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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Misfit


Do you have moments when you feel like you just don't fit in anywhere? I certainly do, and it seems to get worse the longer I live with infertility. I used to really enjoy social functions of all kinds. Of course I still do enjoy them occasionally, but most times the anticipation is almost more than I can handle. I'm afraid to put myself out there for fear that it will end up being awkward. I feel so much safer at home and usually I'd rather just stay in. It's true that a lot of times I talk myself into going and when it's all over I'm truly glad I went. But the fact is that those times have become few and far between.

The problem is that there is no real place where I feel I belong, socially I mean. I'm too old to be with the college kids - next year will be 10 years since I graduated from college. Although I identify with singles in many ways and value my single friends, I'm sure they don't always want to hang out with this old married couple. The young marrieds with small children have quite a bit on their plates, not to mention those closer to my age who have school-age kids! It seems like I have less and less in common with my peers with each passing year. Of course I have dear friends from all of these walks of life and of all different ages. Some of my dearest friends are closer to my parents' age and have kids who are grown. I think that having many different kinds of friends is great, but still I feel more and more isolated lately - like I'm stuck in a place where I don't belong and can't move forward.

The other day in a moment of frustration I told my husband that I felt like I should be shipped off someplace where broken things go. Immediately I thought of the Island of Misfit Toys from the classic Rudolph cartoon. The funny thing is that I can't tell you the last time I watched that movie. It's been at least a decade but I remembered it pretty clearly: the jack-in-the-box named Charlie, the spotted elephant, and the little doll. Remember all those toys that were rejects? I watched a video clip from the movie on youtube to remind myself of some of the others who lived on the island. I'd forgotten about the train who had square wheels. I hadn't remembered the bird who could swim but couldn't fly or the boat who couldn't stay afloat.

Maybe it sounds silly but I can relate to those misfit toys. I desperately want to be something I am not. I want my body to work the way it should. I am a mother who has no children. I feel like I don't quite fit.

This isn't a pity party. You have to understand something about me. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is when something doesn't work right. I get so frustrated when I can't get something to serve its intended purpose. You can imagine how difficult it is for me to live with a body that doesn't work the way I think it should! It is incredibly annoying to me (not to mention heartbreaking) that I have such a hard time with pregnancy and there is nothing easy I can do to fix that. No, nobody ever promised me that things would be easy to fix or that problems would be easy to solve. I haven't had a life like that anyway, so I would've quickly learned that I'd been misled. Still it feels like it just shouldn't be this hard.

I never want anything I write here to be interpreted as hopeless. Believe it or not, I can see a few positive things about those misfit toys! They were certainly unique, and although they didn't feel like they fit in, they fit in perfectly with each other. There's something to be said for standing apart from the crowd, and it most definitely helps knowing you're not alone. It doesn't always feel good being different, but there may just be someone out there who needs just what you have to offer.

Surprisingly, I found someone who happens to like spotted elephants and doesn't mind birds that swim instead of fly. You know, maybe there are no "misfits" after all.

11 comments:

sharonvw said...

This is a great post Stacey! I have created a perfect worl for myself by surrounding myself with infertile friends, but I worry about what will happen when one of us falls pregnant or has a baby, how will the rest of us feel.
Its like a tower made of cards, it may look pretty and seem perfect, but one wrong move and it all comes crashing down.
Somehow I just know we're all going to be ok we just have to find out where we belong.
(((hugs)))

Jenn said...

Stacey, it breaks my heart that you are going through this emotional and physical struggle. I know you are not looking for sympathy but when you hurt, you know your family and friends hurt. I certainly don't mean to give you "empty advice" as if I know what you're going through because I don't. But I just have to say that the first thing I thought of when I read your blog is that the devil is a liar! No matter what we're going through, he wants us all to feel like misfits. We are created in God's perfect image. Why you are going through this, we do not know right now. BUT, God has come that we may have life in abundance, to the full, until it overflows (John 10:10 Amplified). Hang in there. God is a good God and he gives us the desires of our hearts!!!! You are not a misfit. You are right in God's perfect will.
Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I have to chime in on this one too. I have been a misfit my whole life. No one ever really "gets" me so I never have fit in. You have the opposite story of me. I had a baby in college when everyone was single and having their independence. At that time, everyone who had babies were 8-10 yrs older than me with jobs and money. I was broke, in a young marriage and in school. I didn't fit into any category. Nothing much has changed. I would rather be a misfit than try to fit in with everyone around me. It seems like I would have to compromise a lot of things to be in that position. So smile at your Atlanta misfit neighbor! -Faith (the bird that swims...)
Come over here and play anytime!

