I consider myself a pretty tough cookie. Tough enough to openly share my experiences, my hurt with just about anyone who wants to know. That being said, I'm still human, and I have good days and bad days like everyone else. I've learned to let a lot of things people say roll of my shoulders, chalking it up to them not knowing better, and meaning well. It can be annoying though, sure, and sometimes you just want to tell them SHHHHH. Sometimes though, you feel like you have to clobber a person with a mallet to get through to them, and still they don't understand. It's not their fault really. How could they understand something they've never been through. But I expect a bit of empathy and for them to at least understand that they don't understand.
We've all been there. A friend who knows the pain your suffering and still offers their unsolicited advice. My most recent interaction of the kind was with someone I consider a new friend. One that I'm not inclined to have a super close friendship with, but someone I'm okay hanging out with here and there considering our husbands work together and neither of us know many people in this busy but lonely city. We were over at their place for dinner and game night (they have an 8 month old). Perhaps she doesn't know that it's just hard enough being around their child, but then on top of it talking about our upcoming IVF brings up a lot of emotions. So when I explain to her that for our next run we're planning on putting 2 day 5 embryos in. That's the hope at least. She decides its her place to tell me the risk of multiples, and how I should really put 1 in. Oh really? Have you done two rounds with 2 embryos each time and paid thousands of dollars, and been pricked hundreds of times, and visited doctors weeks on end? Do you know what's best for me and my husband given all of this information? I didn't think so. But yet she did.
Now here's where I get frustrated. The cool, level-headed side of me thinks "She doesn't know better, calmly explain to her where you're coming from". So I do. She doesn't take the hint and advises me to see what the doctors say this time. I explain to her that we've made our decision and I would love her to trust in it and support me. She goes on to express that she strongly disagrees given the risks and that its irresponsible of me to make my mind up about something like that. Words.... cannot.... express the anger that boiled up inside me. I started tearing up, told her (mmm... yelled at her?) to stop talking about things she doesn't understand and to leave it. She did. I could see the fear on her face. I could see she finally understood she stepped over the line. But the truth is she is so far past the line that this interaction should never have had to happen. But it does. It happens to us infertiles ALL THE DANG TIME! WHy? Because it's not expressed enough. Because there is such a misconception about it all. The fact is, that most of the time the people who struggle with infertility only really start to talk about their experiences once they've moved forward. They open up after they have a beautiful family, and share their memories of that difficult time like a distant story. So rarely do we share when it is most painful, and this right here is why.
I recently saw a clip of Christy Turlington and Tyra Banks talking about their struggles. It made me ugly cry (it will you too, be warned). But I felt so thankful for them opening up and sharing this with the world. We need more of this. People need to know where the line is and start respecting it.
What are your thoughts? Any horrible experiences as of late?