You know that feeling when something gets mentioned and there’s a collective tension in the room, an unspoken oh shit. I’ve always wondered if that’s just me? Or if everyone can feel the same tension and awkwardness?
For me, I am obviously referring to infertility. The elephant used to walk into the room a lot during the thick of our journey, most conversations I’d have with the big elephant plonked right next to me making me feel tense, anxious and uncomfortable.
Now I find myself wondering was I alone in that? At the time I thought so, lots of conversations were had when I was sure I was the only one that noticed the giant elephant in the room, because infertility was my life, I ate, slept and pissed it, of course, I’d somehow find a link in every conversation. Any time babies were brought up, I’d internally freeze and see the elephant causally stroll into the room.
But what if that sneaky bastard was showing himself to others? What if my friends and family also felt the tension when babies, pregnancy or similar topics was brought up?
I’ve mentioned may times that I am not good at expressing my feelings, so there’s no way I would’ve pointed at the elephant and gone ‘look at that massive elephant’, it was far too painful and I was all about self-preservation, not open and honest communication.
Did I make it so friends and family felt they had to walk on egg shells around me, in case the elephant came into the room? At the time, I wouldn’t have given this much thought, self-preservation was paramount.
Now? I feel bad, and sorry if I made any one feel awkward around me, I now know self-preservation involves mentally and emotionally dealing with all the shit and that involves talking. Also, I don’t like the thought that people don’t think they can talk to me.
To emotionally heal I need to talk, without a bloody elephant strolling in and causing tension. So, should the elephant show again I will point and wave, no longer will I treat my infertility as something to be ignored and hushed up about. Infertility is so taboo, and I must get passed that.
I’m at the point now that I’m like: ‘Got questions? ask them!’ I may struggle to answer, I may attempt to close off to save myself from pain, but I will talk, I want to talk.
Infertility should not be the elephant in the room.