Monday, October 01, 2007

Tell Me You Love Me: Episode 04

I am so sorry for the delay but here is this week's rundown. Lots of revelations in this episode! The plot thickens...

Carolyn is in the Rite Aid and buys a box of HPTs. She takes one in the store bathroom. She waits impatiently and cries when it turns negative. She gets so angry that she rips the soap dispenser off the wall.

Okay, a show of hands - how many of us have wanted to do this same thing? I know when that stark white test sneers at me, I want to tear apart my bathroom. I resist from doing so only because I know I'd have to clean it up later. But, oh, in my wrath is unstoppable.

Carolyn meets Palek at work to tell him about the test. She says she doesn't know what to do. Palek says they'll just try again and it will be okay. Carolyn is angry that he isn't as upset about it. He says they aren't dying and they're not sick and to "get some perspective". She walks out.

Again, I think this is a common occurrence between men and women. I find men are upset about a BFN but just not as upset in general. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule but for the most part, I find this to be true. Men tend to be much more idealistic and women tend to be more realistic. Men just pick up and move on and can let go much easier than we can. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that we are the ones peeing on sticks and charting and checking CM. We put so much stock into trying to conceive that we feel like we fail every month we don't see a second pink line. Do you feel like Carolyn needs to "get some perspective"? Do you think infertility can be compared to being terminally ill?

Carolyn is on the computer out on the balcony and Palek comes over to comfort her. He says she can't come to his work and confront him like she did. She apologizes. He says he doesn't want to lose "us" over this. She comes clean that she had an abortion in college. That baby would be 10 now. She wonders if that is the reason why they are having trouble conceiving. He asks if that is the reason she's been blaming him all this time - because someone else got her pregnant but he can't.

Wow, I wasn't expecting this revelation at all! I have never had an abortion personally but I can't imagine the guilt that must cause. Is there anything you've done in the past that you feel guilty about now that you are dealing with IF? For me, I had a LEEP done for cervical dysplasia back in 2004, months after I began dating DH. Now I haven't had that many sexual partners - 8 including DH. I often feel like if I had waited until marriage to have sex, maybe I wouldn't have had so much trouble. I know deep down that guilt is a useless emotion but sometimes that feeling crosses my mind and I relate it to my IF.

Carolyn goes to therapy and starts without Palek, who is "stuck at work". Truth is, he isn't up to it after their discussion. She says he cares about TTC but not as much. She says he can think of other things but she can't. The therapist says it is hard to shut people out and then expect them to be there for you. Carolyn confesses about the abortion and says she has to get past it and move on. Therapy is "her thing". The therapist replies it is a hard road to take by herself. Carolyn says she always has done it on her own and the therapist says maybe its time to stop.

Breakthrough! I think that through our pain, we often shut out those closest to us in an effort to shield ourselves from further hurt and disappointment. We build these great walls around ourselves so people can't get too close. We just feel too vulnerable. I really related to the statement that Palek can think of other things and yet all she can think about is having a baby. I know that even though I go through my day-to-day responsibilities at work and home, I am constantly thinking of my cycle or my miscarriages or what my symptoms are, etc. Am I the only one that can't seem to shake those ever-present thoughts?

Carolyn goes home and searches through boxes in her closet until she finds an address book. She meets an old boyfriend - the guy she got pregnant with. She asks if they created some kind of bad karma by having the abortion. She asks what she used to be like and the guy says fun and smart - not a girl that would talk about karma. Meanwhile, Palek goes to buy a suit and flirts innocently with the saleswoman.

At first, I wasn't sure if it was a good idea for her to be meeting with this guy. But after their conversation, I thought it was a good step for her. This guy she hasn't seen or talked to in years has pointed out that she has changed. She used to be fun and now she is rambling on about karma. Perhaps this will be the catalyst for her to want to change. I know that IF has changed me - in some ways for the worse and some for the better. Was there ever a moment in particular that made you realize, "wow, have I changed!"?

Palek comes home to find Carolyn updating her new Blackberry. She said she made an appointment with her OB to inseminate. She says things aren't working naturally. He responds, "if that's what you want".

I couldn't figure out if he was just pacifying her or if he really began to believe that they really needed help. However, it looks like they're starting IUI next week. Stay's getting more interesting!


