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January 26, 2008

Everyone seems to need it — no matter what the situation. So that they don’t feel alone or like they are walkin a road never traveled. Validation doesn’t make it all better but makes it more bearable.

This week in Unsung Lullabies we are reading through the introductions and through the first chapter. The introduction of the three contributors shows the reader first and foremost that they have been in a version of the shoes we walk in. The best part to me was that while they may or may not have had a happy ending…it is not mentioned in the introduction. I have read another book where I wanted to immediately set it down because of the fact that through out the author tainted everything she wrote with the glaze of the fact that she has her family now. For women working through infertility I think it is important to acknowledge the pain, to provide the support–without letting personal success add a sting.

Anyway, so the first chapter is all about validating what we feel and what we are going through as well as giving it a name:reproductive trauma.

It is so true. In the greek the word meant to wound. This journey is a wound that never seems to have time to heal. I went from failed hope to renewed at the beginning of a new cycle. Pushing the hurt and the disappointment back so that I could focus on what needed to be done to improve my chances. To focus on what I may have done wrong to try and correct it. After awhile…it wasn’t so much pushing it to the back because there wasn’t any space for it back there anymore. It had grown–and I felt alone.

That is why those of us who are infertile do tend to get bitter. We are ashamed of the feelings that come with the disappointments and the failures. Not just one disappointment but the accumulated disappointments of every cycle before hand, the drugs, the tests, the surgeries that don’t work. The callous advice from people who don’t understand and don’t seek to. The failed friendships as we realize that this very big issue in our lives no one else wants to help us deal with. If it comes into conversation the topic is quickly avoided and changed. The friends walk away.

They give us the cold shoulder because they don’t know how to deal and yet are too proud to ask us what they could do to help. That adds to the trauma and the isolation.

I realize that is why the online communities that I am apart of provide so much relief to me even though sometimes even they can be a bit of a chore–but not in the same way that a board of fertile is. I have fertile’s state that these communities must make us feel worse— feeding the feelings that are inherently apart of any trauma when in fact– getting to let out those feelings (in a blog or on a community board) is what helps us to cope better- it helps our wounds to heal. It keeps us from biting the head off the next person who says something stupid. These forums helped me stop to release my feelings in a place where others would understand, where they would know what I was going through because they had been/are there themselves, they would not judge me, would know when I just needed a sympathetic note of understanding without being all pollyanna about it.

The community has helped me get to the point where I am beyond the wallowing in self-pity and actually want to move beyond it. To get to the point where I am willing to seek the reasons behind the hurt, to separate this one part of my life from the rest so that I can move on to whatever is our next step is—child-less, adoption, a miracle pregnancy with a healthy child—without this deep wound in my psych.

My feelings are validated and I can move forward knowing I am not alone

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2008 7:32 pm

    Very very well said!! And I am in awe of the healing you seem to have done in the past few months alone. Well done. 🙂

  2. Muriah permalink
    January 27, 2008 2:59 pm

    I’m so glad our feelings are validated. They are real and we are not crazy. Excellent post and understanding of chapter 1.

  3. January 27, 2008 6:02 pm

    Wonderfully put. I seriously need to pick up this book on Amazon. Perhaps I’ll get it quick enough to be able to catch up with you!!

  4. screamofcontinuousness permalink
    January 28, 2008 12:14 pm

    I quite agree. there were so many times when I wanted to do violence to the latest person who is just SURE that if I hang around with babies more “something will adjust” inside me and I’ll get pregnant. Or whatever seemed to work in her family. Or the “don’t give up hope honey!” people when the doctors have all already told me that it’s over.
    I so get the frustration. On the other hand God tells me that I’m not allowed to kill people just for being ignorant or insensitive, so I guess I’ll just have to let them live.
    well written post.

  5. January 28, 2008 8:41 pm

    What a beautiful and insightful post! Validation. You’re right. It is essential to those of us dealing with IF and/or repeated loss. It’s so hush-hush in society that it can make you crazy until you find that community of others who know what it’s like and can actually give you support. I can’t believe how isolated I had become through my own actions/choices and those of others who chose to walk away from me after my last m/c. I don’t know where I’d be without my online communities. To know that the author acknowledges what we go through is trauma makes me want to read the book. I may have to try and hunt it down tomorrow. Keep on keepin’ on! ((hugs))

  6. goofygoffin permalink
    January 29, 2008 7:56 am

    Very nice written post! It is amazing how the friends who don’t care to or just can’t understand will walk away. My husband is azoospermia. There is no “fixing” him. While more women cope with infertility, the men are often forgotten. I’m the only one there to cope with him and for him. I’ll have to find this book. Thanks for the post and the comment. It’s nice to find all of these personal journies and not feel so alone….

  7. February 1, 2008 11:31 am

    I agree with you totally about the blogosphere being the best thing since talk therapy was invented. It’s so helpful for me to know that other women and men are wrangling with their feelings about IF. Their words have helped me become bolder and less depressed and resigned to my personal suffering.

  8. Dianne permalink
    February 1, 2008 1:51 pm

    I came to your blog from Mel’s. Ironically, I just started reading this book. For the longest time, it sat on my bookshelf. I couldn’t bring myself to read it. But, I recently realized that I was still mourning and thought heck – I should just read it.

    The idea of about validation is eye openning. The loss of what is suppose to be – of the dream is huge. I wish and may be will come up with a solution for myself – that I could bury that dream. In a outwardly act. Still thinking as to what that may be.

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