The Long, Twilight Struggle

You accused me of being grumpy when I came into work.

I replied I wasn’t grumpy or annoyed or even mad.

Sometimes I have a lot to think about; I am disappointed with the choice I made of who to love and be with, and I am frightened about doing them again. I am worried that I will not feel or be fulfilled, and that I will constantly, for the rest of my life, walk around with a feeling that I can only describe as a heartache that will never end for as long as I live. You know I read that one time? That having no children and wishing you had children feels like a never-ending heartbreak? Like when your 17 and your boyfriend dumps you and you think you will never get over it? Only that for me, due to what happened, it will never go away? It scares me. And I often wonder where all this came from? It wasn’t something of an issue that occupied me at all when I was younger. It was only when it was taken away from it dawned on me. When did I become like this?

But hey, I have control now. I am not pouring my heart out to my girlfriend about it. I shy away from it. I do not feel like escaping life by looking up B&Bs somewhere along  the British southern coastline, go down there alone and lock myself in that room and hide from society. But even if I keep myself in order, I have periods of feeling worried and sad. That’s what you see when I come into work with a strict face, few words and a couple of deep sighs. I am not grumpy. I am just worried about life. Disappointed with the past, and scared about the future. Maybe this is how it is when you grow old and more than before look back at your life and judge your actions? Suddenly I have a whole decade to look back upon as an adult. No wonder I am worried.

I am not grumpy. I am frightened, disappointed and worried.

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And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place

Last weekend I went to a birthday party. He turned 31 years old – quickly becoming a very grown man. I went alongside my brother and a mutual friend the same age as the birthday boy. I’m some years older than them. My brother just turned 30.

I had not spoken much to this mutual friend for a while, and I noticed his subjects had changed from somewhat childish anecdotes and memories of past drunken adventures to subjects such as starting a family, children, and pregnancies. Apperantly, his current girlfiend wants two children before she turns thirty which means he have to be up for the task within four years. He was obviously up for it from how he spoke about it. He also mentioned briefly he had spoken to the birthday boy about children just a few weeks ago, and told us that the birthday boy had admitted to him that it wouldn’t be too long until his girlfriend would be pregnant. I got the feeling from that (and from later on that same evening) that they were trying for a baby. One of the other guys in the group going to the birthday party had just become a father himself.

It is moment like these I have to fight my own mental state. I have to fight back that I feel down because I am older than them. I have to fight back all dark thoughts of failure and a feeling of loneliness which I cannot really explain. I have to keep fighting back feelings of disappointing my mother for not having been able to start a family and give her grandchildren. It can be hard to deal with.

I consider the birthday boy one of my best friends, and I remember the therapist I saw asking me last spring about what would “tip me back to where I was mentally last winter.” I immediately replied that if the birthday boy would become a father, that would be devastating to me. I am not sure if this is the case now, but I am very scared of how I will feel, act or even respond when or if this happens.

I am a competitive guy. I like to compete, and I like to win. The birthday boy had invited us all (a group of six or seven guys) to go Go-Karting for the day. I had not done that for about 17 years, but I have a bit of simulation experience which gave me the upper hand in the past at least.

On the way to visit birthday-boy, I had been fighting my demons for the past hour or so, and could not shake the feeling of being a failure or “less” than many of them due to all this new information and all the talk about children which took my by surprise.

I can’t really explain why, but I took my fight to that silly Go-kart track instead. My failures (or my feelings of failure), feelings of being a loser, someone at 36 who cant even start a family, disappointing my mother, and just feeling down and out. And you know what, I took the worst side of my personality onto the track as well – jealousy. Because I am angry, sad and jealous that they are planning, creating and looking forward to having children and a family. I was jealous and sad.

Now, the birthday boy has a bit of experience Go-Karting. He had been doing a bit of research beforehand – studying the track and reading a bit on the subject. He was ready and rumour said he was  a natural at it.

The Go-Karting we did was all time-trial. All about getting in that fastest lap. The birthday boy won the first 10 minute stint. He was about 0.300 seconds in front me. After a quick break,  I got back onto the track for the second 10 minute stint. And I wasn’t going to let him win this one.

I drove like a madman. I pushed that damn Kart so hard the wheels were screaming in pain around every bend and turn. I might end up on the loosing side of not fulfilling my biggest dream of becoming a father, but I would sure as hell end up as number one on this damn track. I wasn’t gonna let them get me down here. I had to win at something, and it had to be here. There was no other choice.

