Today begins the Conclave!
People always go nuts over the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and it is truly magnificent to behold. But, when we saw the chapel, I was immediately drawn to the back wall, where the above image, titled The Last Judgment of Christ, is painted, encompassing the entire wall.
All I know is, I wouldn’t want to be a cardinal charged with the mighty task of choosing the next sucessor of Peter, all the while facing an image of a seriously ripped Jesus about to lay waste to this mortal coil. Gulp. Choose wisely fellas.
Changing gears slightly…
Lent has been rough everybody. I’m doing really well on my “no ice cream” intention. No ice cream since Ash Wednesday, not even on a Sunday. I was doing really well with my gratitude journal for a while, but the last week or so has been very difficult. Probably the massive failure of my hcg injections, with no one to help me, since the pharmacy is in MA and my doctor is 2 hours away. That started the ball of funk rolling.
Then I realized on Sunday, after back to back really hard announcements, that I can’t stand Facebook anymore. I need to get it out of my life, at least for a while. So as of Sunday I added a Facebook fast until Easter. There are some groups on there that I love (like the Catholic IF group I am part of), but others, just….ugh. I started jokingly calling it “Babybook” because every time I log on, someone is pregnant, or just had a baby, or is posting 500 belly shots, is complaining about being pregnant (again!) or posting pictures of them wearing their baby in 600 different positions, nursing them, burping them. I’m actually amazed someone hasn’t posted a photo of the contents of “little darling’s” diaper yet.
Seriously. I love babies. Obviously I love babies, or I wouldn’t be coming unhinged at my inability to have any more. But come on. There is such a thing as “oversharing”. Yes, I could hide them from my feed. Only, since I’m 29 years old, and most of my friends on Facebook are also around 29 years old, EVERYONE is having babies. And, even more difficult to deal with, second babies. Yes, I could hide the people having babies, who have babies they post pictures of every day. Then I’d have my 14 year old cousin, our priest, and handful of infertile and unmarried friends left on my feed.
No, the problem isn’t Facebook. It’s me. I don’t fit in to the Facebook timeline narrative of life any longer. I’m not having my second socially acceptable child, spaced 2-3 years apart from my first. It’s not so much that I fear being left behind, as that I’ve already been left behind. It’s intolerable. I have this gross, oozing wound in me right now, and Facebook is a salt shaker being liberally applied. Life is hard enough these days without willingly inflicting that shit on myself 10 times a day.
You don’t know how much I wish I could see all the baby stuff and feel nothing but happy for all of those people. I really wish I could. And whenever someone who has been carrying the cross of IF gets that BFP (big fat positive) I do feel happy for them. I feel sad for myself, but I feel happy for them. They are finally getting a reprieve from this pervasive suffering. Intellectually, I am happy for all of these babies. It’s a good thing when new life comes to be. I believe that. But in my heart, oh that’s where it gets dicey.
No matter who it’s coming from, when I hear an announcement, my first reaction is to feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. If it’s in person, I slap a smile on my face, say “congrats” or something to that effect, and try to high-tail it out of there as soon as possible so I can make sure I’m alone when the tears come. If it’s online. If email, I dash off a quick congrats and then cry. If it’s on Facebook, I scroll right past it. If it’s someone I’m reasonably good friends with, hopefully I’m finding out from some medium other than Facebook. If it’s someone I’m not reasonably good friends with, then my “like” doesn’t mean a thing.
Then the anger. The anger only comes when announcements from from (a) people who obviously don’t want to be pregnant (b) people who weren’t even trying and (c) people who got pregnant as soon as they go off of contraception. Not at the people themselves, mind you. It’s not their fault that their bodies work and mine doesn’t. No, my anger is directly squarely at a God who lets people who don’t want to be, get pregnant with ease. Who lets people who spit in his eye and flout the moral law, conceive with ease, when they decide it’s time. Oh, if only it were so simple!
Then there’s the simultaneous existence of abortion and infertility.
When we were fussing with the hcg, me on the verge of tears because it was not working, I looked at Atticus and said, “Somewhere, right now, someone who doesn’t want to be, is getting pregnant. And in 4 weeks she’ll pay someone to kill her baby, while we’re weeping over another cycle come and gone.”
I will never understand a God who lets both of those things exist at the same time. And no answer that anyone could give me would make me understand, or satisfy the level of anger I feel about it. It’s ironic, that my “virtue” for the year is “trust in God’s infinite goodness” because more and more, I just…can’t. I just can’t. More and more, I think he’s asleep on the job. So there it is.
No, leaving Facebook won’t make me less angry at God or myself. It won’t make me less sad about the fact that life is swirling all around me while I remain empty. No, it won’t do either of those things. But it will act as a measure of self-preservation, and these days, that’s probably about the best I can do.
***Wordpress automatically posts to Facebook, so my posts will appear, though I’m not logging on to post or admin them.***