Thursday, September 15, 2005

Infertility War Syndrome

We Reproductively Challenged Bitches must have some sense of what it must be like to be a war veteran. I think that now I finally understand why it is so hard for those men to come home and rejoin regular society. They just dont fit in anymore. They're experiences have been so utterly life-changing and so out of the realm of ordinary experience that no-one who hasnt been there can possibly relate to them. So they cant relate to "regular" people (or, "regular" people cant relate to them), and they dont want to keep in contact with their war mates because its too painful and brings back to many memories. What do they do? To whom can they turn for kinship? My guess is that there are precious few places they can turn.

This is kind of how I feel too. I've changed so much over the last two years that I dont fit into my "regular" group of friends anymore. I dont feel exactly like I fit in with women who are still in the trenches of infertility treatments. I dont feel comfortable in labelling myself "just another pregnant woman", because I'm not. I'm a pregnant infertile who is totally paranoid its all going to come crashing down in a big pile of bloody grossness at any minute. And that's a fairly select group with which to find a Local Chapter and have Coffee Mornings.

This sounds a bit like a "nobody loves me, everybody hates me" whinge. I know that's not true. There ARE people who love me. There are people who get what I'm going through (though they all exist in my computer). But my circle of comfort and belonging has changed, and I dont have anywhere - apart from with Monkey Boy - that feels like home now.

Its probably a transitory phase, and probably not helped by the increased hormones. I definately feel like I'm entering the "emotional and weepy" part of the proceedings. My therapist would tell me this is not at all surprising given what huge changes I've undergone and that it will feel strange and uncomfortable for a while.

But goddamn it, I hate strange and uncomfortable! I want warm and fuzzy and everybody loves me.

I want to not have been at the front line.

11 comments:

  1. I'm up retyping articles I wrote years ago. I only have them in tearsheets and I wanted to redo them so I can mail them out as PDFs.

    And some of the people I interviewed became friends, and even came to my wedding. But we've hardly been in touch since then, maybe after my first miscarriage, and I don't feel like I have anything in common with them anymore. And I think about calling them, but what on earth would we talk about?

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  2. a-ha! therapist! there's your problem lady!
    xJ

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  3. I feel the need to preface this by saying that war is a big deal and infertility is a big deal too, but they are very different.

    I never really thought about it that way, but you're right. We are different and changed. For some of us, the change is permanent and for some temporary. I think it's too early for me to say one way or the other what the future will hold, but for now, I am definitely not a typical pg woman nor am I in the trenches, I am in between.

    Great perspective Panda, really thoughtful post.

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  4. I know exactly where you are coming from. My relationships with people in RL have changed dramatically. I've been very fortunate to have a few friends that, while they've never been through it, they just get it. Everyone else, I avoid like the plague.

    I wish you could enjoy your pregnancy more.

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  5. PTSD is a common experience among infertiles. Sure it might not help to know you are not alone... but then again maybe it will.

    Sending you warm internet cheesy hugs.

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  6. You're so right. Infertility (at least around my circles) seems so silent. No one understands what we go through. I would feel very alone if it were not for the blogosphere. Mind you, I have started making a point of telling people exactly what goes on when they ask me. I'm sick of people not appreciating how hard this shit is.

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  7. Siggghh.... for me.... what you wrote here is very very true. Granted... I'm still in the trenches... but unfortunately... I already know that this experience is changing me... quickly... and permanently. The jury is still out as to how much of the change is growth... and how much is just plain crippling...

    It's taken a few days for me to reply to this post for this exact reason...

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  8. Panda I read this on Thursday and I can't get it out of my head since. That is EXACTLY how I feel. How can Joe (or Josephine) Schmo understand unless they were in the trenches alongside me.

    Of course, If I have to be in this war, I could not have ended up with a better bunch of chickies in my unit.

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  9. Thank God for blog land I feel isolated and very different from what I was like before this.

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  10. Cherice7:41 pm

    I think this is the type of experience that makes it impossible to feel the same as couples who ttc and succeed without the same level of heartache, pain and sacrifice in between.

    I have friends that I just don't see anymore because they got offended that I didn't see them and their 3 f'ing kids after 2 yrs of ttc a miscarriage and ivf.

    Some people just have absolutely no idea how blessed they are to be able to get knocked up in the blink of an eye.

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  11. You're so right. Infertility (at least around my circles) seems so silent. No one understands what we go through. I would feel very alone if it were not for the blogosphere. Mind you, I have started making a point of telling people exactly what goes on when they ask me. I'm sick of people not appreciating how hard this shit is.

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