On (Healthy) Anger and Perspective
Today I am dedicating my blog to National Infertility Awareness Week and to the launch of Justine Brooks Froelker's latest book The Mother of Second Chances, based on her blog Ever Upward releasing on April 17th. For five weeks 25 amazing women will share their stories of infertility and loss as part of this incredible blog tour, because together we can shatter the stigma.
Yesterday Jen shared her story and tomorrow we will hear from Julie at Being Bravely Afraid. We would love for you to participate by sharing these posts far and wide. We’d especially love to see your own broken silence by sharing your own infertility story using the hastags: #NIAW, #infertility and #EverUpward.
It’s 8:21 p.m. and I’m typing this from my love seat. It’s a nice night in St. Louis and my husband asked me to sit outside with him, but sometimes being seen by my neighbors – anyone, really – makes me feel naked. They know what we’re going through and where I am in my journey and, inevitably, I fear someone will look too long or ask how I’m doing. This post, that I’ve known I needed to write for well over a month, is supposed to be live in four hours. Yet here I am, just now writing it because the words hadn't come to me yet.
Infertility is crazy-making in that way. You anticipate and expect the worst sometimes, simply because asking for anything outside of that feels like too much. You’re already fighting for a miracle in the form of a pregnancy, so you can’t ask for much more than that.
Somedays this makes me angry. I’m angry how much we must endure to get what others take for granted every day. IF we end up with the paid-for, dreamed-of family, I’m angry people assume this pain and frustration and fear will fade away and all will be well. I’m angry others tell people to move on and heal when they have no idea what we’ve been through.
Trauma doesn’t work that way. Trauma doesn’t let go the second things go right (or you choose to take another path).
I’m angry women argue with one another about breast vs. bottle feeding.
I think it’s insane when mothers judge one another based on how they let their kids sleep.
I love how easy it is for people to preach their beliefs about what parenting should look like, which vaccines you should or shouldn’t use, and what diet is best for baby.
It bothers me when people throw politics into my private life, discussing reproductive medicine like it’s a talking point and not a necessity.
And I know this post feels like it’s about to steamroll right through people who innocently do these things when their hearts are in the right place. That’s not my intention. In fact, I pinky promise to be more positive in a few paragraphs.
My anger isn’t really about parenting or moms trying to decide what’s best for their kiddos. Because that’s great and parents should do more of that (without all the judgment). But it’s about how much they take for granted when they criticize someone else for doing it differently.
Are the kids surviving?
Are the children loved?
Do you have any idea how lucky you are to have that baby and to know other women who have conceived?
Perspective, friends. It’s a gift infertility has given me. One that, even when I’m angry, I realize is an asset.
If you’re angry right now, especially this week, I want you to know it’s okay. Infertility brings with it complex feelings, and you are certainly not the only one who feels them. You don’t always have to be the life of the party. You don’t always have to feel like you’re going to beat this thing.
Some days you can cuss or cry. Some days you can roll your eyes at people who mean well but say dumb shit. Boy oh boy do they say dumb shit.
This post is the first I’ve written geared right to the infertile ladies who are struggling so very, very hard right now without telling you about self-care tips and techniques. And while that’s abnormal for me and sometimes strange to see, I want to remind you that sometimes self-care is as simple as feeling all your feelings.
The good, the bad, and the complex.
Because infertility is not fair. And can evoke anger. It can be so frustrating you write in sentence fragments (because your heart and writing skills are broken).
And it’s your right to acknowledge that, especially during national infertility awareness week