Backsliding Away…


backslide-300x157.jpeg (hummed to Simon and Garfunkel song, Slip Sliding Away)

…You know the nearer your destination, the
more you’re backsliding away…

Yep. I’m a miserable wanker (to use the Irish slang).

I’ve been harboring disingenuous feelings. It was Sara-P and Ms. Infertile who made me realize what a poser I’ve been of late.  If people had been able to read my thought bubbles today, well, it would not have been pretty. I managed to hold my tongue but I almost lost it twice today. First, I was trapped in a conference room surrounded by parents complaining about how their children were little germ machines. I came this close to yelling out: “So WHAT? Am I supposed to feel sorry for you? At least you HAVE kids — germy or not!”

And then later when one of the most sanctimonious new moms in the office was across the hall sniffing around trying to get the latest tchotchke (for which she was not the least bit entitled) I had to employ tremendous restraint. She is the worst example of someone who has way more than most but has no qualms about asking for more.  Fortunately for her I closed my door to drowned out her outrageous request. “WHAT?” I wanted to scream at her, “Coming off of maternity leave you want the souvenir item that other people actually worked for while you were out cuddling your new infant? GET LOST!”

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Yeah. Can you tell I’ve got a short fuse when it comes to complaining parents and new moms? I totally admit it. Guilty as charged. And it gets worse. I decided tonight driving home that I have to pass on being involved in a baby shower for a good friend this weekend. It’s a surprise so I had time all week to make the call about attending. If it were a one on one, I’d be fine. But having to “pretend” in front of other people who have no idea of my history — that would still kill me. I don’t have the energy or emotional stamina to put on a show for the younger fertiles who will be on hand.  I just can’t go. I’ll send the gift separately in the mail.

So there I was a few weeks ago patting myself on the back, convinced that I had “evolved.” Clearly, I have a long way to go.  Chalk it up to the holidays and all the ads showing cooing babies in elf suits and toddlers with eyes as big as saucers or proud parents swapping knowing glances as they snap photos of their kids on Santa’s lap. I’m nothing more than a Grinch.

Backsliding away…

UPDATE: Can I just say (again)  that I’d like all you folks who comment to live in my neighborhood? Your thoughts came at me like a soft, warm blanket on a cold day. Talk about getting a pick-me-up. You’re the best. The world needs more people like you …

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22 Responses

  1. MLO

    November 30, 2007 6:07 am

    Do not beat yourself up for “backsliding” during the Holidays. Guess what? They are known for causing issues for everyone. You spent how many years dealing with treatment options? It takes a long time to heal from any traumatic event – and the ones that take a long time, well, they take longer.

    The fact that the world at large of today does not recognize the sadness of being childless due to misguided actions of some members of modern life, only makes it harder. There was a time when it was not expected every child would become parent – and that was not that long ago.

    It did not matter if they married or not – children were considered a true blessing because they did not know for sure that anyone could have children. And they recognized that not having children – or not marrying – were very real pains.



  2. Chrissy

    November 30, 2007 1:09 pm

    You know, anybody that doesn’t understand why this is tough for you really isn’t worth your time. The one thing that age has given me is permission to feel however I do at any given moment. I do still hold my tongue when I really have to but I no longer hesitate to tell folks when things are beyond my tolerance threshold (though I DO try to do it without completely alienating the person). I have learned that the best person to stick up for me…is me.

  3. Sara

    November 30, 2007 1:19 pm

    Well said…and thought I’d ask if I could join you in the cave…you aren’t the only Grinch…I think it is the holidays. They don’t always bring out the ‘best’ when living in the fertile world- hey, I would love to have my own little germ factory- it would be great…stop bitching, please….

  4. meghan

    November 30, 2007 2:17 pm

    Hey, we’ve all got our good and bad days. Sometimes I’m evolved and sometimes my knuckles are scraping the pavement. And on the bad days, you just have to do what you can to make it through them, and if that means not going to a baby shower, so be it.

    And this time of year definitely brings out the worst in me

  5. sharah

    November 30, 2007 2:37 pm

    Okay, first off, people wanting the goodies when they didn’t do the work pisses me off under any circumstances, so you’re not alone.

    Second, recovering from IF is not a linear process. Sometimes you move forward, sometimes you do two steps forward and one back, and sometimes you regress all the way back to an earlier stage of grief. You’re not a poser — you’re just you. And we love you for it.

  6. Beth

    November 30, 2007 2:37 pm

    I think we’re allowed to backslide this time of year. And I KNOW we’re allowed to think whatever thoughts pop into our angry little heads, whenever they pop in. If you can’t do the shower, then don’t. Your first priority is to protect your self. {{{{{hugs}}}}}

  7. Lori

    November 30, 2007 2:59 pm

    I had expected my healing to go in a straight line. But instead, it spiraled around and around.

    It may feel like a back slide, but I bet you’re still traveling the path of healing — in a forward direction.

    And I find the Grinch quite lovable.


  8. DD

    November 30, 2007 3:10 pm

    I once made a comparison many, many moons ago how acceptance with infertility is much like a waltz.

    Do you know how to waltz?

    A waltz box is one step forward, step to the side. One step back, step to the side.

    Yet, with just the right amount of grace and practice this pattern actually moves you forward.

    Right now, you are just side-stepping some of the sloppy dancers. So what if it takes you “back”. You ultimately have the more graceful appearance.