After I was done, I could hardly pull myself out of the small Go-Kart. My arms were numb. I struggled heavily pulling off my drivers suit. I could hardly take the helmet off my head. My hair was completely soaked in sweat. My mouth felt like a cotton ball. I desperately craved for a water. I was dizzy, and I could hardly stand up. I looked at the others. They seemed fine. Everyone was a bit tired, but I was completely worn out. All this after 20 minute of Go-karting and I consider myself in pretty good shape. All my jealousy, anger, frustrations and anxiety was left there on the track.

We looked at the track times. I did it. I was first. An inner sigh of relief. I was quickest. I had beaten the kart-researching-most-likely-father-to-be birthday-boy. I had beaten them all. I felt fucking good. Its not a side to my personality I am very proud of, but it made me feel better. I had thrown out of all my demons and insecurities for the evening. They were left on the track. I was first. I won. The old guy won.

Outside, I overheard one of the guys saying I had been driving like a person possessed.

Afterwards, in the evening, I had a headache and felt sleepy. I didn’t feel better until I had had considerable water to drink. I was dehydrated.

Two days later and my arms are still sore.

 

Infection

Well, I’m stuck with a severe inflammation in my groin due to way too much football and way too much sporting activity in general. My right knee is also screwed due to a lot of biking.

I can’t remember last time I sat in front my computer for a relatively long period of time to write, talk with friends online or read articles about my hobbies and interest. I have barely had any time to sit down at all this summer. I really haven’t. I’ve been occupying myself with anything I have been able to. I have never been so active. And while I do enjoy a more active lifestyle now, and feeling more pleased with my shape and form – I know theres a more sinister explenation for it.

I do not like to be alone with my thoughts.

They say millionaires don’t feel particularly more happy even if they are loaded, which may be true. While I do feel more happy and more at peace now that I met someone special I can’t be around her 24/7. I am more content than I was seven months ago, but troubling thoughts are lurking in the background. I have to fight every day to keep them at bay. I have severe wounds I am still trying to heal – perhaps they will never really heal and I will just have to live with them. So why I feel rich and happy, I live a very two-sided life where everythings good on one side, and I have deep rooted fears on the other.

I often volunteer to sit by my girlfriends seven year old daughter while she is falling asleep at night. I know that when I do that – when it’s all dark in the room and I hear the little girl twisting and turning, trying to fall asleep – my dark thoughts come creeping. Sometimes I even welcome them. I don’t know why.

I am scared the relationship won’t end up a happy one, and I will loose them both at some point.

I am scared I will be older and less attractive by then – which will decrease my chances of creating my own family. 

My mind wanders back to those days of trying for a baby, and failing. The constant feel of emptiness and loneliness. I get upset from just thinking about how sad I was. I am often scared I will fall back into that place.

I am constantly feeling ashamed and disappoionted in myself by not providing my mother grandchildren and more happiness in her life. I can’t look into her eyes. I have failed her.

Time is running away from me. Years go quicker, I grow older.

I feel like I have halfways lost a dear hobby and an interest of mine, and I don’t know why this is.

And so I have kept myself at an insane level of activity for months now. I don’t like to be alone, I do not like to be at home. I don’t like myself when I’m alone. I am scared of not handling it.

I used to love my own company. Perhaps especially during the weekends. The feeling of the quiet atmosphere in the mornings. A walk with the dogs around nine. A few pages written in a book by eleven. A bottle of Coke in front my PC before noon. Just enjoying my hobbies. And now I am constantly running away from it. On the move. Going somewhere. Biking somewhere. Running somewhere. Being social. I hardly recognize myself.

I made myself some new art the other day. It will stay on my wall for a long time. Anyone who have read my blog will know what its about.

What have I got to lose
When I’ve already lost it all
Maybe this time he’ll say a prayer for…
Say a prayer for the damned
For the damned

sixxam

 

 

 

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 7.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #7: The one who changed her mind

Who was she?
She was a pretty blue-eyed blonde my own age. I met her at a reunion party. I got in touch with her a few weeks after the event. We immediately hit it off. We had much to talk about, and spent hours telling each other about our lives. I am still confident it was mostly about her, but I chipped in. I dug deep down and poured my heart out. Like she did. It was fantastic at first. She had two wonderful children. I got involved with them as well, especially the youngest. I was prepared, and more than happy, to give her the stability she so rightly deserved. There was only this thing…

Why did you date her?
She was pretty, very caring and I immediately took to her. She was kind. And I wanted a family. I guess we hit it off while both being in a bit of a dark and emotional place.

