A Whole New Perspective

I think I’ve blogged about this before, but since becoming a mother and overcoming our infertility, sitting on the other side of the fence, I’ve been given a whole new perspective on myself and my short comings over the past 8 years. I’ve seen my behavior reflected back at me in the past months and have been forced to take a good hard look at what infertility made me.

The thing that I’m most ashamed of is how self obsessed and selfish infertility made me. Everything was about me, my feelings, what I needed and the only people whose feelings I was willing to consider were those who were walking the path with me.  I saw others good fortune  not as separate from my own but somehow as a sign that I wasn’t good enough, didn’t measure up and was not deserving enough to be blessed. Now of course, I realize that my happiness and good fortune is totally unrelated to anyone else.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but when others, who I, almighty me, deemed to not have been through as hard a journey as I or those like me had, rejoiced in their pregnancies or their babies, I saw it as hurtful or like they were rubbing my face in what they had that I simply, no matter how hard I tried, could not have.

Of course now, in hindsight I see how self obsessed and self-important that was. How arrogant of me! To think that I was SOOO important that the entire world should go around considering my feelings only! I’m actually embarrassed about it now. I’m quite sure that there have been mutterings of how I rub others faces in my good fortune every time I upload some random image of Ava on to Facebook or my blog. And now that the shoe is on the other foot I have to say that it’s the furthermost thing from the truth. I love Ava so much and am so proud of her that I want to show her off, it’s not about rubbing anyone’s face in it, in fact that isn’t even a consideration when I do things like that. And yet, I so felt that it was that way in the past.

Many many years ago, before I met Walter and before I moved to Johannesburg, one of my previous employers sent us all on a seminar, it was called The Forum and it was one of the most life changing seminars I have ever attended. It was grueling and exhausting and I took many many lessons away from it. But probably the most important lesson I took from it and its the one that still sticks with me today, is that regardless of how badly we handle a situation, or how badly we think others handle a situation, ultimately, at that point in time, with our current circumstances the way they are, we do the very best we can. In hind sight it may not always be good enough, or seem like the right thing to have done, or the right way to have reacted. But at that time, we did all we could, we did the best we could.

With that in mind, I think its time for me to forgive myself for the shameful way that I behaved in the past and try to move on from there.

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  • Reply ksmind

    I love you last sentence, I’m sure we could all use a little of that thinking xxx

    August 5, 2010 at 8:14 am
  • Reply staceysthoughts

    Posts like these are the reason I’ve always loved reading your blog, Sharon. Thanks for sharing your honest feelings about different stages you’ve moved through along the way. I think so many of us can relate to what you’ve written here. I know I can! I’ve begun to realize how wrong it was of me to fault others for their happiness. Why did I allow others’ situations to control my own happiness?
    At any rate, perspectives certainly do change. I also agree with you that when you’re stuck in what feels like a hopeless situation, you do the very best you can at that time. I’m glad for the opportunity (for both of us) to be able to work through some of these feelings and move past them with a better understanding. Very thought-provoking post!

    August 5, 2010 at 8:14 am
  • Reply Nisey

    Hindsight is an amazing thing, its a pity we can’t have it in the present!

    August 5, 2010 at 8:33 am
  • Reply little29

    couldnt have said it better myself Nisey – “May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far” irish blessing
    great post Sharon!

    August 5, 2010 at 9:01 am
  • Reply tanyakov

    Hindsight is 20/20, but I completely agree – we do what’s best at the time with what we’ve got. It might not be enough, but hopefully with time, we learn what we need to learn and evolve, and do things even better.

    August 5, 2010 at 9:06 am
  • Reply skrambled

    There are times when I have been so hurt by life that I battle to see the truth. But there is always a lesson in it and we emerge stronger from the experience.

