Thursday, April 16, 2009

Alienation

Lately I've been feeling the pain and anguish of the social isolation that accompanies infertility. This isn't the first time that I've felt this loneliness nor do I doubt it will be the last, but rather for some reason it's suddenly been thrust at me with an enormous force. I feel a vast rift that exists between me and those around me. I feel like an outsider who's looking in. I feel like I'm walking alone in a world where I don't belong. I am alienated from just about everyone in my life for the mere fact that they are fertile and I am not. I'm sure to many who've been fortunate enough to never walk the lonely path of infertility it may seem as though we have a choice. However, those of us who deal with the day to day struggle with infertility understand that we don't.

We are constantly reminded of our inability to achieve and/or maintain a pregnancy. We turn on the tv and we are inundated with commercials about pregnancy tests, diapers, etc. We have to sit and quietly listen to those around us talking about pregnancy, babies, motherhood, and children. We put on our "fake happy faces" and try to show our support while we are dying inside. We listen to people complain about how terrible the morning sickness is and how little sleep they are getting with a fussy newborn. And we can't help but think how we'd die for that.

Although I often feel alone and isolated in real life, I feel an enormous amount of support, empathy, and true understanding from all of you in the blogosphere. It's here where I can be me and where I can feel what I feel without worry of judgement. I can not thank you enough for being here for me and for so many others who face the daily struggle with infertility.

16 comments:

meinsideout said...

N - I hear you. It can be very, very lonely. I thought I was going to crack yesterday.

I had a meeting with some colleagues - just one other woman in the group, a friend of mine - and I was thinking to myself - at least she is not pregnant. That's right - the first thing she tells me is that she is pregnant and 3.5 mos along. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I felt so guilty inside for feeling like that - I really, really wish I did not. So the count of pregnant women all around me goes up - sister, stepsister, best girlfriend at work, two colleagues....it is getting harder - it used to never bother me.

((HUGS)) and thank you for being here for me.

Duck said...

Hey Niki,
I get it.
I've felt that, then not felt it, then felt it, then not, all depending on where I am on the road, and that was part of all the madness with the recent loss is that I'm tired of feeling sad & isolated, and I had worked hard to feel happy and the recent loss just dug it all up again, so I battling this too right now, and I'm hoping that I will be able to come back to where I was (which was surprisingly peaceful place of acceptance)... we'll see, but, know that youare not alone.

Caroline said...

Hi Niki,

I also feel incredibly lonely and isolated at times.
Throughout the last few months, I have felt as though I am living on planet Mars. It is a lonely, isolating place to be. In the distance I can see planet Earth. I can see people going about their daily lives. They are smiling, going to work, having fun and living. I remind myself that I too used to be carefree when I lived on planet Earth. But for now I exist in an entirely different reality.
I am so thankful to have wonderful blogging friends like you. You understand what it is like to feel like an outsider. But you're not alone. We're here right beside you. C x

Nicole said...

It's been a hard week here too. Not only do I feel like no one understand me because of the IF, but also losing a child and the trama around his birth/loss. Others IRL just don't get it.

SMK said...

I sadly totally agree with you this world is just full of fertile myrtles who just don't get it and the pain is unlike anything I have ever felt before. These women online make me feel sane in an insane world. HUGS!!

Meg said...

Just want you to know I think you are incredibly strong.

MDZ said...

Niki, I can't even begin to compare my IVF experience to yours and I won't even pretend to put myself in your shoes. But I understand your pain and anguish. I remember being in the midst of my IVF (it wasn't going well...I had very low egg numbers) and when I got in the elevator at work, there were 2 hugely pregnant women inside, and then I passed at least 2 more pregnant women on my way to the train station. It felt like fertility was being rubbed in my face. Hang in there. You're not alone in those feelings. I am honored to read your blog and I have all of my fingers and all of my toes crossed for you every day.

Bluebird said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. We've had different journeys, but share many of the same feelings. It is lonely, but I'm glad you can find some comfort here. It doesn't make the lonliness IRL "okay," but I do think it helps. Know that I'm walking with you every step of the way.

Tina said...

I completely understand even though what I have gone through doesn't compare AT ALL.

People think that they are sparing me, J and even my family (parents and siblings) by not telling us that they are pregnant. So they think they are helping us but in reality they just isolate us. So it is much better to find out via FB or even through a friend talking about how so-and-so is 4 months along. Nice kick in the gut, wow!

If it wasn't for this outlet and fellow bloggers, I would probably be curled up on the bathroom floor.

Again, I want to thank you for putting a voice out there for us struggling with TTC.

Erica said...

This blogosphere has saved my life. I'm convinced of that. This is one of the loneliest journies to be on...

I'm glad I "met" you and that you find the support and strength here. I think about you and your family all the time and hope like hell that you get everything you've ever wanted. Ever.

momsoon said...

Niki, Yes.
Sometimes, something as mundane as going to the grocery store can feel like such a...um...well, for lack of a bettr term, mindf**k.
Sometimes I feel as though babies, bellies, families are all around me, even on the cover of every magazine cover??!!!!
Somethimes I feel like a ghost walking through life, smiling on the outside, dying on the inside.
I am sorry we are here right now, and hope that we see each other move onto the 'next chapter' real soon...xoxoxpeace

Lost in Space said...

You said it all so perfectly, Niki. It was like you have been in my head. (-;

I've been struggling with going to a b-day party for a dear friend of mine. I know there will be babies there which I have been working to set aside and just be there for my friend on her special day. My sixth sense now tells me she is pregnant and if calculations serve me correctly will likely announce it at said party. My first thought was that I will likely lose this friend anyway.....Should I not go and have it be now or go through the pain and let it happen anyway......

It's all around. I fear it will never end. I'm sorry you are feeling it so deeply right now. Always here with you and ready to listen.....

Wewurtskihit said...

We are always here when you need us!!

Jaymee said...

dealing with the same thing here. i had to finally tell people to not expect me to show up at baby showers and kid's birthday parties, i just cannot take it anymore. i have done it for almost 14 years and i am at the end of my rope. over the years i have lost so many friends because of infertility, and i mourn them even when i do not want to.

recently, i sent out invitations to my graduation party. a party that has been 16 years in the making. i simply asked that children do not attend, it is an adult party with booze and drunk people. in other words not a place for children. yes, part of it was that i wanted it to be my day and not a day that was sad and all about how cute the kids were. well that started a crapstorm. some people will just never understand. just know that you are not alone, we are all right these with you.

stillthinkingagain said...

"I'm sure to many who've been fortunate enough to never walk the lonely path of infertility it may seem as though we have a choice. However, those of us who deal with the day to day struggle with infertility understand that we don't."

I just came across your blog this morning, and your words ring so, so true. I hate being a member of this club.

I hope you don't mind if I add you to my blogroll... I'd like to follow along and keep up with how you're doing. It's very nice to "meet" you...
Sarah

Brie said...

I just found your blog and have been reading as much of it as I can...I can not agree with this post more. I just lost my second baby (stillborn at 24 weeks) and the social alienation I feel was just put into words by you.Thank you for your frankness and honesty.