365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
261. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given?
The worst advice I’ve ever received? That’s an easy one. I’ve been advised by more than one person to be grateful that I was never able to have children. It’s sometimes baffling to me to think that people would actually advice someone that was never able to have children that instead of being sad about it, they should embrace it and be grateful.
The interesting thing is that the people that have said this to me are all parents. I know deep down it is probably said during a difficult parenting day because there are very few parents in this world that would actually say they wished they never had children. I’m sure it’s said out of frustration or tiredness, but it is still crazy to me that anyone would think this is good advice to give an infertile person.
Being in a minority of childless people, it is tough sometimes when people say things that are clearly inappropriate. How do you even respond to that? Do you smile and say, “yes, that’s great advice. I’m so thankful I don’t have one of those!”. Or do you call them on it and question if they realize what they are actually saying? Do they seriously think I should be grateful that I never was able to become a mother? Do they wish that for themselves? Highly doubtful.
There are so many dysfunctionalities when you live the life of a childless person. So many stereotypes you have to conquer and so many stupid comments you have to learn to not take to heart. I wish I could say it gets easier over time, but it really doesn’t. You learn better ways of dealing with it, but it’s definitely not any easier.
365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
101. Write about an old resentment or unhealed hurt
For the most part, I don’t hold a lot of resentments. I try hard to let things go and forgive (not always easy, but I try). As for hurt, although my heart and mind have been through the ringer on countless occasions, I’ve learned over the years how to heal it, or at least find ways to pretend that it is healed. That being said, my one greatest unhealed hurt is the pain of never being a mother.
Infertility is a bitch.
Although the hurt lessens as I grow older, it doesn’t take away from the agony I have dealt with my entire adult life. The hurt started not long after I began trying to have a child. This was back when I was still under the impression that it could happen. Yet, it wasn’t happening and I didn’t understand why. At the same time that all of this was happening, many of my friends were getting pregnant and having babies. It is an indescribable pain to have to try and be happy for those around you when inside it was actually tearing my heart to pieces. The countless baby showers and 1st birthday parties would often times lead me into a funk that would take weeks or sometimes even months to pull myself out of. Yet, few knew this. I would always go with a smile and a happy attitude. Very few knew of my hurt and even those that did know could never really understand. Some tried and looking back now I appreciate the effort, but it is hard to hear someone tell you they “understand your sadness” as they head home to take care of their two children. I had someone tell me once that they understood EXACTLY what I was feeling because they really wanted to have a fourth child but couldn’t afford it. I still am baffled to this day as to what this person was thinking when they said this. Did they honestly think that that not being able to have any children at all compares not being able to have four?? That one still makes me shack my head.
After many years of trying, I was finally given some relief in finding out that I was just not able to get pregnant. I say “relief” because at least now I didn’t have to continually get my hopes up that “maybe this is the month”. So, once you find out it just isn’t going to happen… then what? Well, at first you grieve. Yes, I mean real grief. The same grief you feel when you lose someone important in your life. It was at that moment that I lost a piece of myself. I had wanted to be a mother since I was a young girl. I had names picked out for my kids when I was a teenager. When I was a senior in high school, each person was allowed to write something about themselves and their future in the year book. I didn’t write about traveling the world or attending college. I wrote that I was going to have kids and live happily ever after with my beloved husband. When that is what you have expected that life will bring you (and why shouldn’t you.. EVERYONE has kids… it’s just a very matter-of-fact thing… until it isn’t), when it gets taken away from you, it is a blow to the gut and a stab in the heart.
To be perfectly honest, even after I was told I would not be able to have kids, I still would imagine myself getting pregnant. I don’t know if it was a defense mechanism to protect myself from a full fledge breakdown, but whatever it was, I always would tell myself that “There is still time. It could happen.”. As the years passed by and I got older, I began to finally accept and realize that I would never be a mom.
I spent many years of my life trying to disguise the pain by pretending that I was better off not having children. I would make up stories about how I wouldn’t have been a good mother anyway because I don’t have the patients, or say that it was better off because I could do anything I wanted to do and didn’t have to be responsible for another human being. But let’s face it, that was all lies. Lies to help protect me from being the outsider of almost every female conversation. When you are in your twenties and thirties, it is impossible to have a conversation with a group of females without it being about kids. NOT TO SAY that there is anything wrong with people talking about their kids, but it can be difficult to have relationships with people when you start to have fewer and fewer things in common with them. And I did have relationships that ended up fading away due to our different life styles. So on top of dealing with never being a mother, I was also losing friends. Talk about a double kick in the butt.
I used to go shopping a lot when I was younger and would buy a ton of baby clothes. I had so many friends and family having babies and I wanted to also put some of those baby clothes away for when I had a child of my own. At one point I had bags and bags of brand new baby clothes. Over the years, I gave them away at baby showers and donated some to shelters. However, for the last 25 years, I have kept hidden in the bottom drawer of my dresser one outfit that I just have never been able to part with. I always imagine my daughter wearing this and the thought of given it away meant that I officially accepted that it was never going to happen. After all of these years, there it sits, in the bottom drawer of my dresser next to my old high school cheerleading skirt. I have a strange feeling I will never be able to let it go.
I could go on and on about this topic and I am sure that future blogs will discuss this in more detail, but for now, we will just leave it as my greatest unhealed hurt. Because it still hurts. Even all of these years later.