    August 5, 2010 at 9:09 am
  • Reply tanyakov

    Sharon, are you on Facebook? If you’d like, please befriend – am missing your Twitter pics of Ava!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:53 am
  • Reply dee

    Thats what I wanted to say – you did what you had to to get by and survive. If anyone had told you then to stop being self-obsessed you would have retreated more into survival mode and despised them even more. The beauty is that we can learn from our past experiences!! Dont be too harsh on yourself, we all do it and its the way we cope with the next hurdle IF throws our way.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:25 am
    • Reply Sharon

      Dee, too true! Somebody asked me the other day if I thought I could have coped any other way and the answer is no. We do the best we can with what we have at the time. And frankly if anyone had told me I was self obsessed or selfish while I was walking that path I would have told them to go F*** themselves.
      Hindsight is 20/20 and GOD FORBID, I’m ever in a similar position, perhaps with experience I’ll do differently but then again,perhaps not.

      August 5, 2010 at 11:34 am
  • Reply Me

    Of course once you have battled through the scrub and the thorns, climbed mountains and then finally reached the end of the rainbow and collected the pot of gold, you can look back and see what you could have done different, how you could have acted differently to a variety of things including other people’s good news etc

    However you can’t compare the two.

    Infertility does horrible things to the people it affects, makes people act in ways they never thought they would, do and say things they are probably ashamed of.

    I don’t believe any infertile sets out on their ttc journey to be self obsessed and self-important but as weeks, months and then even years tick by, the feelings of failure and guilt that rack you when you try and fail repeatedly – well it takes you over, consumes you and you can’t always be accountable for your actions. That in no way excuses any rude behaviour but if an infertile was thinking clearly and NOT being affected by their journey, then they probably wouldn’t get consumed by it either OR let it affect them the way it does.

    I’m not proud of who infertility has turned me into, far from it and I’m taking steps now to change who I’ve become but at times I was that deep in the throes of depression that I was unaware of how I was acting towards others, if I would have been I most certainly would have modified my behaviour.

    While I don’t think others rub my face in their succession to motherhood, at times I do think they don’t care about my feelings. I don’t think wanting my friends and family and people I’ve become close to in the blogosphere AND cheered on in their journey’s to take a step back and consider my feelings is too much to ask, nor do I think it means I think it means I’m SOOO important, it just means that when you’re friends with someone, you try to take how they may be feeling into account.

    I’m glad you’ve managed to take this step forward Shaz and look back on your journey and heal. Infertility is a journey through hell itself and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.


    August 5, 2010 at 11:39 am
  • Reply shirl34

    Now that you have acknowledged your past faults Sharon, it should be easy to walk forward with your head high and I’m almost certain, those that matter forgave you long ago!

    Nice post and definately hit my nerve. I have never walked your infertility road however, I can think of many occasions when I have found it hard to enjoy someone elses happiness because of my own sadness. It got me thinking about events and made me cringe(just a little 🙂 )

    August 5, 2010 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Mash

    I also did the forum, in London! Yes, hectic stuff. I walked away from it with a much stronger sense of integrity, and I like to think I’m a better person for it.

    But I’ve also barked out some terrible things to people recently due to infertility. It’s like I’m in a cage and I can’t get out, and it’s turned me into a bit of a rottweiler. I know my colleague wasn’t taunting me yesterday when she innocently asked when I was going to have children, but I couldn’t find any other response inside of me than angry!

    Forgive yourself, all you were doing was defending your poor heart. It is selfish behaviour (like they said in the Forum – how are you BEING), but you did it for protection.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm
  • Reply kirstymac72

    Jirre – just been reading back a few posts… seems I have missed out on some epic happenings???

    You are a strong woman to stand up and say: I was bitter and twisted and I take it back!

    I have to say, when you were still travelling your journey, there were times when I thought: “When things are different for you, you’ll see another picture.” But I didn’t say anything, ‘cos I knew you would see it when you had your happy ending. (and also ‘cos you were scary) 😉
    Glad you have found happiness x-x

    August 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm
  • Reply suestuart

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, remember it was an AWFUL journey you were on, and you had to cope and self preserve.

    August 6, 2010 at 6:06 am
  • Reply vroutjie

    Well said ! We all go through the emotions and deal with it the best we could – you just had the guts to put yours in words!

    That is what life is – to learn from your past and try to better in future!

    August 6, 2010 at 11:17 am
  • Reply orbit365

    Sharon…you are beautiful and strong and so resilient. It takes an ADULT to say..”I behaved in a certain way and it was completely unacceptable”.
    Forgive yourself. And keep going..x


    August 7, 2010 at 3:08 pm
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