Permission is a tricky thing. We frequently, readily provide it to others but deny it to ourselves. That’s often because allowing ourselves freely to engage in activities such as sitting with our emotions can seem self-indulgent. But, in reality, it can be self-affirming.
Reader Writes About Permission Denied
It’s always gratifying to hear from new readers, particularly those who have taken the time to delve into my story. As you many of you know (and you’ll see, below), the painful realities that accompany infertility and failed IVF leave a lasting wake and surface many questions. Now, fellow bloggers and blog readers, a request for thoughts from Sharon:
I am a newcomer to this blog, and am so grateful to have found it after reading Silent Sorority. I am a member of the failed IVF club (unexplained infertility) and 23 years after that final attempt at becoming pregnant I still struggle with feelings of grief and anger and feeling like a failure as a woman, which I have mostly kept to myself; reading Silent Sorority released a tidal wave of emotions that I had bottled up.
I realize now that I never gave myself permission to get really ‘pissed off’ and appropriately deal with that ‘shitty aftermath’ that Jennifer A described; very few family and friends knew about my infertility, and some of those well meaning people would say things like ‘you and your husband have a great life, you have so much to be grateful for’. So how dare I complain? Ah yes, a great career as a Registered nurse, but working in a female dominated profession the baby oriented conversations were always happening. Another thing I learned is that even those I shared some of my deepest sad thoughts and feelings with would disappoint me with insensitive actions, comments, pregnancy announcements. I often wonder if I am the only woman who has been stuck in this silent sadness stage? I will be turning 60 years young this April and would really appreciate some feedback from the ladies of this blog.”
Lessons Learned: What Are Yours?
You’ve come to the right place, Sharon. You’re among many who have asked that same question, sometimes in different ways. But permission to feel “pissed off” or sadness or just plain numb — as well as validation of these emotions — is a common theme in our community. Over the years, other readers have reached out or shared. Here are a few posts that address your question (do read the comments). They will definitely help.
Guest Post: Never Being Called Mommy – March 2010
Kindness Comes in Many Forms – December 2012
Grief is a Form of Love – April 2013
Prince Harry and I Agree: Bury Grief at Your Peril – August 2017
Childless Not By Choice – A Conversation with Civilla Morgan – February 2019
Meanwhile, I ask others who have wisdom to share to weigh in. Your comments and feedback are most welcome.