Monday, July 25, 2016

#MicroblogMondays: it still hurts

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

A longer post today. Sorry in advance for breaking the Microblog rules.

In July 2012, Grey and I came to Boston for my postdoc interview/vacation/to attend his youngest cousin's wedding. There were many lessons I learned during this trip and to this day mark it as the beginning of our journey to healing from infertility (even though we were firmly in a place of uncertainty). 

The thing I didn't talk about, though, was a moment that still haunts me. An innocent enough moment that I've been shoving away because I assumed it was my problem and a fault I needed to deal with. But this post made it clear that sometimes the best thing to do is talk about it. So here goes.

Bit of background, this trip to Boston followed on the heels of some terrible events. We had just had gone through a failed FET, which followed on the heels of my second miscarriage.  The adoption agency we had planned to work with had told us to hold off (understandably so, but still hard to hear). And then the final element of Grey's brother and SIL announcing they were expecting almost immediately after my miscarriage. I knew going into this situation I wasn't going to do well. Grey and I had been working with David to try to defuse it as best as we could, but the reality was I was hurting and filled with anger. 

So seeing Grey's SIL, who was clearly pregnant, was hard. A reminder of the babies my body had failed to carry. There was also my MIL, who was clearly excited to be around her grandchildren and to be near my SIL as she was the one mainly providing these children. It was hard not to be jealous.

But the icing on the cake came later in the day. Grey and I had bought his niece and nephews some books. The kids were excited to have them, asking to be read. So the 3 youngest children gathered on the couch with my eldest nephew, who was a teenager, and as he read to them the adults sat back, smiled happily and snapped photos of the scene. All while Grey's SIL unconsciously stroked her belly.

It will be 4 years since that scene has played out this week. A lot has changed. So much in fact. And yet, that image still is a painful one. For years I've picked at it, trying to dissect why. I've tackled jealousy, envy, the fear and all the misunderstanding. I've been told that time heals all wounds and there have been many examples of how much the Beats are loved by our families.

Yet, the hurt remains. Something that seems so trivial still just isn't. 

With Bent no Broken's post, I realized that sometimes there isn't a way to make those moments okay. Despite how much as our loved ones want us to. It's hard because there's this assumption that the only road to peace is through absolving someone of any wrong that was done. Which leaves me wondering why. And who does it benefit.

On Wednesday the Beats turn 3 yrs old. Seeing them read their books, I think about that picture and play out in my head the dialogue I would have with myself all those years ago. That despite having them here now, that situation really sucked. And maybe that's okay to admit.


  1. I think this goes along with the idea of learning to cope with the scars that infertility inflicts, but knowing that underneath that scar there is still a wound, and sometimes that wound feels like it's opened up a bit. That scene sounded horrifically difficult to deal with, and even though now you have the Beats and Grey can read stories to them and they are a joy, it doesn't erase that memory and how you felt at the time. It doesn't erase the hurt of having to put on a happy face while life moved on around you and you were dealing with horrible emotional pain and setback after setback. It's absolutely okay to admit that that hurt then, and it still hurts now, looking back on it. Thinking about why and letting it out is helpful, so it can hurt but not fester.

  2. You're right. I can't be as transparent on my blog as I want because... said people read it, but there are so many memories like you have. And having Olivia is the best thing that's ever happened to me... and yet those situations really, really sucked.

  3. I think you're absolutely right. Sometimes there's just no way to make the hurt go away completely, like a healed bone that still aches when it rains. Not only is it okay to admit, I believe it's the healthier way to look at the situation, and sharing this may help someone else deal with some lingering pain. *hugs*

  4. I can identify with this. Although our first attempts at trying to conceive ended happily with our daughter, I still remember sad and crappy moments. They seem to have a life of their own, in a way. I think it might be because at those moments I felt very trapped by circumstance and it felt like the awfulness might come to define my life. Looking back I know it didn't and yet it did seem at the time like that might be the case.

  5. I think it's definitely okay to admit that a particular event or time was really really painful. I can't imagine how you felt at the children reading/belly stroking moment. Actually, that was a stupid statement. I can imagine it, very well. It was terribly painful, and not a little insensitive of the family. You have the Beats now, and whilst that might mean a future situation like this won't be (as) painful, it doesn't erase the pain you've been through, or miraculously mean that all previous events that hurt no longer hurt. As Jess said, you hold the scars from that.

    I've said over and over on my blog - my acceptance and happiness now doesn't diminish the pain I've been through. What it does mean though, is that eventually I have been able to remember those situations that really sucked without re-living the pain. I can remember that I was in pain at the time, but I no longer feel it specifically. You'll get there.

  6. Yes. This is so true. After having my daughter a friend's mom who dealt with infertility 35 years prior said to me, "you never forget what it feels like." She still went back to that place and some of those sad memories 30 plus years and 3 kids later. We can't go back in time and make those moments ok and they do matter.

  7. It's definitely ok to admit that the situation really sucked, and it's ok to talk about it. I'm quickly realizing that healing doesn't mean you'll forget and that forgiving another person for a wrong committed against you doesn't mean that they are absolved from responsibility for hurting you (nor does it mean that you have to maintain any kind of relationship with them).

    Oh, and happy birthday to the Beats! I hope their day is filled with fun and laughter!

  8. When you tell your story, you heal others who are going through the same scenario right now. You have no idea how many people you may reach over months or years. So, find comfort in knowing that while you feel you're still grappling with healing yourself, there are probably countless other people who will heal in your telling the story over and over.

  9. One thing I'm coming to figure out (slow learner here) is that many times, the only way through is through. I'm not sure why I still try not to feel my feelings.

    Happy birthday to the sweet Beats :-)

  10. Oh, this post resonated with me, hardcore. I have things I can't let go of, and I've been made to feel badly over the things that I hold onto. And then I read something like this and it helps me to remember that I get to decide how I feel about something, not someone else.

  11. I can definitely relate to this. I bet a lot of us have moments like this in our memories.

    Happy early 3rd b day beats!


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