Thursday, October 23, 2008

On My Own

Here is a tip that I have learned over the past five years. When someone is going through a difficult time, never tell them how they should be handling their trial. Believe me, they know, and they are already handling it the best way they can.

They know that they should be grateful for all the wonderful things in their life, but occasionally there are moments that this is clouded with pain. They know that this too will pass, but sometimes this realization is covered by fear. They know that there are worse things in this world that they could experience, but every now and then this thought is crowded out by the magnitude of what they are going through right now.

I don’t think there has ever been a case that someone’s life turned around because they were told to ‘get over it’. There comes a point where you have to let people work through issues on their own. You can be supportive or lend a listening ear, but you don’t have to solve it for them.

I know it may make you feel better to give them guidance and advice. And those things are fine, as long as you have been ‘in the trenches’ with them. But if you are an outside observer, or are not close to them, think hard before you make a judgment. Your good intentions could backfire.

I have been on the receiving end of such casual comments or ‘suggestions’, by people who hardly know me. Just for the record, I realize that there are others out there with problems so massive that mine seem insignificant. When I feel sorry for myself in spite of this, I am fully aware that this is the wrong decision, and I heap enough guilt on myself because of it. I look at someone who has lost a loved one, or is battling a life-threatening illness, and I recognize the magnitude of their burden compared to mine. I know these things, and hearing them again from you only splits open a wound I am trying desperately to close.

Infertility is a loss. It is the loss of a dream, the loss of your identity, the loss of the life you always pictured. With that loss come true stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Some days, it is a mix of many stages, and I have cycled through the first four many times trying to achieve number five.

So, let me work this out. Perhaps I feel angry? Let me feel that way. It’s good for me to try and work through that.

I could compare this to a chick hatching from its egg. Supposedly, if you help the chick break through, she will die. It is in the struggle of emerging from the egg that the chick finds the strength for survival. I am looking for that strength, and I need people outside cheering me on, or at least watching quietly, not someone yanking my shell away before I am ready to hatch.

I will get there; just be patient. If you can’t handle the wait then move along. I will meet you on the other side.


I know you said
Can't you just get over it
It turned my whole world around
And I kind of like it

Forgive? Sounds good.
Forget? I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything
But I'm still waiting…


Our Adoption Journey said...

You summed it up perfectly! I too have struggled to work through the stages of grief and sometimes I slip back instead of moving forwards, and that is normal. I wish "normal" could understand that infertility to us is literally the death of our children.
I loved your chicken hatching analogy. I think I will post it on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for writing it.


Kristie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristie said...

Nobody else's problems can make yours insignificant. It is all relative. You should never feel guilty for grieving in your own way over your own trial.

That kinda sounds like me telling you how to feel...but really I'm cheering you on - you'll be a beautiful "chick" when you hatch!

(Sorry - I deleted my first comment cuz there was a typo - I hate that!)

theworms said...

Great post, you nailed it. I love that song and everytime I hear it I can't help but cry. I can't wait until we're both on the other side.


Isa said...

Time doesn't just stands still as we fall. Jack Johnson said it well.

I will be forever your cheerleader and one of your biggest fans. I won't stop cheering until the game is over and the stadium lights are o-f-f.

Then we can sit in the the dark...and celebrate you and the long dark, dreary road you and Ryan have traveled.

You know what I mean?

loves to you and Ryan.

Andrea said...

I so agree. I feel like I have spent the past six months mourning the loss of someone I never met. Makes me feel crazy at times. I so hope we both find happy endings to this journey very soon. ((HUGS))


Jenn said...

You got it exactly right. (ICLW)

Mary said...

I agree with everyone. Very well said. I'll be using the chicken hatching thing in my own life!


Kristin said...

My favorite term for this kind of useless help/suggestions is assvice. have all of your fellow IFers cheering you on. We are here.

Emily said...

Beautiful post! The best ones always get me all misty.

I am so loving your blog!

The chicken analogy is so good.

Can't wait until you're on the other side...

Amy Nielson said...

I agree. Why do people have to try to "fix" your problem instead of just listening & trying to understand. I hope I have never done that to anyone. You should be able to go at your own pace to overcome any challenge in life.

Emily said...

you have the cutest templates for both blogs, where did you find them?
thanks :)

Shannon said...

Wonderfully put. That's all I have to say.

marianne said...

Thanks for this post. I think you summed up all my thoughts. It is good to know that someone else feels like me.