First thing this morning on Facebook, I found this.
I've been wanting to write about this very thing for a while; about how hard Facebook has the potential to be if you are on the outside looking in. The ultrasounds and baby photos subbing as profile pictures, the "offers" to sell naughty children, cute birthday/Halloween/Christmas/Thanksgiving stories, announcements about potty training successes, first teeth, and new pregnancies...
Facebook is rife with childcentric information.
And there's absolutely no reason why it shouldn't be. None whatsoever.
But because it is, it can be a dangerous place for someone trying to navigate the bloody waters of infertility and loss. And it can be torture for someone for whom all those lovely baby things will never be a reality.
The interesting thing is that we generally stay very quiet about all this. So much so that it likely never occurs to anyone but us that it might be painful. The landmines are invisible unless you see them as such. We are blown to smithereens every day by things others look at with wonder and joy.
That's just the way it is.
It's the way it has to be, in fact, because the world can't (and shouldn't) stop merely because we are sad. There is no reason our sorrow should trump another's joy.
But that's precisely why I was so shocked to see the link above; stunned that someone would actually dare to put it all out there - to demonstrate in a tangible way what it can sometimes feel like to be a childless person floating alone in a seemingly endless sea of fertility.
We, as a group, generally concentrate our efforts on making sure other people don't feel uncomfortable. The last thing we tend to do is point out our own discomfort. We might be broken, humiliated, and desperate - but we are usually silent.
And I'm not sure what I think about this phenomenon anymore, this strange code of silence.
I don't want to be the person who rains on everyone's parade, reminding people with my sad looks and pitiful sighs that I envy what they have. I don't want to be the needy girl from whom people flee in horror. And I certainly don't want to end up being a one-trick pony who can't talk about anything but the life she wishes she'd been able to have.
But sometimes I do crave a certain level of acknowledgment - a little something that lets me know you would smother my pain with a pillow if you had one big enough, or strangle cruel fate with your bare hands for denying me my joy. I am desperately struggling to co-exist in this fertile world, and that pain I feel is real. This life is hard - harder than I ever dreamed - and I'm not always okay. I probably look it most of the time - maybe all the time - but I am stuck together with tape, staples and prayers. And chocolate and wine.
I'm not looking for pity. I can't stress that enough. I think what we all want so much is simply for people to remember that we're here too.