Why didn’t it work out?
Well, let me say this at once; no one has ever been so fucking nasty to me when we broke up than she was.

She came to me after a month or so and said she was willing to give me children even if she had two of them, because she loved me that much. She understood it meant much to me. She changed her mind three months later. It put me in an extremely difficult situation where I had to choose between her and her little family and the potential of my own biological children in the future. For some time I didn’t know what to do, and I was furious she had changed her mind. This is a thing you just have to be 100% certain about from the get-go. No hesitation. Generally speaking; are you open to children or not? She thought it was all about her too. She wasn’t able to seperate between my general wish for children and the potential wish of having them with her. Anyway, you can’t go back and forth on this, otherwise shit will happen – and it did. In the end, I broke it off. My desire for my own children weighed too heavy on me. If you ask her, I’m sure she will say she broke it off, or we agreed upon it together. Fine. Whatever.

The last we really spoke to each other online, she sent me really nasty messages implying I was mentally unstable and not quite right in the head. Never before have I experienced such nasty and unappropriate accusations. I am still shocked!

Where is she now?
She found some other guy a month later and even had the nerves to tell me on Snapchat and even saying “he was everything she looked for in a man”. After that message I deleted her from my Snapchat and Instagram and unfollowed her on Facebook. I mean, what the fuck?!

What would you like to tell her?
Plenty.

Listen, I know your ex boyfriends really screwed you over and I guess after those experiences you immediately think you see the same in me. But I put a lot of trust in you. I told you about myself and what I had been through lately – and you used it against me. You accused me of some very serious stuff and I can’t forgive you for it. Is this how you talk to people you love or did love? Yeah, we were both in a dark place last winter, but I tried to help you with your problems. You simply used mine against me.

In the end, I feel pity for you. I am so sorry you have had to go through so much shit in the past you did not deserve. Honestly, nobody deserves what you’ve experienced, but you made some choices when you were younger. You had a choice. You chose wrong. If we had met at 25 I think we would have been great. If I had met you 10 years down the road – it would have been great as well. It’s just the wrong place and wrong time. But here’s your problem; I could have given you everything you wanted. Stability. Someone faithful to you. Someone who could protect you, love you and keep you safe. But you decided the cost was too great. No more children. And so our roads split, and we won’t talk again. But I will never forget what kind of position you put me in, and what you accused me of.

Dark places requires dark songs, and this sums up how everything was in February.

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 5.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #5: The Marriage

Who was she?
She was the one I married and stayed together with for 10 years exactly. I met her online via myspace in the summer of 2006 after giving up local girls and aiming for the foreigners again. I didn’t even plan this one. It just happened. We had a long distance relationship for a few years which gave me the pleasure of travel. I love travel. She moved to my country and we lived toghether for several years after that.

Why did you date her?
She was exotic and beyond pretty. Extremely smart, smarter than me perhaps. She liked the same music, and was into science fiction as well. We quickly developed a common sense of humour which worked really well. We worked really well toghether being out travelling. She pushed me to write books and follow my interests. We got two dogs and had a pretty good time for quite some time. We married. Mostly because it made living together easier, but I loved her dearly for a long time.  There’s more on everything else in all my other posts though, so I’m not gonna repeat myself.

Why didn’t it work out?
I honestly don’t know. I know what her issues were, and I could not find a good way to help her deal with it all. At some point she just didn’t find me interesting I guess? And I gave up. I just gave up trying to get her to go to bed at normal hours. I gave up trying to make her do her bit around the house. Oh, and the IVF project really took its toll. It simply died out. If she hadn’t initiated anything, I think I would have anyway. I sometimes think I deserve better, but what relationship is perfect?

Where is she now?
She still lives in our old house. I moved out. She has a job now. She finally found one when I was moving out. I don’t know how she’s doing or anything. I don’t know. I don’t want to know.

