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Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones ...

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a blog by S.I.F., December 8, 2010

There will come a point in your infertility journey when the advice of family and friends becomes the very last thing you want.

After all, they don’t know your body. They don’t know your story. And they don’t know your infertility struggle.

So while well meaning advice has a time and a place, there comes a point when you just don’t want to hear it anymore. Not even from someone who has been there and done that. After a string of IVF failures, the stories of fertility treatment miracles no longer hold the same power they once did. They no longer make you feel positive or hopeful.

Instead, they just start to make you feel even more defeated — even more sure that one of those miracles is not waiting in the wings for you.

And to have someone advising you on new fertility treatment protocols or possibilities feels equally frustrating. Because when does it end? When will it ever end?

All of that pales in comparison to the unsolicited advice from fertiles however. When it comes from someone within the infertility community, at least you can remind yourself that they have some concept of where you’re coming from. So while their advice is unsolicited, it’s not entirely off base.

But when directed at you from someone who has never walked this road, those words meant to come in kindness suddenly feel like daggers.

The suggestions to adopt or relax (or to adopt and relax thereby creating the perfect environment for you to finally conceive) morph into words with more weight than any that have ever been slung your way.

Suddenly, words hurt.

Words that were never intended to bring you any pain at all, gain the power to cut you open. Because they make it glaringly clear how little those around you understand. How incapable they are of ever getting it.

And how truly alone on this journey you are.

Words hurt. Even the best of intentioned words hurt.

Because more often than not, they leave you strung up on a line by yourself. Staring down at all those in your life who seem to think that this is a problem with a simple solution as they complain about problems that to you seem to pale in comparison.

You find yourself ducking from people’s words. Hoping for temporary deafness if that’s what it takes to protect your heart from their sting. From the ill conceived advice and words of wisdom.

Words that pack a punch. Even when they are only meant to help.

Sometimes, words hurt. More than sticks and stones ever could.

Comments (5)

Oh man! This is actually EXACTLY what I asked Santa for last year!! I guess I must not have been good enough...

What people don't understand is that when they tell us to relax (or do X, Y or Z) that they are saying "you are the problem - you aren't doing ______"
If any of this could be accomplished through sheer effort alone, then I'm pretty sure we would all be pregnant already.

This journey has certainly made me more sensitive to understanding other people's journeys before offering advice.

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