Say It With Love

stigmata_lrezAs a society we are a result-driven culture. We love to pioneer new frontiers and celebrate our victories and breakthroughs. But when we are faced with sorrow, we are lost for words to acknowledge how we really feel.

I found this to be particularly true during my years of infertility treatment. Although an interview with Barbara Collura of Resolve National Infertility Association revealed a warning to protect my boundaries, I didn’t heed that warning.

My extended family made a good habit of not mentioning the subject within their social circle. It was expected that I look nice, make social appearances and not burden others with my complications. I went along with it. The price I paid for self-neglect was slow and steady slope into alienation.

In her blog entry Don’t let the pain alienate you WhereMyrtlesGrow eloquently describes another side of the phenomenon with her experience of being happy for childbearing women. Until she opens up about her fear of being ostracized if she is not supportive.

The issues infertility uproots comprise the foundation of what it is to be a woman. Our loved ones stumble for supporting words because the language of encouragement around infertility is not yet understood in our culture. It is what breast cancer used to be 50 years ago- a stigma to be kept behind closed doors.

When we shift the conversation around infertility to celebrate the woman’s commitment to bring a child into the world despite the setbacks, we support her vision, we give her strength to carry on.