Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Everything sucks

(Except Al's surprise pregnancy after a negative beta. I've always been skeptical when people say it's not over until you get your period, but here's some evidence! Anyway, back to my tedious and empty existence...)

I found out yesterday that the paper I submitted to an important conference was accepted...as a poster. Getting a paper accepted as a poster instead of a talk is a slap in the face (for this conference--for some conferences a poster is perfectly prestigious). It's what happens when your work is interesting enough to avoid complete rejection, but not good enough to warrant a time slot in the program. Poster sessions are a sad land of graduate students who aren't ready for the big time, and sub-standard scholars. Like me. I feel awful about this. Awful because I'm such a failure, awful because there's no way in hell I'm flying all the way to Portland, Oregon to do a poster (I hate Portland with a burning passion. I spent the worst year of my life in Portland, and while it wasn't Portland's fault, I don't think Portland made it any easier. YOU SUCK, PORTLAND.), and awful because I can't quite convince myself that I can not go. There are multiple excellent reasons why I should go...but the idea of being in Portland, a place I hate with a burning passion (did I mention that?) doing something that will make me feel like worthless shit is more than I can really contemplate at the moment. So this whole thing sucks.

Things at home also suck. I'm so dispirited that I don't even want to talk to my husband. He's been very busy finishing up his MBA, and I've been very busy weeping uncontrollably. So a bit of distance has crept in. But I also think I'm angry at him, because I feel so scared and alone. As all women know, however wonderful and supportive our husbands are, there are moments when we are simply alone. I know it's stupid of me to be angry that he can't comfort me out of my fear and sadness, particularly if I don't even ask him to. But when I think about how we need to have a nice talk, I just feel overwhelmed with the pointlessness of everything in the world. Like I can't muster the energy to make my situation better. FUCK.


  1. I wish there was something I could do to help, bunny. I could go to Portland instead of you, how about that? I could draw the academics a cartoon of themselves vanishing up their own bums, or something. There's your poster, boys!

    It will get better. Things do that.

  2. I'm sorry. There's an equivalent "also ran" category in my field and it's sucktastic. I wouldn't go. Make up something that has come up, that can't be avoided, you're so sorry, blah, blah, blah. And skip Portland (though, me feels there's an interesting post to be written as pertains to that year?). Unless you have good friends who will be there, whom you'd like to see...and if seeing them would mean good things for your heart.

    In terms of the homefront: it is so hard. They can be as supportive as can be but it still isn't the same. What I realized about my husband is this: he doesn't think about it every day. He can drop it and pick it up again a few days later. Doesn't mean he doesn't hurt in all this, just that he's not living with it. Every. Single. Moment. He can forget for awhile whereas I seem incapable of forgetting. And because of this "disconnect" (I hate that word, but it fits) there are days where I just seethe. And threaten that we must have "A Talk". About "The Future". And then things go back to normal and I return to relative calm (as calm as it gets in my world).

    Here's hoping that things look up. Soon. But in this way sucky moment I think it's justifiable not to put a happy face on.

  3. That SUCKS about the conference abstract! If you can reasonably blow off this conference, I say GO FOR IT. There are many, many conferences in the world. I luvs Portland, but for you, I'll say SCREW PORTLAND!

    I hear you on the corrosiveness of IF on couples. Though I just read that in the long-run, couples facing IF have lower divorce rates. So if you can just muscle through, eventually there should be a relationship-reward.

    I hope the black cloud lifts soon.

  4. eek, i'm so sorry you're having what i hope are just a bad few days that will get better. portland is to you what san francisco is to me. dh has to encourage me with serious incentives to get me to that city (where we unfortunately have a lot of friends). but the place brings back awful memories for me, so i haven't been back in ages.

    i've been trying to put on a brave face at home, bc i've said before that i need to stop being hysterical psycho in front of dh. but that just means more for me to deal with on my own, and part of me is getting a bit resentful. i know he has to be the *strong* one and his highs and lows are nowhere near what mine are, but i really wouldn't mind s'more emotion from my hubby and see him flat out hysterical over all this. bc it would make me feel like i'm not as alone. BUT, going in, i knew he wasn't an overly emotional person at all (i've only seen him super happy or super sad a handful of times), so hard to wish for something that won't happen.

