Still Small Voices Are Usually Right

Today, I had to rise and shine at an ungodly hour to get myself down to the hospital breast cancer center for a lovely, early-morning diagnostic mammogram. Just the way every woman wants to start her day, eh?  (Rest assured, all I have are a few benign-looking cysts – this post, thankfully, is not about that.)

There, within the tastefully-appointed inner sanctum of the “no men allowed” waiting room, I sat in anticipation of my tests. The cotton examination cape that I’d be given to wear draped softly around me. It felt like a bed sheet. The image of being back in bed relaxed me temporarily enough for a small, quiet voice inside me to say, “You’re angry.”

I sat up a little straighter in an effort to shake it off. I didn’t feel angry. In fact, I felt incredibly calm given the circumstances.

Later, when the radiologist had determined that what they found on the mammogram justified an ultrasound, I found myself on my side on an examination table watching blobs on a screen. This, of course, brought back memories of the handful of ultrasounds I had during my second pregnancy, and the joy Hubs and I felt seeing that small flickering light.  That flicker indicated a strong heartbeat.  That flicker gave us a false sense of security that the pregnancy would go well and everything would be o.k. This morning’s ultrasound also brought back the pain I felt the day that light was no longer present.  As I pushed back the memory and willed myself into an equally unpleasant present, the voice returned, “You’re angry.”

“Fine,” I thought, “I’ll concede, but at the moment there are other fish to fry.” The appointment continued, doctors were consulted and everyone was all smiles. “Nothing to worry about,” they said. “But come back in six months, so we can keep an eye on you.” So, you know, I have that to look forward to.

After being squished, mushed, poked, prodded, and gelled, I was back in my car and headed to work.  Grateful for the positive news, but still not feeling quite relieved.  The voice came back to remind me of unfinished business, “You’re angry.”

Now I was really annoyed, especially because the little voice was right. I am angry. I’m angry I did not get the life I imagined, the motherhood I crave.  I’m angry because the closest relationship I’ll ever have to motherhood is one that is so totally lopsided at the moment that it hurts me almost daily. I’m angry at others who get to have what they want easily. I’m angry because there are others like me who struggle and don’t get their happy endings.  What is so wrong with wanting to be a mother?  Why should it be denied to anyone? Nothing is clear. Nothing makes sense.  So yes, little voice, I am angry, but what do you suggest I do about it?

“Allow yourself to be angry,” the voice replied.

I don’t think I ever considered that before. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever felt entitled to be. Whenever I would begin to get angry, there was always someone there to remind me that others were hurting too, that it wasn’t quite the time or place, or that it was being directed at the wrong person or thing. Maybe it is time to be angry.

The question is “How?” Obviously I can’t walk around pissed off at the World and lashing out at everyone in it.  There’s got to be a constructive way to get it out, to channel it.

Maybe if I listen closely enough, my inner voice will offer more insight. Hopefully, it’ll happen before six months from now.

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathleen
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 18:50:08

    So your inner voice is like the warning light on my car. “Check engine soon”. Erm . .Car, could you be a little more specific? What PART of the engine? And HOW soon? Some time this week – soon, or go there now – soon?

    I came from seeing your post at Lisa’s LWOB. Enjoyed that post and this one. I am childless by choice, so sometimes my little voice says “you dont belong in this group” though everyone is so kind and welcoming. But my voice is correct really. I dont have the ache you have, I cant even fathom how painful it is. I guess I just wanted to say thanks for sharing. You deserve more. You deserve to have the family and life you want, and it truly sucks that you dont. xoxoxo


  2. Quasi-Momma
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 19:19:34

    Thanks Kathleen. That means so much.

    Yes. The inner voice may be right, but she’s also vague; and frankly, the b*tch can be a little smug.

    I think whether our “lot in life” is by choice or not, it’s never easy. It’s unlike any challenge I’ve ever faced, because there is a lot of room for uncertainty. The dreaded “what ifs” and “could have beens” are killer. Eventually, I’ll shake them loose.

    I understand what you mean about thinking whether or not you belong. I wonder too because my journey isn’t so much a struggle with infertility others on the site, but I think there is room for every voice. Our paths may not be the same, but we can all understand there’s some struggle involved, especially when we’re dealing with the expectations that society places on us as women.

    Much love and peace to you!


  3. Jenna
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 19:26:49

    Quasi, I think you’re onto something. For me, I *need* to put a name to my emotions in order for me to move through them. So I journal. I write and write and write and get it all out. Often that brings new insights that I wouldn’t otherwise have. And it’s constructive because it doesn’t hurt anyone. I’m not lashing out at anyone or causing anyone else harm. I’m just being honest about what I’m feeling in the moment. Also, don’t forget to mourn the loss of the future you dreamed of. Mourning is a huge part of the healing process. ❤


    • Quasi-Momma
      Apr 20, 2012 @ 19:36:14

      Thanks Jenna. Yes. Getting it out your head helps. And thanks so much for your writing too! Your post on Stepmoms as outsiders helped me finally understand some things about my skid that my hurt was not letting me see. Keep writing, and I’ll blogroll you here too.


      • Jenna
        Apr 20, 2012 @ 19:48:43

        Thanks, Quasi. These situations will rule our lives if we let them. I’m glad my writing was able to help you gain a new perspective. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  4. astrid
    Apr 20, 2012 @ 20:15:53

    You sound like you would be a wonderful mom – and I agree with the first poster, it’s not fair – and I really empathise for you. I am not religious, although (ironically!) I would like to be..I would like to just be able to believe that there is a kind-hearted higher being looking out for us all, but life is unfair. I think the fact that you have already suffered a huge loss and were widowed is just awful. I do have children, but I am taken aback by how many people are awful parents – and compare them to women like yourself, who are clearly kind and educated and giving. It’s senseless and unfair – I admire your courage and strength and pray (in my own non-religious way) that some positive outcome will happen & you find real lasting peace – whether that means having kids or not.


  5. always a mum
    Apr 21, 2012 @ 21:20:52

    Hi Quasi- Momma,
    I admire your frankness, strength and grace in dealing with what your losses. I pray you find strength on this journey and have an ending that would be fulfilling


  6. Mali
    Apr 22, 2012 @ 09:44:03

    I’m also visiting from Lisa’s LWB. Anger is okay, but I think we’re taught not to express it (especially as women).

    I had a sofa with large feather cushions that needed to be plumped (seriously plumped) regularly. The easiest way to do it was to kick them – and so when I was angry, I’d take it out on the cushions. Slightly scary, given the strength of my emotions, but quite therapeutic too! I also have a friend who can vouch for screaming into the linen closet, or grabbing an old lipstick and scrawling angrily all over the bathroom mirror.

    I also found the anger went more easily (or visited less frequently) when I realised and accepted that indeed, nothing makes sense.


    • Quasi-Momma
      Apr 28, 2012 @ 09:42:35

      Thanks Mali. Sorry for the delay in response. Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them and also enjoy your blog.

      I do have some activities that are designed to allow me to get the angry out. One of them is a combat-themed cardio class. Translation: A lot punching and kicking the air. If that’s not a metaphor for what I’m going through, what is?

      The problem there is that I can’t visualize the thing that spurs the anger. How do you put a face on this?


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