Things with E. seem to have improved slightly in the last few days. Of course, that's all relative, considering that last week, the state of our relationship felt decidedly touch-and-go. So just because I have been dragged back from the precipice does not mean my legs are not still shaking from the vertigo.
We went out to dinner on Friday night, the first opportunity we had had in over a week to sit down together and have a civilized, leisurely conversation. Somewhere into my second glass of wine, I decided to gently broach the topic of treatment again. Since he was again resembling the old E. I know and love, I thought perhaps this signalled a change of heart on how to proceed.
Well, no. The dreaded "hassle word" did not arise, but the line given was more or less the same. That being, "I've thought about it and I still don't want to."
I pressed, gently, and was rewarded with this notable nsight into the male psyche;
"I can't articulate why I can't articulate my feelings about it."
I toyed with the bowl of olives and sighed. I looked over at E. and noticed how sad and tired he suddenly looked, with dark shadows under his eyes. So I was about to drop it and move on to something less controversial when he said,
"You're just...obsessed with this."
Obsessed? Ob-SESSED? Me? No, no, no. My friends, I take issue with that. In relation to the infertility cross I bear, I am many things- but obsessed is not a label I would apply to myself. OK, it is true that especially during the treatment cycle, I was more than a little preoccupied. But who wouldn't be? IVF treatment requires immense commitment and attention to detail. Getting to clinic appointments on time. Injecting medication at a certain hour of the day. Rescheduling or juggling other things in life (work, friends, weddings, family, vacations, cash flow) for the duration of the cycle. And that's before you take into account the emotional and psychological implications.
Embarking on medical treatment costing huge sums of money, with uncertain outcomes and no guarantee of success? Yeah, I think it's safe to say that most people would become a little preoccupied during that time. But in my view, that does not equate to obsession.
Nor does feeling sad, frantic, depressed, angry and scared when the outcome of that treatment was a big fat failure. All those feelings, let us never ever forget, are normal. N-O-R-M-A-L. Besides, all things considered, my thrashing and wallowing was of incredibly short duration, with very few demands placed upon E.
And since when does trying to make realistic plans for our future turn me into a fertility bunny-boiler? I honestly don't think that some pro-active consideration of the way forward at this particular point in time makes me in any way obsessed. I don't agree that a serious, mature, rational discussion about what it means for me and for us, makes me obsessed. I mean, damn. On the obsession spectrum, I am far over into the "relatively chilled out about the whole thing" category. There has been no daily nagging, actively proceeding behind his back, or sticking of pins in the groin area of a little E. voodoo doll.
The irony is that if there was something else I wanted to pursue in life, such as running a marathon, starting a business, learning a language, writing a novel- E. would be applauding my focus. He would commend my goal-oriented behaviour. In all other endevours, he would support single-minded determination. But when we start talking about something with emotional undertones, something where he feels like the riptide of my desire might suck him in and drag him down, then it becomes a bad thing. Dangerous. Worrisome. An obsession.
And yes, I told him all this, fighting the urge to kick him in the shins under the table. I'm not sure if my message sunk in- or at least, that was not something he could articulate.