    my company gives us half day fridays from memorial day to labor day. when i wondered aloud what i would do with all my free time, dh told me i should find a nice hobby. wtf. i don't WANT a hobby. i want a BABY. my baby is supposed to be here by now, and i should be spending my summer fridays taking him/her to the park! what the hell would i do with a hobby??? i need TIME to obsess over lack of baby and my blogreading. THAT is what i'll spend my friday afternoons doing this summer. i will NOT get a hobby. can you believe he told me to get a hobby??

    how did this comment end up being all about me? i'm such a selfish b*tch. i'm sending you a big *hug*. hang in there. your surgery is coming up, and *good things* will follow after that. i told this to adele a while back bc i believe it, but i have the same feeling about you too: i get *feelings* about ppl, and i just know you're gonna get pregnant. hopefully sooner than later, my gift isn't *that* specific, but i have a good feeling that in a matter of time, you'll be with child. then, all this crap will be behind you :o)

  5. I'm sorry bunny :( I haven't heard of a
    poster acceptance" to a conference. Is that a sciences thing? (Are you even in the sciences? I don't actually know your discipline!).

    I'm sending an abstract to a conference in Portland, too. I'm a terrible, terrible, terrible grad student who hates submitting her work, so I rarely do it. And then I have to force LG to go to them with me if I get accepted because I refuse to fly alone (I don't want to be holding some stranger's hand when I plummet to my death, duh).

    I'm sorry the day is crappy. I'm sorry you're feeling alone. I know how sad that can be. But things always improve eventually.

  6. Fuck Portland, I say. You're washing your hair that day.

    And about husbands and IF...the lowest points in my marriage (and perhaps our 8-year friendship/relationship) were during our early stages of IF diagnosis and treatment. I accused him several times of not caring or wanting a baby as much as I did. He told me, earnestly, that he would understand if I wanted to leave him because he had super crappy sperm (it turned out later that my eggs were no prize, either). He didn't understand why every period brought fresh tears and anguish. He also encouraged me to find a hobby. I felt very, very alone much of the time. Once I reached my breaking point and starting sharing these feelings openly, rather than suffering in silence, he started telling me that he, too, felt isolated and helpless, mostly because he didn't know how to help me. Then we had some of the best times together, because we knew we were so clearly fighting on the same side for the same victory. I don't really have a moral to this story, other than to say you are definitely not alone in this marital distance you feel. I think most of us go through it to some degree or another. And just to toss in a little cliche for good measure, this too shall pass.

  7. Count me as another who vetoes the Portland gig. When something feels like pure obligation to you, it's a sign. Your heart isn't in it, so it's not worth your brilliant, engaging, and valuable time. (You are ALL of these things, Bunny. And do not argue with me.) Even looking at it from a cost-benefit perspective, the scales tip heavily in the cost department. Having said that, I'm sorry to hear about the poster; I know it's a tremendous disappointment for you, and I hate that you're dealing with that. It's enough to feel inadequate in the family building department--lump on some feelings of professional inadequacy and, well, that's just a recipe for Crazy Town. Seriously, Bunny, it blows and I'm sorry.

    On the homefront, all I can say is that I empathize, just like most of your readers. I loathe the whole men-are-from-mars shite, but sometimes it does feel like they exist in some other universe. I try to remind myself that his seeming imperviousness doesn't mean he doesn't care. He just deals differently--not that his way is any better/worse. And speaking as someone who is currently wrapping up a graduate degree, there are some days that I am oh-so-glad that I decided to get waist-deep in IF treatments during ball-busting semesters of school work. It's the perfect distraction. It's something you can control, something over which you DO have influence, something that ultimately will give you the result you've worked so hard for. It's more concrete than this IF shit.

    Anyway, I agree that actually talking to him about this is a step. IF is already such an isolating experience...don't let it isolate you from your partner, too.

    Keeping you close in my thoughts and sending a little love your way...


  8. Yea, f*ck Portland. I'm not familiar with said conferences, but if it's as much of an insult as you say it is, I wouldn't go. What's the point of putting yourself though it?

    As for the distance you're feeling with the hubs, ugh, the IF chasm hurts. Men seem to be able to turn off the pain - I know it hurts them too, but they're able to push it aside for the most part. I felt a bit of distance when I was deep in despair after the m/c and hubs was seemingly calm and collected about the whole thing. Didn't shed a tear. Give it some time and I'm sure you two will get through this.

    Thanks for the BFP shout out - I didn't really want to be the "your beta could be wrong" girl and feeding any IFers hope after a negative beta, but I guess I am that girl. I've always believed the blood test - I mean - these clinics know what they're doing right?! Apparently not.

