I’ve been given homework by my NLP fertility hypnotherapist. To write about the two sides of me.
The public me :
The multi-tasker. The professional. The perfectionist. The planner. The protector. The loyal friend. The sunny daughter.
In my day to day life, I go to work and maintain some kind of normal facade. Although some may have noticed I’ve become progressively quieter over the last year I’m keeping up a pretty solid front generally speaking even though I feel like screaming inside. I can do my job well enough. I can be strong for family. I can pretend that everything’s ok when I need to. More or less. Truth is, very few people in my life know the full extent of what is going on with me. And I want to keep it that way. I don’t want to appear vulnerable or emotional or weak even though I’m feeling that way. Externally I’m hardening. I want an impenetrable skin so I can never be hurt by harmful words again. I’ve become extremely protective of my feelings and my experiences. I’m more private than ever. It’s as if no one else deserves to share the knowledge of my losses, they are so unique and special and individual to me. I could not bear to let someone who can never understand my sense of hurt penetrate my bond with those babies. The public me would not cope with the scenario of being analysed.
The private me:
The pessimist. The doubter. The self-loathing coward. The anxious over-analyser. The one who can’t move on. Who is too scared to.
The real me is only visible to my husband and my hypnotherapist, two people I actually see. Anyone else just gets various shades of the public me. But never the private me. Meltdowns and crying fits, tantrums and anxiety attacks. All unadulterated, are all part of the private me.
I am the real me with my Miscarriage Association forum friends and the readers of this blog. No one in my public life knows I’m part of either of these groups. There’s a kind of openness and strength in this anonymity. A comfort in knowing I can be as miserable and pessimistic and heartbroken without being judged or analysed. And although we haven’t met I can feel a connection that is stronger than the majority of my longest lasting friendships. I guess pain is like that.
One thing is clear: this double life is tough to maintain. Where cracks are beginning to show is when I am forced to interact with strangers or friends who are expecting or recently new mums. I now avoid them altogether. I’ve terminated longterm friendships because of my inability to cope. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up the shirade for much longer. The energy required to keep up the placid and capable me is almost as as taxing as enduring the losses themselves. I guess it’s a package deal. But I’m not ready to unleash the private me to the world. I’m not ready to endure the quiet judgement that exists towards people like me. To hear the “thank god that isn’t happening to us” muttered under their breath. Nope, for now as hard as it is, things have to remain the way they are in order for me to feel some form of self-preservation, some self-respect. I think it’s all I can do to keep my head above water.