What would you like to tell her?
What happened? I don’t really understand. I can only act on the present and the information I had and have. When did all the shit happen and go so badly? I honestly did everything I could. I was patient, I did everything around the house. I was being realistic about the IVF, I know, and was terrible at comforting you. I honestly don’t know what I could have differently. I am often worried that you feel very depressed and feel lonely – but hey, your decision. I thank you for having the guts to initiate the break up. I don’t think I would have had the balls. I don’t know. I want you to be happy. I hope you’re getting the help you need and can sort through everything that goes on inside of you. I’m doing alright now, but I am terribly sorry I lost my best friend. The most horrible memory I have is from the day you came to me and showed me the stick that said you were pregnant. Your voice was trembling when you said it. It meant so much to you. But of course, like a lot of things in your life, it doesn’t go the way you want. I am so sorry. I guess that was the make or break moment. The pregnancy was nothing but a chemical pregnancy and simply disappeared.

When all that stuff happened, I often played this song. I knew I was in for troubling times. I felt the rain coming in.

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 4.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #4: The girl next door

Who was she?
She was a cute, somewhat naive 18 year old girl with long curly brown hair and (at first) braces on her teeth (when she took those off she was a knock-out in my eyes). She lived just five minutes by car away from me (I lived with my parents then). Not only did she have a “girl next door look”, she was basically from the same place as me. I met her in January 2002 at one of the first parties I really ever attended. Sober. She had never had a boyfriend before, so I thought I was quite experienced. I truly wasn’t. Spring of 2002 and especially the summer of 2002 stands out as one of the best summers I’ve had ever. I was making out and fooling around with a really cute girl. I actually had a girlfriend and a proper network of friends. We stayed together for about two years. I still have fond memories of her.

Why did you date her?
I was attracted to her. She was everything I looked for in a girl. Down to Earth, lovely smile, nice to talk to. Very pretty. We stayed over at each others houses, did social things with our common friends. Made out. Made out some more. Went to the movies. Made out even more. Met her parents and family as well.

Why didn’t it work out?
After she graduated high school she wanted a year off before college. She found this big farm about 2,5 hours drive south with lots of horses. She loved horses. So, she moved there to be part-time babysitter and part-time horse trainer or something. And, she was never as into me as I was into her. We stayed together for another year. I drove to pick her up every other weekend, and had a great time when she was home. But, I wasn’t as interesting as horses and travels going to all kinds of horse races in Norway and abroad. And she lacked empathy. I remember I spoke to her mother about empathy. She just didn’t have it. It’s a nasty thing to say, but it was quite true. Anyway, we had to fantastic summers together. Then she cheated on me with some horse trainer guy in the fall of 2003-early 2004. So she broke up with me. It’s the only time I have actually snuck around and looked at someone elses phone – which confirmed it all. After she broke up with me, I had serious issues getting over her and missed her dearly for a long time. One night on town, I saw her making out with a new boyfriend which put an end to me missing her.

Where is she now?
She met this football fan guy from way down south at some point. To me, he always looked like he was 16 years old. Odd face. Odd chap really. He moved over here and she got pregnant. Twice. So she got two children and she’s still with him. Good for her. She has a good education as well. Still got her on Snapchat. Lovely looking kids. Odd how she ended up with a more “normal” life than me, when it was me who longed for it the most.

What would you like to tell her?
I wasn’t stalking you, honestly (lol), but I am sorry I could not get over you as quickly as I should have. I still have wonderful memories of our time together, and say if I had been coming into your life at the time you met your current guy – I think we would have worked out well together. Hey, I am being rather nice about the cheating part aren’t I? It’s fine, people make mistakes. Don’t matter. I just met you too soon, and we couldn’t simply settle down so early could we. So, it was a bit too soon. A pity really. I really did love you. First time I have ever loved someone. And why do I get the feeling you would have liked me more if I had been more of an asshole or dangerous?

She liked the song, I liked the song – and it reminds me of her. Especially those first dates.

Ghosts of girlfriends past. Part 3.

Right, I’ll do something else now. I’ll re-visit a few of my short-time and long-time girlfriends (don’t worry, there’s not many of them!) and do a short summary of it. I might turn out anything from hilarious (mostly the first ones) to very serious crap. Anyway, I’ll do it because it feels like something I want to do.

Girlfriend #3: The one out of desperation

Who was she?
She was a collegue at work ca late 2000, early 2001. She had blue eyes and semi-short brown hair. She was 17, I was 20. She wasn’t very attractive, and not very bright either. But, she was quite experienced for her age. If you know what I mean. She had just broken up with a boyfriend of hers, and turned to me. I wasn’t attracted to her, but convinced myself that I was.

Why did you date her?
I was lonely and sick of having no one. I was 20 years old and had not been in any form of relationship or having had any form of physical contact with any girls except during the summer of 2000 when #2 was visiting. I was tired of everything. So I went for it.

