Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Toxic Anger

Over the years, I have done a lot of research on planning my family, and this research has taken me to some very dark places. No one wants to be in the place where we are having to research alternative family making and there is nothing worse than reading all the stories about people who want to prey on us because of our desperation. Many people approach the business of creating a family from a place of distrust, and this distrust is often a posture that is necessary. Sad as it is, the fact is that there are many people who make a living promising others the sky, only to take what they can and run.
There is another reason for this distrust that I think a lot of people are reluctant to speak about. I know for myself, I have spent a very long time being angry, very angry. None of this is fair; my body is refusing to perform the most basic of biological functions. There are people who judge me every day for the decisions that I have made. There are days when I look at children and think that they were all put here just to remind me of what I will never have. Over the years I have missed events, because I cannot find it in me to be around children. While I love all the children in my life, they have also been the source of a lot of heartache. So on top of all the anger at my body, I am angry that the world can seem to keep turning while I am crushed. I am angry that there are people who do not want their children, who seem to pop them out on after the other, I am angry at all the people who judge me, I am angry at the world some days, and I am angry at all the people who tell me that I should not be angry and that the anger is just making things worse.
Here is where it gets tricky. From my observations there are some people out there who go into their relationship with their surrogate and forget where the anger belongs. My anger is my own and I am the only one who is allowed to play with it. I know this goes against everything that we were taught in preschool, but here it is appropriate. Just as I would never share a snotty rag with someone, because I would not want to give them an illness, I cannot share my anger either because it is just as infectious. I think that many people do not recognize this because it comes out in very odd little passive aggressive ways. The most common is being annoyed about the money that must be spent. Now this is a very fine line, and I would tell anyone that you should never pay out anything that is not spelled out in your contract. This is the whole point of a contract. Sure there are going to be little things that can be forgotten, but this is why you take your time and make sure that you are not forgetting anything. That piece of paper is there for everyone’s protection and should not be rushed, even when it feels like you are never going to get it done.
This is also why I think that is important that intended parents be emotionally ready to enter into a relationship with their surrogate. It is not easy to do this, but it is incredibly important for everyone involved. Why add stress to an already stressful situation? A few more months is really nothing in the scheme of things, and it really is nothing to ensure that you have the healthiest baby possible. I know that I have given up a lot in deciding to use a surrogate. I know that there are going to be times when I am going to sit in the floor and cry because I am missing out on parts of the experience. I also know that I am going to experience something that very few people ever do; a relative stranger (who will forever be a part of my family) is willing to give up at least a good year of her life so that my dream can come true. I do not want any of my own issues to get in the way of having this experience.
The only way to ensure this is a good experience for all of us is to make sure that we are clear about our expectations from the beginning. How would I be any different from all the scammers out there, if I promised things that I had no intention of doing? If you do not want to share pictures or have any contact after the birth, then you need to make that clear from the beginning. You should never promise anything just so someone will work with you. That is unfair to that person, but more importantly it is unfair to your child. This is their history and their beginnings in the world. Do you really want that all to be built on a lie? One day they are going to have to be told, whether you think they will or not, and do you really want to have to tell them about the lie that started their life. Yes, creating a child is all about us right now and our desire to be parents, but one day it will all be about the child and they deserve to be created in a place of honesty and trust.
If this post has offended you, I am not sorry. It is my opinon that things that offend often hold truth.

14 comments:

emilythehopeless said...

as usual you're posts are spot on. i completely agree.

Beautiful Mess said...

Very honest and I love every word of it!

Anonymous said...

I am so happy you have found a way to make the family you desire- in the end happiness is what matters- screw anyone that wants to make your life anything but. I hope this all turns out for you this time- I have 3 kids and wouldn't trade them for the world. Good luck.

bumpfairy said...

:happy dance here:

That's MY IM!! Although I'm gonna say this up front: vent to me, woman. It's part of the emotional rollercoaster of being pregnant and growing a family, which is just where you are. I'm not easily dented and I really do understand and empathize with how 'effed up the world is that you've had to go this route to bring your child home. It sucks. Even the money issue; it sucks. I know if that were my alternative I'd not have any children. I see where the huge GAH comes in and it's OK for you to acknowledge it.

Also, I have no qualms insisting that you order me icecream for delivery. Because I'm pushy like that.

Kristin said...

I think you have a very healthy outlook on things and screw anyone who doesn't like it.

Cyn said...

Just when I thought I couldn't love you more than I already did!
Thank you for continuing to be so honest!

Jaymee said...

sabrina, i will put ben and jerry on notice!!

thanks ladies, i can always count on you. i am just waiting for the nasties to show up.

Lisa RM said...

Jaymee, amazingly well written and totally honest. I'm in a pissy mood so feel free to send any nasties my way to get their what-fors. You are going to be an awesome mom! In just another year or so!

momsoon said...

none of this is easy, but boy it helps to know that there are people out there who get it and also to have a place to 'get it out'- the unedited version...
Surrogacy is such a blessing and yet very complex, and I think that if you have never been through, what we go through, it is real hard to identify and have compassion.
I pray for you that this is all leading to your 'good news'!!!!
peace.

Rachael said...

I think that you have the most realistic view of this and can be so very honest, it is refreshing. I know just a touch what the infertitlty roller coaster can do for the emotions. Lucas was a miracle, I was told I would not get pg without invitro and I did, but have not had another despite trying altogether for 7 yrs now, and two surgeries later. And I get so saddened everytime someone else who does not need another kid can just pop one out. I have the utmost respect for your decision on how to grow a family. The nasties can and will creep in, but its all normal and part of the journey. And people can say all kinds of insensitive ignorant things, I know : (

Franay said...

Jaymee, you are one of my heroes, for sure. I can't wait to meet you in person.

I have to say from having secondary infertility and being with Sabrina through her own that infertility gives us a great opportunity to find each other, expand our families and make our lives more complete in ways that traditional baby-havers don't get. I'm a little thankful for that because if it weren't so, I would not have met anyone on the board, P-Daddy, or you. I'm thankful for all of you, so that's the silver lining in my mind.

That being said, if any subject deserves such a rant, it's this one. I admire your honesty and will continue to cheer you on. Can a girl get an extra spoon for that ice cream?

TABI said...

I absolutely know what you mean about this anger that comes from so many different levels of this experience. The relationship with a surrogate or donor is very special and I've tried to make a point not to have pain and anger taint my interaction with my GC. It really makes you expand yourself in ways I never expected.

Shell said...

I really wish more IPs...ok MY FIPs...would have been as real/honest as you! Your a beautiful person.

MyLifeMyWorld-SharingADream said...

Well said and I agree wholeheartedly. I'm glad you've got through the contract part, it's probably the most difficult part in a surrogate/IP relationship.

I also agree about the honesty thing, especially when it come to contact afterwards...why lie? Why not just be honest as to what each person is looking for? It's heartbreaking on a surrogates part if she is told one thing and then kept at a distance or the promises are not followed through at all. In the end, honestly is the most important thing, in all things surrogacy.