Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Infertility = Trauma


Angela’s comment made me sit up and think.

She wrote: “I do believe that you have to cut yourself some slack and realize that after all you went through: divorce and infertility do actually count as traumatic events.”

One part of me wanted to grab onto it and shout with joy of finally being able to put a name and diagnosis to everything I’ve been experiencing the past few years.

The other part of me thought it self-indulgent and a cop-out. You just want sympathy, and it’s a badbadBAD personality trait. Chin up girl. You’re strong. Don’t dwell on the past and don’t forget to count your blessings!

Then I started googling trauma: the characteristics, the effects, the counselling. And I’m still quite stunned at what I found.

“Regardless of its source, an emotional trauma contains three common elements:

  • it was unexpected
  • the person was unprepared
  • there was nothing the person could do to prevent it from happening

It is not the event that determines whether something is traumatic to someone, but the individual's experience of the event. And it is not predictable how a given person will react to a particular event. For someone who is used to being in control of emotions and events, it may be surprising – even embarrassing – to discover that something like an accident or job loss can be so debilitating.” (I found this here.)

We all know how totally unexpected Infertility is (Most of the time). No-one can prepare us for the shock, stress and heartache it brings. And there is absolutely nothing we can do to prevent our own Infertility. Well, by the time we find out we’re infertile, it’s a bit too late to do something to prevent it huh?

So my dear fellow IF’s – all of us are suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorders. Some more, some less. If you are lucky enough to be a parent now, whether through successful ART or adoption, don’t think you’re immune or cured.

Take care of yourself. Get therapy. Do something to stop the hurt.

And yes. I know it’s easier said than done. Maybe writing about it will do the trick.

1 comment:

Inconceivable said...

HOLY COW, thats so true and very facinating.