-worker, when she asked me whether I know anything new about the new co-worker. I asked her, with dread growing in my stomach... "what?" 

"She is pregnant."     About the same due date as the other friend who told me last month.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for 'em.   Just that it sucks being the last kid picked for the game, (as in school.)

Yup, what Molly Ringwald said.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Trek on the NY/NJ

Basically, I had basically a Greek comedy/tragedy experience traveling to the East coast. Repeated delays, broken planes, pregnant seat neighbors and babies everywhere, cancellations and shuttles from one airport to another all in one day!   Despite that, I had a joyous reunion with dearest friend R.

After resting for a few hours, we sat down at the table and made a "bucket list" to complete while I'm here.
Certain goals were very much for self-care, while others were quirks and/or something to enjoy.

There was a friend reunion, with someone I hadn't seen for almost twenty years!  I had gotten a kick out of that he didn't recognize me!  Even with hints, he couldn't figure who I was.  Finally, in mercy, we told him, and he was so happy- couldn't believe that I came all over to see him!  It was nice to reunite with him. There was even eye candy of an Irish Bartender working-  he introduced me to a drink- I should keep this as one of favorites to order in the future-  Pineapple Upside-down cake martini!   It's so yummy!

One day was full of mindfulness and pampering!  I got to do gentle yoga (now I have to see if we have that here!), a wonderful pedicure, with toes painted glorious purple, hugs out of the blue, staying in the present, and chatting over tea at night.  Best day during the vacation!

We got to watch 'Switched at Birth", all in ASL (no voice).  "Uprising"-  if you hadn't seen it, go and watch it!  You are very much welcome to experience my world from the Deaf view.. :)  Was wonderful watching it with R (she's Deaf, too!)


One of my favorite spots is New Hope, PA.  There is an energy there that one can soak in, warm and loving- very much like sitting front of a fireplace, cozy in your blanket- that's the energy one can find in New Hope.  Meanwhile in New Hope, I got another tattoo at Living Arts where I had my tattoo long ago, of the wolf cub to represent my miscarriage.  This tattoo is of a curvy labyrinth on my calf, which I can lift to trace discreetly while sitting.  I had to hold hands with R, during the applying of the tattoo, due to one area being bone.  A tip to y'all who might consider getting a tattoo....get some lollipops. Don't ask me how, but they sure reduce experiencing pain to tolerable levels.

New Hope and R
 We ended up at a restaurant that faced the Delaware river; Martine's RiverHouse.  OMG, the food there- so good!  For the first time, I had tried duck- eating Duck Salad.   I swear we could hear the ducks outside quacking while I ate the ambrosial meat!  There was a sunset, causing the Lambertville bridge to shadow upon the river.  Something not to forget.  


One other day, we went to New York City-  in goals of checking off one sightseeing of three choices: Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, Madame Tussauds museum, or the Harry Potter exhibition at the Discovery Center- all on the Time Squares.  We picked Madame Tussauds, and I am glad we did! There were so many characters that tickled my funny bone, like Charlie Chaplin; characters that I squealed over, like Johnny Depp; and characters that touched my heart like Amelia Earhart and Marilyn Monroe.    There's so many photos that I want to share, but those has to be my favorite ones. 

With John Elton

R chatting with someone high above the city

After walking through the Time squares, (saw the building where they drop the ball on New Year Eve!), we then went to a restaurant, Elmo, (yes, that's their name.)  in another area of New York by subway. I sampled one of their signature drinks, Black and Blue mojito (full of blueberries and mint)- absolutely to die for!!! I met some neat-o guys, sweet friends of R, and to boot, the waiters... so cute hunks that I'd love to take home!  *Giggle*  

There was pauses in time when we'd just sit down at the kitchen table or on the couch and chat for hours over coffee(me) and tea(R), and those times were precious to me.  She totally knows what it is for me, in my situation, and she gets it.  Not many folks could say that, you know, dear readers?  That's one of thousands of pieces I love about her.    There was tears, there was giggles, there was eyes-rolling, and sighs of exasperation, and there were laughter.  How could one put a price on that?  

To my delight, (although dismay for all other who live in NJ/NY), we even had a snow day!  I was disappointed that there was not enough snow in where I live, so to wake up to a winter wonderland was something unexpected yet exciting!   To R's astonishment, I walked in snow barefoot, to measure the depth of snow; by the way, that was 8 inches.  Yes, I was sad that we couldn't go walk labyrinths that day as planned, but the snow made up for that!  I threw snowballs, playing in snow- I had missed doing that for several years!  

We had a memory lane trip when we went through R's book shelves, including talking about her collection of Laura Ingalls Wilder books, "Misty and Chincoteague" and other books by Marguerite Henry, and Anne Rice's Vampires novels.  Always loving to talk about books!   Currently, I'm borrowing some books from her, including one book I hadn't known that Anne Rice wrote, so looking forward to read "The Feast of All Saints."   

So, the vacation was very much what I needed-  away from everything, to focus on me only.  I am Jules, just not childless and sad infertile, not therapist, not advocate only, and that was what I needed to dunk myself in, to reunite with myself, on vacation and with wonderful friends. Thank you, R- heartfelt!  

By the way, I got to check some stuff off the bucket list, so I look forward to review that by end of 2013!  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013