Why didn’t it work out?
Well, she quickly got bored of me and went back to her ex (or was it someone else?). I can’t remember it bothered me that much really. I was more pissed off that another female collegue which I considered a friend immediately pulled back from hanging out with me when I wasn’t with her any longer. I felt that was a shitty thing to do. We stayed in contact for a while, and then it fizzled out.

Where is she now?
Oh, boy I have a few stories to tell. I called her once a few years down the road, and she bluntly told me she just had an abortion due to a “two-night-stand”. I think she told me the guy she met after me was abusive as well. Then years after that she suddenly appeared on national TV because her family (two kids, husband) had massive financial issues. No idea how that worked out. Very embaressing stuff. I remember thinking; imagine if she had gotten pregnant with me. I would have been stuck having to relate to her for the first of my life. Jesus Christ!!

What would you like to tell her?
I will be as blunt as you were; you’re not terribly bright and I am very pleased you dumped me quickly. It would have been a bloody nightmare otherwise. I hope you make sure your children stay in school, get the right education, and learn a couple of things from your poor life choices. I dodged a bullet there. Good luck.

She had a thing for this song – and I couldn’t fucking stand it.

Mind War

A friend asked me on FB Messenger the other day; “are you happy?”

It was a simple enough question. Am I happy? I can say I was happy. For several years actually. Very happy. But that was then. I replied with a simple “no, I am not happy”. 

This past winter was the toughest I’ve been through. I balanced on a knife edge of being happy about a new girlfriend and being depressed for the loss of a future. In the end, I think happiness gave in to depression. I went to England in March, and it was slowly another turning point towards feeling better. Slowly. Very slowly. But I am not happy.

I look around me when I write this. The rain is pouring down outside. I am living in a new house. There is no one else here. The TV is on, but I am not watching. I simply like the noise of it. There’s empty Coke bottles, all my books that I’ve written nicely presented on a large book shelf, a sofa I never sit in, in a cabinet there’s a bottle of wine I intended to share with a date that never managed to find the time, and an extremely empty fridge. It is simply empty. I am all alone. I am 36 years old. This is not supposed to be. It’s like I left my life and took over the situation of me in a parallel dimension. I do not belong here. 

Today, for the past four hours, after coming home for a sports event, I have had a mind war going on. One of the individuals taking part met up with her husband and two year old girl after the event was over. I caught myself staring at the family of three playing together, simply being happy. I wished I was him even though I do not know any of his personal struggles. I simply wanted to be him. To have his life. A pretty, athletic girlfriend and a blue-eyed two year old girl.

If this had been four months ago, I would have been in a very dark place by now. I would have lost the mind war hours ago already. At least I am capable of fighting it now and writing about it instead. But I am bitterly jealous of them. Everyone.

I do not want to be in this situation. I am not living the life I want for myself.

I am so jealous, sad and depressed about the lack of having my own family that I can no longer congratulate friends or family becoming parents. My cousin had his first baby a few months back, and I do not want to go visit him. I mustered a “congrats” on Snapchat. A couple me and my ex used to hang out with just had their first child, and I have not once given them my best wishes. No likes on Facebook or Instagram. Nothing. The list goes on. I stay clear of it. I hope you all can forgive me even if you haven’t noticed. Perhaps its not even jealousy, it’s just sadness. Deep sadness.

I am not happy, but I am trying to hang on. I am doing better,  but I am not happy – and I will not be happy until this “is fixed”. If it ever will. And I am terribly sorry to everyone who should have been getting my best wishes for their lucky circumstance. Please understand that I simply can’t manage myself to do it. It is a war with my mind I have yet to win.

 

Chapter 8: Confessions and Lamentations

I had just settled into a new house when I met her. I felt more settled by then. Not so emotionally upset any longer. Trying to focus on the future.

She was my age. Very pretty. Local. Two kids. At first I was a bit cautious considering her age and my desire to have my own children. It didn’t take long until I asked her about it. Turns out she didn’t understand what I was asking her the first time around, but a month or so later she confirmed her intentions; she was open to have more children. Because of me. She asked me what I would do if she said no. I replied I couldn’t be with her if that was the case. She cried for a wee bit and said she would go through this once again (pregnancy) for me. I couldn’t believe how someone was so caring and warm as to do that for someone else. I was the happiest I could ever be. Why wouldn’t I be? Everything seemed to fall into place – and quickly.

