Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dark Passenger

I may have posted about this, but I'm expanding on it because it seems to be the thing I am having the most trouble coming to grips with.

I have a split personality.

Yep. I have the ideal side of me who is strong, capable, hopeful, and can overcome anything in her path. That is the person I was before infertility and who tries to surface in intervals throughout the day.
Then there is the injured side of me who is tired of being shit on, who pulls back from happiness and who is angry at everything. This is the girl who wants to run away, avoid the memories, and everyone who currently has what she lost.

I play tug-of-war with my split personalities every day. All day.

I can feel like two different people in the same moment. I think I may very well be schizophrenic.

For example: I go to a friend's to spend time with her and her baby daughter. I am feeling pretty good...holding and cuddling with the baby...smiling. Then something clicks over and I feel despair and grief over this happy family. This family that had no problem creating this beautiful child, carrying her, and can now be blissfully happy this Christmas. My heart breaks in that moment.

Then sometimes I can reign myself back in and focus on how happy I am that my friend never had to know the pain that we face - that I had to face. I can shove it back down with both hands and be a normal friend to her.

On occasion I can make it through the rest of an evening without that injured side of me stomping back in. Other times...when I least expect it, my 'dark passenger' forces her way out without warning and I have no choice but to bow my head and retreat.

All of this can happen in the span of 60 seconds. To go back and forth like that so quickly leaves you feeling like the breath has been knocked out of you. It leaves you completely drained.

That's what it's like when I venture out of my house to push back at life. That's what I have to go through over and over, every day. I know I can't just stop fighting my dark passenger - that side of me that wants to be alone and longs to stay angry. If I want to heal and be happy, I have to push back.

But it is SO exhausting. Every day when I wake-up, I think "oh god, here we go again".

My nephew seems to be 'afraid' of me a little now. I know that kids (at a certain age) get shy and hesitant with people they don't see on a frequent basis. I guess I am now bordering on that line and it kills me. He used to be so happy to see me and it was nice to have that kind of obvious love. Maybe it's just a phase for him...maybe it would have happened anyway, but my weekly visits have definitely been fewer the last couple of months. I know my sister understands, but this may be the result of my partial avoidance of children.

I'm trying to do what's best for me, to not be hard on myself, but I don't want my nephew to look at me like a stranger. I want to be someone he is not just comfortable with, but who he can count on to be around. The person he loves is my 'ideal' personality...the side of me that is struggling to stay dominant. I try to keep the dark passenger under control so that I can maintain some kind of normal in my life, so that I can be around those I hold dear. But the struggle gets so exhausting sometimes that I have to allow that side of me some face time. I have to stay away and let go of that fight.

I have my fists out swinging most of the time. More now than before, I can find the strength to keep up with the split identities. I know it's just a matter of time and persistence, but I don't want to lose anything else in the meantime.

I received the block ornaments I had made for M & A yesterday. They were adorable and I was so happy to see them. I went directly to my tree to find them a good spot out front. In the span of a few seconds, my dark passenger had appeared and I seriously considered throwing them across the room. I was so angry and upset that I had no babies to show them to. M & A will never see them. I don't even know what color eyes they would have had. Blue like their dad or green like me? And the ornaments should not say that they were born at 9 inches long and 11 ounces. They should be 6 pounds, 19 inches and the date on the block should be in February.

I was just so frustrated......so I cried. I let the injured side win. No one but my husband was around to see it and I had already made my ideal personality spend time with my pregnant sister that day. I was just too tired to fight with my split selves, so I didn't.

Everyone says this is my new normal. But I don't want it to be. I want my dark passenger to leave me alone for a while, maybe forever. Unfortunately, I don't think she will ever really go away. I have a feeling... that if ever there were an event to split me into two people, it would be the passing of my babies. I have a suspicion that this new part of me is sticking around and that I will just have to discover a way to live with her. If this is indeed my 'new normal', I have to either be okay with the way things are now or I have to lead as often as possible with the ideal me.

Both sound very difficult.
This was not anything I imagined I would have to deal with. I always thought "if I could just get pregnant..." and now I am realizing that the road to a full term child is much longer than I anticipated. I never dreamed I would end up at war with myself, constantly torn in opposite directions.

Me vs. my dark passenger.

Every time I push her down deep, she pushes back with equal strength. It's like trying to shove a buoy under water. Just when you think you have it beat, it pops back up. In fact, I am exhausted even thinking about it.

I guess my halves will have to arm wrestle it out. The problem is, my ideal side hasn't lifted weights in a while, so I am not sure that would be a fair fight.

* the idea of a 'dark passenger' comes from the Showtime series DEXTER.


  1. I can say I can relate to this totally. IF changes us and puts this constant internal pull within us....the person we want to be (happy, supportive, kind, there) and the one that IF has created (mad, angry, confused, lost and desperate).

  2. This is an exceptionally well written and touching post. I'm a Dexter fan too so I understand the back story about the "dark passenger" and how Dexter struggles to live with his. I know how you feel about struggling with your two selves, the shock of the struggle and the exhaustion that follows and everything in between. I miss the old me. I miss only "one" me. I am so sorry about what has happened to you and hope you become stronger and more comfortable with yourself every day.

  3. Maybe you can make some time to let your dark passenger out for awhile. Let her tears flow for just a little bit, don't fight it or feel bad about it...accept that part, but just for a little bit each day. Also remember you're still hormonal and greiving. I know you don't want to feel this way, but I can bet that one day you will just be tired of that side and you'll let your ideal take over again. And with B...it's totally a stage. My Nephew does the same thing to me.

  4. Wow... I know exactly what you mean. I want to be that happy go lucky fun person I used to be. But, I'm not sure if that person even exists anymore... not completely. I recently had a conversation with someone about this. IF changes us, in ways we don't like. I hate that I'm constantly on the defensive with everyone because of what they might say... or might not say. I hate that it has affected every relationship I have. I guess we have to keep fighting... day in and day out. But sometimes I think its ok to let he dark side out and work through some things. We can't keep it suppressed all the time. I saw a quote the other day that said "When it comes to what you want in life, don't take no for an answer." That's what I've decided to do... no is not an option. xoxo

  5. I can relate too. I even wrote a post titled split personality. I think its pretty normal to feel that way in the IF world.


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