Teresa said...

You've done it again. You always post what everybody seems to be feeling. Crazy! I'm stuck in between people who want kids but can't/don't have any and in the world of wanting more kids but can't/don't have them. It's quite odd. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas girl!

Andrea said...

It is very true that if you weren't going through this you wouldn't have met all of these other "misfit" people online and been such an encouragement to them (like you are to me!). I only wish I lived nearby so that we could do things together. I feel like a misfit too. Especially since I don't have a job. All the married women I know are either SAHMs or involved in their careers. And your sentence "I'm a mother without children" perfectly describes me and all of our IF friends!! It's so frustrating, but it really helps to talk about it together.

Connie said...

It is amazing to me the way you are able to "speak" so clearly to so many people. I think you would probably be amazed by how many people would be able to relate to this post in some way. I know I certainly can. How many times have I wished I could just stay home and not have to face certain situations? (You know the main one I'm talking about.) Isn't it great that we do have a place where we feel comfort and safety? Home...it's a great word. I sure do wish I could give you a BIG HUG right now...just wrap you up in my arms and squeeze you. Can't wait to see you in a few short days. Come on home, Stace! Where the spotted elephants and the swimming birds play...where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the sky is not clouded all day...

Alicia said...

I understand. I've not had all the emotional ups and downs and struggles with M/C. But I am a broken barren 30 something mommy wanna be. I liked how you spoke of hope and being able to see the positive in the misfit toys!

Love,hugs, and prayers from a fellow misfit.

Sunny said...

Once again, a post I could've written myself. I have three close friends locally, all very different from one another. One is married for 9yrs, very much like me. Another is never married, newly dating someone. And yet another is the mother of two, a 7yr old and a 1.5yr old. Each of them seems to fit with a different side of me. There was a time that I felt absolutely out of place. I still feel that way with neighbors (they are either parents or retirees). I have a hard time bonding with people because I feel so out of place sometimes. I'm the square wheeled train. Thankfully there is a place for the misfit toys.

Andi said...

I had almost forgotten all about the little elf that wanted to be a dentist. Thanks for that reminder! But even more, thanks for sharing how you're feeling. And, I think Connie's right - we'd probably be surprised by how many people can relate to feeling like a misfit. In fact, I'm about to email this post to a friend who was just talking about this very thing. Thanks, Stace!

Amy said...

Thanks again, Stacey, for such a beautiful picture of where you are right now. I'm sure we have all felt pretty misfit at some point or another with our bodies that don't work quite right. It is a frustrating experience. But look at the little community you have found on here that loves you just as you are. I know that it not the same as having your babies with you. You have given a voice and words to so many of the feelings we all have had. Thank you for doing that, even when it is just one big ball of frustration.

TRS said...

Great post.
I'm a misfit too. During my lengthy unemployment I just felt like a loser. Like a train with no wheels.

And ending my relationship when I want nothing more than to be a wife and mother - seems so contrary to logic.
Add to that the feeling that no one will ever love me that much. I do feel abandoned.

Then came all the Christmas Photocards (which I absolutely love!) with all my friends and relatives and their growing children. Yup. I'm an old maid.

But Stacey, I want to encourage you to maintain your friendships with your single friends. I am sure they are not sick of hanging out with a married couple.
As you've heard from me - some of us singles totally identify with your situation. I too am a mother without a child - desperately wanting a family. Your single friends probably understand more than your married with children friends.

And quite frankly, I'm sure your single friends long for your company. It's lonely out there.