The morning after last week’s election I lay on my couch, practically immobile. As it did with many, the election results struck me sideways. First, I felt all of it. Confusion. Anger. Sadness. Sadness for people on both sides of the aisle who don’t feel seen and heard by our society and are not having their needs met by this country. Disheartened that things crumbled to the point where someone who I truly believe is not an intelligent, decent well-meaning human being could be elected. Upheaval. Concern for the future – mine and everyone else’s. Numb. Violated. Discombobulated.
Wishing deep in my heart of hearts that Trump does a good job is much like wishing for a pregnancy on the heels of multiple failed fertility treatments; you want it more than anything but know on a level it’s probably not going to happen. Most of all, I was shocked that I was shocked. When one loses their children to infertility after years of trying and doing everything right only to walk out into a sea of indifference (please read the “you can have mine”, “you’re lucky”, “you can always foster or adopt” “it wasn’t meant to be” and “at least you can travel now” minimizations), one’s list of what will shock them in life from that day forward becomes severely truncated.
So it started to dawn on me that, by chance, I’m already set up for this, this Trump presidency thing. That piles of knowledge, heartbreak, wisdom and grit sit in the space where my children should be does not thrill me, and it may never. But as the wheels kept turning I saw that it’s useful in some regard. And as my mind wended its way over the Cliff Notes version of my experiences, it became clear. “Come on woman,” I said to myself. “You may not feel like it now and that’s ok. But you’ve GOT this!”
So in the spirit of getting your own feet on the ground first, I offer this:
Top Nine Ways Infertility and Involuntary Childlessness Prepared me for a Trump Presidency
9) My life has already been profoundly shaped and changed by a train wreck I never saw coming.
8) I’ve got a PHD in the nonsensical.
7) Very few things are more unfathomable than a 72 year old school yard bully reality TV star turned internet troll being elected president of the United States. However, good loving people not being able to have children after trying harder and longer than most humans on the planet happens to be one of them. #beentheredonethat
Number 6 warrants an intro. Though my country has more pressing woes at the moment, woes that I’m willing to take action on behalf of, those of us who wanted children but couldn’t have them just got through a campaign drenched, as usual, in the presumption of parenthood. Months of “our sons and daughters” bombardments (complete with a campaign flier in my mailbox emblazoned with the heading “would you want your daughter drinking this water?” The answer is I and those like me wanted our daughters to fucking exist first and foremost, seems they skipped a few steps), candidates siting their parenthood and grandparenthood as some sort of a qualification to properly govern (dream on, assholes) capped off by Obama thanking, and I quote, “the Moms and Dads” who helped with Clinton’s campaign (while “the Moms and Dads” who campaigned for Trump were, notably, not mentioned). And what in the Sam Hill does one’s parental status have to do with one’s campaigning efforts anyway?? Like every other political race before, this one continued to exclude from the conversation the twenty percent of our population in this country over the age of 45 who do not parent while incessantly inferring that those with children have a greater stake and thus care more about the future of this country. Politics aside, voting for the candidate that would set an appropriate example for the young people in this country was one of the top 3 motivations that got ME, me infertilityhonesty, out to the polls. So, without further adieu, I leave you with number 6.
6) Concerns about my factions of folks in this country (people dealing with infertility and child free not by choicers) being more excluded and socially disenfranchised while being less seen and heard? Uh, nope. No worries there. The masses have already got that down. Even Trump at the helm can’t take that one any lower. I’d like to say we are marginalized, but I believe a group/life experience has to be societally acknowledged and actually INCLUDED in the human conversation before graduating to marginalization.
5) If I can get used to the permanent absence of my children then hell, what CAN’T I get used to?
4) My El Salvadoran husband has been a tax payer in this country (not to mention a successful business owner and member of society) for almost two decades. Though not likely, Donald could repeal his status and that of tens of thousands of other law-abiding, hard-working Central Americans. But hey we already lost our children – having to relocate to another country would be by far NOT the worst thing that ever happened to us.
3) My experiences have trained me to handle roller coasters of emotion, perpetual suck and constantly having no idea what in the world is going to happen all in a single bound.
2) Unlike the traumatic life altering loss of my children to infertility (which leaves one with no rituals, no societal acknowledgement and no community support in case you were wondering) I’m actually getting to process this debacle with my fellow humans. #sociallyacceptedlossesjustmightbeeasier
1) I’m adapting to the fact the human goodness and decency has got absolutely nothing to do with becoming a parent. Surely I’ll be able to adapt to it having nothing to do with becoming the president of the United States either.