Can I Be Honest?

I’ve been grappling with an issue for a while now, its something I wanted to blog about because I’d like to get others thoughts on this issue, but at the same time I’ve been terrified to blog about it for fear of coming across like an uncaring bitch and getting lynched in the process. But after a recent posting on the forum I frequent, touching on the comparison’s between Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and life after infertility and then reading Chopper’s blog this am, I’ve decided to take a deep breath and somehow try to put on paper what I’ve been grappling with.

So here’s the deal – I think I’m battling with some form of mixture between survivor’s guilt and PTSD. I’m really confused by where I’m at in terms of my infertility journey and offering support to others still on the IF path. In the beginning, I really wanted to be there for others still on the IF path but these days I feel like I want to run as far away from all things fertility related as possible. I want to put it behind me, walk away from it and never look back. When somebody talks about their infertility, I want to put my hands over my ears and shout “lalalalalalalalalala” so that I don’t have to hear it! I have no patience with it or with myself. I don’t want to talk about infertility, I don’t want to think about infertility, I don’t want to remember my infertility, I don’t want to remember the emotions behind my infertility, when I think back on my infertility, I wish I could tell myself to shut the f*ck up and stop whining about it and in turn, I’m struggling with finding the patience for offering support on anything fertility related.

What’s wrong with me? Why do I feel this way? Why is it that something that consumed my life for the better part of a decade is now something I want to run so far way from. Why am I so lacking in compassion? This is not natural or normal for me? It’s not how I am, it’s not part of my personality? I’m too compassionate, I’m so bloody compassionate that the struggles of others is usually enough to move me to tears and/or to action but somehow the same is not applying to infertility! I can’t bring myself to offer support on the forum, I’m battling to find the words and offer support on the blogs I read.

What is going on? What is wrong with me?

Please don’t hate me for owning this? I’m as confused and shocked by it as you probably are for reading it.

October 26, 2010
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25 Comments

  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    Hi Sharon
    My journey wasn’t as long as yours, but I feel the same way, I just want to forget about ‘all that’ and live a normal life. I think it is very normal to feel this way. While battling IF it becomes such a part of one’s world that one sort of forgets it is only one aspect of life, and when it is over, one has to rejoin the ‘normals’. I get that one still feels connected or even responsible in a way, but actually you/we are not. One wants to be helpful, but one also just want to move on and live for a change. The wheel turns, and it is someone else there now, in the trenches, and a couple of years hence, it will again be someone new. Hard to accept, but very liberating!

    October 26, 2010 at 11:02 am
  • Reply bratty37

    Sharon, there is nothing wrong with the way you feel…it is just your mind telling you “It is time to let go and move forward on your new path”. So be kind to yourself. This does not mean you are no longer compassionate and caring….but you cannot expect a wound to heal if you keep scratching it open

    October 26, 2010 at 11:51 am
  • Reply tiina1977

    Don’t be so hard on yourself! The fact that this is such a big issue for you shows that you still are the caring person that you have always been. The trauma of infertility is like loosing a child you never had (in your case even more so as you have lost precious babies through miscarriage). It takes time to work through the trauma and I know it sounds like a cliche but your sweetie Ava-Grace will help you work through it, just take a deep breath and cut yourself some slack. It is totally understandable that others infertility struggles will bring back emotions that you do not want to feel as it is a thing of the past for you in a way. Remember that you have to heal yourself before you can help others and that is not selfish, that is essential for your own wellbeing as well as that of your husband and child.

    October 26, 2010 at 11:52 am
  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Hey Sharon, I second what Bratty says about it + I think it is a healthy sign. Now you are on another path and please allow yourself the enjoy it, while you heal your wounds. With time, you might find yourself more patient for IFers again ….

    October 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm
  • Reply aussiekim

    Sharon it is almost like you have “overdosed” on painful feelings over time. Now that there is light in your life your mind does not wish to return to the dark place or even skirt around in the shadows. Your mind wants to rejoice and dance in the sunshine and darlin do not feel guilty or bad as you have suffered enough over time. Don’t overthink this too much, it is your minds way of saying, hey I have had quite enough of that already and I aint going back there!

    Hugs
    Kimmie
    x

    October 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm
  • Reply theresak80

    Ouch, as an IF, that hurt a bit. But you know what, if I was in your situation, I would feel exactly the same way. You made it through hell, so why put yourself back into that situation? If I ever get through this, I would never ever want to think about it again.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm
  • Reply hollielee5

    I am always glad to hear the real honest truth in a blog. No apologies necessary! Its how you feel, and thats always okay no matter what it is that you feel.
    I haven’t ever had IRL infertile friends, so this is a little foreign to me. But as far as in blog-ville, I find myself offering vague support, where as before, I was very specific. I can’t tell someone that their dreams of parenthood WILL become reality. I think thats just the worst part about IF. You have no clue if you are going to be one that struggles and becomes a parent, struggles and lives child free, etc. NO WAY OF KNOWING. So, I try to see the bigger picture, and offer support for the person’s overall well being, not being too specific about kiddo stuff. Is that wrong? Its not like I don’t wish the best for the person, I guess Im just holding back hope because I know the future is SO incredibly uncertain.

