I’m only sleeping

A few days ago, on Monday morning, I crashed. The night before I was crying myself to sleep after some unwelcome news and in the morning everything felt dark and dull. I poured myself a cup of  tea and sat down on the couch. Had a sip and looked out the window. And everything just stopped.

Couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. Just sat there.

My husband got worried of course. I wanted to tell him it was alright, but I couldn’t get the words out. It was difficult enough just to move my eyes to look at him. Stuck, I felt stuck in my own head.

He drove me to the hospital, to this emergency psychiatric place. Thoughts kept spinning in my mind, it may have looked like I was half asleep but it was quite the opposite. I was aware, fully aware, painfully aware of every little detail. My uncombed hair. My husband’s concern. The chatter of others in the waiting room.

There was a woman there, waiting for her turn, who started talking of babies. On and on she went, describing her previous pregnancies and how giving birth was the best thing ever, the best, the best. Husband told me not to listen but I couldn’t stop it. I listened, and felt close to blacking out. My head was about to explode it seemed, I couldn’t breathe and everything hurt. I hurt, the world hurt, the woman’s words hurt.

I couldn’t sit there listening. In a full panic I fled into the nearest bathroom and sat down on the floor, in a corner, crying.

We were at the hospital for half a day. I talked to doctors – or rather they talked to me while I merely managed to whisper a few stray words in return – and got pills.

Once home I slept.

The day after I slept.

And the day after that.

Despite sleeping all day I’ve also been able to sleep all night, so my waking hours have dwindled to barely more than a handful per day. I’m exhausted, absolutely exhausted. All I want to do is sleep.

I wish I could just make it stop. I wish I could be normal. I wish I wouldn’t hurt my husband like this. I wish the pain would stop.

 

They call me from the hospital every day now, to check on me. They keep asking if I want to kill myself. Every day they ask. I keep saying no. They don’t seem to believe me. But I keep saying no. I won’t. Even though I feel worthless, even though I’m sure my husband would be better off without me, I won’t. I want to live. I want to grow old. And I want to see this hell through and come out victorious on the other side.

Hurting

I  am not doing great. It is Friday and I should be happy for the upcoming weekend, for the summer warmth and for the chance to simply hang out with my husband. To enjoy the garden, cuddle the cats, keep writing, keep working on that embroidery too that I’m so proud of.

 

Instead I just hurt. I cry. I do my job but without pleasure, with every minute stretching out to last an hour.

 

By necessity I am trying to face and accept the possibility that we won’t ever have a child. Wondering when to say stop, when to give up, when to decide that it won’t happen. But that acceptance does not come easy. The questions hover over me like a dark cloud, blocking out the sun.

 

I’m not doing great. It hurts, badly.

Bad Breath – Ill Mind

When I have bad days, when the old depression flares up and my mental state crumbles, my breath changes. I can’t tell myself, but my husband tells me it’s quite clear. Sometimes he can even feel the change before I have fully realized that it’s more than just having a bad mood. It turns sour, he tells me. Smells like illness.

It’s not due to a change in diet, nor due to something as simple as forgetting to brush. It’s me.

Tells you something about how direct the connection between psyche and body is, doesn’t it?

 

On a brighter note, I do feel a bit better. The elephant has stepped off my chest, replaced now by… a medium sized dog. Less painful. Easier to breathe. Easier to think.Still uncomfortable, but… bearable.

The husband agrees. He can still feel the ill smell on my breath but it’s not as bad as yesterday, or worse – the day before. I’ll take that as a good sign!

Let’s get personal for a moment

Very personal, even.

In half an hour I am heading for the hospital along with the husband. There I am going to be put into fancy hospital clothes, they will put a needle in my arm and will give me sedatives and morphine.

Then they will stick a big ass needle through my lady parts and try to suck all the eggs out.

Ouch.

I am both excited and terrified at the same time. This is it, this is finally it. I’ve been on hormone treatment for almost three weeks now and finally they’ve now decided that it’s time. Needle time.

Once they have sucked all the tiny eggs out of me the lab will work their magic, putting them together with the husband’s even tinier swimmers to see what happens.

If all goes well the start of a new life will be put back inside me in a few days.

 

 

Wish us luck, friends. It’s an important week!

Surrogacy in Sweden, a frustrated comment

nudepregsketch

News just in, Sweden will not allow surrogacy as an option for childless couples. The reasoning is that there is always a slight risk of the surrogacy not being entirely voluntary, and the woman’s right to decide over her own body should be absolute, no woman should risk being pressured into carrying another couple’s child. Even if monetary compensation is forbidden, if there is thorough investigation of the involved parties motives, and if there is a demand for close personal relationship between parents and surrogate (such as if the surrogate mother is a family member), they say that we can never be certain of it being entirely voluntarily done, and thus is shall be forbidden.

 

I don’t often post comments on current news here in the blog, but this I just have to say.

ARE YOU NUTS? IN ORDER TO SAFEGUARD THE WOMAN’S RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS TO HER BODY, YOU TAKE AWAY HER RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS TO HER BODY?

