I have debated all. Day. Long as to whether I should write and post this journal entry, and even as I’m typing this, I’m still – somewhere in the back of my mind – second guessing myself, and why? This isn’t about anyone else really, it’s about MY feelings, and as such, as an act of self-compassion, I need to voice and acknowledge those feelings without self-censoring for the sake of avoiding getting someone else all bent out of shape, or pandering to the inner critic who’s trying to convince me that I’m such a terrible person for even thinking about speaking about it all.
But today of all days, I can’t allow myself to do that, and I can’t, and won’t sit silently and keep it all inside because, though I say it’s not about anyone else, there are actually many, many women out there in the world for whom today is especially hard… including me. Last year, I had three miscarriages, one after the other, all ‘unexplained,’ and if I hadn’t, this year would have been be my first Mother’s Day. However, I woke today taking a deep breath and girding my loins; determined I wasn’t going to mope, I wasn’t going to bring anyone down on a day devoted to family and motherhood (here in the US anyway – other parts of the world including the UK celebrating on a different day) and would throw myself into the celebrations and ‘goddamn it’ have a good time along with everyone else! (And I did, matter of fact, have a lovely day with my US family, sharing good food, and good company – and a damn good movie).
Still it didn’t change the fact those feeling are still there. That I’d ‘welcomed them in, acknowledged them, and then shown them the door, “Cback later if you still want to ‘talk’.” Evidently they did, because here I am.
Earlier this year, I was told that my feelings were bullshit… yes pretty much those exact words, and today – Mother’s Day – that popped into my head, from time to time, as I went through the day trying not to feel those very feelings acutely (and all over again). They are feelings of inadequacy, of failure – of feeling ineligible to name myself ‘woman’ because I cannot do something that is a genetic, biological part of being a woman. Namely creating and nurturing a new life and bringing that life to birth. It’s not something I, or any other woman that might share these feelings and these fears actually WANT to feel, but we feel them non-the-less, and they happen in spite of reassurances and words of comfort that are sincerely mean by friends and family about the ‘positives’ of living a childless life. If what you want, what you FEEL in your heart of hearts is a desperation to know parenthood, those kinds of comments – though meant in good faith – don’t actually help. They are isolating, and can leave a person feeling more lonely than reassured… but to be told that the way you feel is bullshit… or that women who say/feel such things actually make someone else angry, as if we have no right to those feelings, or they in some way diminish the angered person – or even affect them at all…? Excuse my indignation, but what the ever-loving hell!? Then again, maybe it’s a case of not truly understanding where, or why, or how someone could feel such a thing, or not truly understanding the very real, psychological effects of infertility and loss, and how to deal with them. (Here’s a helpful article.)
One of the wonderful ladies on a Facebook group that I’m a part of posted a link to an article entitled, To Those of Us Struggling with Infertility This Mother’s Day, which you can read for yourself by clicking on the title. I think it might help with understanding what some women are going through, especially today, but also on many other days of the year… and for those women out there – mothers – whether you hold your children in your arms or only in your hearts, and to those nurturing women who are ‘mothers’ in the ancient tribal meanings of the word, I hope your day today has been filled with joy and love and blessings – as was mine.