Emotional Labor Misconceptions

In the face of involuntary childlessness, grief and recovery

How am I going to live THIS life in THIS world?

It’s one of the questions that has adhered itself to every aspect of my being since stopping fertility treatments three years ago. It’s a question that has become only more throbbing as I make my way back out into the world and initiate my life rebuilding process. It’s a question that is unavoidable. And how could it not be? My experiences trying to conceive, the physical absence of my children and our loss of parenthood colors everything.

I’m not alone in this. When one has come through and out of the wanting of parenthood in any way shape or form, finding themselves on the other side of their dream or pursuit or hard work without the desired children in tow, we are all in some version of a related boat.

Thoughts, feelings and instincts on this question percolate in our systems. We organically, if not subconsciously, become silent, unseen coping skill factories, working overtime to generate a new life that makes sense to us, a new social normal and perhaps most of all, self-preservation.

I was recently made more consciously aware of part of my process when I read Cathy’s latest post, Are You Doing More Than Your Fair Share of Emotional Labor? over at Slow Swimmers and Fried Eggs (Thanks, Cathy!). Realizations rising to the surface were of course prompted by the writing and investigating of fellow infertility survivors because where else would they come from? There’s no context out in the wider world acknowledging the plight forward for those of us who wanted children but couldn’t have them, even most if not all infertility support groups are tone-deaf towards this journey. (more…)

WHERE AM I??

The movie Cast Away sheds some light

Things have felt……peculiar lately.

I’ve been feeling that half here, half not here feeling.  But not the pulverized half here half not here feeling of a year ago, this one is different.  I’ve been feeling unsettled.  A bit disconnected.  Pain, my long time reliable compass, no longer rules my existence. (more…)

Top 9 Ways Infertility and Involuntary Childlessness Prepared me for a Trump Presidency

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. (more…)

Redefining Toxicity

A traumatized griever removes her rose colored glasses

“Whether we like it or not, loss launches us on spiritual journeys of the heart and soul” – Dr. Alan Wolfelt

There are those moments in life when you careen into your own misperceptions.  Facts about life that are so protrudingly obvious you wonder how you missed them in the first place.  And once you find yourself in your more complete and grounded version of reality, you are wildly amused at how you could have ever seen things your old way at all. (more…)

Sweet Words

A doctor finally gets it right

I have two major biochemical imbalances that caused chronic and sometimes suicidal depression between the ages of 17 – 29.  They were finally diagnosed and pretty well treated by the Pfeiffer Health Research Institute via a prescribed nutrient therapy program.  While I should normally get re-tested every year or two, for me, this was just one more thing that got pushed to the side during fertility treatments and the subsequent loss of our children.

I think most if not all of us have situations where our infertility collides with challenges and crisis we faced prior.  Those experiences can be internal, or more external, as it was when I was driving to my first Pfeiffer appointment in four years about a month ago.  I was pondering how I was going to explain the infertility/childlessness trauma/PTSD amid grief symptoms amid symptoms of my biochemical imbalances with a dash of peri-menopause thrown in while marinating in that all too familiar not knowing if I was going to be seen, heard and taken seriously. (more…)

Book Review: Avalanche: A Love Story

The heart starving nature of the absence of “me too” in human conversation – a daily normality for those of us in the early years of grieving childlessness and/or recovery from multiple failed fertility treatments.

Julia Leigh’s Avalanche: A Love Story spelled this in me for a bit.  Her compact, almost torpedo like manner of iterating the realities surrounding wanting a child, attitudes towards conception, the fertility industry, failed treatments and their emotional fallout, is riveting.

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