I spent three years living in the infertility closet before I 'outed' myself on mass earlier this year. Speaking out was both terrifying and liberating. It was terrifying because I was worried people would judge me, and in doing so add weight to the judgements I'd already made myself.
Even more than that I was worried people would pity me.
Not to mention the influx of 'Pearls of Wisdom' that would inevitably come my way. Could I handle it???
It was liberating because once it was out there I found:
- I feel more accepting of my situation, less like a victim of it and less self-critical
- I thought I'd be judged negatively but - the odd POW aside - people have been very supportive!
- I feel like I am adding value back into a community that has given me so much over my years TTC
To Share Or Not To Share
It’s a difficult question, to which the answer will be different for everyone!
It took three years for me to get a place where I felt it was what I wanted/needed to do...
What tipped it over the edge for me was a dark point earlier this year. I was feeling so disempowered and alone.
Then I read an article that said that infertility was fast becoming the world's third biggest health issue - and that it was only set to grow.
Wow. Think about how many people out there are going through what we are going through!?!
Yet it’s still such a taboo subject.
I started to think about how much information I've amassed over my time TTC.
So I made a choice. I decided not to let my insecurities, my vulnerabilities stop me from sharing what I had learnt - all the things that had helped me cope, to feel sane.
Part of it for me was knowing how to talk about it - how do you explain how this all feels??
Then I realised that exactly how I articulated it didn't matter. Everyone will experience this differently, understand it differently, give it different meaning.
It became about the essence.
Those experiencing fertility struggles will connect with the emotional current of what I've experienced. Those reading to understand and support a loved one might gain some insight.
If you aren't sure how open you should be there is no right or wrong - you need to ask self the questions about benefits and costs to you and your life.
Fertility struggles are hard enough without making yourself unnecessarily uncomfortable. If you do decide to share your story my suggestion is this:
Share the level of information that you feel comfortable with to the people who you feel comfortable knowing that information.
Talking about what you are experiencing is meant to help not hinder the emotional side of your path to parenthood.
You also need to consider your partners feelings - my hubby is quite a private person so blog this can be quite confronting for him! But he understands why I do it and I share our experiences with his blessing.
I'd like to close this week by expressing my heartfelt thanks to all those who have poured out their hearts (and most personal medical, physical and emotional experiences) out in blogs, articles and forums. You all helped me through the last three years more than you'll ever know!
I invite you all this week to give a shout out in the comments to blogs, articles and stories that have helped and inspired you on your journey!
Lets acknowledge and share these resources in the hope that the next person's path to birth is smoother than ours have been!!