Earlier this week, I wrote a post addressing what I perceived as an attack on the Bitter Infertiles. Since Monday, things have fallen apart, resulting in a lot of hard feelings and a fractured group. The past 24 hours. have been spent in tears and trying to retrace my steps as to how everything went so wrong so quickly. Needless to say, there’s been a lot of self-reflection and owning my role in all of this.
I need to start by apologizing directly to Esperanza. I’m sorry that I caused you pain in any way or made you feel that you needed to censor yourself. No one should be made to feel that they are not allowed to have an opinion or share their thoughts with the world. In addition, no one should feel like they are being attacked. For that, I am truly sorry. And I’m sorry if my actions made anyone else feel that way too.
But the thing is, I’m not entirely at fault in this situation. Over the past few weeks, the criticism against the podcast has grown and grown. Granted, I understand that people are excited about what has been happening and want to share their thoughts and opinions on each podcast and how we have been proceeding. But, honestly, there’s been a lot of negativity. To date, outside of an incredibly nasty comment sent directly to us, I’ve watched commentary criticizing us not being appropriate because all the members are pregnant, see critiques about how we address different topics and even watched direct attacks on us personally. And though I’m sure in an ideal world I would be able to brush it off, the truth is that it’s all been too much.
I came to this community over a year ago, seeking support and comradery from others would were also in the trenches. Over the past year, this community has been an amazing source of support during my darker moments. Something that I am incredibly grateful for. But there is a dark side to this community. I’ve watched members viciously attack others, bullying them into silence over something they disagree about. Granted, these events are not constant, but when they happen it’s crushing to watch. And frankly, it’s shameful.
Over the last few days, I’ve felt more and more cornered, with people passing judgment on me and something I’ve worked hard for. Not once has someone taken a step back to consider how it might feel to be picked apart. The comparison of this podcast to the Redbook Infertility Diaries frightened me, making me wonder how long it would be before the mob was banging on my door.
The purpose of my post was to cut all of the grumbling off. What I hoped to address was not that others were wrong but that all the concerns and criticism was being addressed. I hoped to stop the fire from spreading, so to speak.
What happened instead was a backdraft. The end result being the future of this podcast uncertain. Mo and I have talked a lot since then, trying to figure out what needs to be done in order to heal. So far, all we’ve gotten is silence. The damage from this passive aggression has only deepened the wounds and forever fractured trust.
So, as of today, Bitter Infertiles is suspended. The one thing I had hoped to avoid has happened and there is no resolution in sight. In addition, I’ve watched Mo struggle with watching something she’s nurtured and help grow start to die around the anniversary of the loss of her son. I’ve watched people attack her, telling her that she’s lucky to have a dead baby. Something so unbelievably horrible and evil; something I never thought I would bear witness to.
I want to end by thanking those of you who have been a source of support during this time. In the moments where Mo debated deleting everything connecting her to this community, you’re words and wisdom have been what has brought her back from the brink. It’s also forced me to recognize that those that are problematic are in the minimum and that in general people do believe not only in this podcast, but also in us.
For now, I’m planning on stepping away from this space. There is so much healing that needs to happen and I know that it can only begin if I’m not here. To the ones I’ve grown to love like sisters, I promise I won’t be far away. But right now, being in the space is too destructive. There’s too much bad blood.