    October 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm
  • Reply mrssee2

    I think you need to let yourself move on. I am sure once you have some distance things will come naturally again

    On another note, we need more pics!!!!

    October 26, 2010 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    I think that you are growing and that this is just part of life. I love Bratty’s comment and agree that you can’t heal if you keep scratching open a wound. Sometimes, in the interests of self-preservation, it is best to just make a clean break. I d know that this is easier said than done though.
    It is wonderful that you are happy and fulfilled and content and I do think that you need to stop feeling guilty about being happy. I guess it will take time and is a work in progress, but I do urge you to stop being so hard on yourself.

    xx

    October 26, 2010 at 6:25 pm
  • Reply waiting4amiracle

    I identify with some of what you are saying and I think that it is normal. Don’t beat yourself up. Even going from fertility treatment to adoption has been a shift for me. And its taken time to sink in. You are human and I think maybe its time to almost give yourself permission to move on…..(I am telling myself this as well) xxxxx

    October 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    You are just on a different path now. I am sure what you feel is normal. Some of us have ended the journey, others are just beginning. Thats life. A simple comparrison, we start school, move along a class each year, and after 12 year we leave school, but there will always be 12 classes, it keeps getting filled. There will always be infertiles doing IVF etc, they will support each other, others will end their journey in whatever way and move on. You need to follow your path now, and if you want to put the past behind you, thats great. Don’t stay weighed down by what has gone. Enjoy what you have now, and work on getting over the guilt.
    Compassion does not mean you have to deny your own happiness.

    October 26, 2010 at 7:52 pm
  • Reply little29

    Sharon I am not shocked at all in reading your post – if anything your pain and continual dissapointment you experienced whilst intrenched in your IF struggle its quite normal to want to block your ears to others. I agree with what the others say – your path has changed now and down the line things may seem very different but for now you allowed to feel like you do – no apologies needed – Hell if you can’t put down in your own blog how you feel then where on earth are you meant to? Your honesty is what I love about you and what makes you “real”

    October 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply zamom

    I have a different view. This is just my personal opinion, hope it doesn’t upset you but at the end of the day ART failed you. The vast majority of people that go the ART route do eventually get a baby out of it all and so can take something positive from the whole experience and have a “happy ending” to give all those still stuck TTC some hope. I’m not saying that becoming a mom through adoption is second best or makes you any less of a mother, it’s just usually at the bottom of everyone’s list and something they never generally think they’ll end up doing when they start on the TTC journey. I’m sure looking back you probably would’ve opted for adoption sooner if you’d known what was in store and I’m sure most people that adopt will agree. So, bottom line, I think it’s hard to give people positive feedback or input about ART when on the whole your experience of it all has been very negative.

    October 26, 2010 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply wheresmybun

    It’s quite simple: You’ve moved on… I’m with tina, don’t be so hard on yourself. And to tell you the truth, I feel exactly the same! And the strange part is I don’t have children, and worst of all is I have a TTC forum, being supportive takes a lot of effort. You’ve been through hell, you’ve given it your ALL. It’s time to take a step back. In terms of offering support may I just say, you’ve done an excellent job! I often think back to my second m/c when you reached out to me, I don’t know how I would have cope if it wasn’t for your kind words and loving support. Let yourself off the hook, it’s time.

    October 27, 2010 at 7:47 am
  • Reply trishdg

    I am not at all shocked. I just feel that I have had Infertility overload and I can’t take much more. After all those years of living and breathing IF and IVF I just can’t bear to think about it and I very seldom even log onto the forum anymore. Sometimes I’ll be at another kids party with my 1 and 3 year olds running around and the moms will be discussing having an oops child and I will participate in the conversation. Then afterwards I will think what an idiot I am and how could I not bring up that we are infertile and it is medically impossible to conceive without IVF – mindblowing that I could think I was normal. I still support those in the trenches and am very compassionate if I bump into an infertile but I guess I don’t actively seek IF out too often anymore.

    PS did you see the Octomom on Oprah last night – now that is scary. 8 fourteen month olds and 6 other kids (one being autisic) incl 3 year old twins and only one parent. I had childcare nightmares and so sad that is what the public gets fed about IVF!

