The discussion of infertility is such a hard one to have. It’s so difficult to admit to people that I’m trying to do something and failing at it. When friends and family ask that unintendedly so, yet entirely insensitive question, “When do you guys plan on having kids?”, I have often found myself lying to them to avoid the longer story. Somehow the words “not for a while” or “we might not want kids” come out of my mouth. I can’t really figure out if I lie to protect people from having to pity me, or if I lie to protect myself from having to receive pity.
When I decide to share the truthful answer, the people who care deeply for me have an immediate reaction of empathy, mostly sadness. And while that’s the completely appropriate response for them to have – really I’d be upset if they didn’t respond that way – it’s so painful to now see that they are in this suffering with me. It’s not fair to them. As much as I didn’t ask to be walking down the road of infertility, they certainly didn’t ask to be supportively walking next to me on this gloomy, infertile path.
When I give the truthful answer to the people who maybe don’t so much care for me, but decide to ask about my plans to reproduce anyways, they mostly have a reaction of discomfort. They seem to believe that I’ve shared too much with them by informing them that I actually have no control in my “plan to have kids”. They are simply not prepared to react to the answer of the question that they chose to formulate in their brains and spit out of their mouths. This leaves me feeling frustrated at them for 1. Thinking that they needed to know the answer to this question and 2. Making me feel guilty about their discomfort.
As someone who admittedly craves authenticity and depth out of life, maybe more than anything else on this earth, I have decided to no longer let those feelings of shame, fear, sadness, and anger keep me from exposing this detail of myself with people. By tucking away my story of infertility, I feel that the experience is much more difficult on me than it needs to be. Writing has always been a therapeutic and organized practice of mine, and I would love to use it as the means by which I share my journey with anyone who may be going through something similar or anyone who is just interested in keeping up with me.
While my plans for this page are absolutely not to only share stories concerning my involvement with infertility, my next several posts will be giving the full account of my infertility story up to this point. After purging my words on the topic, I hope to use this space as a launch pad to reveal other pieces of my life that don’t get to come up with people in everyday conversations.
Liv – Authentically