As Kim and I currently struggle through the consistent failure of TTC, to deny the unavoidable crash of morale that accompanies this would be delusional and counter productive. I've alluded to this phenomenon in another post, but refrained from going into extensive detail. The ugly truth is that every human being, no matter how righteous, has some amount of darkness deep within themselves. As stated before, I don't exactly have advanced training in the field of the human brain nor have I professionally practiced psychological analysis. I have watched heaps of Mind Hunter which is an ipso facto scenario, right? I digress. Anyway, I've been a human being for quite some time now. 38 years of experience, to be exact. My mission (among many other missions) as of late, has been to take a true and honest deep dive into what I believe being a good person is. Thus far, I've gathered that step 1 is to be honest with yourself, about everything. Not an easy task... Perhaps many of you are better people than I am and have already achieved this level of self-mastery. However, I just started this journey within the last several years and haven't progressed past step 1. In fact, I continue to unwrap new mistruths I've allowed myself to believe over the years. For instance, the first lesson learned was that when one says (and you need to read this in an ultra dismissive/attitudey voice for accuracy) "I don't even care," it's generally a lie you tell yourself when you really actually do care. I still consistently tell myself this lie all too often. In today's climate, it's evident that many an individual can easily brand another human being as a "monster" by reading a headline, or watching a clip on the internet. Lately, I've been trying to at least understand where people are coming from and what may have led them down whichever misguided or angry path they found themselves on. I attempt true honesty with myself to fathom whether or not I could have possibly taken the same actions or made the same mistakes based on an emotional response. It's easy to proclaim yourself "master of the moral high ground." It's much more difficult and beneficial (in my opinion) to attempt to see things through a lens that may not necessarily be in line with your ideologies. Where did this mode of thinking come from (in reference to me personally)? That is a fair question. Some of the thoughts that I have thought and feelings I've felt during this less-than-fortuitous process of trying to build our family have been eye opening. I would be remiss in singing the same old song of "the only feelings we experienced were devastation, and heartbreak." Those are almost obligatory. They're 1000% accurate and most certainly ingredients to the recipe. What's far less sexy to discuss is the rage... the bitterness... the jealousy. You see, the darkness that I alluded to earlier in this post is a facet of the human condition. However, what is also a component of the human condition is the harsh judgement of those who express it. Disdain for those who are clearly speaking out of monumental frustration comes far too naturally, which is unfortunate. If some of the conversations Kim and I had at our lowest points were to be made public, we probably wouldn't be the most popular couple at the next PTA meeting. This is why I found that it was and is of the utmost importance for my wife and I to acknowledge that darkness and even embrace it. The gallows humor or the jealous rants were therapeutic. To some degree, they were a form of exorcism. Yet in a truly peculiar flip of the script, the spiteful/ugly outbursts always led us back to the path of positivity and fostered the determination to climb back on the horse. Ultimately, a positive attitude and refusal to take no for an answer are all that we're equipped with in this fight. We as a couple found that acknowledging the shadow within us and controlling it was incredibly helpful tool post each TTC catastrophe. I have to believe that we're not horrid people for thinking the ugly things that we thought in our times of havoc. We're just human beings that are tasked with acknowledging and keeping the inner monster at bay. Perhaps it's the occasional release of this demon that protects us.