    October 27, 2010 at 8:49 am
  • Reply elna3

    Maybe you are a little hard on yourselve…… Why don’t you put it behind you and don’t look back, at least for now. Why do you need to rub your nose in all those negative , hurtful memories all the time. You are compassionate and you DO care -maybe give that energy to moms with babies who have various issues etc, rahter than spending it on infertility. Maybe in 10 years time you’ll want to give your support again to women struggeling to fall pregnant, and maybe you won’t.
    The way Pandoragelb said it above is so true

    October 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm
  • Reply jonivdw

    Hey Shaz!

    I feel exactly the same…. when people talk about infertility I feel like running for the hills! I don’t want to hear it! I don’t want to hear that I should still keep on trying for my “own” baby (why can’t people get it into their heads that Adam is my own baby)… I’m tired of telling people why we’re infertile, I’m tired of it all….. I’m tired of being asked the same questions over & over again….

    I feel guilty for not posting in the TTC room for not being more supportive but I just can’t anymore….

    I’m trying to look forward now…. I’m trying to give hope to Mom’s exploring adoption etc.

    Shaz don’t beat yourself up, you were there for us for years & years! It’s your time to be happy and revel in your blessing!

    October 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm
  • Reply Jaded

    Sharon,
    I could have written this post myself, just remove ‘infertility’ and insert ‘baby loss’. I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve done my time and paid my dues and I just want to be happy already. Don’t feel bad – join the club.

    October 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm
  • Reply ldr1604

    My totally unqualified opinion would be that talking about IF and supporting others currently going through IF brings back your saddest memories that you are currently trying to heal from.

    I think the conflict comes in because you would like to be compassionate and would desparately like to support your friends through the process but you might have to accept that you may not be able to do this right now. I am sure this feels all wrong and could make you feel very uncomfortable and guilty but maybe this is just part of healing from a very difficult and lengthly experience that you went through.

    October 28, 2010 at 11:53 am
  • Reply vroutjie

    Shaz, I think it is normal! I also feel that way and my journey has probably not ended, although I think I accepted the fact that it actually has, whether or not I do get a baby or not.

    You need to move on – that’s life! Don’t feel guilty – enjoy your new life and gorgeous baby!!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm
  • Reply Mash

    I think PTSD (from what I’ve read) is more like the reliving of an event, over and over again in your mind, like a movie you can’t switch off even when you don’t want to, causing you not to sleep etc.

    You’ve been a great support to many IF’s, it’s OK for you to close the door on that chapter of your life, and embrace the new chapter of your life. Bless it and let it go, it happened, it’s over and you don’t owe it (or other infertiles) anything… it’s OK for you to be happy!

    October 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm
  • Reply coachmarcia

    I get this. I really do.

    You need to do what’s right for you. If it makes you crazy to go to the forum, then stop. Your heart and healing is more important than encouraging someone else.

    I used to lurk until I started reading bad stuff about miscarriages in early pregnancy at a time I really was taking it hour by hour so I stopped for my own sanity.

    October 28, 2010 at 2:06 pm
  • Reply ttcnot2easy

    I’m with you. I wonder if there really is an answer. Or if this is just something that we have to figure out for ourselves? I guess we all deal with it differently – and for me, no amount of reassurances from those still TTC on the forum has made it any easier, or has allowed me to reach some kind of answer..

    October 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm
  • Reply yvettene

    Don’t feel bad I am doing the same, running as far and as fast as I can away from IF, doing eveything I can to forget, to put it out my mind and LIVE!!

    November 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm
  • Reply reluctantmom

    I am totally unqualified to comment on this … but seldom has this stopped me in the past.

    IF is no longer your journey, it is where you have been – and right now you are looking forward and you are in a different place in your life – let’s disregard how you got there for a moment.

    It really is a bit – please bear with me – like talking pregnancy with my friends, I am over it, I am just not there in my life any more. My focus is on toddlers and children, and trying to get porridge out of children’s hair and getting everyone to school on time that is where I am in my world.

    It does not mean I do not appreciate my friends giving my blow-by-blow accounts of their pregnancies, and sometimes I look at them and think “do you realise that this is such a small part of the bigger picture, but I do not want to burst your bubble, so please go on and tell me again about how the 12th week of pregnancy is ….”

    Of course your feelings are laced with guilt and all of those loaded emotions, but at the end of the day, that is not where you are any more on this road of life anymore. I am not saying for a moment, that the wounds aren’t raw, and you have forgotten every painful and soul-destroying moment you went through.

    But you are HERE now!

    It does not take away from that you have been there, and walked that road with bleeding, dusty feet – but you are not there any more! I can fully understand (even as a total outsider/lay-person/ignoramous, why that world feel alien to you now ….)
    xxxx

    November 4, 2010 at 9:20 pm
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