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  January 27, 2000
To Trust Another
(PAPER SOULS COLLABORATION)


Cycle 4, Day 18
Temp: 97.5
Cervical Mucus: Creamy
Cervix: High, open, soft

 
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richmond@kjsl.com
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I've been made to realize that I have indeed not ovulated yet this cycle. My cervix is back up in the stratosphere, and I'm dealing with a constantly wet sensation that's indicative of the fact that I'm fertile again. No more egg white has put in an appearance, but I've almost given up looking for it.

If I get pregnant this cycle, it'll be a miracle. My body is throwing me curve balls, and I can't keep up. Eric was not pleased with the fact that I needed him to perform again, as he had just come from a long and exhausting trip and needed nothing more than a long night of sleep. He obliged, though, and for that I am grateful.


I think that in the end, I'm going to have to accept that it will happen when it happens, and no amount of herbal remedies and sexual rituals will make it happen before it's "supposed to." Like it or not, I'm not the one who gets to decide when that will be. That's difficult for me to accept, I suppose, because I've never been good about trusting others to make my decisions. Eric, I can allow that power, though even that is a struggle for me at times.

Growing up, for me, was about more than a struggle for autonomy. Independence was a big issue for me, but even more than that, I fought to learn when to give up that hard-won independence. Mom says that when I was little, I never wanted to be held; even as an adult, I had to make a conscious effort to submit to...

Sorry, I'm getting distracted. The entire time I've been sitting here, one of our volunteer pages, who happens to have severe Down's Syndrome, has been shelving books in front of me and having a grand old time doing it. She's apparently reliving some sort of private conversation, because she's grinning wildly, giggling, shaking her head, waving her hands, and flapping the books like wings as she goes about her job. I'd ask her what she's thinking about, but I think she's happier in her current state than she would be if I disrupted her.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, I was about to illustrate by describing the situation when my mother finally drove me to West Virginia for college. While all the other mothers were kissing their suddenly and terribly homesick babies goodbye, I hopped out of the van, grabbed my luggage, and headed for the dorm, completely forgetting to even give my mother a farewell hug. Dad says that on the way home, she cried. While it bothers me that I was totally ignorant of her feelings, I have to acknowledge that this was not an isolated event, and I think that it all falls back to the lack of trust in her that was fostered (festered?) in me throughout my childhood. Something in me believed that if I ever had fully opened up my heart and soul to her completely, she might have rejected me. She "proved it" whenever she criticized my books, my music, and my friends. I couldn't trust her to like me, so I taught myself not to care.

I've never been good at the partner thing, either. Equal power isn't something I can do; it involves too much confidence in the other person. Leadership positions are good; I have control, and that means that I don't have to trust anybody else with the result. I've also found that I can work well under someone else's direction, too; if the project fails, then it's not my fault, so I don't have to be disappointed. Partnership, though, involves giving as much as taking, and a common trust that the other person will do as much work as yourself. Nope, nope, can't do it. In past attempts at collaboration, I've generally followed this path: first, see if anyone else wants to "take over." Failing that, I take over myself. There is no "equal division" that will satisfy me. If there are only two of us, then I make absolutely certain that the parts over which we each will toil are in no way related. Thus, I regain power; she will not harm that which is mine.

Last year I took a course in Children's Theater. Don't ask why; it seemed a good idea at the time. Toward the end of the semester, the class staged a miniature play, and the professor asked whether I could write a song for the play. I accepted the challenge, and proceeded to work very hard with what was available to me: a class of twenty students, eighteen of whom could not read music, and at least ten of whom could not carry a tune in a handbasket. I wrote a simple song, I thought; the melody was catchy, the words were easy. I allowed myself the luxury of complex rhythms, thinking that even if they couldn't sing, they could at least be taught to count to five.

I was apparently wrong, and the teacher asked me to amend it. Furthermore, I was asked to alter the song in many other ways, the net result of which would have been a much weaker product. I wanted to take my song back, cradle it to my chest, and refuse to subject another of my babies to such treatment, but I couldn't. Here in a theater class, I was being taught music, by a man who wouldn't have known a good song if it came up and bit him on the...but I digress. (Still, that was honest. I heard an expanded version of our small play the next year, the music having been redone in exceedingly shabby fashion.)

If I hadn't trusted him with my music, I could never have been hurt. In this instance, I don't believe the trusting was worth the pain it brought.

Now I have to trust my body to do something over which I'd really rather not lose control. I don't want to. How can I? With all my knowledge, why shouldn't I be able to wrest control away from my body and do this all myself? And I can't be the disinterested follower, either. I'm involved, and in a trust-filled partnership from which I can't break. I'm uncomfortable with trusting a body which has betrayed me before.

I have no choice.


As I type, my body is twinging. First my left side, then my right. I can't even begin to guess whether or not this is ovulation. Am I releasing two eggs? I give up.



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