 

 

Link to news article, in Swedish!

 

 

Porridge, Christmas and Ceremonial Sacrifice?

There is an interesting old Christmas tradition here in Sweden. It has nothing to do with Santa Claus or the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ. It involves… porridge, traditionally. Yeah, porridge.

According to tradition, a family should always remember to leave a bowl of good porridge outside on Christmas eve. Sweet, good porride, preferably with a knob of butter in it. Thanks to a bit of linguistic confusion and mixing of traditions, some today (kids especially, I am guessing) will believe that this bowl of porridge is for Santa Claus. But no!

The word used in Swedish for Santa Claus is “tomte”. But see, already before people were bringing the great big bearded gift giver (Santa) into the picture, a “tomte” was more like a gnome. You know garden gnomes? A little creature looking like an old man, only… small? Yep, that’s it. That is a “tomte” if you cut Santa out of the picture.

These are beings that have been thought to live alongside humans, helping to take care of the home and those living there. Make your house “tomte” upset and you might find your cows getting sick! Keep him happy and he’ll make sure things run smoothly around the farm. He’ll help keep the place clean, orderly, safe. If kept happy.

And there we get to the porridge. On Christmas eve tradition said, and still says, that a bowl of porridge should be left outside for the “tomte”, the (hopefully) friendly house gnome, as a thank you for all his help, and in the wish that he’ll stay happy and helpful.

Yes, it’s still done today. Not by every family – you won’t see people set out porridge outside their apartment doors in the cities for example – but it is still very much a living tradition. Few will call it a “sacrifice”, but of course that is what it is.

So many will think of sacrifice as involving blood and death, they imagine slaughtering animals in honour of pagan gods, they imagine the macabre and scary. Sacrifice doesn’t have to be that. It can just be that bowl of porridge too.

 


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So far this winter we have had unusually little snow, but it is still beautiful.

 

Being raised a city girl, brought up in an apartment block in a highly modern city, I never did this as a child. Still it was something I was aware of, as long as I can remember I’ve known of the tradition, it was just not something done in my neighbourhood – who expected the apartment block to have any tomtar anyway?

Today, my husband and I live in a classic red-and-white house out on the countryside. The picture above shows the view from our living room window! Any tomtar around?

I am not bound by tradition. My beliefs are my own, I draw inspiration from tradition but in the end, I put together my own practices. And while I see a core of truth in the idea of the tomte, I do not see it as a little old man with grey beard and a hunger for porridge specifically. I see the unseen, the spirits of the land, the beings living and breathing here, by our side but mostly unknown. Benevolent or not so much, friendly or mischievous, it probably varies. They are not gods, nor angels, nor something as abstract as symbols. They are people but not like us. I don’t understand them yet, but there they are.

We didn’t give porridge. My husband absolutely hates porridge and we very rarely have any at home. And we weren’t even at home on Christmas eve, so instead it was done a few days after, when we had returned home. I don’t think they care if it’s the 24th or 25th of 27th anyway.

Blueberry mead. We offered blueberry mead, drank some ourselves, toasted to the spirits of the land and all those who are, have been and will be tied to this land. The moon was big and gave far more light than the little lantern we had brought out, the sky was full of stars and the night was cold. As ceremonies go, it was simple yet beautiful.

Perhaps it’ll be some porridge too next year. With plenty of sugar and cinnamon, and a knob of butter in the center. But for this year, I think the mead did well enough.

 

 

 

 

 

A scream

016 Lillis was the sweetest little cat. She was with me from childhood, like a catty sister, bright and loving. At birth she had been the smallest and weakest of the litter, so frail and reluctant to even eat that we were afraid she’d die. That was why we kept her, we simply didn’t think she’d make it if we gave her away.

Three years ago Lillis passed away after having struggled with failing health for a long time. She was old, it was her time, but that didn’t lessen the pain. On the same day that me and Marcus got the keys to our new house, Lillis died peacefully at the vet.

Mother brought the body to be buried here, on this little plot of land we were settling in. The mood was solemn, we were grieving but at the same time everything was strangely beautiful. It was time for a new era.

Me and my mother stood in the kitchen, waiting for Marcus to come home as well. With an odd look on her face mother glanced out into the bright livingroom. It wasn’t yet properly furnished, in fact it was almost empty. She touched my arm and nodded towards to the side. I looked, and flinched so badly I almost dropped what was in my hands. I screamed, loudly, in pure shock.

I saw Lillis, sittin017g on top of a cabinet. Still I don’t quite know what made me scream, the sight wasn’t scary in any way, but, considering that Lillis in fact was laying dead in a cat cage outside the door, it’s perhaps not so strange.

The moment passed. It wasn’t Lillis any more. There was nothing there but a paper bag.

“I saw her too,” mother said quietly. “Not any more but, you saw her up there too, didn’t you?”

I don’t miss Lillis, because it feels like she is still with us. She’s here, somehow. A part of our family and of this land. Little cat-sister, always loved.