And so, I got involved. I spent time with her son at 17 and even more time with her wonderful 10 year old daughter. We had Sunday breakfasts together. This is what having a family felt like then. It was great.

However, I often had periods of depression. Often every other day. The IVF had not yet left my thoughts, and I struggled with it. However I was cautious letting her in on everything. She was very open about her problems towards me. From what she told me, I understood she had been mentally abused by two very unstable assholes. For the most part we spoke about her challenges with work, education, money and past experiences with men. I tried my absolute best to find solutions to her problems. I turned my mind inside out trying to find ways she could move forward. From her job especially. In the end, she told me she never asked for my help in the first place…

By February she had some form of mental breakdown. I adviced her to get a sick leave from work and try to gather her thoughts. Looking back (even though I asked her a few times if this was the case, or if I was the problem) she had most likely changed her mind about children. A bit before this went down, there was a few days where we thought she was pregnant. She got her period at the last possible moment. I was actually happy if she was pregnant even though it was way too early. You can plan and arrange an family all you want, sometimes it just doesn’t work. So, to hell with that. To hell with planning. I didn’t care if it was too early (which it was) or whatever. She was scared as hell, and during one conversation one night – she gave hints that she would have an abortion if she was pregnant. It broke me down completely. I imagined this being my only chance at fatherhood, and she wouldn’t go through with it (and from her point of view, I can fully understand). So, during one chat late at night using Snapchat, she gave another hint she had changed her mind. She didn’t want any more children anyway.

It put me in horrible situation. I had gotten attached to her and her little family. Something I really tried to avoid by asking her up front. It didn’t look like she actually understood the pressure she put me under. Considering she was so honest with me about her problems, I had also been gradually more honest with her about mine, and openly spoke about the IVF and the fear and sadness of not having a family. While I understood her, she didn’t understand me – and it felt like she was actually using it against me. Her depression and issues was acceptable, mine was not.

One of the last time I talked to her, she sent me nasty Snapchat messages saying I was mentally unstable and finishing a sentance with; “….and all the sick things you do”. That was it for me. Not acceptable. I sometimes wonder what these sick things were. I once drew a person in Snapchat with ponytails. Another one was a joke where I compared three kids to three beers (sometimes the third beer is the best). Best I can think of really.

In the end, if this is what she got from me, I started to really wonder how crazy these ex-boyfriends really were if she thought I was like them. But then again, she once told me she sometimes simply said “things” she couldn’t “control”.

So I decided to break it off. I had to. She had changed her mind about the foundation of our relationship. Afterwards I felt like I had been in some kind of fight. I felt physically beaten up. I was the lowest point I had ever felt. I sat in my chair at home and held up my arms like someone about to be beaten up would do. Begging for mercy.

There’s a few things you have to be rock solid on in a relationship. Children is one. It’s simply not a subject you can change your mind on. I was standing firm. It’s a dealbreaker. I want my own children, and I will break up with anyone who says they don’t want children or a family. Simple as that.

I didn’t deserve this one. Not any of it. It hurt me greatly. Not just that she changed her mine about the most important subject a couple can discuss, but how she used my most personal confessions and feelings against me – accusing me of being mentally unstable.

A request was taken for weakness. So I let it bleed and set it right.

Chapter 7: And All My Dreams Torn Asunder

The chance was 1/3 from each try. We had three tries. I threw a dice three times to see if I got the right number. I got it on my third try. I figured it would go down that route. How we would be succesfull at last. It couldn’t possibly not work. Things like this simply didn’t happen the wrong way. At one point or another she would be pregnant. In all fairness to the Universe, we would be great parents. It clearly had to see this.

She actually got pregnant while she was “reseting” her body in February 2015. Not from IVF either. It came as a surprise. If she had not been so “aware” of everything, I doubt she would have noticed anyway. She was just a couple of days late. It meant she had to abort her medicine and start all over. It was a chemical pregnancy.  After a couple of more days, everything went back to normal. It cost us another six months. She came to me with her stick that said “pregnant” and her voice was shaking of joy and surprise. I will never forget it.

We went in to Oslo for our fourth attempt in the fall of 2015. Maybe it was our fifth, I can’t remember. I was looking for signs by then. A caravan down the street had the name of what we had planned to name our child if she was a girl. Adria. I took it as a sign. A positive one. The sky that morning before we left for our last attempt was crispy clear, and an a Airbus A340 from SAS streaked across the sky coming in to land at Oslo Airport from New York. I took that as a sign too. I still couldn’t really believe that all of this could be for nothing, so I expected the last attempt to work. But it didn’t. It simply didn’t.

