Pain In Progress (Part 1)

Now What?

In the ether between excitement and despair there is a deep ravine. A ravine where you can lie dazed as a weighty inertia engages its claws with a Venus fly trap like cunningness.

In theoretical terms, healing is positive and exciting, the bearer of long-awaited ease, a blanket of comfort offering a Mother Theresa like energy.

Those of us who have had to actually do it know better. Read more

When Your Trauma and Loss Doesn’t Count Round 2 The End

Why this infertility survivor is NOT off to see the wizard…..

Continued from Round 2 Part 1

Tired of disenfranchised grief yet?  That’s ok, me too.  We’re almost there….

After the group reading for the show Long Island Medium, things continued to head south after my unexpected mini reading with Theresa as I was waiting for my friend to be interviewed with the other interviewees.

“I’m sorry for your loss,” I made eye contact and said to a man who had tragically lost his wife. And I truly meant it. Although he had to have heard my conversation with Theresa loud and clear, he, flanked by his three healthy children, looked at me, nodded, and said thank you. No “and I’m sorry for yours as well”, or “best wishes to you”, or anything. Nothing.

On the way out by the bar, I observed another woman connecting with this gentleman. Even amid this bastion of loss and pain I am still off to the side as usual, unable, through no fault of my own, to connect with anyone. Read more

When Your Trauma and Loss Doesn’t Count, Round 2 Part 1

Why this infertility survivor is NOT off to see the wizard…………


What? You thought I was done?

Alas. I’m an obsessive person who had a long disenfranchised grief – infused week and half. These days in my world that seems to equal a lot of words.

But buck up little campers, there are only a few days of my random escapade through disenfranchised grief central left to unfold (until I leave the house again anyway)…….

***Fellow children of the eighties, name the movie containing the illustrious quote “Buck up, little camper.”***

And now for another good thing that came out of the eighties. As I fumbled through my recent experiences, I found myself thinking, “I’m so glad this is like, a THING. What if there was even nothing to look up? I’m really grateful someone put a name to this demon.” Disenfranchised grief was first identified by Dr. Kenneth Doka in 1989, thank goodness, and he has been writing about it ever since. “I define disenfranchised grief as grief that results when a person experiences a significant loss and the resultant grief is not openly acknowledged, socially validated, or publicly mourned. In short, although the individual is experiencing a grief reaction, there is no social recognition that person has a right to grieve or a claim for social sympathy or support” (PsycINFO Database record © 2014 APA, all rights reserved). I’m looking forward to reading his second anthology on the subject, “Disenfranchised Grief: New Directions, Challenges, and Strategies for Practice”. Read more

When Your Trauma and Loss Doesn’t Count Round 1, Part 2

Why this infertility survivor is NOT off to see the wizard…..

Round 1, Part 2

Never above giving it the old college try, against my better judgment I met my group for lunch the next day. We were instructed to do so and were told that this would be comforting in the face of the subject of trauma, which is intense and requires a lot of processing.

I sat down at the end of a table of twelve people or so. Minutes later a conversation on breast versus bottle feeding erupted. Read more

When Your Trauma and Loss Doesn’t Count

Why this infertility survivor is NOT off to see the wizard

Round 1 Part 1

I have an obsession. However, this is not news. I’m a somewhat obsessive person by nature, always have been, and am no different in my infertile life. There are certain aspects of infertility that weigh on my being considerably more than others, and even provoke little social experiments. Like when to speak and when not to, how to speak up, and being honest and loving towards even my darkest of emotions along with much of the world’s seeming need to shut that down in those of us who suffer. The very pre-enlightenment period myths that circulate out there about our disease never fail to raise at least one of my eyebrows, and often call forth in me stronger reactions, being that a funny little thing has happened since 1593 called SCIENCE.

My obsession of the moment though is disenfranchised grief. I often say that, at least for me, the world not acknowledging my losses could almost rival the pain of not getting to have children itself. This truth surprises me in such a way that I don’t quite understand my own feelings, yet, some days I feel as if this disenfranchised grief thing could eat me alive. Read more

I Saw Red

Transforming my space on the journey from I wish to what is

I’m not a big crier. I mean, I cry when I’m hurt or sad and normal things like that. But it is not often my initial response to things. When it is, however, it comes out of nowhere, like a pop up thunder shower on an otherwise banal weather day.

I was making love with my husband one sweet morning a few months after we lost our children when it hit me. I realized it was over. I could barely hold it until the moment passed, upon which I burst into tears. A wistful warrior in the midst of laying down her arms but not quite sure how to do it, I sobbed to my husband, “I just really really really loved trying to make a baby with you”. Read more

Spending Halloween With My Dark Side

Contemplating my role reversal fantasy – hardly as kinky as it sounds……

It all came into focus back when I was a waitress.

I’m one of those reluctant members of the restaurant business. After slogging through summers at McDonald’s in high school, I found myself working part time as a server to make ends meet after college. I did as much for nine years to follow, trekking many miles up and down restaurant isles, foregoing holidays and nights out in order to pay my rent and explore life as a free-lance flutist. I couldn’t stand it, but it was part of the life I had chosen. I tried my best to be professional, and after almost getting fired from my first waitressing gig (where I was upfront in revealing that I had no experience yet they failed to train me anyway) I did eventually become decent at it in my own right.

After years of double shifts that entailed, among other things, getting spoken to as though I was worthless scum by citizens of Long Island’s north shore, I made the transition to owner as I helped forge the existence of my chef husband’s first restaurant. Read more