  9. I say go to Portland, and skip the conference. I have yet to go there myself, bypassing completely for Seattle, which I love. Go and take my Misfit's hipster bingo.

    -Porkpie hat
    -Star tattoo(s)
    -Ironic trucker hat (a bonus)
    -"full sleeves"
    -haberdashery sporting expenisive handmade hats
    -a steam punk
    -ironic, yet not ironic flannel
    -ironic logger type
    -bubble skirt
    -shoulder pads
    -rolling cigarretes (funny or non-funny kind)
    -american apparely flashdancer

    Otherwise, yeah, fuck Portland. If it were so great, I'd have already gone there by now.

    I'm with Adele. My hubs has moments where he's even deeper down than I am, but for the most part, doesn't think about it every day. I think that he's only fully broken down once in 3 years over a random incident (not IF related). It turns out that he feels the most pain when he sees me in pain and can't help and can't fix it. I've definitely cried plenty with him doing nothing more than patting my head. It's just that he didn't know what to do or say to comfort me. I've since found that I can tell him what I want from him when that happens. I realize that it's hard for him because my thoughts are nearly constant and he isn't going to dwell or really be that sympathetic on a daily basis. But, when a real doozy hits me, he's right there with me.

  10. OMG I can relate to so many things in this post...except your paper being accepted as a poster. But I assure you if I ever submitted anything they would just shit on it. I am sorry you're feeling so awful about it. It sucks to have 2 major parts of your life not being successful right now. =( Can you get out of going? Lie lie lie.

    I feel alone right now too. Like it's my problem. Hubby's can only do so much and they don't do a lot of what we NEED them to do. Like right now for instance...my hubby is playing basketball with his friends. Because his life never changes or is effected by whatever happens with my cycle. Ugh. Whatever. I also feel like EVERYTHING is pointless. In fact today all I've been thinking about is writing a post about all the pointless things I do to try to get pregnant.

    Anyways, big hugs. Wish we lived near each other so we could go get drunk and be weepy together ;).

  11. Sounds like there are a lot of reasons to decline the Portland invitation, but don't skip it because you think you're a failure and a pile of worthless shit. Cause I happen to remember you being a career superstar not too long ago. No, skip it because you hate Portland and a successful academic like you doesn't have time to waste on petty posters. Take that, conference! Also, you could better spend the time doing something fun. Weren't you about to write an award-winning screenplay?

  12. I'm sorry you're dealing with this crap that life is throwing at you. And it doesn't help when you don't feel like you and hubs are seeing eye-to-eye. Screw the conference if you don't want to go...I had to laugh at your explanation of poster vs. talk. A friend of mine was SO excited to get to show a poster at a recent conference. I guess your standards are a bit higher :)
    Anyway, hope you start feeling a bit better soon.

  13. Fuck Portland and fuck posters. I know you know this, but conferences are to some degree a crap shoot. It's great when you get accepted, but when you don't there are all kinds of dumb reasons that have *nothing* to do with your scholarship. NOTHING. As others have said, you don't need no stinking posters and your career is way too high powered to spend your time attending conferences that don't invite you to give a paper.

    I am really resonating with your words about your husband. It's true that no matter how supportive they are, we have to go where they can't follow. It's not stupid to be angry--you are feeling what you're feeling, and that has to happen devoid of judgment. You didn't ask to feel the way you do--no matter how you feel--and you can't beat yourself up for having emotions. I offer virtual hugs if you want them--and silent sympathy if you don't.

  14. I'm so sorry you're feeling sad and alone. We have all been there and it truly sucks. Big time :(.
    Oh, and taking a trip to Portland that will just make you feel worse about yourself? Screw that noise....

  15. I agree with what Finch said about the conference.

    I am sorry you are feeling so down. I wish there was something I could say or do to make you feel better. Would a virtual birthday party help??

    As for the husband, I think we have all been there. As someone who has been through the mega talking phase recently, just do it. He will be there for you. You will feel more connected afterwards. You are in this together.

  16. I wish I had some words of great wisdom and comfort to offer but I don't. All I can say is I hope you get out of your funk and feel some peace.

    As far as you and the hubby go, I have been there. I have felt all alone after my failed cycles. Even though my husband was supportive, he didn't get it. I was the one who obsessed over every twinge and non symptom during the 2ww. I took the shots and I missed the time off work. In the end I felt like my body had failed us both so of course I felt alone. What you are dealing with is natural. It is hard and takes a strong couple to make it through and allow the experience to make them stronger. You and your husband will become stronger. Better times will come.

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