  9. Yodasmistress

    November 30, 2007 4:05 pm

    You’re being too hard on yourself.

    I was talking with my husband about loss (his amputation and IF) two nights ago. I was talking to him about how I don’t understand how he is so accepting of winning such a shitty lottery. And he went on with his usual diatribe about how there are so many people in the world who have so much less than us and everyone has their cross to bear and everyone will have losses they have to deal with in their lifetime. I responded that while that may be true, the fact of the matter is that some people really do get the shit end of the stick more so than others. I mean sure, almost all of us will lose parents and grandparents. About half of the people will lose a spouse. And some people lose siblings or children. Many people will get cancer or other fatal diseases. But the fact of the matter is that there is no cosmic tally system. It’s not like since he got is foot chopped off and you can’t have a child that somehow you will be chosen not to have to endure those OTHER hardships.

    So, to me it seems unfair. Like some people just get stuck having to deal with EXTRA crap in their lifetimes.

    Rereading what I’ve written so far I’m not sure I’m really saying anything helpful. In fact, maybe I’m making you feel worse. I hope not.

    What I’m trying to say is that you are dealing with a kind of loss that most people will never experience. It sucks. Period. Plain and simple. Please don’t beat yourself up because you feel sad (or bitter or angry or whatever) about having such a cosmic loss. It is just a testament to the fact that you are very wonderfully, beautifully, introspective and human.

  10. loribeth

    November 30, 2007 5:54 pm

    Even nine years after my daughter was stillborn & six after my last infertility treatment — well past the point where most people think I should be “over it” — there are days when enough is enough and I simply have to walk away before I scream (or worse, burst into tears). Add the extra stress of the holidays, and it’s no surprise you’re feeling short-fused. (((HUGS))) Now, go plan a nice afternoon for yourself in lieu of attending the shower. What will it be — a movie? shopping? lunch with dh? a nice afternoon on the couch with a book? Whatever you decide, have a great weekend!

  11. Samantha

    November 30, 2007 6:10 pm

    Man, I’ve been sick for 3 weeks now, and I don’t even have a germ factory! Is that the short end of the stick or what?!

    Life, and recovery, is not a linear path. Don’t feel bad about your feelings. You probably already feel bad enough without judging yourself so harshly. {hugs}

  12. iota

    November 30, 2007 6:33 pm

    It may feel like 2 steps forward, 1 step back (or even 2 steps forward, 2 steps back), but as everyone says, that is very normal. Hold on to the knowledge that you have done the steps forward before, so can do them again. Just not right now.

  13. SaraS-P

    November 30, 2007 9:08 pm

    Everyone has a Grinch in them. Whether he comes out depends on the situation. I think your situations have justifiably brought him out!

  14. chicklet

    December 1, 2007 1:20 am

    I think the ups and downs will unfortunately always be there, this has become part of you. But it will get easier and the downs will be less often. Don’t beat yourself up, we all backslide, on LOTS of things. You’re allowed. Take care of you and only you, that’s what matters.

  15. Deathstar

    December 1, 2007 1:27 am

    What matters is knowing what you are feeling and acknowledging it. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody. Tis the season of Pamper commercial with beautiful sleeping babies with Silent Night in the background. When people ask me what I want for Christmas, I say a scarf instead of a baby which is what I really want and frankly the most expensive gift in the world just doesn’t matter to me. Maybe I should design a t-shirt that says “NO MORE BABY SHOWERS FOR ME” on the front and then “ASK ME WHY” on the back.

  16. Geohde

    December 2, 2007 5:01 am

    PJ, I think that you’re being overly self critical. It was purely self-protective not to go to the shower, and as for the annoying workmates….



  17. dmarie

    December 3, 2007 1:19 am

    Hey, I’m a Grinch too. I really wish I could just enjoy or at least get through this holiday without focusing on what I don’t have. Faking it makes me feel worse. So what’s an infertile to do?

  18. LJ

    December 5, 2007 7:08 pm

    Mr. Badger and I are taking the holidays off. Not in practice. We’re still going to his parents’ for Christmas and all, but in spirit. I have not only no interest in new moms, I cringe when I see them. Right now, it just makes me feel alone and small. Except here on the interwebs.

  19. Rachel

    December 10, 2007 6:38 am

    If it makes you feel better, I’m not a fan of Christmas. Actually, I should say, I’m not a fan of what they’ve done to it. I like to keep it small and real, and for myself, that has something to do with a very small fake tree (don’t like cutting down the real ones), watching Rudolph and allowing myself to cry and attempting to make something close to the incredible Christmas cookies my mother made… sometimes that works. And sometimes it doesn’t. I have plenty of Grinch moments at this time of year. There are no children in our building, and we are far from those in our family that have children, so we are spared there. I seem to handle being around children okay… but there is always a pang. I have enough pangs this time of year, so I guess I’m grateful of being spared that one, at least locally. But I completely understand why you didn’t go to that shower. We have several holiday parties coming up. I will be asked the ‘no children’ questions. I wonder how I’ll handle that…

  20. kareno

    January 6, 2008 12:31 pm

    Can I come live in this neighborhood too please? The first time I read this post of yours I was still thinking: “At least my family is supportive and understanding.” Oh boy what a come down after the holidays. Thanks for your posts, all of them!

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