Gabby said...

I just wanted to say thanks for the congrats! I hope everything is going well for you. And yea, I think my sucess was all on you and mistaking that OPK for an HPT! LOL :}

dmarie said...

I hated that he told her she couldn't show up at his job. I know it was awkward and a bit of a scene--but I think he could have taken her to his car or somewhere that they could talk for a couple minutes. It's not like she came running up screaming.

No, I don't think she needs to get some perspective. He may need to though. Gonna be interesting. Thanks for the review!

LeRoy Dissing said...

"Men tend to be much more idealistic and women tend to be more realistic." Hmmmm...I temd to view this a bit differently. Men may tend to be more objective, less empathic or sympathetic because they are not directly affected physically by all the IF treatments generally. In this episode, Palek certainly appears less than empathic to Carolyn's need to talk her feelings out. By shutting her down with his short, almost rude responses, he in essence is letting her know that he isn't willing or ready to talk about his feelings either.

In terms of comparing IF to terminally ill folks, both go through a grieving process to be sure yet I feel there are some significant differences too. The terminally ill person has had the benefit/privelege of living a much longer time period, developing independent relationships, a sense of self, ect. That can be good and bad depending on how others viewed and valued his/her life whereas a child is generally viewed as innocent, pure and deserving of a long life.

I am not so sure it was a good idea to see the guy you impregnated her and which she aborted. It is ironic that this guy can tell her how different she is in just a brief meeting yet he supposedly is the same? I think not. I doubt he is the same person today as he was when they were intimate yet that is not brought out plus I really question her motives for seeking this guy out and then not telling her current partner anything.

I think Palek is missing the boat big time by not involving himself in therapy with Carolyn. This would be an opportunity to share each other's feelings about what is going on; to understand each other better yet it somehow is viewed by him as her issue, not theirs.

Much to think about from this episode. I think it told me that if you really want to know what the other is feeling/thinking, you need to be sensitive and open rather than closing up.

Ms. Infertile said...

Thanks for the review.
You are not the only one with those ever present thtoughts! IF encompasses your entire life, it becomes who you are, and it is hard to put thoughts of it out of your mind.
Comparing to terminally ill patients...while IF is not a disease that will end your life physically, it does have the ability to take away your "life" - who you are. People facing both situations often go through similar emotions as well - denial, anger, depression, etc.

JJ said...

Thanks for the update--I look forward to these every week=)

SaraS-P said...

I still haven't managed to catch this show, but all of that sure sounds famil.iar! The calm husband telling me to chill out, the guilt over past actions (not an abortion, but waiting until 30 to start trying)... I wonder about the writer(s) and what their experiences include.

I wonder if they accurately depict IUI...

Katie said...

My hand is up! I definitely have wanted to rip things off the wall when it a public restroom and POAS. For sure. Been there, done that.

journey to junior said...

i have to say, i sympathize way more with palek than carolyn. i mean, i think that carolyn shuts out palek more than he does to her. when he does, he is reacting to the fact that she closes herself off then expects him to be there (it was what the therapist pointed out).

even though i'm an IF woman, i actually do not relate to carolyn at all. palek seems much more emotionally connected than she does. although i've taken the reins on the IF front with REs and such, i've never just gone ahead and made appointments for things without fully discussing each step with my husband. carolyn just goes and does what she wants when she wants. she acts like this is "her" thing, not "their" thing.

Wordgirl said...

I've been watching the show too -- and despite the fact that I resent Palek and Carolyn tremendously for their awesome house (bastards) -- I recognize pieces of their lives, and the journey.

I remember that my partner said to me when I asked if he would be okay if we never had children "my number one priority is us" He is much more optimistic somehow --

I think Carolyn and Palek have a larger issue with intimacy -- on Carolyn's part -- and the infertility has just put everything under scrutiny so you can see the intimacy problems.

And as far as the ever-present thoughts? I'm worried I'm going to drive my partner crazy with the things I've read in blogs, or things I've googled -- or whatever tiny thing I've found out at all the various appointments. It is on my mind all of the time.


Meghan said...

Thanks for the update. I definitely related to some of those comments. DH and I had one of our worst fights ever when he told me I need to compartmentalize this and not let it run my life...not a fun night in our house. But I do let all of this color my thoughts, I just can't help it