I received an email the other day from a reader requesting a post on how infertility can be embarrassing and shameful. I can honestly say these emotions at times can take over. We don't know who we can trust, who we can talk to, and who even cares. Infertility is such a misunderstood disease. If you haven't walked the road, you don't know what it's like. Not to mention every woman handles it differently, so how I wanted to be treated may not be how someone else struggling with infertility may want to be treated. However, what we all have in common is how hurt we can get from people's comments.A very wise woman told me, "When someone makes an inappropriate comment to you regarding infertility or your loss, try and remember one phrase- Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Jesus said this in Luke 23:34, when He had the strength to call out to God to forgive those who were causing Him pain. This verse has been a life saver for me. When I feel like screaming at someone for being insensitive, this scripture calms me back down. There is such truth to this statement, because without walking in our shoes most people really don't even know their comments are causing us pain. I'm going to be honest, it's not always easy to forgive whoever makes the comment, but I can get myself to a place where I forgive them because I acknowledge they didn't even know they were hurting me.
Those of you who also suffer from infertility and/or loss completely understand me when I say how isolated and alone we feel. Day to day tasks are hard, things spark our emotions and send us in a tail spin and there seems to be no one around to talk to that would "get it."
I mean come on, is it just me, or does it seem like everyone and their cousin is having a set of twins. I never really noticed twins before I had my own, and now I swear I see a set every day. Pregnant women seem to be taking over target and the mall, I just cant seem to escape them. The last thing I need while trying to make it through a party or family get together is someone pointing out how I have "no children, but I will someday." After someone tells me this, and I am over the initial shock and have touched up make-up after crying in the bathroom; I have to force myself to recite that little phrase. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." (or say) Yes, I added that last little part, but it is the words that seem to hurt the most. People say the wildest, weirdest, and rudest comments. I want to crawl in a cave and just cry, and I would love someone to be waiting in the cave to cry with me but unfortunately most people just don't understand what I'm feeling.
Infertility is such a terribly painful disease, and for the most part people don't talk about. If i'm willing to talk about it, most people are not wanting to listen because they get uncomfortable and they don't understand it. This blog has been such an amazing outlet for me, I get to talk about it and those that want to listen and try and understand can read what I have to say. I think it has been great for my friends and family to understand me better.
If you know someone struggling with infertility or dealing with the aftermath of an infant loss please please take one thing away from this entry, be careful of what you say. Words have a way of piercing the soul and will stay with you forever. If you don't know what TO say, silence or a hug can speak volumes. Please don't just try and fill silence with empty chatter, because this is the time when words will slip out of your mouth that you didn't plan on saying or meaning. Really think about something before you say it and if you think for some reason at all it could offend someone, DON'T SAY IT. As helpful as you want to be, realizing that all you might be able to do is be the shoulder for her to cry on, embrace that job. Your friend needs someone like you to just be there, that's it!