I realized just how hurt I've been by comments about infertility made by my family, I try not to give it much thought, but they hurt, bad. You know me, I find it best to express what is going on in my heart rather than to keep it all bottled up. I've talked about the unintentionally hurtful things people say, but what if those people are FAMILY? What if they are the people you love more than anything? It cuts deeper, it stings worse, and it's harder to let go of.
My family has hurt me plenty, generally it's unintentional, occasionally it is intentional. Either way, it hurts 100 times worse than when a stranger/acquaintance says the same thing.
Mostly with family it's not understanding, or thinking they do. Mine tends to tell me that I'm young, and have all the time in the world, or they point out that ONE family member that couldn't have kids and tell me how happy she is. Of course, she's never talked to me about her struggle, except to tell me once that I should be more grateful for what I have, instead of being upset about what I don't have...which made me feel like a crap person, so that was helpful.
Anyway, majority of the women in my family have had children before marriage, and been married a few times, and not that I love them any less, not at all, I adore my family, all of them, but this fact makes it harder to deal with them, I just want to scream "YOU DON'T KNOW, YOU GOT PREGNANT ON ACCIDENT, BY TWO DIFFERENT MEN! YOU CAN NOT KNOW WHAT I AM FEELING!!!"
But that would be unfair to say to them, because they didn't choose their circumstances any more than I chose mine. With family it's hard because you know that they love you, and that they generally want the best for you, but if they haven't lived it, they can't relate. Oh, they try, and they usually mean well, but it generally doesn't ease the pain, and most of the time it makes it worse.
My mother for example, I love her to pieces, bless her heart, she is the sweetest, most giving woman you will ever meet. It doesn't matter that she just met you two seconds ago, if you need that shirt she's wearing, she'll strip it right off and get arrested for indecent exposure with out question, and she'll do it happily. She kind of gets it, a little bit. Her and my dad tried very hard for me, and she didn't think she'd get pregnant, and then she did, and that's how I came about, but for the large part she still doesn't KNOW what I'm going through, or at least she isn't that empathetic. I know she loves me, I know she hurts for me, but some things she says are hurtful. She always tells me that I need to have a boy, because she has girls, and a granddaughter from my little sister, and has always wanted a boy. I know she doesn't say it to hurt me, but I just want a baby, and I don't care what gender it is, and it makes me feel like if I had a girl she wouldn't lover her as much, though I know that isn't true, it feels that way. She also buys me baby clothes, this started when we were under the impression we would be adopting a friend's baby, and when that adoption fell through she continued to buy them, now this is partially my fault because I gladly accept them, and tell her it's fine, and it is...until I see the dressers full of baby clothes and remember I don't have a baby. I love my mom, and I know she never intends her words or actions to be hurtful, and she doesn't even realize it hurts, but it does. This woman has cried for me probably more times than I know, and has told me several times "if I hadn't had a hysterectomy, I would have already had a baby for you, I wish I could so badly." See, not only would this woman get arrested for a complete stranger, she would give her uterus to her hurting daughter. I know that nothing she says or does is done so with negative intent.
My great grandmother told me once that I was in a worse position to have a baby than a single, unwed mother without a house or a job. That one cut deep. Still, I don't think it was said with malicious intent, obviously not as sweet and well meaning as my mother, but I still don't think she meant it to hurt. She also always tells me that I'm young, and I hate to hear this, because I'm already older than half of the women in my family were when they had children, and it makes me feel like just because I've only been on the planet for so many years I am automatically less qualified than anyone else to have a baby.
Then there is the one family member who does say things to purposefully jab a knife right through my heart and twist. I post some things on Facebook about what I'm going through, and for quite some time she would comment on these and ONLY these types of statuses(and I am a 2+ status a day poster), and always say the same exact thing "you are young" every single time, and that's it, nothing encouraging, just those three words, well she caught me on a super bad baby day and I let her know exactly how THAT made me feel, anyway, a huge argument followed and then a few weeks later we found ourselves arguing again, after I had written her a very lengthy e-mail about why I got so upset, she told me that she only said anything because she got tired of my pity parties, and "feel sorry for Amanda" posts, and basically said that she would understand if I had been at it for 15+ years, but that I couldn't feel pain over it because it was still less than five years!!!! The first six months of trying and not getting pregnant are HELL, because it should just happen, it happens for everyone else, it should be easy, etc. etc. I'm not saying it gets easier after that, but you're less....raw? I guess that's the word I want.
That really super duper hurt because she is a member of my family, she is supposed to lift me up, not bring me down. I don't post things on here, or Facebook for attention, or for people to feel sorry me, I feel sorry enough for myself as is, no help needed there! I post on here to help cope with my feelings, and get them out there, but mostly to encourage and give comfort to other people who know what I'm going through.
When I post about it on Facebook, it's generally to let my friends and family know that I need some extra prayers, that I'm having a rough day, and that, yes sometimes I need someone to talk to. It's okay to hurt and express feelings, even about topics like this, and no one should ever guilt you into feeling bad about your emotions.
My whole point here is that for the most part your family means well, they most likely don't understand, and that is not their fault. You cannot blame them for not having gone through this too....I mean, would you want them to? I know I wouldn't, I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone. As badly as it hurts when the people you love say these things, know that they do love you and they aren't aiming to hurt you. Except for the ones that are, and for those, I delete from my digital life, and pray for them.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. No words will make it better, no one knows what to say, not even those of us dealing with it every single day.