Adria

If it was a girl, we would call her Adria. From Stargate SG-1. We figured a girl might look like her.

We decided to not give up, and went to a private clinc quickly. We bought an IVF package worth 60 000 NOK (excluding medication). The total sum would be about 100 000 NOK. Her mom paid half, I paid half. We tried once. The eggs were developing, but not good enough. They inserted the one which looked semi-promising. It didn’t work. It was perhaps the worst disappointment of them all. She also had a terrible physical reaction to it. The private clinic did things differently, different medication. She got sick. Very sick. We barely managed to get home. At one point I had to take taxis around Oslo to find a specific drug as many of the pharmacies were sold out. I went out of my way. At least I thought so. She was upset because I didn’t tell her “it would be alright”. How could I? It felt like lying. To her, I wasn’t doing my part. I wasn’t saying the right things, and I wasn’t suffering. She was. She was suffering. All I had to to was deliver a cup. Mentally I dealt just as much as her. She just didn’t see it.

My MasterCard bill was growing rapidly, but we still had another two tries left. That was the package deal. If it worked on the first try, we would still have to pay for three. We had gone for three. The clinic was very serious about their work. We liked them more than the state run hospital. They had a different approach to things.

Our next attempt would be in February 2016. I had a trip to England coming up, so she went to the clinic by herself for the usual talks before the attempt started – what kind of dose of medication would work, when she would start and so on. By then we didn’t really work as a couple any longer. The IVF process was consuming us. We talked of little else than IVF and our dogs. It was all eyes on it. All our energy. I read articles online saying it was normal. I took care of the house for the most part. Inside and out. I was doing everything I could.

When I got back from England I found her at home in tears. She had aborted the IVF treatment. For good. She had had some kind of breakdown at the clinic and had decided to not do it anymore. From being “all in” a month ago to completely abort it was a shock to me. It dawned on me she had ideas and issues/problems/thoughts she had not shared with me. About us. She wanted to address our issues. I understood, but replied I always thought it was natural considering how hard the IVF was to deal with. I guess she disagreed. So, that evening – after just being back from England an hour beforehand, everything was off. IVF, children, relationship, marriage. It was all off. From what I could gather she had pushed her body through these tries without actually “being there” any longer. She just went along with it even thought she didn’t want to any longer. How many guys can say they had to deal with a broken up marriage and aborted IVF on the same day?

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I didn’t know what to think. A weight lifted off my shoulders the same night, but I didn’t know what to make of everything. I had been worrying about her for years. That weight disappeared. I didn’t have to worry that much now, she had pushed me away. What now?

It took another six months until I moved out. Simply because we had to untangle our lives and make the best choices. She had to be able to finance the house on her own and I had to get my own place. It was a mess. I bought a car in May with automatic gear change. Not because I wanted one, but because she couldn’t drive a stick, and because my father helped finding the car. He didn’t know anything. No one knew anything, and I had a horrible time telling my parents. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but it wasn’t up to me. I was simply put in a situation where I had to make some choices. I distansed myself from her quickly. I was angry, upset. But one thing kept me going; she couldn’t have kids. This put me in a situation where still might be able to – if I met someone else. That first night after I came back from England I suddenly remembered something she told me once before the third try at the hospital; “if this doesn’t work you can make someone else pregnant if you’d like.” I thought she was joking around. She had actually been trying to tell me something.

I can never name my child Adria. If I am lucky enough to find someone and have a child that is. The name Adria is a symbol to all those six tries which did not go the right way. They were just five or six cells, but in my mind I can picture what the child would have looked like. And that is Adria. It’s a horrible feeling. It’s like missing someone you’ve never met. I can imagine her in my head. She actually feels real, although disappearing more and more now that I have some distance. I’ve met people who simply do not understand the despair and grief of something like that can give you (it’s another story). It is very real. Just by writing this I can feel my face tightening up. Having children is a unfair game. It is simply unfair. Nothing to do with education, being smart or anything. It’s just about luck.

It’s at these moments I am usually putting on Butch Walker’s melancholic album “Afraid of Ghosts” and I think I will now. I could have written this more personal or with more feelings, but I simply can’t. It is simply too hard.

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